The Shelby quadrangle encompasses approximately 16,084 km2 (6,210 mi2). The northern boundary is the Montana/Saskatchewan (U.S./Canada) boundary. The quadrangle is in the Northern Plains physiographic province and it includes the Sweet Grass Hills. The primary river is the Marias River. The ancestral Missouri River was diverted south of the Bearpaw Mountains by a Laurentide ice sheet. The fill in the buried ancestral valleys of the Missouri River and Marias River in the southeast quarter of the quadrangle contains a complex stratigraphy of fluvial, glaciofluvial, ice-contact, glacial, lacustrine, and eolian deposits. The map units are surficial deposits and materials, not landforms. Deposits that comprise some constructional landforms (for example, ground-moraine deposits, end-moraine deposits, stagnation-moraine deposits, all composed of till) are distinguished for purposes of reconstruction of glacial history. Surficial deposits and materials are assigned to 21 map units on the basis of genesis, age, lithology or composition, texture or particle size, and other physical, chemical, and engineering characteristics. It is not a map of soils that are recognized in pedology or agronomy. Rather, it is a generalized map of soils recognized in engineering geology, or of substrata or parent materials in which pedologic or agronomic soils are formed. Glaciotectonic (ice-thrust) structures and deposits are mapped separately, represented by a symbol. On the glaciated plains, the surficial deposits are glacial, ice-contact, glaciofluvial, alluvial, lacustrine, eolian, colluvial, and mass-movement deposits. In the Sweet Grass Hills, beyond the limit of Quaternary glaciation they are fluvial, colluvial, and mass-movement deposits. Till of late Wisconsin age is represented by three map units. Tills of Illinoian and pre-Illinoian glaciations are not mapped, but are widespread in the subsurface. Linear ice-molded landforms (primarily drumlins) indicate directions of ice flow during late Wisconsin glaciation.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Quaternary geologic map of the Shelby 1° x 2° quadrangle, Montana
U.S. Geological Survey
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Map: 1 Sheet: 47.74 x 36.22 inches; Downloads Directory