Quaternary geologic map of the Shelby 1° x 2° quadrangle, Montana

Open-File Report 2012-1170
Prepared in cooperation with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology
By: , and 



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.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Quaternary geologic map of the Shelby 1° x 2° quadrangle, Montana
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2012-1170
DOI 10.3133/ofr20121170
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description Map: 1 Sheet: 47.74 x 36.22 inches; Downloads Directory
Country United States
State Montana
Datum North American Datum 1927
Projection Transverse Mercator
Scale 250000
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details