Preliminary Bedrock Geologic Map of the Lahore 7.5-minute Quadrangle, Orange, Spotsylvania, and Louisa Counties, Virginia

Open-File Report 2019-1110



Bedrock geologic mapping of the Lahore, Va., 7.5-minute quadrangle was completed as part of a broader project, undertaken jointly between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, and other Federal and State agencies to better understand the causative mechanisms of the magnitude-5.8 (M5.8) earthquake that occurred near Mineral, Va., on August 23, 2011. This project involved detailed mapping of eight quadrangles in the epicentral region of the Mineral, Va., earthquake in order to improve our understanding of the geologic framework of the central Virginia seismic zone, which has a long record of historical and prehistoric seismicity.

The Lahore 7.5-minute quadrangle contains the contact between Ordovician to Silurian, dioritic and granodioritic rocks of the Lahore and Ellisville plutons and older metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks. The Lahore quadrangle is northeast of the Ferncliff and Louisa, Va., quadrangles, where the Shores complex is intruded by the Ellisville pluton along the pluton’s southwestern margin. The new mapping in the Lahore quadrangle shows that the Shores complex continues northeast of the Ellisville pluton. A northeast-trending mafic- and ultramafic-bearing belt within the Shores complex is a fault-bounded accretionary zone (accretionary wedge) between rocks of the Chopawamsic Formation and Laurentian slope-and-rise deposits. In the Lahore quadrangle, this belt contains several mappable, northeast- to southwest-trending mafic bodies and also includes small exposures of gabbro and talc schist.

The Lahore quadrangle contains structures of both early- and late-Paleozoic age that correspond to the Taconic and Alleghanian orogenies. Taconic (Late Ordovician) S1 schistosity in layered rocks is typically fine-grained and parallel to compositional layering, when present. Alleghanian (Pennsylvanian) S2 schistosity is coarser and more micaceous than S1 and is locally accompanied by a lineation that is represented by mineral lineations, micro-crenulations, or mullion fabric, and represents the hinges of F2 folds. A foliation in the plutonic rocks is represented by an equilibrium assemblage of aligned mafic minerals and is early Paleozoic in age.

Metamorphic grade in the non-plutonic rocks of the Lahore quadrangle ranges from lower-greenschist to the northwest to upper-greenschist to the southeast, as represented by mineral assemblages in non-plutonic rocks. The biotite isograd may be, in part, lithologically controlled by the contact between the informally-named Hardware and Byrd Mill formations, and locally affected by contact metamorphism by the Lahore pluton (western part of map). The Taconic garnet isograd is defined by the sparse presence of small (<1 millimeter), euhedral garnet crystals. Both the biotite and garnet isograds continue along strike to the southwest into the Ferncliff and Louisa quadrangles, where the isograds have been identified as Ordovician age (Taconic orogeny) based on muscovite, biotite, and amphibole 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages.

Regionally, the most common trend and plunge of joints is northwest and subvertical, respectively, and orthogonal to the regional strike of foliation. Early Mesozoic extension may have reactivated the Harris Creek fault (southeast corner of map), a late Paleozoic (Alleghanian orogeny) transpressional fault that marks the contact between granodiorite of the Ellisville pluton and the Chopawamsic Formation.

Suggested Citation

Burton, W.C., 2019, Preliminary bedrock geologic map of the Lahore 7.5-minute quadrangle, Orange, Spotsylvania, and Louisa Counties, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1110, 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Correlation of Map Units
  • Description of Map Units
  • Explanation of Map Symbols
  • Introduction
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Preliminary bedrock geologic map of the Lahore 7.5-minute quadrangle, Orange, Spotsylvania, and Louisa Counties, Virginia
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1110
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191110
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Florence Bascom Geoscience Center
Description 1 Sheet: 37.00 x 34.00 inches; ReadMe; Database; Metadata
Country United States
State Virginia
County Orange County, Spotsylvania County, Louisa County
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
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