The Smoky Butte intrusives are located in T. 18 N., R. 36 E. Garfield County, Montana on the extreme eastern edge of the petrographic province of Central Montana. They consist of dikes and plugs arranged in linear, en-echelon pattern with a northeast trend and intrude the Tullock member (Paleocene age) of the Fort Union formation. Extrusive rocks are absent.
The rocks are potassium-rich volcanic types showing a disequilibrium mineral assemblage consisting of sanidine, leucite, biotite, olivine, pyroxene, magnetite plus. ilmenite, apatite, calcite, quartz, and a yellowish to dark greenish glassy groundmass. Two chemical analyses of Smoky Butte rocks show high magnesium, potassium, titanium, and phosphorous and low aluminum and sodium content. The two norm calculations show that the rocks are oversaturated with 1.3 and 3.1 per-cent excess silica. Because of the peculiar nature of the Smoky Butte rocks, descriptive names have been applied to them. They are divided into six different types.
Three periods of intrusion are proposed for Smoky Butte quarry where three rock types crop out. Other evidence for multiple injection occurs in several multiple dikes. The upper contact of the intrusion is visible on a few plugs and dikes.
Smoky Butte rocks show some similarities to the undersaturated potassium-rich rocks of the Highwood and Bearpaw Mountains of Montana, the rocks of the Leucite Hills of Wyoming, and the oversaturated rocks of the West Kimberly District of Australia.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Petrography and petrology of Smoky Butte intrusives, Garfield County, Montana