Geology of the Cupsuptic quadrangle, Maine

Open-File Report 66-57




The Cupsuptic quadrangle, in west-central Maine, lies in a relatively narrow belt of pre-Silurian rocks extending from the Connecticut River valley across northern New Hampshire to north-central Maine. The Albee Formation, composed of green, purple, and black phyllite with interbedded-quartzite, is exposed in the core of a regional anticlinorium overlain to the southeast by greenstone of the Oquossoc Formation which in turn is overlain by black slate of the Kamankeag Formation. In the northern part of the quadrangle the Albee Formation is overlain by black slate, feldspathic graywacke, and minor greenstone of the Dixville Formation. The Kamankeag Formation is dated as 1-ate Middle Ordovician by graptolites (zone 12) found near the base of the unit. The Dixville Formation is correlated with the Kamankeag Formation and Oquossoc Formation and is considered to be Middle Ordovician. The Albee Formation is considered to be Middle to Lower Ordovician from correlations with similar rocks in northeastern and southwestern Vermont. The Oquossoc and Kamankeag Formations are correlated with the Amonoosuc and Partridge Formations of northern New Hampshire. The pre-Silurian rocks are unconformably overlain by unnamed rocks of Silurian age in the southeast, west-central, and northwest ninths of the quadrangle. The basal Silurian units are boulder to cobble polymict conglomerate and quartz-pebble conglomerate of late Lower Silurian (Upper Llandovery) age. The overlying rocks are either well-bedded slate and quartzite, silty limestone, or arenaceous limestone. Thearenaceous limestone contains Upper Silurian (Lower Ludlow) brachiopods. The stratified rocks have been intruded by three stocks of biotite-muscovite quartz monzonite, a large body of metadiorite and associated serpentinite, smaller bodies of gabbro, granodiorite, and intrusive felsite, as well as numerous diabase and quartz monzonite dikes. The metadiorite and serpentinite, and possibly the gabbro and granodiorite are Late Ordovician in age. The quartz monzonite is considered to be Late Devonian. Five tectonic events are inferred from the structural features in the area. The earliest was a period of folding producing tightly-appressed, northeast-trending folds in the rocks of pre-Silurian age. In the second stage the folded pre-Silurian rocks were uplifted, eroded, and truncated to produce a major unconformity between the Middle Ordovician and Lower Silurian rocks. These events constitute the Taconic orogeny. The third tectonic event was a period of folding, probably of Middle Devonian age, that warped the unconformity and overlying rocks into open, gently-plunging, east-trending folds. This period of folding undoubtedly changed the attitude of the early folds in the pre-Silurian units but it did not produce any recognizable, cross-cutting planar features in the older rocks. The fourth tectonic event was a period of igneous intrusion that locally deformed the northeast-trending folds in the pre-Silurian rocks into a macroscopic drag fold plunging at 80 degrees in a direction S.10?w. A north-trending, subvertical slip cleavage was produced locally during this period of Late Devonian (?) deformation. A period of faulting, possibly of Triassic age, dislocated some of the earlier features. The rocks are in the chlorite zone of regional metamorphism, but have been contact metamorphosed to sillimanite-bearing hornfels adjacent to the quartz monzonite stocks. The chemical changes in chlorite, biotite, garnet, cordierite, and muscovite in the chlorite, biotite, andalusite, and sillimanite zones have been-studied by optical and x-ray methods and by partial chemical analyses. The progressive changes in mineral assemblages have been graphically portrayed on quaternary diagrams and ternary projections.

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Geology of the Cupsuptic quadrangle, Maine
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Open-File Report
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259 p. ill. (1 col.), maps (2 col.) ;29 cm.