Geologic units in Hill county, Montana

Additional scientific data in this geographic area

Judith River Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 68 % of this area

Light brown to light gray, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone with interbeds of gray to black carbonaceous shale, silty shale, and thin coal. Local Parkman Sandstone Member (lower part of formation):yellowish gray to brownish gray and olive green, fine- to medium-grained, cross-bedded sandstone interbedded with yellowish gray, silty shale. Estuarine, brackish, and nearshore marine. Thickness as much as 305 m (1000 ft).

Bearpaw Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 14 % of this area

Dark gray shale with several zones of calcareous concretions, a basal zone of ferruginous concretions, and numerous thin bentonite beds. Marine. Thickness as much as 300 m (984 ft).

Claggett Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 7 % of this area

Dark gray to gray shale that weathers brown, with thin, gray sandstone laminae and beds in upper or middle part and calcareous concretions in lower part. Marine. Thickness as much as 170 m (558 ft).

Mafic volcanic rock (Tertiary) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

Mafic volcanic rock

Alluvium (Quaternary) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Gravel, sand, silt, and clay deposits of stream and river channels, and floodplains.

Felsic volcanic rock (Tertiary) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Felsic volcanic rock

Eagle Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

Gray or grayish brown, thick-bedded sandstone, sandy shale, and thin interbedded coal. Chert-pebble lag deposit common at top of formation. Virgelle Member (lower part of formation in parts of central Montana): very light gray, gray, or brown sandstone that coarsens upward. Root zone and thin carbonaceous beds at top of member. Delta, coastal plain, tidal flat, and marine shoreface and foreshore. Thickness as much as 150 m (492 ft).

Latite (Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

Latite

Shonkinite and syenite (Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

Shonkinite and syenite

Monzonite (Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

Monzonite

Telegraph Creek through Carlile Formation: Telegraph Creek, Niobrara, Carlile Formations (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

Telegraph Creek (Ktc): Thin interbeds of yellowish brown sandstone or siltstone and gray shale. Marine shoreface and offshore. Thickness as much as 200 m (656 ft). Niobrara Formation (Kn): Gray to dark gray shale with numerous thin bentonite beds. Chalky aggregates of coccoliths and rhabdoliths in upper part. MacGowan Concretionary Bed (middle part of formation): grayish brown concretionary dolostone and limestone with phosphatic pellets and gray to black chert pebbles. Marine. Lower part noncalcareous. Thickness as much as 9–23 m (30–75 ft). Carlile Formation(Kca): Dark to light gray, noncalcareous, partly silty or sandy shale with upper zone of white-weathering, calcareous concretions, middle zone of sandy, orange-weathering, calcareous concretions, and basal zone of ferruginous concretions. Marine. Thickness as much as 195 m (640 ft).

Gravel (Quaternary and Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area

Variable deposits that range from pebble to boulder size and include sand, silt, and clay. Dominantly alluvial terrace, abandoned channel and floodplain, remnant alluvial fan, and local glacial outwash.

Mowry through Fall River Formation: Mowry, Thermopolis, and Fall River Formations (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Mowry Formation (Km): Light gray to silvery gray, platy to blocky, siliceous shale and subordinate thin-bedded, gray siltstone or very fine-grained sandstone laminae or beds. Fish scales common in central Montana. Ledge-forming, chert-bearing, fine- to medium-grained sandstone at top. throughout west-central Montana. Marine. Thickness 240 m (787 ft). Thermopolis Formation (Kt): Dark gray to black shale with subordinate siltstone beds. Middle part of formation contains one or more thin sandstone beds with chert pebble horizons where Muddy Sandstone is not present. Offshore marine. Thickness as much as 305 m (1,000 ft). Fall River Formation (Kfr): Gray and brown, fine- to medium-grained, quartzose sandstone with thin interbeds of dark gray shale. Nearshore marine. Thickness as much as 70 m (1,214 ft).

Trachyte (Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Trachyte

Mafic phonolite (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Mafic phonolite

Fort Union Formation (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

No unique unit description on map. Assumed to include undivided Tertiary age members of the Fort Union Formation: Sentinel Butte (Tfsb), Tongue River (Tftr), Linley (Tflc), Ludlow (Tfld), Lebo (Tfle), Ekalaka (Tfe), and Tullock (Tft) members.

Hell Creek and Fox Hills Formations (Cretaceous) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Hell Creek Formation (Khc): Light gray, bentonitic claystone that alternates with gray to brown sandstone interbedded with carbonaceous shale. Laterally equivalent to Lance Formation. Fluvial and flood plain. Thickness as much as 335 m (1,100 ft). Fox Hills Formation (Kfh): Yellowish orange to gray, fine- to medium-grained, non-calcareous sandstone in upper part, and interbedded sandstone, siltstone, and black shale with calcareous concretion zone in lower part. Marginal marine. Thickness 30–45 m (98–148 ft).

Wasatch Formation (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Southeastern Montana: orangish brown, arkosic sandstone, lenticular conglomerate and siltstone, dark gray carbonaceous shale, coal, and varicolored claystone. Bears Paw Mountains: variegated red, pink, lavender, light green, yellow, gray, and very light gray shale, bentonitic claystone, and siltstone; light gray, brown, and green cross-bedded sandstone; and lenses of boulder conglomerate. Syntectonic alluvial fan and alluvial plain. Thickness as much as 120 m (394 ft) in Montana; upper part removed by erosion.

Syenite (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Syenite

Greenhorn and Belle Fourche Formations (Cretaceous) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Greenhorn Formation (Kgr): Gray to light gray calcareous shale and shaly marl with thin beds of limestone. Shale contains white to pink calcareous specks. Marine. Thickness as much as 100 m (30–75 ft). Belle Fourche Formation (Kbf): Gray to black shale with ironstone concretions and numerous bentonite beds. Mosby Sandstone Member (upper part of formation in north- and east-central Montana): brown sandstone locally with chert pebbles, interbedded with gray shale. Big Elk Sandstone Member (lower part of formation in southwest-central Montana): light gray, chert-rich sandstone commonly stained dark red, interbedded with thin, dark gray to black clayey shale. Marine shelf. Thickness as much as 260 m (853 ft).

Kootenai Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Kootenai Formation (Kk, Kku, Kkm, Kkl): Red, maroon, and olive gray mudstone, tan or gray siltstone, calcareous concretions, limestone beds, and several prominent sandstone beds that include the Greybull Member (top of the formation in south-central Montana) and the Sunburst Member (middle to lower part of the formation in northwest-central Montana), both dominantly quartzose sandstone. Basal Cutbank or Pryor Conglomerate. Alluvial plain with local marine influence in the north. Thickness as much as 335 m (1,099 ft).

Gravel (Quaternary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Variable deposits that range from pebble to boulder size and include sand, silt, and clay. Dominantly alluvial terrace, abandoned channel and floodplain, remnant alluvial fan, and local glacial outwash.

Telegraph Creek Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Thin interbeds of yellowish brown sandstone or siltstone and gray shale. Marine shoreface and offshore. Thickness as much as 200 m (656 ft).