Geologic units in Missoula county, Montana

Additional scientific data in this geographic area

Upper Missoula Group: McNamara, Bonner, and Mount Shields Formations; locally includes lower Libby Formation in northwestern Montana (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 26 % of this area

McNamara Formation: Dense green and red siltite and argillite in mudcracked couplets containing diagnostic chert beds and rip-up clasts. Thickness as much as 1,650 m (5,413 ft). Bonner Formation: Pink, cross-bedded, feldspathic, medium- to coarse grained quartzite. Thickness as much as 580 m (1,903 ft). Mount Shields Formation: Upper part: red quartzite, siltite, and argillite in mud-cracked couples and couplets with abundant salt casts. Lower part: light gray, flat-laminated, feldspathic, fine-grained quartzite. Thickness as much as 2,000 m (6,562 ft). In northwestern Montana - Libby Formation:Light to dark gray and greenish gray siltite and argillite with subordinate quartzite in mud-cracked couplets. Thickness as much as 2,300 m (7,546 ft).

Lower Missoula Group: Shepard and Snowslip Formations; or Shepard Formation and unresolved Snowslip Formation equivalent (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 22 % of this area

Shepard Formation: Tan-weathering, dolomitic, green siltite and argillite in couplets and microlaminae. In the west formerly considered part of the “upperWallace.” Thickness as much as 1,100 m (3,609 ft). Snowslip Formation: Green and red siltite and argillite in couplets. Western Snowslip equivalent is black siltite and argillite in couplets and microlaminae, formerly considered part of the “upper Wallace.” A new name is under consideration for the western Snowslip equivalent. Thickness as much as 1,200 m (3,937 ft).

Piegan Group: Helena and Wallace Formations (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 15 % of this area

Helena Formation (Yh): Northwestern Montana: (formerly “lower Wallace”): cycles of basal white quartzite or intraclast beds overlain by couplets of green siltite and argillite, capped by dolomite beds. Calcite pods and ribbons (molar tooth structure) common. West-central Montana: gray to dark gray limestone and dolomitic limestone with siltite partings. Thickness as much as 2,000 m (6,562). Wallace Formation: Tan-weathering, dolomitic quartzite and siltite, and black argillite with calcite ribbons (molar tooth structure) in graded pinch-and-swell couples and couplets. Thickness as much as 2,500 m (8,202 ft).

Glacial deposit (Quaternary) at surface, covers 8 % of this area

Dominantly till, outwash, and local glacial lake deposits. Shown only in western and south-central Montana. Laurentide glacial deposits are indicated with a map pattern.

Garnet Range Formation: locally includes upper Libby Formation and Pilcher Formation in northwestern Montana (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

Dark green, micaceous, fine-grained quartzite with subordinate argillite interbeds. Thickness as much as 1,200 m (3,937 ft). In northwestern Montana - Libby Formation: Light to dark gray and greenish gray siltite and argillite with subordinate quartzite in mud-cracked couplets. Thickness as much as 2,300 m (7,546 ft). Pilcher Formation: Light gray and red cross-bedded, feldspathic, fine grained quartzite. Garnet Range Formation: Dark green, micaceous, fine-grained quartzite with subordinate argillite interbeds. Thickness as much as 1,200 m (3,937 ft).

Alluvium (Quaternary) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

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

Sediment or sedimentary rock (Tertiary) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Sediment or sedimentary rock (no unique unit description on map).

Ravalli Group: St. Regis, Revett, and Burke Formations; or Empire and Grinnell Formations; or Empire and Spokane Formations (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

St. Regis Formation: Green and purplish gray quartzite, siltite, and argillite in mud-cracked couples and couplets. Thickness as much as 900 m (2,953 ft). Revett Formation: Light gray, cross-bedded, felspathic, fine-grained quartzite. Thickness as much as 900 m (2,953 ft). Burke Formation: Gray or purple quartzite, siltite, and argillite in mud-cracked couples and couplets. Thickness as much as 1,000 m (3,281 ft). Empire Formation (Ye): Grayish green and pale olive gray argillite and siltite with subordinate thin beds of quartzite and sandy limestone. Thickness as much as 610 m. Grinnell Formation: White, cross-bedded sandstone or quartzite with red to purple siltite and argillite beds. Thickness as much as 1,160 m (3,806 ft). Spokane Formation (Ysp): Red siltite and argillite in mudcracked couplets. Thickness as much as 1,500 m (492 ft).

Gravel (Quaternary) at surface, covers 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.

Granitic rock (Tertiary) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Granitic rock

Belt Supergroup (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Extremely large lumping of over 25+ formations. See individual unit descriptions. Belt Supergroup consists of: Missoula Group (Ym, Ymu, Yml), Piegan Group (Ypg, Yh), Ravalli Group (Yr, Ye, Ysp), and all the Lower Belt Formations (Ypu, Ypl, Yaw, Yla, Yg, Yn, Ynla, Ych, Yne).

Red Lion through Flathead Formation: Red Lion, Pilgrim, Park, Meagher, Wolsey, and Flathead Formations; or Red Lion, Hasmark, Silver Hill, and Flathead Formations (Cambrian) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Red Lion Formation: Gray limestone with siliceous lamina and black calcareous shale interbedded with thin limestone. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 115 m (377 ft). Pilgrim Formation: Gray, commonly mottled limestone that may contain intraformational limestone conglomerate. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 180 m (590 ft). Park Formation: Grayish green, fissile, micaceous shale with a few thin beds of calcareous sandstone and thin, gray limestone. Local arkose beds. Offshore marine. Thickness as much as 310 m (1,017 ft). Meagher Formation: Gray to bluish gray limestone and dolomitic limestone, locally mottled and with intraformational conglomerate beds. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 300 m (984 ft). Wolsey Formation (CAw): Dark green and purplish gray fissile, micaceous shale, thin glauconitic limestone beds and thin, fine-grained sandstone beds. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 145 m (476 ft). Flathead Formation (CAf): Pinkish gray to light gray sandstone or quartzite. Locally very glauconitic, pebbly, arkosic, or iron-stained. Marine shoreface. Thickness as much as 100 m (328 ft). Hasmark Formation: Light gray or bluish gray limestone and dark-gray calcareous shale. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 560 m (1,823 ft). Silver Hill Formation: Brown, green, and very light gray banded calcareous shale interbedded with laminated limestone. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 120 m (394 ft).

Middle Tertiary sediment or sedimentary rock (Tertiary) at surface, covers 1.0 % of this area

Tuffaceous siltstone, sandstone, bentonitic mudstone, conglomerate, limestone, and equivalent sediment and ash beds. Local volcanic flows in southwestern Montana. Includes Renova Formation. Dominantly fluvial, floodplain, palustrine, lacustrine, debris flow, and eolian. Composite thickness for Tsu and Tsm exceeds 4,880 m (16,010 ft). Includes Anaconda Formation: Light gray, reddish tan, or brownish red, coarse breccia that laterally grades to conglomerate, sandstone, and siltstone. Locally intertongues with Lowland Creek Volcanics. Derived from overlying unmetamorphosed plate of metamorphic core complex. Thickness as much as much as 200 m (656 ft).

Granitic rock (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.9 % of this area

Granitic rock

Upper Prichard or Appekunny Formation (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 0.9 % of this area

Upper Prichard Formation: Black and gray, pyritic siltite and argillite in planar couplets. Appekunny Formation: Gray and greenish gray argillite interbedded with light gray quartzite. Thickness as much as 1,700 m (5,577 ft).

Upper Tertiary sediment or sedimentary rock (Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.6 % of this area

Conglomerate, tuffaceous sandstone and siltstone, marlstone, and equivalent sediment and ash beds. Local volcanic flows in southwestern Montana. Includes Sixmile Creek Formation. Dominantly fluvial, alluvial fan, mudflow, and palustrine. Composite thickness for Tsu and Tsm exceeds 4,880 m (16,010 ft).

Lower Prichard Formation (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 0.6 % of this area

Dark and light gray, pyrite- and pyrrhotite-rich siltite and argillite in planar couplets with subordinate gray, flat-laminated, fine-grained quartzite.

Mafic intrusive rock (Late or middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area

Mafic intrusive rock

Glacial lake deposit (Quaternary) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area

Light brown laminated silt, fine-grained sand, and clay. Shown only in northwestern and central-western Montana.

Three Forks through Maywood Formation: Three Forks, Jefferson, and Maywood Formations or Palliser and Alexo Formations, and Fairholme Group in northwestern Montana near Canadian border (Mississippian and Devonian) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Three Forks Formation (MDt): Sappington Member (upper part of formation):yellowish orange and yellowish gray siltstone. Trident Member (middle part of formation): greenish gray and light olive gray, fossiliferous, calcareous shale that contains interbeds and nodules of fossiliferous, argillaceous limestone. Logan Gulch Member (lower part of formation): yellowish gray and grayish red, argillaceous limestone breccia and shale breccia that may include dolomitic siltstone. Marine to restricted marine with evaporite basins. Thickness as much as 185 m (607 ft). Jefferson Formation (Dj): Birdbear Member (upper part of formation): light to medium gray, sucrosic dolomite. Lower part of formation: grayish black, commonly petroliferous dolomite or limestone that may be interbedded with light gray quartzite. Marine. Thickness as much as 520 m (1,706 ft). Maywood Formation: Thin-bedded dolomitic limestone and dolomite interbedded with calcareous shale. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 120 m (394 ft). In northwestern Montana near Canadian border - Palliser Formation: Gray and greenish gray limestone and dolomitic limestone with locally abundant black chert. Pinkish gray, very thinly laminated, calcareous mudstone at base. Marine. Thickness as much as 300 m (984 ft). Alexo Formation: Pale yellowish orange, medium grained, calcareous siltstone with calcareous mudstone at the base. Shallow marine. Thickness as much as 595 m (1,952 ft). Fairholme Group: Brownish black, bioturbated, calcareous mudstone, gray algal limestone and dolomite, and pale yellowish orange, medium-grained, calcareous sandstone at the base. Thickness as much as 550 m(1,805 ft).

Volcanic rock: locally includes Challis Volcanics in southwestern Montana (Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Volcanic rock; In southwestern Montana - Challis Volcanics: Basaltic andesite, andesite, quartz latite, latite, rhyodacite, and rhyolite flows, and tuff, most of which is nonporphyritic and commonly spherulitic; glassy to devitrified. Subordinate water-laid tuff.

Mafic intrusive rock (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Mafic intrusive rock

Andesite and basalt (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Andesite and basalt

Challis intrusive rocks. (Eocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Shallow roots of Challis volcanic field. Older suite of granodiorite and quartz monzodiorite and subordinate diorite, granite, and subvolcanic dacite; includes Jackson Peak, Beaver Creek, Marsh Creek, and Summit Creek stocks (49-45 Ma). Younger suite of granite and minor syenite and subvolcanic rhyolite; includes Sawtooth, Casto, Bungalow, and Lolo Hot Springs plutons (47-43 Ma). (Eocene Challis Magmatic Complex and Related Sedimentary Rocks).

Granodiorite and granite. (Paleocene and Cretaceous) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Granodiorite and granite containing biotite and local muscovite (66-54 Ma); composes northern (Bitterroot) lobe of batholith and is ~20 Ma younger than southern (Atlanta) lobe. (Paleocene and Cretaceous Idaho Batholith and Older Cretaceous and Jurassic Intrusive Rocks).

Piegan Group. (Mesoproterozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Calcareous and dolomitic siltite, quartzite, and subordinate argillite of the Helena and Wallace formations in northern Idaho; south of St. Joe River, correlative rocks include garnet grade feldspathic quartzite and calc-silicate gneiss. (Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroup).