Geologic units in Bath county, Virginia

Additional scientific data in this geographic area

Brallier Formation (Devonian) at surface, covers 24 % of this area

Brallier Formation (Butts, 1918). Shale, sandstone, and siltstone. Shale, partly silty, micaceous, greenish-gray, gray ish-brown and medium- to dark-gray, black, weathers light-olive-gray with light-yellow, brown and purple tints; black shale in thin beds and laminae, sparsely fossiliferous. Sandstone, micaceous, medium-light-gray, very-fine- to fine-grained, thin- to thick-bedded, and light-brown siltstone interbedded with shale. Locally siltstone is in very-thin, nodular, ferruginous lenses (Bartlett, 1974). Lower contact transitional; base at lowest siltstone bed above relatively nonsilty dark-gray shale. Equivalent to part of the Chattanooga Shale. Formation thins southwestward; it ranges from 940 feet in thickness in southwestern Washington County (Bartlett and Webb, 1971) to more than 2200 feet in Augusta County (Rader, 1967).

Ridgeley Sandstone, Helderberg and Cayugan Groups (Silurian-Devonian) at surface, covers 24 % of this area

Ridgeley Sandstone and Helderberg and Cayuga Groups. Ridgeley Sand stone (Swartz, 1913). Sandstone, gray, fine-to coarse-grained, locally conglomeratic, weathers yellowish- to dark-yellowish-brown, friable, calcareous, and fossiliferous. Thickness ranges up to 150 feet but is highly variable locally; occurs in western Virginia north of Craig County. Same as the Oriskany Sandstone of Butts (1933), and is continuous with the Rocky Gap Sandstone to the southwest. It grades downward into the Licking Creek Limestone and has been extensively mined for iron ore (Lesure, 1957). Helderberg Group: Licking Creek Limestone (Swartz, 1929). Upper member is light-gray, coarse-grained, arenaceous limestone; lower member is medium-to dark-gray, fine-grained, chert bearing limestone. Thickness ranges from 0 to150 feet and is present northeastward from Craig County; same as the Becraft (upper member) and New Scotland (lower member) of Butts (1940). It conformably over lies the Heal ng Springs Sandstone where the sandstone is present. It was extensively mined for iron with the Ridgeley Sandstone. Healing Springs Sandstone (Swartz, 1929). Sandstone, light-gray, medium- to coarse-grained, cross-laminated, and calcareous with local lenses of chert. Present in Alleghany, Bath, and Augusta Counties where it is generally less than 20 feet thick and conformably overlies the New Creek Lime stone. It appears to be a northeast extending tongue of Rocky Gap Sandstone. New Creek Limestone (Bowen, 1967; Coeymans Limestone of earlier reports). Limestone, light- to-medium gray with pink calcite crystals, very-coarse-grained, crinoidal, with lenses of quartz sandstone locally in the lower part. Occurs as local reefoidal buildups northeast of Alleghany County. Keyser Formation (Swartz, 1913). Limestone, sandstone, and shale. Limestone (upper), medium- to dark-gray, fine- to medium-grained, nodular, scattered, small chert nodules, biohermal, fossiliferous. Limestone (lower), medium- to dark-gray, fine- to coarse-grained, medium- to thick-bedded, very nodular, shaly, with thin (1- to 3-inch thick) crinoidal layers. Sandstone, medium-light-gray, medium-grained, calcareous, cross-bedded. Shale, medium-gray, calcareous. Upper and lower boundaries are conformable north of Clifton Forge. Thickness ranges from 250 feet in Highland County to 50 feet in Augusta County. In Highland and Bath counties the upper and lower limestones are separated by a calcareous shale unit (Big Mountain Shale Member). To the south and southeast the shale is replaced by sandstone (Clifton Forge Sandstone Member). From Craig County southwestward, the Keyser becomes all sandstone and is equivalent to the lower portion of the Rocky Gap Sandstone. Southwest of Newcastle the lower contact is disconformable. For mapping purposes the Keyser is considered to be part of the Helderberg Group. Cayuga Group: Tonoloway Limestone (Ulrich, 1911). Limestone, very-dark-gray, fine-grained, thin-bedded to laminated, with some arenaceous beds; celestite locally occurs in vugs and as veins. Thickness ranges from a few feet in southwestern Virginia to more than 500 feet in Highland County. It is conformable with the underlying Wills Creek Formation and equivalent to the Hancock Formation of Southwest Virginia. Wills Creek Formation (Uhler, 1905). Limestone, medium-to dark-gray, fine-grained, arenaceous, thin-bedded, with calcareous shale and mudstone, and thin, quartzose sandstone beds. Occurs only in western Virginia where the thickness ranges from 0 to more than 400 feet. It conformably over lies the Bloomsburg Formation and is laterally equivalent to the upper part of the Keefer Sandstone to the east and southwest of Craig County where the typical Wills Creek lithology is absent. Bloomsburg Formation (White, 1893): Sandstone, reddish-gray, fine-grained, thick-bedded with red mudstone interbeds. Thickness ranges from 35 to 400 feet between Frederick County and the northern Massanutten Mountains respectively. It grades into the Wills Creek Formation to the southwest, and is probably equivalent, in part, to the Keefer Sandstone southwest of Craig and Botetourt counties. McKenzie Formation (Stose and Swartz, 1912): Shale, medium-gray, yellowish weathering and interbedded sandstone, medium-gray, medium-grained, friable, thin-bedded and calcareous. Thickens northeastward from a few feet in Bath County to about 200 feet in Frederick County. It is probably equivalent in part to the Keefer Sandstone to the southwest and southeast and appears to be conformable with the Keefer Sandstone in northwestern Virginia.

Millboro Shale and Needmore Formation (Devonian) at surface, covers 17 % of this area

Millboro Shale (Cooper, 1939; Butts, 1940). Shale, black, fissile, pyritic, with septarian concretions locally, gradational with underlying Needmore Shale; present southwest of Shenandoah County except in southwesternmost Virginia; thickness is as much as 1000 feet in north-central western Virginia. Laterally equivalent to the Marcellus Shale and Mahantango Formation to the north east and the lower part of the Chattanooga Shale to the southwest. It is gradational with the underlying Needmore Formation. Needmore Formation. Refer to description under Dmrn.

Keefer, Rose Hill, and Tuscarora Formations (Silurian) at surface, covers 16 % of this area

Keefer Sandstone (Ulrich, 1911). Sandstone, light-gray, fine-grained, cross-laminated, medium-bedded, very resistant. Thins northward and southwestward from a maximum of over 300 feet in Craig and western Botetourt counties. To the north it appears to interfinger with the Wills Creek and McKenzie Formations. The Keefer is equivalent to the upper portion of the Massanutten Sandstone. (The Keefer Sandstone, as used in this report, includes all of the quartzarenites with minor Skolithus-bearing red sand stone and minor calcite cemented quartzarenite in the interval above the Rose Hill Formation and below the Tonoloway Limestone in Botetourt, Rockbridge, and Augusta counties between Eagle Rock and Augusta Springs (Lampiris, 1976). Rose Hill Formation (Swartz, 1923). Sandstone, dark grayish-red, fine- to coarse-grained, poorly-sorted, argillaceous; hematite cemented, quartz sandstone interbedded with red or yellowish-green clay shale and greenish-gray, fine-grained sandstone. It is largely siltstone and shale with minor sandstone and thin limonitic iron ore beds in Southwest Virginia. Conformable with the underlying Tuscarora Formation, the Rose Hill Formation ranges up to 500 feet in thickness in northern and western Virginia but pinches-out in southwest ern Botetourt and Roanoke counties where the Keefer and Tuscarora For ma tions merge. It is present with other Silurian rocks everywhere except in the Massanutten Mountains or where an unconformity exists in exposures east of Walker Mountain. Tuscarora Formation (Darton and Taff, 1896). Quartzite, quartzarenite, and minor shale. Quartzite, light-gray with few nearly white, porcelaneous beds, fine- to medium-grained, with quartz-pebble conglomerate locally near base, quartz cemented, thick-bedded, and cross-bedded, resistant, cliff- and ledge-former, generally not more than 75 feet thick, comprises entire unit in many areas or is upper member where unconformably overlying a lower quartzarenite and shale member. Quartzarenite, light-yellowish-brown or medium-gray, fine-grained, thin-bedded, ranges in thickness from 0 to 175feet. Shale, light- to medium-brownish-gray, arenaceous, thin interbeds in quartzarenite. Conformably overlies the Juniata Formation in central western Virginia. Where lower member is absent the upper member unconformably overlies the Juniata, Oswego, Martinsburg, or Reedsville Formations or may be conformable with the Juniata Formation in northern Virginia. In southwestern Virginia grayish-red, fine-grained, ferruginous sandstone with lenses of coarse-grained, quartz sandstone and quartz-pebble conglomerate are included in the upper part of the formation. The Tuscarora is equivalent to the Clinch Formation and to the lower part of the Massanutten Sandstone.

Chemung Formation (redefined as Foreknobs Formation) (Devonian) at surface, covers 12 % of this area

Chemung Formation (Hall, 1839). Redefined as the Foreknobs Formation (Dennison, 1970). Sandstone and shale, dark-gray and greenish-gray, fine-grained, thin- to thick-bedded, lithic sandstone and interbedded greenish gray, fissile, clay shale. Minor quartz-pebble conglomerate, thin red sandstone, and locally, fossil shell beds. Very thin or absent in southwestern Virginia; thickens to about 2500 feet northeastward in Frederick County. Gradational contact with underlying Brallier Formation and equivalent to part of the Chattanooga Shale to the southwest. Redefined and described as part of the Greenland Gap Group by Dennison (1970).

Juniata, Oswego, Martinsburg (Reedsville and Dolly Ridge), and Eggleston Formations (Ordovician) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

Juniata Formation. Refer to description under Ous. Oswego Formation (Prosser, 1890). Sandstone, greenish gray, fine- to coarse-grained, conglomeratic with chert, quartz, and lithic pebbles. Minor interbeds of olive-gray shale with thin sandstone layers. Conformable with underlying Reedsville Shale. Present northeast of Bath and Augusta counties but thins in all directions from a maximum thickness of 500 feet in western Rockingham County (Diecchio, 1985). Reedsville Shale. Refer to description under Ou. Dolly Ridge Formation (Perry, 1972). Limestone, medium-gray, fine-grained, thin-bedded, argillaceous, with interbedded olive-gray, calcareous claystone, silty argillaceous limestone, gray shale and thin K-bentonite beds. Thickness about 400 feet in Bath and Highland counties; laterally equivalent to the Trenton Limestone and part of the lower Martinsburg Formation of previous reports in western Virginia. It is gradational with the underlying Eggleston Formation. Eggleston Formation. Refer to description under Ou. Martinsburg Formation. Refer to Om (Martinsburg and Oranda Formations) for description. The Martinsburg is only present with this map unit (Oun) in northern Rockingham County where it occupies the Reedsville Shale - Dolly Ridge Formation interval.

Moccasin or Bays Formation through Blackford Formation (Ordovician) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Moccasin Formation, Bays Formation, Unit C, Unit B, and Unit A. Moccasin Formation (Campbell, 1894). Mudstone, shale, imestone, and sandstone. Mudstone and shale, dusky-red to dark-reddish-brown, calcareous, ripple-marks, and mud cracks common. Limestone, light-olive-gray, weathers very-light gray, aphanic with "birds-eyes", locally fossiliferous. The limestone generally is the middle member of the Moccasin southwest of Giles County. In eastern Giles County and northeastward a thin medium-grained, gray sandstone occurs near the base of the Moccasin. The thickness ranges from 0 in northern Alleghany County to about 600 feet in Scott County. Bays Formation (Keith, 1895). Siltstone, sandstone, mudstone, and limestone. Siltstone, grayish-red, olive- to light-olive-gray, locally calcareous, sandy in part. Sandstone, light-gray to yellowish-gray, fine- to very-coarse-grained, locally conglomeratic, calcareous. Mudstone, grayish-red, olive- to light-olive-gray, mudcracks common. Limestone, grayish-red to light-olive-gray, aphanic. Five distinct K-bentonites reported by Hergenroder (1966). Contacts are conformable except perhaps in Botetourt, Roanoke, and Montgomery counties. Thickness ranges from 105 feet north of Wytheville to 890 feet near Daleville in Botetourt County. From Scott and Washington counties to Highland County and northwest of the Pulaski and North Mountain faults, a multitude of stratigraphic names have been applied to the rocks between the Bays or Moccasin (above) and the Beekmantown or Knox (below). The lack of detailed geologic mapping, except in Scott and Giles counties, the restricted area of the two major stratigraphic studies (Cooper and Prouty, 1943; Kay, 1956), and the general disagreement as to mappability and correlation of units makes it impossible to apply specific stratigraphic nomenclature at this time. Therefore, the rocks are described as three packages of lithologies (from youngest to oldest): Unit C, Unit B, and Unit A. Unit C. Limestone, medium- to dark-gray, aphanic to fine-grained with thin, medium- to coarse-grained beds, argillaceous, nodular to planar-bedded, locally very fossiliferous. The following names have been applied to Unit C: Witten, Bowen, Wardell, Gratton, Benbolt, Chatham Hill, Wassum, Rich Valley, Athens, Ottesee, Liberty Hall, Fetzer, and Giesler. Unit B. Limestone, light- to dark-gray, aphanic to coarsegrained, black and gray chert nodules, carbonate mound buildups. This unit is characterized by grainstone with interbedded micrite and chert. The overlying Unit C is very argillaceous and lacks chert. The following names have been applied to Unit B: Wardell, Gratton, Benbolt, Lincolnshire, Big Valley, McGlone, McGraw, Five Oaks, Peery, Ward Cove, Rockdell, Rye Cove, Effna, Whitesburg, Holston, Pearisburg, and Tumbez. Unit A. Dolostone, light- to medium-gray, fine-grained, locally conglomeratic, cherty. Limestone, medium- to dark gray, fine-grained, locally cherty. Shale, light-gray to dusky red. A basal chert-dolomite conglomerate with clasts as much as cobble size is locally present on the unconformity surface. The following names have been applied to Unit A: Blackford, Elway, Tumbez, Lurich (lower part), and "basal clastics".

Hampshire Formation (Devonian) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Wildcat Valley Sandstone (Miller, Harris, and Roen, 1964). Sandstone, limestone, and shale. Sandstone, locally calcareous, locally quartzose, light-gray, grayish-orange, and dark-yellowish-brown, very-fine- to coarse-grained, thin- to massive-bedded, fossiliferous, friable, locally glauconitic; with chert nodules and beds. Locally dark-reddish-brown ironstone replaces sandstone. Limestone, gray, pinkish-gray, and light-brownish-gray, coarse-grained, thick- to massive bedded, sandy, locally present. Shale, yellowish-green to gray, locally present. Where the Wildcat Valley Sandstone is present it uncomformably overlies the Silurian Hancock Formation. The Wildcat Valley Sandstone is absent through out most of Lee County (Englund, 1964; Harris, 1965; Miller and Roen, 1973) but reaches a maximum of 60 feet in thickness to the northeast (Lower Devonian sandstone of Harris and Miller, 1963).

Beekmantown Group (Ordovician) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area

Includes the Pinesburg Station Dolomite, the Rockdale Run Formation, and the Stonehenge Limestone (northern Virginia only) or the Beekmantown Formation and Stonehenge Limestone (central and southwestern Virginia). Pinesburg Station Dolomite (Sando, 1956). Dolostone, dark- to light-gray, fine- to medium-grained, medium- to thick bedded with minor nodular white chert. It ranges from 0 to 400 feet in thickness and is equivalent to beds in the upper Beekmantown Formation. Present only in Clarke and Frederick counties and is conformable with the underlying Rockdale Run Formation and unconformable with the overlying New Market or Lincolnshire Limestones. Rockdale Run Formation (Sando, 1958). Dominantly limestone and dolomitic limestone, lesser dolostone with minor chert throughout. Limestone, light- to medium-gray, fine-grained generally, but coarse, bioclastic limestone locally, medium- to thick-bedded. Dolostone, light-gray, fine- to medium- grained, thick-bedded with "butcher block" weathering and minor nodular or bedded chert in both limestone and dolostone. Unconformably overlain by the New Market Limestone where the Pinesburg Station Dolomite is absent. It is laterally equivalent to the Beekmantown Formation and conformably overlies the Stonehenge Limestone. The formation is about 2700 feet thick. Beekmantown Formation (Clarke and Schuchert, 1899). Dominantly dolostone and chert-bearing dolostone with lesser limestone. Dolostone, light- to very-dark-gray, fine- to coarse grained, mottled light- and dark-gray, with crystalline beds locally contains nodular, dark-brown or black chert and thick, hill forming, lenticular chert beds in lower part. Limestone, very-light- to medium-gray, fine-grained, medium- to thick bedded, locally dolomitic and locally fossiliferous. The formation is present from Page and Shenandoah counties southwestward in the easternmost exposures of the Lower Ordovician rocks. It and the underlying Stonehenge Limestone, are equivalent to the Mas cot and Kingsport Dolomites of the upper part of the Knox Group. It is unconformably overlain by Middle Ordovician limestones and conformably overlies the Stonehenge Limestone. Erosion, related to the unconformity at the top of the Beekmantown Group and Knox Group, has produced erosional breccias, local topographic relief, and paleokarst topography as well as significant regional thinning of the rock units. The Beekmantown Group thins from about 3000 feet in Page County to less than 700 feet in Washington County, largely because of post-Beekmantown erosion. Stonehenge Limestone (Sando, 1956). Limestone with interbedded dolostone in north western Virginia. Limestone, dark-gray, fine-grained, laminated to massive, with black nodular chert. Dolostone, light-gray, fine-to very-coarse-grained, as thin- to medium-interbeds or as coarse- grained, massive, reefoidal bodies. Reefoidal bodies are restricted to the middle portion of the formation. The formation conformably overlies the Conococheague Formation and thins northwestward from 400 or 500 feet in the southeasternmost exposures (Page County) to a few tens of feet in the north western exposures (western Rockingham County) and is not recognizable or included in the lower Beekmantown or upper Conococheague in much of southwestern or western Virginia. It is equivalent to the lower part of the Kingsport Dolomite.

Pocono Formation (Mississippian) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area

Pocono Formation (Lesley, 1876). Quartzitic sandstone, light-gray or tan, medium- to coarse-grained, locally conglomeratic, thick-bedded, resistant, interbedded with thin, gray, organic shale and a few very-thin coal beds. Conformable with underlying Hampshire Formation; formation present northeast of Alleghany and Roanoke Counties. Thickness may exceed 750 feet. It is laterally equivalent to the Price Formation to the southwest.

Pocono Group (Mississippian) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Predominantly hard gray massive sandstones, with some shale. In the Eastern Panhandle, has been divided into the Hedges, Purslane, and Rockwell Formations.

Chemung Group (Devonian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Gray to brown siltstone and sandstone with shale and conglomeratic interbeds; mainly marine and sparingly fossiliferous; boundaries gradational. Can be divided into the Voreknobs and Scherr Formations along the Allegheny Front. Parkhead Sandstone Member near base.

Hampshire Formation (Devonian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Non-marine shales and fine micaceous sandstones, mostly red to brownish-gray, including siltstone, sandstone and conglomerate. Generally distinguishable from the underlying Chemung by non-marine character and red color.

Brallier Formation (Devonian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Predominantly olive-gray to dark, thickly laminated marine shale, with considerable siltstone and thin sandstone lenses; mainly nonfossiliferous.