Geologic units in Grayson county, Virginia

Additional scientific data in this geographic area

Elk Park Plutonic Group - Biotite quartz monzonite (Proterozoic Y) at surface, covers 41 % of this area

Elk Park Plutonic Group (Yep, Yec; Rankin and others, 1972; 1973) Includes augen gneiss and porphyritic gneiss (Yep), and equigranular quartz monzonite, quartz monzonite flaser gneiss, and quartz monzonite gneiss (Yec). Rocks range in composition from diorite to quartz monzonite; most are quartz monzonite in which the primary dark mineral is biotite, with or without hornblende; epidote and titanite are common accessory minerals. Porphyritic rocks contain microcline phenocrysts. Augen gneiss was probably derived from porphyritic plutonic rocks by shearing. This unit includes in part the Little River Gneiss of Dietrich (1959) and Cranberry Gneiss (Rankin and others, 1972; 1973). U-Pb zircon data from the Cranberry has been interpreted to signify ages of 1050 Ma (Davis and others, 1962) and 1080 Ma (Rankin and others, 1969).

Ashe Formation - Biotite gneiss (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 15 % of this area

Medium- to light-gray, massive, conglomeratic biotite schist and gneiss, with feldspar, quartz, and granitic clasts; grades upwards into medium- to fine-grained, salt-and-pepper-textured two-mica plagioclase gneiss with very-light-gray mica schist interbeds. Quartzite, impure marble, calcareous gneiss and amphibolite occur locally. Some dark-gray to black, pyrite-bearing mica schist occurs at tops of thick, fining-upwards graded sequences. Mineralogy: (1) quartz + plagioclase + potassium feldspar + biotite + muscovite + chlorite + epidote + ilmenite; (2) quartz + plagioclase + biotite + muscovite + epidote-allanite + garnet + titanite + ilmenite; (3) quartz + calcite + plagioclase + biotite + muscovite + epidote + ilmenite + titanite; chlorite occurs as a secondary mineral. Unit is unconformable on Grenville basement and cut by Late Precambrian mafic and felsic dikes.

Elk Park Plutonic Group - Biotite augen gneiss (Proterozoic Y) at surface, covers 8 % of this area

Elk Park Plutonic Group (Yep, Yec; Rankin and others, 1972; 1973) Includes augen gneiss and porphyritic gneiss (Yep), and equigranular quartz monzonite, quartz monzonite flaser gneiss, and quartz monzonite gneiss (Yec). Rocks range in composition from diorite to quartz monzonite; most are quartz monzonite in which the primary dark mineral is biotite, with or without hornblende; epidote and titanite are common accessory minerals. Porphyritic rocks contain microcline phenocrysts. Augen gneiss was probably derived from porphyritic plutonic rocks by shearing. This unit includes in part the Little River Gneiss of Dietrich (1959) and Cranberry Gneiss (Rankin and others, 1972; 1973). U-Pb zircon data from the Cranberry has been interpreted to signify ages of 1050 Ma (Davis and others, 1962) and 1080 Ma (Rankin and others, 1969).

Unicoi Formation (Cambrian) at surface, covers 6 % of this area

Unicoi Formation (Keith, 1903,1907). Sandstone and quartzite with phyllite, tuffaceous phyllite, conglomerate, and minor basalt. Sandstone, lithic or feldspathic, pinkish-gray to dark-greenish-gray, fine- to coarse-grained, angular, poorly sorted, locally conglomeratic. Quartzite, largely in upper part of the unit, white, pale-green, or gray, vitreous, medium- to coarse-grained, locally feldspathic, medium- to very-thick bedded, very resistant to weathering and erosion. Phyllite, reddish-, purplish-, or greenish-gray, as thin, sparse interbeds throughout, with purple tuffaceous phyllites in lower part. Conglomerate, fine- to coarse-polymictic-pebble conglomerate, medium- to thick-bedded, with lithic clasts and quartz pebbles. Basalt, very-dark-grayish-green, aphanitic, locally amygdaloidal; in one to three beds a few feet thick in the lower part only. Upper part has more quartzite and contains phyllite beds similar to the overlying Hampton Formation. Lower part is very feldspathic, contains most of the conglomerate beds and all of the volcanic rocks. The Unicoi is present from Augusta County to Tennessee and is laterally equivalent, at least in part, to the Weverton Formation to the northeast (King and Ferguson, 1960; Brown and Spencer, 1981; Rankin, 1993). The formation unconformably overlies the rocks of the Blue Ridge basement complex and possibly the Catoctin Formation in western Amherst County and is disconformable with the underlying Konnarock Formation in Grayson County. The upper unit is generally 600 to 1000 feet thick and the lower unit ranges from less than 100 feet to more than 1500 feet.

Striped Rock Granite (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Striped Rock granite (Stose and Stose, 1957). Fine- to medium-grained equigranular, fluorite-, epidote-, and allanite bearing hornblende-biotite granite and granite gneiss; faintly foliated to mylonitic (Simpson and Kalaghan, 1989). The Striped Rock has been dated at 695 Ma (U-Pb zircon; Odom and Fullagar, 1984).

Konnarock Formation (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Konnarock Formation (Rankin, 1993). Mostly moderate-red glaciogenic sedimentary rocks include massive diamictite (tillite), bedded diamictite, varve-like laminite locally containing dropstones, massive mudstone, pink arkose, and minor conglomerate. Clasts in the diamictite and laminite are dominantly granitoid, but include rhyolite and greenstone of the Mount Rogers Formation. Thickness is as much as 3275 feet; diamictite is most common toward the top of the section.

Mount Rogers Formation - Porphyritic rhyolite (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Porphyritic rhyolite (Wilburn Rhyolite Member, Mt. Rogers volcanic center). Very-dusky-purple, high-silica rhyolitic welded tuff containing about 30 percent quartz and mesoperthite phenocrysts. This unit constitutes a chemically and mineralogically-zoned ash-flow sheet at least 760 m thick, in which the main body is metaluminous and the basal phenocryst-poor 30 m were initially peralkaline.

Mount Rogers Formation - Porphyritic felsite (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Includes coarsely porphyritic felsite from the Pond Mountain volcanic center that could be a hypabys sal intrusive, and porphyritic rhyolite from the Razor Ridge volcanic center that is extrusive, as well as the Fees Rhyolite Member near the base of the formation.

Mount Rogers Formation - Conglomerate, graywacke, laminated siltstone, and shale. (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

Graywacke conglomerate, graywacke, tuffaceous sandstone, laminated siltstone, shale, and minor greenstone and rhyolite. Most of the sedimentary rocks are volcanigenic but contain a significant detrital contribution from the underlying crystalline rocks of the Grenville-age basement.

Mount Rogers Formation - Phenocryst-poor rhyolite (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

Phenocryst-poor rhyolite (Whitetop Rhyolite Member and Buzzard Rock Member, Mt. Rogers volcanic center). Whitetop Rhyolite Member, phenocryst-poor, very dusky purple, high-silica, metaluminous rhyolite lava fl ows and minor tuff containing 0 to 10 percent phenocrysts of quartz and mesoperthite. Buzzard Rock Member, blackish-red, low-silica, metaluminous rhyolite lava flows containing 5 to 20 percent prominant phenocrysts of mesoperthite and plagioclase; includes minor interbedded volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks. The Buzzard Rock is a thin unit that occurs beneath the Whitetop Rhyolite Member.

Alligator Back Formation - Feldspathic metagraywacke (Proterozoic Z-Cambrian) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Heterogeneous assemblage of rock-types includes medium- to light-gray, laminated quartzofeldspathic to calcareous gneiss with thin mica schist partings; white and gray, fine- to coarse-grained, generally laminated marble; gray to greenish-gray fine-grained graphitic mica schist and quartzite; light-gray, medium- to fine-grained mica schist; massive quartzite and micaceous blue quartz granule metasandstone; and, dark-greenish-black actinolite schist. Mineralogy: (1) quartz + potassium feldspar + pla ioclase + biotite + muscovite + calcite + epidote + titanite + magnetite- ilmenite; (2) quartz + muscovite + chlorite + graphite + titanite + ilmenite; (3) quartz + albite + muscovite + biotite + titanite + ilmenite; (4) quartz + mus co vite + garnet + kyanite; (5) chlorite + tremolite + magnetite-ilmenite; (6) chlorite + actinolite-tremolite + talc + dolomite + magnetite-ilmenite; (7) quartz + albite + actinolite + biotite + epidote + magnetite. Units here mapped as Alligator Back Formation were previously mapped as the Evington Group (Espenshade, 1954; Brown, 1958; Redden, 1963; Gates, 1986; Patterson, 1987) and considered to be younger than the Lynchburg Group. Regional mapping by Henika (1991) and Scheible (1975) indicates that rocks assigned to Alligator Back Formation by Rankin and others (1973) are continuous with the upper part of the Lynchburg Group in the type section along the James River at Lynchburg (Jonas, 1927) and that the Alligator Back consistently dips southeast beneath the overlying Candler Formation from the Virginia-North Carolina border to the James River at Lynchburg. Sedimentary and structural facing criteria indicate that rock units immediately southeast of the Candler Formation in an outcrop belt from Stapleton on the James River, southwest to Leesville Dam on the Roanoke River, are older than the Candler (Henika, 1992). Although previously mapped as upper Evington Group (Espenshade, 1954; Brown, 1958; Redden, 1963; Patterson, 1987), these rocks are herein correlated with the Alligator Back Formation (upper Lynchburg Group), having been uplifted against the Candler Formation to the northwest along the Bowens Creek fault (Henika, 1992). Rocks in the same outcrop belt along strike to the southwest of the Leesville Reservoir were previously correlated with the Alligator Back Formation by Conley (1985). The sequence of lithologic units within the Alligator Back Formation southeast of the Bowens Creek fault is the same as that proposed by Brown (1951; 1958), and Espenshade (1954) for the formations in the Evington Group, that are structurally above the Candler Formation. The sequence is based on the detailed structural and stratigraphic relationships first established by Brown (1958) in the Lynchburg 15-minute quadrangle.

Erwin and Hampton Formations (Cambrian) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Erwin Formation (Keith, 1903,1907). Quartzite, sandstone, and shale. Quartzite, light-gray to white, medium- to fine-grained, thick-bedded, cross-laminated, quartz cemented, and very resistant. Sandstone, ferruginous, dark-gray to bluish- black, medium- to coarse-grained, locally conglomeratic, and with various amounts of hematite cement, in medium- to thick-beds. Shale, silty and sandy, drab-greenish-gray, thin- to medium-bedded, non-resistant, comprises much of the formation but is poorly exposed. The Erwin is less than 1000 feet thick and is equivalent to the Antietam Formation and possibly the upper part of the Harpers Formation in northern Virginia. Hampton Formation (Keith, 1903). Shale, sandstone, and quartzite. Shale, dark-gray or dark-greenish-gray, fissile, very argillaceous, silty laminae common, with interbeds of siltstone and fine-grained, lithic sandstone. Sandstone, feldspathic, greenish-gray, vitreous, medium- to coarse-grained, pebbly, cross-laminated. Quartzite, white to light-brown, vitreous, fine-grained, medium- to thin-bedded, resistant, restricted to the upper part of the formation. The Hampton is largely equivalent to the Harpers Formation to the northeast and ranges in thickness from more than 1500 feet to about 1200 feet with the thinner sequence in the northwesternmost exposures.

Ashe Formation - Amphibolite (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Dark-greenish-gray to black, coarse to fine-grained amphibolite, hornblende gneiss, and schist, with interlayered biotite-muscovite gneiss and mica schist. Coarse garnetiferous amphibolite, pink and white marble, and pyrite-chalcopyrite-calcite veins are common near the top of the Ashe. Mineralogy: (1) quartz + actinolite + epidote + chlorite; (2) quartz + hornblende + plagioclase + epidote + garnet + magnetite. Geophysical signature: amphibolite, and hornblende gneiss and schist give positive linear magnetic anomalies. Relict amygdaloidal textures and hyaloclastic (pillow) structures indicate massive to thick-bedded amphibolite and hornblende gneiss were derived from basaltic flows or shallow sills. Some thin-bedded hornblende gneiss and schist units that commonly contain interbedded micaceous and feldspathic layers may be derived from volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks.

Mount Rogers Formation - Greenstone with interbedded sedimentary rocks (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Greenstone with interbedded sedimentary rocks; relict plagioclase phenocrysts are prominent in some greenstone.

Ultramafic Rocks (Proterozoic Z-Cambrian) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Grayish-green to light-gray talc chlorite-actinolite or talc-tremolite schist. Mineralogy: (1) chlorite + actinolite + talc + dolomite + ilmenite + magnetite; (2) serpentine (antigorite) + talc + chlorite ± olivine ± augite; (3) tremolite + cummingtonite + chlorite + talc + magnetite-ilmenite ± quartz. Geophysical signature: elongate positive magnetic anomaly. Elongate, lenticular bodies generally trend parallel to schistosity of enclosing rocks and are concordant at variable stratigraphic levels within the Lynchburg Group.

Biotite Granitic Gneiss (Middle Proterozoic) at surface, covers 0.5 % of this area

Unconformity; pinkish gray to light gray, massive to well-foliated, granitic to quartz monzonitic; includes variably mylonitized orthogneiss and paragneiss, interlayered amphibolite, calc-silicate rock, and marble. Includes granites of the Bryson City area, Straight Fork window, and Elk Park Plutonic Suite.

Ashe Metamorphic Suite and Tallulah Falls Formation; Muscovite-biotite gneiss (Late Proterozoic) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

Locally sulfidic; interlayered and gradational with mica schist, minor amphibolite, and hornblende gneiss.

Ashe Formation - Mica schist or phyllite (Proterozoic Z) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

Medium- to dark-gray, medium- to fine-grained mica schist, phyllite, and slate. Mineralogy: (1) quartz + muscovite + magnetite; (2) quartz + muscovite + chlorite + stilpnomelane; (3) quartz + plagioclase + biotite + garnet + magnetite; (4) quartz + biotite + stau ro lite + garnet + magnetite; (5) quartz + biotite + kyanite + garnet + staurolite; chlorite occurs as a secondary mineral. Geophysical signature: isolated magnetic peaks resulting from concentrations of magnetite in the wider belts of mica schist. Although these rocks have been grouped as a single unit following Espenshade and others (1975), mapping in Floyd County (Dietrich, 1959) suggests that the unit includes rocks stratigraphically at the base of the Ashe as well as rocks stratigraphically above the Ashe, coeval in part with the Alligator Back Formation.

Alligator Back Formation; Gneiss (Late Proterozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Finely laminated to thin layered; locally contains massive gneiss and micaceous granule conglomerate; includes schist, phyllite, and amphibolite.

Ashe Metamorphic Suite and Tallulah Falls Formation; Amphibolite (Late Proterozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Equigranular, massive to well foliated, interlayered, rarely discordant, metamorphosed intrusive to extrusive mafic rock; may include metasedimentary rock.

Alligator Back Formation; Mica schist and phyllite (Late Proterozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Laminated to thin layered; interlayered with minor biotite-muscovite gneiss and amphibolite.

Mount Rogers Group including Bakersville Gabbro, Beech Granite, Cranberry Granite, and Roan Gneiss (Precambrian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Mount Rogers Group - Metavolcanics, typically purplish and reddish; massive lavas and tuffs, altered rhyolites and quartz latites; strongly foliated; interbedded arkose, shale, and conglomerate. Thickness 1,000 to 3,000 feet; Includes Bakersville Gabbro - Metagabbro, dark, porphyritic; contains diorite, basalt, anorthosite, and diabase; occurs as thin to massive dikes and lenticular masses; Beech Granite - Granite, porphyritic, light-gray to reddish; coarse potash feldspar crystals and clustered interstitial mafics (chloritized biotite and hornblende) give spotted appearance; includes Max Patch Granite; Cranberry Granite - Complex of intertonguing rock types including migmatite, granitic gneisses, monzonite, quartz diorite, greenstone, mica and hornblende schists, abundant granitic pegmatite; and Roan Gneiss - Layered hornblende and garnet gneiss and granitic migmatite with zones of mica schist and amphibolite, foliation commonly contorted; contains numerous granitic and gabbroic dikes.