Shale, light-greenish gray, light- to dark-gray, carbonaceous, and reddish-brown in cyclic sequences, laminated, silty to sandy, fossiliferous. Siltstone, typically reddish-brown to gray, sandy, micaceous, with minor fine-grained sandstone beds.
Fine- to coarse-grained, reddish-brown to gray, primary bedding features such as cross-beds, channel lags, and ripple marks , minor conglomerate, siltstone, and shale beds.
Potomac Formation (Lower and Upper(?) Cretaceous, McGee, 1886). Light-gray to pinkish- and greenish-gray quartzo-feldspathic sand, fine- to coarse-grained, pebbly, poorly sorted, commonly thick-bedded and trough cross-bedded. Sand is interbedded with gray to green, massive to thick-bedded sandy clay and silt, commonly mottled red or reddish-brown. Includes lesser amounts of clay-clast conglomerate and thin-bedded to laminated, carbonaceous clay and silt. In the inner Coastal Plain, unit was deposited mainly in fluvial-deltaic environments, intertongues eastward with thin glauconitic sands of shallow-shelf origin. Spore and pollen assemblages and leaf impressions of ferns and cycads indicate an Early Cretaceous age (Doyle and Robbins, 1977). In some downdip areas, uppermost part of unit may be of earliest Late Cretaceous age. Thickness ranges from a feather-edge at western limit of outcrop to more than 3500 feet in subsurface of outermost Coastal Plain.
Lunga Reservoir Formation (Pavlides, 1989; 1990). Metadiamictite, characterized by a nonstratified, micaceous quartzofeldspathic matrix resembling a granitoid, containing rounded to subrounded silt- to sand-sized quartz and plagioclase grains, fine-grained and porphyroblastic muscovite, green porphyroblastic biotite, garnet and magnetite. Granule-, pebble-, and cobble-sized lumps of milky quartz are ubiquitous; mica schist and gneiss clasts are common; calc-silicate clasts are rare. Pebble-, cobble-, and boulder-sized fragments of mafic and ultramafic rock are sparsely distributed in the southern part of the outcrop belt, but are locally abundant in the north. Locally along the contact with the Chopawamsic Formation, the Lunga Resevoir contains exotic fragments similar to lithologies found in the Chopawamsic. The Lunga Resevoir is intruded by Occoquan Granite.
Phyllite (Pavlides, 1990): Mostly gray-to-green phyllite with lesser metasiltstone. Mylonitic rocks composed commonly of schist or phyllite with elongate granules of quartz, occur in the southern part of the outcrop belt. These are interpreted as highly tectonized parts of this formation. Alternatively, these rocks may be part of a separate terrane.
Fine- to coarsely-crystalline, subaphanitic or porphyritic with aphanitic margins; dark-gray mosaic of plagioclase laths and clinopyroxene, with some masses characterized by olivine or bronzite, others granophyric. Also occurs as dikes and sills in the Valley and Ridge, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge physiographic provinces.
Sandstone, very fine- to coarse-grained, reddish-brown to gray, micaceous, minor conglomerate beds. Siltstone, reddish-brown to gray, micaceous. Shale, reddish-brown, greenish-gray, gray, yellowish-brown, laminated, fossiliferous. Upward-fining sequences, discontinuous vertically and horizontally.
Occoquan granite (Lonsdale, 1927; Drake and Froelich, 1986). Light-gray, medium- to coarse-grained, muscovite-biotite monzogranite and lesser granodiorite and tonalite. In many places the rock has a strong quartz-rod lineation, and locally, two foliations. The Occoquan has been dated at about 560 Ma (U-Pb zircon; Seiders and others, 1975), 494±14 Ma (Rb-Sr whole-rock; Mose and Nagel, 1982), and 479±9 Ma (U-Pb single-crystal zircon; J.N. Aleinikoff, written communication, 1993).
Mesocratic, fine- to medium-grained, strongly-foliated and locally lineated micaceous metatonalite.
Fine- to medium-crystalline, equigranular, porphyritic, vesicular, or amygdaloidal; medium- to dark-gray subophitic intergrowths of plagioclase laths and clinopyroxene with amygdules of calcite, zeolites, and prehnite. Occurs only in the Culpeper basin as three principle basalt flows separated by sedimentary rocks.
Purcell Branch Formation (Pavlides, 1989; 1990). Metadiamictite, characterized by a dark-gray, micaceous quartzofeldspathic matrix with a pervasive, anastomosing foliation. Mineralogy: quartz + plagioclase + muscovite + biotite (commonly retrograded to chlorite) + epidote + magnetite. Lumps of milky quartz, sparsely distributed, have undergone tectonic flattening and recrystallization; phyllitic rock chips are sparse. Exotic blocks on the order of several meters to several hundreds of meters in length include felsite, greenstone and greenschist, mafic rocks, and amphibolite; these are interpreted as derived from the Chopawamsic Formation (Pavlides, 1989).
Chopawamsic Formation, undivided, (Pavlides, 1981). Includes laterally discontinuous lenses and tongues of metamorphosed felsic, intermediate, and mafic volcanic flows and volcanoclastic rocks, with interlayered quartzite, quartzose graywacke, schist, and phyllite. Volcanic flows are locally highly vesicular; fragmental breccia and tuff are common. Felsic flows are typically light-gray aphanitic rocks with phenocrysts of quartz and feldspar; intermediate flows are dark-green amphibole-bearing rocks with fine-grained quartz-feldspar matrix; greenstone metabasalts contain blue green amphibole, chlorite, albitic plagioclase, and quartz. Geophysical signature: linear strike-elongate pattern of elevated magnetic anomalies. The Chopawamsic is correlated with the James Run Formation in Maryland; the James Run has been dated at 570 to 530 Ma (U-Pb zircon; Tilton and others 1970). The Chopawamsic is unconformably overlain by the Late Ordovician Arvonia and Quantico Formations. Pavlides (1981 and subsequent works) has made the interpretation on the basis of geologic and geochemical data that the Chopawamsic and related plutons represent an ancient is land-arc sequence.
Interbedded fine- to coarse grained, pebbly, reddish-brown, and arkosic sandstone and reddish-brown siltstone; rhythmically interbedded with siltstone and shale unit (sh). Occurs only in the Culpeper basin.
Rounded to subangular pebbles, cobbles, and boulders of mixed lithologies including quartz, phyllite, quartzite, gneiss, schist, greenstone, and marble in a matrix of medium- to very-coarse-grained, reddish-brown to gray, locally arkosic, sandstone.
Chilhowee Group (Keith, 1903). The Chilhowee Group includes the Antietam, Harpers, and Weverton Formations in the northeastern portion of the Blue Ridge Province and the Erwin, Hampton, and Unicoi Formations in the southwestern portion of the Blue Ridge Province. Antietam Formation (Williams and Clark, 1893). Quartzite, medium-gray to pale-yellowish-white, fine- to medium grained, locally with very minor quartz-pebble conglomerate, cross-laminated, medium- to very-thick-bedded, very resistant, forms prominent cliffs and ledges, contains a few thin interbeds of light-gray phyllite, has calcareous quartz sandstone at the top that is transitional with the overlying Tomstown Dolomite, and many beds contain Skolithos linearras. It is laterally equivalent to the Erwin Formation to the southwest. The formation interfingers with the underlying Harpers Formation and ranges in thickness from less than 500 feet in Clarke County to nearly 1000 feet in Rockingham County (Gathright and Nystrom, 1974; Gathright, 1976). Harpers Formation (Keith, 1894). Metasandstone, metasiltstone, and phyllite. Metasandstone, dark-greenish gray to brownish-gray, fine-grained, sericitic, thin- to medium-planar bedded, locally bioturbated, Skolithos-bearing litharenite; dark-gray, fine-grained, cross-laminated, thickbedded, laterally extensive bodies of quartzite; and very-dark gray, medium- to coarse-grained, thick-bedded, ferruginous, very resistant, quartzitic sandstone. These beds were extensively mined for iron ore north of Roanoke (Henika, 1981). Metasiltstone, dark-greenish-gray, thin, even bedded, sericitic, and locally bioturbated. Phyllite, medium- to light-greenish gray, bronze weathering, laminated, sericitic. The Harpers is laterally equivalent to the Hampton Formation to the southwest and they are so similar that the names have been used interchaneably in the northern Blue Ridge (Gathright, 1976; Brown and Spencer, 1981). The Harpers conformably overlies the Weverton or Unicoi Formations, thickens northeastward from about 1500 feet north of Roanoke to about 2500 feet in Clarke County. The thicker sections are dominated by phyllite and metasiltstone and the thinner sections by metasandstone and quartzite. Weverton Formation (Williams and Clark, 1893). Quartzite, metasandstone, and phyllite. Quartzite, medium- to very dark-gray, weathers light-gray, fine- to coarse-grained, well rounded quartz-pebble conglomerate beds locally, medium- to thick-bedded, cross-bedded, very resistant, with interbedded metasandstone, dark-greenish- gray, feldspathic, thick-bedded, with ferruginous cement in some beds. Phyllite, light- to dark-greenish-gray or dark-reddish-gray, laminated, sericitic, with coarse sand grains and quartz-pebble conglomerate in a few thin beds, generally in lower part. Formation ranges in thickness from more than 600 feet in Clarke County to less than 200 feet in Augusta County (Gathright and Nystrom, 1974; Gathright and others, 1977). The Weverton is lithologically very similar to strata in the upper portion of the Unicoi Formation to the south to which it may be equivalent. The Weverton appears to unconformably overlie the Catoctin and Swift Run Formations and the Blue Ridge basement complex and is present northeast of Augusta County.
Interbedded reddish-brown siltstone and reddish-brown, greenish-gray, dark-gray, fossiliferous shale. Occurs only in the Culpeper basin.
Tabb Formation, undifferentiated (upper Pleistocene, Johnson, 1976). Sand, silt, and peat of coast-parallel plains seaward of the Suffolk and Harpersville scarps, includes coeval terrace deposits along major river valleys west to Fall Line. Subdivided into three members (Johnson, 1976).
May include the following formation - Brightseat, Aquia, Marlboro, Nanjemoy, and Piney Point (Pamunkey Group), and Old Church. Lower Tertiary deposits (Oligocene, Eocene, and Paleocene). Mostly fine- to coarse-grained glauconitic quartz sand and clay-silt, shelly in part; includes lesser amounts of sandy limestone and limey sand. In outcrop, unit comprises the Pamunkey Group (Brightseat, Aquia, Marlboro, Nanjemoy, and Piney Point Formations) and the Old Church Formation. In subsurface, unit includes Eocene and Oligocene strata not included in the Pamunkey and Old Church. Ages of formational units based on foraminiferal, nannofossil, dinocyst, pollen, and molluscan studies (Frederiksen, 1979; Gibson and others, 1980; Gibson and Bybell, 1984; Edwards, 1984, 1989; Edwards and others, 1984; Poag, 1989; Ward, 1985; Ward and Krafft, 1984). Stratigraphic sections vary widely, comprising one or more of the following formations: Old Church Formation (Ward, 1985) and unnamed glauconitic sands (upper Oligocene). In inner and middle Coastal Plain, unit is 0 to 5 feet of olive-gray, fine- to coarse-grained, shelly, very sparsely glauconitic quartz sand of the Old Church Formation; typical fossils include Anomia ruffini, Lucina sp., and Mercenaria capax. In subsurface of outer Coastal Plain, unit includes about 45 feet of dark-olive-gray to greenish black glauconite sand with lesser amounts of quartz; sand has olive-brown clay-silt matrix. Lower Oligocene beds. Olive-gray to grayish-olive sand, very-fine-grained, clayey and silty, micaceous, glauconitic; coarsens upward to a very-fine- to fine-grained sand. Unit is 0 to 50 feet thick; identified only in subsurface of Eastern Shore area (Exmore, core hole, R. B. Mixon and D. S. Powars, personal communication). Chickahominy Formation (upper Eocene, Cushman and Cederstrom, 1945). Predominantly olive-gray clayey silt and silty clay, very compact, glauconitic, micaceous, contains abundant finely crystalline iron sulfide. Coarsens downward to a very-fine- to fine-grained sand, pebbles at base. Rare fragmental shell, microfossils very abundant. Thickness is 0 to 100 feet; present in subsurface of southeastern Virginia. Piney Point Formation (middle Eocene, Otton, 1955). Olive-gray and grayish-olive-green, glauconitic quartz sand, medium-to coarse-grained, poorly sorted, contains scattered quartz pebbles, interbedded with carbonate-cemented sand and moldic limestone. Unit is characterized by large, calcitic shells of the oyster Cubitostrea sellaeformis, a middle Eocene marker. Aragonitic mollusks are generally leached, leaving only molds and casts. Thickness is 0 to 60 feet. Nanjemoy Formation (lower Eocene, Clark and Martin,1901). Dark-olive-gray, greenish-gray, and olive-black glauconitic quartz sand, fine- to coarse-grained, very clayey and silty, intensely burrowed, sparsely to abundantly shelly, interbedded with sandy clay-silt. Sand in upper part of unit is less clayey, very micaceous, and contains scattered quartz pebbles. Typical mollusks include Venericardia potapacoensis, Venericardia ascia, and Macrocallista subimpressa. Unit is 0 to 140 feet thick. Marlboro Clay (lower Eocene (?) and upper Paleocene, Clark and Martin, 1901). Light-gray, pinkish-gray, and reddish- brown kaolinitic clay, massively bedded to laminated, interbedded with lesser amounts of laminated and ripple cross-laminated silt and very-fine-grained sand. Contains rare molds of small mollusks and arenaceous foraminifera. Thickness is 0 to 30 feet. Aquia Formation (upper Paleocene, Clark and Martin, 1901). Light- to dark-olive gray, glauconitic quartz sand, fine- to coarse-grained, clayey and silty, thick- to massively bedded, sparsely to abundantly shelly. Lower part of unit is more poorly sorted and more calcarious than upper part and contains a few thin to medium beds of olive-gray, white, and pale greenish-yellow limestone. Upper part of unit is moderately well sorted and characterized by thin beds of the large, high-spired gastropod Turritella mortoni. Other common mollusks in clude Cucullaea gigantea, Ostrea sinuosa, and Crassatellites alaeformis. Thickness is 0 to 130 feet. Brightseat Formation (lower Paleocene, Bennett and Collins, 1952). Olive-gray to olive-black, micaceous quartz sand, fine- to very fine-grained, clayey and silty, variably glauconitic. Thickness is 0 to 20 feet.
Gray to black, graphitic, pyritic phyllite and slate (northern Piedmont); metamorphic grade increases to the southwest to produce porphyroblastic staurolite-, kyanite-, and garnet-biotite muscovite schists. Locally the unit contains felsic metatuff, metagraywacke, and micaceous quartzite interbeds; thickness has been estimated at as much as 3000 feet (Pavlides, 1980). Mineralogy: quartz + muscovite + biotite ± garnet ± staurolite ± kyanite + opaque minerals; chlorite is a common secondary mineral. Geophysical signature: strike-elongated positive linear magnetic and radiometric anomalies. The unit was originally named Quantico Slate by Darton (1894), and modified to Quantico Formation by Pavlides (1980). An Ordovician age for the Quantico is indicated by fossils collected by Watson and Powell (1911) and more recently by Pavlides and others (1980). The Quantico unconformably overlies older units in the northeastern Pied mont, and is correlated with the Arvonia Formation to the southwest.
Sykesville Formation (Hopson, 1964; Drake, 1985). Light- to medium-gray, medium-grained metasedimentary melange consisting of a quartzofeldspathic matrix that contains quartz "eyes"and a heterogeneous suite of pebble- to boulder and larger-size olistoliths. These include: Mather Gorge Formation migmatite, phyllonite, and metagraywacke; also, ultramafic, metagabbroic, and felsic and mafic metavolcanic rocks, plagiogranite, and quartzite. The Sykesville is intruded by Occoquan Granite.
Goldvein pluton (Pavlides, 1990). Mesocratic, coarse- to medium-grained, weakly- to strongly-foliated metamonzogranite. Altered feldspars commonly impart pink and green colors to the rock. Mineralogy includes perthite and plagioclase feldspars, each locally megacrystic; granoblastic quartz, muscovite, and sparsely distributed garnet.
Fine to coarse gravelly sand and sandy gravel, silt, and clay, light- to medium-gray and yellowish-gray. Deposited mainly in channel, point-bar, and flood-plain environments; includes sandy deposits of narrow estuarine beaches, and mud, muddy sand, and peat in swamps and in fresh- and brackish-water marshes bordering tidewater rivers. Grades into colluvium along steeper valley walls at margins of unit. Mostly Holocene but, locally, includes low-lying Pleistocene (?) terrace deposits. As much as 80 feet thick along major streams.
Rounded pebbles, cobbles, and boulders of quartz, gneiss, schist, basalt, minor greenstone, and marble in a matrix of medium- to very-coarse-grained, reddish-brown to light-gray sandstone. Occurs only in the Culpeper basin.
Light-greenish-gray, pale-greenish-yellow- or yellowish-gray-weathering, medium to fine-grained graded micaceous metasiltstone and lesser fine grained micaceous metasandstone; fine-grained beds are phyllite and micaceous metasiltstone. Graded beds are 2 to 24 cm thick. Mineralogy: quartz + muscovite + biotite + plagioclase + chlorite + magnetite + epidote. The unit contains felsic metatuff (mineral assemblage quartz + plagioclase + epidote + muscovite + biotite + chlorite + green amphibole + magnetite) and mafic metatuff (mineral assemblage blue-green amphibole + plagioclase + titanite) layers up to 180 cm thick. Maximum thickness of unit is about 2300 feet; unit overlies with apparent unconformity the Mather Gorge, Sykesville, and Yorkshire Formations, the Annandale Group, and the Piney Branch Complex (Drake and Lyttle, 1981). The unit is intruded by Occoquan Granite.
Mafic plutonic rocks as exotic blocks within melange units
Schist, greenish-gray to gray, reddish-brown-weathering, fine- to coarse-grained, lustrous, quartz-rich; and much lesser mica gneiss; contains interbedded metagraywacke and some calc-silicate rock; also contains abundant mafic and ultramafic rock debris. Typical mineral assemblages from west to east and from low to high metamorphic grade are: (1) quartz + muscovite + chlorite + plagioclase + epidote + magnetite-hematite; (2) quartz + muscovite + biotite + garnet + staurolite + plagioclase + magnetite ± andalusite; (3) quartz + muscovite + garnet + kyanite + plagioclase + staurolite + magnetite; and (4) quartz + biotite + plagioclase + sillimanite ± microcline + magnetite. Higher-grade schists are migmatitic, and in many places show effects of a retrograde metamorphic over print.
Metatonalite (Pavlides, 1990). Leucocratic, fine grained, hypidiomorphic-granular, massive metatonalite-metaplagiogranite composed predominantly of sodic plagioclase and quartz, with minor potassium feldspar; plagioclase is variably altered to epidote and white mica. Thin cataclastic seams of quartz with white mica locally cut the rock.
Shirley Formation (middle Pleistocene, Johnson and Berquist, 1989). Light- to dark-gray, bluish-gray and brown sand, gravel, silt, clay, and peat. Constitutes surficial deposits of riverine terraces and relict baymouth barriers and bay-floor plains (altitude 35-45 feet) inset below depositional surfaces of the Chuckatuck Formation (Johnson and Peebles, 1984). Upper part of unit is truncated on the east by the Suffolk and Harpersville scarps; locally, lower part occurs east and west of scarps. Fluvial-estuarine facies comprises (1) a lower pebble to boulder sand overlain by (2) fine to coarse sand interbedded with peat and clayey silt rich in organic material, including in-situ tree stumps and leaves and seeds of cypress, oak, and hickory, which grades upward to (3) medium- to thick-bedded, clayey and sandy silt and silty clay. Marginal-matrix facies in lower James River and lowermost Rappahannock River areas is silty, fine-grained sand and sandy silt containing Crassostrea virginica, Mulinia, Noetia, Mercenaria, and other mollusks. Astrangia from lower Rappahannock River area has yielded a uranium-series age of 184,000 ± 20,000 yrs B.P. (Mixon and others, 1982). Thickness is 0 to 80 feet.
Grayish-green to dark-yellowish-green, fine-grained, schistose chlorite- and actinolite-bearing metabasalt, commonly associated with epidosite segregations. Mineralogy: chlorite + actinolite + albite + epidote + titanite ± quartz + magnetite. Relict clinopyroxene is common; biotite porphyroblasts occur locally in southeastern outcrop belts. Geophysical signature: The Catoctin as a whole has a strong positive magnetic signature. However, between Warrenton and Culpeper the lowest part of the Catoctin, which consists of low-titanium metabasalt and low-titanium metabasalt breccia, is non-magnetic, and displays a strong negative anomaly. Metabasalt (CZc) is by far the most widespread unit comprising 3000 feet or more of section (Gathright and others, 1977). Primary volcanic features are well preserved in many places. In the north west ern outcrop belt, these include vesicles and amygdules, sedimentary dikes, flow-top breccia, and columnar joints (Reed, 1955; Gathright, 1976; Bartholomew, 1977); relict pillow structures have been reported in Catoctin greenstones east of Buena Vista (Spencer and others, 1989). In the southeastern outcrop belt, amygdaloidal metabasalts are common, as are volcanoclastic rocks interbedded with basaltic fl ows (Rossman, 1991). Fragmental zones occur locally between individual lava fl ows; map-scale hyaloclastite pillow breccias occur at three strati raphic levels within the southeastern outcrop belt (CZcb, CZhb, CZlb; Espenshade, 1986; Kline and others, 1990).
Windsor Formation (lower Pleistocene or upper Pliocene, Coch, 1968). Gray and yellowish- to reddish-brown sand, gravel, silt, and clay. Constitutes surficial deposits of extensive plain (altitude 85-95 feet.) seaward of Surry scarp and of coeval, fluvial-estuarine terraces west of scarp. Fining upward sequence beneath plain consists of a basal pebbly sand grading upward into cross-bedded, quartzose sand and massive, clayey silt and silty clay; lower and upper parts of sequence were deposited, respectively, in shallow-marine or open-bay and restricted-bay or lagoonal environments. In terraces west of Surry scarp, fluvial-estuarine deposits comprise muddy, coarse, trough cross-bedded sand and gravel grading upward to sandy silt and clay. Thickness is 0 to 40 feet.
Fine- to coarse-grained sand, sandy gravel, silt, and clay, gray to light-yellowish-gray, commonly oxidized to yellowish-orange and yellowish-brown; pebbles and cobbles are deeply etched. Commonly caps interfluves at northwestern edge of Coastal Plain and constitutes thin Coastal Plain outliers in easternmost Piedmont where deposits directly overlie weathered crystalline rocks. In part, may represent a fluvial to marginal-marine facies of the Choptank Formation. Thickness is 0 to 30 feet.
Undifferentiated Qtl, Qts.
Charles City Formation (lower Pleistocene (?), Johnson and Berquist, 1989). Light- to medium-gray and light-to dark yellowish and reddish-brown sand, silt, and clay composing surficial deposits of riverine terraces and coast-parallel plains at altitiudes of 70 to 80 feet. Unit is adjacent to, and inset below, the Windsor Formation and older deposits. Bay or shallow shelf facies of the Charles City (Johnson and Peebles, 1984), present beneath flat to gently seaward-sloping plain in Suffolk area, includes a thin, basal, gravelly sand grading upward into fine- to medium-grained sand and an uppermost clayey and sandy silt; lower and middle parts of unit contain clay-lined, sand-filled burrows. Fluvial-estuarine facies in terrace remnants along major rivers consists of cross-bedded gravelly sand and clayey silt. Thickness is 0 to 55 feet, or more.
Dale City Quartz Monzonite (Seiders and others, 1975). Medium- to light-gray, medium-grained, massive to well-foliated quartz monzonite, quartz monzodiorite, and subordinate quartz diorite. The Dale City intrudes the Chopawamsic Formation and is unconformably overlain by the Quantico Formation (Pavlides and others, 1980). The age is considered 560 Ma (discordant U-Th-Pb-zircon; Seiders and others, 1975).
Quaternary and Tertiary deposits, undifferentiated. Tabb through Windsor Formations and alluvial/tidal prism deposits.
Schist as exotic blocks within melange units
Piney Branch Complex (Drake and Morgan, 1981). Heterogeneous assemblage of metamorphosed peridotite, pyroxenite, and gabbro; dominant rock-types include serpentinite, soapstone, and actinolite schist. The unit contains dikes and sheets of plagiogranite. Secondary unit decription from USGS Geologic Names lexicon (ref. VA004): It is a tectonic melange resulting from the deformation of a layered complex that contained repetitive cycles of ultramafic and mafic rocks that are now metamorphosed to serpentinite, soapstone, actinolite schist, and metagabbro, and intruded by dikes and sheet of plagiogranite. It has a discontinuous underlying border of precursory ophiolitic melange, the Yorkshire Formation. The allochthon consisting of the Piney Branch and Yorkshire was thrust upon the Peters Creek Schist, and with it form a composite allochthon that was emplaced on the Sykesville Formation perhaps by gravity sliding. It unconformably underlies the Popes Head Formation. Movement of the Piney Branch began in the Late Proterozoic after the metamorphism of the Peters Creek, and ended during the Taconic Orogeny. Age is Late Proterozoic and (or) Early Cambrian.