Geologic units in Buena Vista City, Virginia

Additional scientific data in this geographic area

Waynesboro Formation (Cambrian) at surface, covers 51 % of this area

Waynesboro Formation (Stose, 1906). Largely dolostone and limestone with distinctive upper and lower sequences of interbedded red mudrock, red sandstone, and dolostone. Dolostone, light- and dark-gray, mottled, fine- to coarse-grained, thick-bedded, calcareous. Limestone, medium-gray, fine-grained, thick-bedded, locally with black chert nodules. Mudrock, grayish-red, locally fissile, interbedded with dolostone and sandstone. Sandstone, dark- grayish red, fine- to medium-grained, medium- to thin-bedded, forms low ridges and hills. The Waynesboro Formation is laterally equivalent to the Rome Formation and is only present northeast of Roanoke. It is well exposed in Botetourt County (Haynes, 1991) and in Clarke County (Gathright and Nystrom, 1974) where lower shale beds of the Elbrook Formation were incorrectly included in the Waynesboro as an upper member. It is conformable with the underlying Tomstown Dolomite and is between 1100 and 1200 feet thick.

Shady Dolomite (Cambrian) at surface, covers 22 % of this area

Shady Dolomite (Keith, 1903). Dolostone with minor limestone and shale divided into three members: Ivanhoe (upper) Member; Austinville (middle) Member, and Patterson (lower) Member. Ivanhoe Member, dark-gray, fine-grained limestone and minor interbedded black shale; 100 to 500 feeet thick. Austinville Member, very-light-gray to cream colored, fine- to medium-grained, crystalline or saccharoidal, massive-bedded dolostone with several sequences of interbedded limestone, very-dark-gray dolostone or mottled dolostone and shale; 1000 feet thick. Patterson Member, medium- to dark-gray, fine-grained, thin-bedded dolostone or limestone with siliceous partings and intraformational brec ia beds; 800 feet thick. The Shady Dolomite is gradational with the underlying Erwin Formation and the upper two members grade southeastward into shaly dolostone with biohermal mounds, intraformational limestone or dolostone breccias, oolitic limestone, and arenaceous limestone and dolostone. This upper,southeastern facies, is in part equivalent to beds in the lower Rome Formation (Pfi el and Read, 1980). The Shady is very poorly exposed except near New River in Wythe and Smyth counties where it is at least 2100 feet thick and where major lead and zinc deposits were mined from the upper members (Currier, 1935).

Chilhowee Group (Cambrian) at surface, covers 20 % of this area

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.

Elbrook Formation (Cambrian) at surface, covers 7 % of this area

Elbrook Formation (Stose, 1906). Dolostone and limestone with lesser shale and siltstone. Dolostone, medium-to dark-gray, fine- to medium-grained, laminated to thick-bedded. Limestone, dark-gray, fine-grained, thin- to medium-bedded, with algal structures and sharpstone conglomerate. Shale and siltstone, light- to dark-gray, dolomitic, platy weathering, with minor grayish-red or olive-green shales. Interbedded limestone and dolostone dominate the upper part of the formation; dolomitic siltstone and shale and thin- bedded argillaceous limestone dominate the lower part. The formation ranges be tween 1500 and 2900 feet in thickness in the southeasternmost exposures but is incomplete elsewhere due to faulting. The Elbrook of northern Virginia is transitional with the Nolichucky and Honaker Formations (locally the limestone facies of the Nolichucky has been differentiated from the Elbrook by Bartlett and Biggs (1980). It is also approximately equivalent to the rock sequence comprised of the Nolichucky and Maryville Formations, the Rogersville Shale, and the Rutledge Formation. Farther southwest the Conasauga Shale is the Elbrook equivalent. The Elbrook appears to be conformable and gradational with the underlying Waynesboro or Rome Formations. From Washington County to Augusta County much of the Elbrook Formation adjacent to the Pulaski and Staunton faults is a breccia of the "Max Meadows tecontic breccia type" (Cooper and Haff, 1940). These breccias are composed of crushed rock clasts that range from sand size to blocks many feet long, derived almost entirely from the lower part of the Elbrook Formation. The breccia commonly forms low lands characterized by karst features.

Conococheague Formation (Cambrian-Ordovician) at surface, covers 0.4 % of this area

Conococheague Formation (Stose, 1908). Dominantly limestone with significant dolostone and sandstone beds in lower part and locally in upper part. Limestone, medium- to very-dark-gray, fine-grained, thin-bedded with wavy siliceous partings that weather out in relief. Vertically repetitious primary sedimentary features such as sharpstone conglomerate, laminated bedding, and algal structures indicate cyclic sedimentation. Dolostone, medium-gray, fine- to medium-grained, laminated to massive-bedded with primary features similar to those in the limestones. Sandstone, medium-gray, brown weathering, cross-laminated, medium to thin-bedded, forms linear ridges, largely associated with dolostone beds but quartz sand common in most lithologies. Formation is present throughout the Valley of Virginia southeast of the Pulaski and North Mountain faults. It ranges in thickness from about 2200 feet in northern Virginia to 1,700 feet near Abingdon. The Conococheague is approximately equivalent to the Copper Ridge and Chepultepec Formations and conformably overlies the Elbrook Formation.