Fitch Formation (Upper Silurian)
Fitch Formation - Calc-silicate granofels, biotite granofels, minor sulfidic schist and marble. Correlated with the fossiliferous Fitch Formation of western New Hampshire. Although the text and figures of this report show the Fitch as Silurian, a footnote [added just before this report went to press] cites a change in age from Silurian to Early Devonian based on conodonts found at the Bernardston, MA, locality, as reported in Elbert and others (1988). In Bronson Hill anticlinorium in MA, Fitch occurs as lenses between Clough Quartzite and Littleton Formation. Most common rock types in MA are gray, massive to weakly bedded, quartz-labradorite-biotite granulite containing a moderate amount of some combination of calc-silicate minerals (calcic amphibole, zoisite or clinozoisite, diopside, sphene, and microcline); commonly interbedded with biotite-free granulite that contains same calc-silicate minerals. One small exposure consists of nearly pure calcite marble. Larger lenses of Fitch consist of varieties of schist, similar to Partridge Formation. Best exposures are in low hills west of village of Orange, northeast of junction of MA Hwys 2A and 78. As shown on MA State bedrock geologic map, Fitch everywhere overlies Clough Quartzite and is never in contact with Partridge. Fossils dating the Fitch as Pridolian (Harris and others, 1983) are all from Littleton, NH, area [however, see mention of footnote, above] (Hatch and others, 1988).
Nashoba Formation (Ordovician or Proterozoic Z)
Nashoba Formation - Sillimanite schist and gneiss, partly sulfidic, amphibolite, biotite gneiss, calc-silicate gneiss and marble. Nashoba Formation occurs in Nashoba zone of eastern MA. Consists of interlayered sillimanite-bearing, partly sulfidic schist and gneiss, calc-silicate gneiss, and subordinate quartzite and marble. Protoliths were probably volcanogenic sediments interlayered with limy marine sediments. Bell and Alvord (1976) divided Nashoba into 10 members on basis of lithology. Amphibolite is most abundant near presumed base, namely in Boxford Member. Skehan and Abu-Moustafa (1976) divided Nashoba into 30 members based on section in Wachusett-Marlborough tunnel. Although Bell and Alvord's and Skehan and Moustafa's sections contain similar lithologies, Bell and Alvord's is much thicker, and Boxford Member is not readily identified in Skehan and Abu-Moustafa's. Subdivision of Nashoba is conjectural south of Marlborough and Shrewsbury. On MA State bedrock map (Zen and others, 1983) only Boxford Member is separated out from the rest of the Nashoba because this unit was the only member clearly recognized in several area. A definite sequence of members probably does not exist anywhere in the Nashoba because of lenticularity of assemblages and repeated rock types, both of which could be accounted for by either sedimentary or tectonic processes. Although Castle (1965) considered Fish Brook to be either a premetamorphic intrusive rock or a core gneiss of intrusive or sedimentary ancestry, Bell and Alvord (1976) considered it to be volcanic or volcaniclastic in origin. Zircons in Fish Brook are certainly volcanic in origin and yield a date of 730 +/-26 Ma (Olszewski, 1980). If the rock were a core gneiss, that date would apply only to the Fish Brook and not to surrounding rocks; but, Bell and Alvord (1976) believe Fish Brook to be part of the Marlboro Formation-Nashoba Formation sequence and therefore the date does apply to the sequence. In addition, a 1500 Ma date for Shawsheen Gneiss [reference not given] helps bracket age of Marlboro-Nashoba sequence. An upper limit for the sequence was established from the 430 +/-5 Ma age of intruding Sharpers Pond Diorite and 450 +/-23 Ma age of the intruding Andover Granite (Zartman and Naylor, 1984). Although age on MA State bedrock map is shown as Proterozoic Z or Ordovician (due to uncertainty regarding actual rocks sampled by Olszewski and a strong belief that rocks of Nashoba zone correlated with Ordovician rocks to the west), author now feels that rocks of Nashoba zone (except for Tadmuck Brook Schist) are all Proterozoic, but that they are unlike the Proterozoic rocks of neighboring Milford-Dedham zone. [no formal age change made in this report] (Goldsmith, 1991).
Russell Mountain Formation (Silurian)
Russell Mountain Formation - Quartzite, calc-silicate granofels, and calc-silicate marble. Correlated with the fossiliferous Shaw Mountain Formation of eastern Vermont. In original definition of Russell Mountain Formation (Hatch and others (1970), calcareous granofels on Woronoco dome was included in unit. Subsequent mapping by Stanley and others (1982) indicates that rocks mapped on Woronoco dome are different from the rest of Russell Mountain Formation and are more logically included in overlying Lower Devonian sequence (mapped as an unnamed member of Goshen Formation in fig. 3). Other than this modification and mapping a few lenses of Russell Mountain Formation just north of Massachusetts Turnpike, original definition of Russell Mountain stands. Thickness does not exceed 35 m, but its correlative in CT, the basal member of The Straits Schist of Rodgers (1982, 1985), is locally at least twice as thick. Has not been shown to correlate with either Clough Quartzite or Fitch Formation to the east. Russell Mountain Formation is highly discontinuous except near Shelburne Falls dome. Locally overlies members A and D of Cobble Mountain Formation; overlain everywhere by Goshen Formation. Silurian age is based on correlation with discontinuous lenses of similar rocks at same stratigraphic position as Shaw Mountain Formation of VT. Recent field trips with J.B. Thompson, Jr. (Harvard University) and others has raised questions as to whether many of those rocks in southern VT are actually Shaw Mountain. Shaw Mountain Formation has been assigned a firm age of late Llandoverian to Gedinnian north of Albany, VT, based on HOWELLELA (Boucot and Thompson, 1963; Konig, 1961) (Hatch and others, 1988).