Mattapan Volcanic Complex

Rhyolite, melaphyre, agglomerate, and tuff. Mattapan Volcanic Complex is found in west and southwest part of Boston basin and beyond, and to the south in Blue Hills. Similar in lithology to Lynn Volcanic Complex. Both units consist largely of partly porphyritic rhyolite and rhyodacite flows, welded ash-flow tuffs, vitric tuff, lapilli tuff, lithic tuff, flow breccias, breccia pipes, and extrusion domes. Mattapan's rhyolite and rhyodacites are thinner and less varied in composition and texture than Lynn's, and volcanic breccias are absent in Lynn. Both units are reported to lie nonconformably on Dedham Granite and unnamed plutonic-volcanic complex of eastern MA; however, Mattapan has been observed as dikes and stocks cutting Dedham Granite (Billings, 1976; Kaye and Zartman, 1980; Chute, 1966), and other workers have pointed out evidence that some of Mattapan may be penecontemporaneous with younger phases of Dedham batholith. Westwood Granite may be intrusive equivalent of Mattapan. Mattapan is conformably and fairly continuously overlain by Roxbury Conglomerate of Boston Bay Group. LaForge (19832) cautioned against identifying rocks interbedded within Mattapan that look like Roxbury, but are still part of Mattapan. Metavolcanic rocks in Blue Hills resembling Mattapan are assigned to Mattapan on State bedrock map (Zen and others, 1983); for years they were considered to be either Silurian and Devonian, or Carboniferous; however, they are chemically and mineralogically distinct from Ordovician and Silurian Blue Hills [sic] Granite Porphyry. Author follows usage of Chute (1966) who could find no difference between volcanic rocks in Blue Hills area and Mattapan rocks, and thus these rocks are assigned to Mattapan. Proterozoic Z age is based on U-Th-Pb zircon date of 602 +/-3 Ma (Zartman, in Kaye and Zartman, 1980). Although Billings (1979) questions reliability of zircon ages from volcanic rocks, discovery of Proterozoic Z acritarchs in overlying Cambridge Argillite indicates zircon age is appropriate (Goldsmith, 1991).
State Massachusetts
Name Mattapan Volcanic Complex
Geologic age Proterozoic Z or younger
Lithologic constituents
Igneous > Volcanic > Felsic-volcanic > Rhyolite
Igneous > Volcanic (Volcaniclastic-volcanic breccia, Pyroclastic-tuff)agglomerate
Igneous > Volcanic > Mafic-volcanicmelaphyre
Comments Part of Milford-Dedham Zone (Tertiary and Older Rocks). Secondary unit description per MA023.
NGMDB product
Counties Middlesex - Norfolk - Suffolk