Ponaganset Gneiss

Gneissic biotite granite containing megacrysts of microcline; biotite in coarse streaks and patches. Equivalent to part of former Northbridge Granite Gneiss (usage now abandoned). Sterling Plutonic Suite is here restricted to the Hope Valley terrane. (The Hope Valley together with the Esmond-Dedham terrane make up the Avalon superterrane of this report.) The Ponaganset Gneiss and the Ten Rod Granite Gneiss lie within the Esmond-Dedham terrane and are therefore removed from the Sterling. Ponaganset lies east of the Hope Valley shear zone and extends from RI into MA. [Apparently does not occur in CT.] Predominantly granite, ranges to tonalite. Gray to light gray, some pink, generally medium- to coarse-grained, but ranges from fine-grained to porphyritic. Alkali K-feldspar, plagioclase, quartz, and biotite are major minerals. The Ponaganset is interpreted as an intensely deformed phase of the Esmond Plutonic Suite. Strong lineation is defined by elongate aggregates of quartz and feldspar and trains of biotite and hornblende. Age is Late Proterozoic based on correlation with Northbridge Gneiss (MA), which has been dated at 557+/-4 Ma by Zartman and Naylor (1984) (Skehan and Rast, 1990).
State Massachusetts
Name Ponaganset Gneiss
Geologic age Proterozoic Z
Lithologic constituents
Igneous > Plutonic > Granitic > GraniteGneissic biotite granite containing megacrysts of microcline; biotite in coarse streaks and patches.
Comments Part of Milford-Dedham Zone (Tertiary and Older Rocks). Secondary unit description per MA022.

Zen, E-An (ed.), Goldsmith, R. (comp.), Ratcliffe, N.M. (comp.), Robinson, P. (comp.), Stanley, R.S. (comp.), Hatch, N.L., Jr., Shride, A.F., Weed, E.G.A., and Wones, D.R., 1983, Bedrock Geologic Map of Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, scale 1: 250,000.


Skehan, J.W. and Rast, Nicholas, 1990, Pre-Mesozoic evolution of Avalon terranes of southern New England, IN Socci, A.D., Skehan, J.W., and Smith, G.W., eds., Geology of the composite Avalon terrane of southern New England: Geological Society of America Special Paper, 245, p. 13-53.

NGMDB product
Counties Hampshire - Worcester