Ridgeley Sandstone, Helderberg and Cayugan Groups

Ridgeley Sandstone and Helderberg and Cayuga Groups. Ridgeley Sand stone (Swartz, 1913). Sandstone, gray, fine-to coarse-grained, locally conglomeratic, weathers yellowish- to dark-yellowish-brown, friable, calcareous, and fossiliferous. Thickness ranges up to 150 feet but is highly variable locally; occurs in western Virginia north of Craig County. Same as the Oriskany Sandstone of Butts (1933), and is continuous with the Rocky Gap Sandstone to the southwest. It grades downward into the Licking Creek Limestone and has been extensively mined for iron ore (Lesure, 1957). Helderberg Group: Licking Creek Limestone (Swartz, 1929). Upper member is light-gray, coarse-grained, arenaceous limestone; lower member is medium-to dark-gray, fine-grained, chert bearing limestone. Thickness ranges from 0 to150 feet and is present northeastward from Craig County; same as the Becraft (upper member) and New Scotland (lower member) of Butts (1940). It conformably over lies the Heal ng Springs Sandstone where the sandstone is present. It was extensively mined for iron with the Ridgeley Sandstone. Healing Springs Sandstone (Swartz, 1929). Sandstone, light-gray, medium- to coarse-grained, cross-laminated, and calcareous with local lenses of chert. Present in Alleghany, Bath, and Augusta Counties where it is generally less than 20 feet thick and conformably overlies the New Creek Lime stone. It appears to be a northeast extending tongue of Rocky Gap Sandstone. New Creek Limestone (Bowen, 1967; Coeymans Limestone of earlier reports). Limestone, light- to-medium gray with pink calcite crystals, very-coarse-grained, crinoidal, with lenses of quartz sandstone locally in the lower part. Occurs as local reefoidal buildups northeast of Alleghany County. Keyser Formation (Swartz, 1913). Limestone, sandstone, and shale. Limestone (upper), medium- to dark-gray, fine- to medium-grained, nodular, scattered, small chert nodules, biohermal, fossiliferous. Limestone (lower), medium- to dark-gray, fine- to coarse-grained, medium- to thick-bedded, very nodular, shaly, with thin (1- to 3-inch thick) crinoidal layers. Sandstone, medium-light-gray, medium-grained, calcareous, cross-bedded. Shale, medium-gray, calcareous. Upper and lower boundaries are conformable north of Clifton Forge. Thickness ranges from 250 feet in Highland County to 50 feet in Augusta County. In Highland and Bath counties the upper and lower limestones are separated by a calcareous shale unit (Big Mountain Shale Member). To the south and southeast the shale is replaced by sandstone (Clifton Forge Sandstone Member). From Craig County southwestward, the Keyser becomes all sandstone and is equivalent to the lower portion of the Rocky Gap Sandstone. Southwest of Newcastle the lower contact is disconformable. For mapping purposes the Keyser is considered to be part of the Helderberg Group. Cayuga Group: Tonoloway Limestone (Ulrich, 1911). Limestone, very-dark-gray, fine-grained, thin-bedded to laminated, with some arenaceous beds; celestite locally occurs in vugs and as veins. Thickness ranges from a few feet in southwestern Virginia to more than 500 feet in Highland County. It is conformable with the underlying Wills Creek Formation and equivalent to the Hancock Formation of Southwest Virginia. Wills Creek Formation (Uhler, 1905). Limestone, medium-to dark-gray, fine-grained, arenaceous, thin-bedded, with calcareous shale and mudstone, and thin, quartzose sandstone beds. Occurs only in western Virginia where the thickness ranges from 0 to more than 400 feet. It conformably over lies the Bloomsburg Formation and is laterally equivalent to the upper part of the Keefer Sandstone to the east and southwest of Craig County where the typical Wills Creek lithology is absent. Bloomsburg Formation (White, 1893): Sandstone, reddish-gray, fine-grained, thick-bedded with red mudstone interbeds. Thickness ranges from 35 to 400 feet between Frederick County and the northern Massanutten Mountains respectively. It grades into the Wills Creek Formation to the southwest, and is probably equivalent, in part, to the Keefer Sandstone southwest of Craig and Botetourt counties. McKenzie Formation (Stose and Swartz, 1912): Shale, medium-gray, yellowish weathering and interbedded sandstone, medium-gray, medium-grained, friable, thin-bedded and calcareous. Thickens northeastward from a few feet in Bath County to about 200 feet in Frederick County. It is probably equivalent in part to the Keefer Sandstone to the southwest and southeast and appears to be conformable with the Keefer Sandstone in northwestern Virginia.
State Virginia
Name Ridgeley Sandstone, Helderberg and Cayugan Groups
Geologic age Silurian-Devonian
Lithologic constituents
Major
Sedimentary > Carbonate > Limestone
Minor
Sedimentary > Clastic > Sandstone
Sedimentary > Clastic > Mudstone > Shale
Comments Appalachian Plateaus and Valley and Ridge
References

Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 1993, Geologic Map of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, scale 1:500,000.

Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 2003, Digital Representation of the 1993 Geologic Map of Virginia, Publication 174, CD ROM (ISO-9660) contains image file, expanded explanation in pdf, and ESRI shapefiles, scale 1:500,000.

NGMDB product
Counties Alleghany - Augusta - Bath - Botetourt - Craig - Frederick - Highland - Page - Rockbridge - Rockingham - Shenandoah - Covington