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Bedrock geologic map of the Mount Ascutney 7.5- x 15-minute quadrangle, Windsor County, Vermont, and Sullivan County, New Hampshire

April 17, 2020

The bedrock geology of the Mount Ascutney 7.5- x 15-minute quadrangle consists of highly deformed and metamorphosed Mesoproterozoic through Devonian metasedimentary and meta-igneous rocks intruded by rocks of the Mesozoic White Mountain Igneous Suite. In the west, Mesoproterozoic gneisses of the Mount Holly Complex are the oldest rocks and form the northeastern flank of the Chester dome. The allochthonous Cambrian through Ordovician rocks include the Moretown and Cram Hill Formations and the North River Igneous Suite; these rocks structurally overlie the Chester dome along the Keyes Mountain thrust fault. Silurian and Devonian metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the Connecticut Valley trough (CVT) unconformably overlie the pre-Silurian rocks. The easternmost extent of the CVT in New Hampshire is exposed in the Meriden antiform. Ordovician to Silurian and Devonian metasedimentary rocks of the Bronson Hill anticlinorium structurally overlie the CVT along the Monroe thrust fault. The oldest part of the Bronson Hill anticlinorium, called the Bronson Hill arc, consists of Ordovician metamorphosed volcanic, plutonic, and sedimentary rocks of the Ammonoosuc Volcanics, the Partridge Formation, and the Oliverian Plutonic Suite. The rocks of the Bronson Hill arc may be partly correlative with the pre-Silurian rocks above the Chester dome and are exposed in two fault-bounded structural belts (Cornish City and Claremont belts) and in the Sugar River dome. Collectively, these belts form the regional Orfordville anticlinorium, Hardscrabble synclinorium, and the western part of the broader Bronson Hill anticlinorium in western New Hampshire. Silurian to Devonian metasedimentary rocks of the Clough Quartzite, and Fitch and Littleton Formations unconformably overlie the rocks of the Bronson Hill arc. Devonian granitic and pegmatitic dikes and sills of the New Hampshire Plutonic Suite intruded previously deformed rocks. Post-tectonic Cretaceous plutonic and volcanic rocks of the Ascutney Mountain Intrusive Complex underlie Mount Ascutney. Because of the historically significant scientific research, and its prominence in the landscape, Mount Ascutney is commonly regarded as Vermont’s most famous volcano.

The bedrock geology was mapped to study the tectonic history of the area and to provide a framework for ongoing characterization of the bedrock of Vermont and New Hampshire. This Scientific Investigations Map of the Mount Ascutney 7.5- x 15-minute quadrangle consists of sheets 1 and 2 as well as a geographic information system (GIS) database that includes bedrock geologic units, faults, outcrops, structural geologic information, geochemistry, and photographs. Sheet 1 of the report includes a bedrock geologic map, a correlation of map units, and a description of map units. Sheet 2 includes a discussion of the geology, references, three cross sections from the geologic map on sheet 1, igneous rock geochemistry results of the main map units from the Mount Ascutney stock, a tectonic map showing major structural features, and a structural domain map showing the orientation and distribution of brittle features.

Publication Year 2020
Title Bedrock geologic map of the Mount Ascutney 7.5- x 15-minute quadrangle, Windsor County, Vermont, and Sullivan County, New Hampshire
DOI 10.3133/sim3440
Authors Gregory J. Walsh, Peter M. Valley, Peter J. Thompson, Nicholas M. Ratcliffe, Brooks P. Proctor, Karri R. Sicard
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3440
Index ID sim3440
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Florence Bascom Geoscience Center