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A geochemical investigation of selected areas in Greenville and Laurens counties, South Carolina--implications for mineral resources

January 1, 1994

The purpose of this study is to geochemically evaluate three areas within the Greenville 1° x 2° quadrangle (see index map) that have been shown by previous studies to contain anomalously high amounts of tin. Jackson and Moore (1992) reported the presence of cassiterite (SnO2)-bearing heavy-mineral concentrates from stream sediment samples that were collected during a regional geochemical reconnaissance of the Greenville 1° x 2° quadrangle. The data reported here confirm identified in selected heavy-mineral concentrate samples. In addition, anomalously high concentrations of barium, beryllium, lanthanum, and thorium are also reported for parts of the same areas. No significant mineral deposits are known to occur in the study areas. There was, however, minor production of monazite from several nearby localities (Sloan, 1908), and gold was produced from deposits in the northeastern part of Greenville County and nearby Spartanburg County (McCauley and Butler, 1966). The three areas selected for resampling are located in the Inner Piedmont physiographic province of South Carolina (see index map). The generalized tectonic setting of the region and the locations of the study is just north of Greenville, S.C. Much of it is within the moderately to steeply sloped terrane of Paris Mountain State Park where elevations reach approximately 600 m. Simpsonville, S.C., is neat the center of the second study area, and the southernmost study area is near Hickory Tavern, S.C. Both the Simpsonville and Hickory Tavern study areas are in more gently rolling Piedmont terrane. Each of the sampled areas is drained by tributaries of the Enoree and Reedy Rivers. Parts of three different thrust sheets underlie the region covered by this study (fig. 1); in ascending structural position, they are the Six Mile, Paris Mountain, and Laurens thrust sheets (Nelson and others, 1987). Nelson (1988, p. 7) described the contacts between these sheets as being along unnamed faults. The rocks in and around the study areas have undergone sillimanite-muscovite-grade metamorphism (Nelson, 1988, p. 9). Nelson (1988, p. 13) reports that the Six Mile thrust sheet was metamorphosed about 344 Ma. The geology of these sheets as described in this study, including geologic contacts, rock descriptions, and unit names, generally follows that of Nelson and others (1987, 1989). Within the Paris Mountain study area, rocks of the Paris Mountain thrust sheet predominate (fig. 2) and consist of a biotite-muscovite-sillimanite schist (EZsp) that has extensive lenses of fine- to medium- grained biotite granite gneiss (Pzgp). Areas of biotite granite gneiss that occur in the southern part of the Paris Mountain study area contain extensive pegmatitic and leucogranitic phases. These pegmatitic zones consist mostly of coarse-grained microcline feldspar and quartz with minor amounts of muscovite, biotite, and garnet. Smaller pegmatite lenses (<0.5 m thick) that occur within the biotite-muscovite-sillimanite schist of the Paris Mountain study area are generally of similar mineralogy, although some contain tourmaline crystals up to 5 cm in length. The Six Mile thrust sheet underlies the northern edge of the Paris Mountain study area, where it is composed of gneissic biotitic granites of the Caesars Head Granite (figs. 1 and 2). The northwestern part of the Simpsonville study area (figs. 1 and 3), within the Paris Mountain thrust sheet, is underlain by a biotite-muscovite-sillimanite schist (EZsp) that contains lenses of biotite granite gneiss (Pzgp). In the southeastern part of the Simpsonville study area, within the Laurens thrust sheet, biotite gneiss (EZgl), biotite granite gneiss (Pzgf), and minor amphibolite (EZal) are interlayered biotite (EZgl), granite gneiss (Dgg), and amphibolite (EZal) of the Laurens thrust sheet (fig. 4).

Citation Information

Publication Year 1992
Title A geochemical investigation of selected areas in Greenville and Laurens counties, South Carolina--implications for mineral resources
DOI 10.3133/mf2205
Authors John C. Jackson
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
Series Number 2205
Index ID mf2205
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization