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Geologic map of the South Boston 30' × 60' quadrangle, Virginia and North Carolina

March 18, 2022

This 1:100,000-scale geologic map of the South Boston 30' × 60' quadrangle, Virginia and North Carolina, provides geologic information for the Piedmont along the I–85 and U.S. Route 58 corridors and in the Roanoke River watershed, which includes the John H. Kerr Reservoir and Lake Gaston. The Raleigh terrane (located on the eastern side of the map) contains Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic(?) polydeformed, amphibolite-facies gneisses and schists. The Carolina slate belt of the Carolina terrane (located in the central part of the map) contains Neoproterozoic metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks at greenschist facies. Although locally complicated, the slate-belt structure mapped across the South Boston map area is generally a broad, complex anticlinorium of the Hyco Formation (here called the Chase City anticlinorium) and is flanked to the west and east by synclinoria, which are cored by the overlying Aaron and Virgilina Formations. The western flank of the Carolina terrane (located in the western-central part of the map) contains similar rocks at higher metamorphic grade. This terrane includes epidote-amphibolite-facies to amphibolite-facies gneisses of the Neoproterozoic Country Line complex, which extends north-northeastward across the map. The Milton terrane (located on the western side of the map) contains Ordovician amphibolite-facies metavolcanic and metasedimentary gneisses of the Cunningham complex.

Crosscutting relations and fabrics in mafic to felsic plutonic rocks constrain the timing of Neoproterozoic to late Paleozoic deformations across the Piedmont. In the eastern part of the map, a 5- to 9-kilometer-wide band of tectonic elements that contains two late Paleozoic mylonite zones (Nutbush Creek and Lake Gordon) and syntectonic granite (Buggs Island pluton) separates the Raleigh and Carolina terranes. Amphibolite-facies, infrastructural metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks east of the Lake Gordon mylonite zone are generally assigned to the Raleigh terrane. In the western part of the map area, a 5- to 8-kilometer-wide band of late Paleozoic tectonic elements includes the Hyco and Clover shear zones, syntectonic granitic sheets, and amphibolite-facies gneisses along the western margin of the Carolina terrane at its boundary with the Milton terrane. This band of tectonic elements is also the locus for early Mesozoic extensional faults associated with the early Mesozoic Scottsburg, Randolph, and Roanoke Creek rift basins.

The map shows fluvial terrace deposits of sand and gravel on hills and slopes near the Roanoke and Dan Rivers. The terrace deposits that are highest in altitude are the oldest. Saprolite regolith is spatially associated with geologic source units and is not shown separately on the map.

Mineral resources in the area include gneiss and granite quarried for crushed stone, tungsten-bearing vein deposits of the Hamme district, and copper and gold deposits of the Virgilina district. Surface-water resources are abundant and include rivers, tributaries, the John H. Kerr Reservoir, and Lake Gaston. Groundwater flow is concentrated in saprolite regolith, along fractures in the crystalline bedrock, and along fractures and bedding-plane partings in the Mesozoic rift basins.

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