The Crescent mine, situated a short distance west of Lake Crescent, in the Olympic Mountains of Washington, yields an unusually high grade of manganese ore, which is suitable for making steel. Several manganiferous lodes of promising appearance have been found in the same area, and some near Humptulips, on the south side of the mountains. These and deposits on Skokomish River and at other places in the Olympic region are distributed around three sides of the mountains through a distance of 110 miles.
The characteristic and generally the most abundant manganese mineral in this belt is bementite, a silicate of manganese that is rare elsewhere. Hausmannite, a suboxide of manganese (Mn3O4) that is also rather uncommon, occurs in several of the deposits and is locally abundant in the Crescent mine, where it forms the most valuable constituent of the ore. In addition more or less of a manganiferous carbonate is present, and bodies composed of fine-grained quartz and iron oxides form a large but separate part of the lodes.
The deposits are associated with an impure red limestone of marine origin, which is probably to be correlated with the Franciscan formation of California. The limestone is overlain by a thick series of basaltic flows and tuff of Tertiary age that are partly altered to greenstone. The manganese is thought to have been deposited originally with the limestone as a carbonate. The concentration and change of much of it from the carbonate into bementite and hausmannite are believed to have been caused by warm solutions charged with silica that were expressed from the lavas or their magma. Afterward mountain-building movements and erosion elevated and exposed the manganiferous beds.
The beds at the horizon of the manganiferous deposits are very incompletely explored and are to be regarded as the possible source of large quantities of ore.
|Title||Manganese-bearing deposits near Lake Crescent and Humptulips, Washington|
|Authors||J. T. Pardee|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|