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Field Guide; Little Rocky Mountains part of MT Field Guides
This fieldtrip examines deformed Paleozoic sedimentary rocks on the margins of the Little Rocky Mountains, Tertiary intrusive rocks (porphyrys, magmatic-hydrothermal breccias, and dikes), and associated mineralization.

Topics: Metamorphic rocks, Sedimentary rocks, Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: North-Central Montana
Geologic Province: Montana Plains

A Traverse Through the Banded Series in the Contact Mountain Area part of MT Field Guides
This traverse through the Banded Series of the Stillwater Complex follows the section described in detail by McCallum and others (1980)....Unusual or particularly interesting features are highlighted by the 22 localities along the traverse. In view of the nearly continuous outcrop, however, there is much of interest to see between localities, and full appreciation of the entire section would require several days. Nonetheless, most of the important rock types can be seen on a 1-day trip.

Topics: Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

Geology of the Stillwater Complex Exposed in the Mountain View Area and on the West Side of Stillwater Canyon part of MT Field Guides
The part of the Stillwater Complex exposed on the west side of the Stillwater canyon has been the site of concentrated prospecting and geology activity since Jack Nye and Jimmy and Jonas Hedges found sulfide-rich rocks there in 1883. Readily seen in this area are well-studied and excellent exposures of: (1) most rock types, (2) ore deposits and mineralized occurrences, (3) structural features and (4) stratigraphic and age relations between the metamorphosed sedimentary rocks and the layered ultramafic-mafic stratiform intrusion. In addition, there are good exposures of a quartz monzonitic suite, which intrudes the complex and the metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, and of the Beartooth gneisses. Because the rocks in this area have been deformed by several episodes of faulting, a synopsis of the structural relations is given to clarify the geologic setting. Detailed overviews of the geology specific to the area are presented, and the geology of the more interesting exposures in the area is described in a road log that begins in the Ultramafic series, proceeds through the Basal series, the Banded series, and the quartz monzonite that cuts the complex, and ends in the Beartooth gneisses.

Topics: Resources, Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

A Traverse Across the Central Belt Basin From Bowmans Corner, Montana to East Hope, Idaho part of MT Field Guides
This road log highlights a variety of sedimentary rock types and structures along a transect of the Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt. The log follows Montana Highway 200, which crosses the central part of the Middle Proterozoic Belt basin from the Montana disturbed belt to Missoula, where it turns northwesterly into northern Idaho, traversing rocks of the western and northwestern Belt basin. The road log begins east of the Rocky Mountain front in the disturbed belt underlain by soft, Cretaceous shale and somewhat more resistant sandstone units. Next, the road log passes into the eastern thrust belt where thrust faults bring Belt rocks first over Cretaceous, then over Paleozoic rocks, and finally over Proterozoic rocks farther to the west. At Rogers Pass, the route crosses the Continental Divide and into the Ovando block where Cenozoic listric normal faults form the major structures. The leading edge of the western thrust belt is encountered at Bonner, MT. From Missoula, Highway 200 trends northwestward to northern Idaho and diagonally crosses the western part of the Belt basin. Changes in grain-size and sediment type observable from outcrops along this road log illustrate the evolution of sedimentary transport and facies tracts within the central part of the Belt basin.

Topics: Surficial geology, Structures, Fossils, Metamorphic rocks, Igneous rocks, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: Northwest Montana
Geologic Province: Rocky Mountain Fold-Thrust Belt

Cumulate Xenoliths in the Lodgepole, Enos Mountain and Susie Peak Intrusions: A Guide part of MT Field Guides
The Lodgepole, Enos Mountain and Susie Peak plutons represent multiple intrusions of intermediate magma that were emplaced at depths ranging from near-surface to 2 km during the Late Cretaceous....These intrusions lie, respectively, 8, 9 and 12 km north of the nearest outcrops of the Stillwater Complex. The Lodgepole intrusion is composed of an early, dacitic phase and a later, dioritic phase; the diorite contains abundant xenoliths (maximum 31 cm diameter) in the area north of Clover Basin near its west margin. These xenoliths include foliated mafic amphibolite, gneiss, Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and mafic cumulates. Smaller xenoliths of similar rock types are found in the Enos Mountain and Susie Peak intrusions....Mineral compositions and textures lead to the conclusion that the cumulate xenoliths were brought up from a buried underlying extension of the Stillwater Complex.

Topics: Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

Guide to the Picket Pin Mountain Area part of MT Field Guides
This traverse through part of the Banded series provides relatively easy access to the upper half of the exposed part of the Stillwater Complex. The percentage of outcrops is high, and even in areas of soil or tundra cover, the float appears to be sufficiently immobile and concentrated to give an accurate picture of the underlying bedrock geology....The traverse begins in the Middle gabbro zone and terminates where Paleozoic limestone unconformably overlies the Upper anorthosite zone. Above the Middle anorthosite zone, it follows the Picket Pin section described by McCallum and others (1980) and Raedeke (1982b)....An optional traverse through some lithologically complex and intriguing rocks in the Upper anorthosite zone north of the Castle Creek fault is also described. Total traverse time, including the drive from Carter's Camp and return, is 8-10 hours. Elevations range from 9,300 to 10,000 feet.

Topics: Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

Guide to the Benbow Area part of MT Field Guides
The Benbow area (named for T.C. Benbow, who first discovered chromite there) is at the east end of the exposed Stillwater Complex....Most of the localities described...are in the Ultramafic series....The features emphasized at these localities include the nature of the cyclic units, pegmatoids associated with chromite seams, evidence for slumping anbd slope instability in the Stillwater magma chamber, lateral persistence of some of the chromite seams, and the unconformity between the Banded series of the Stillwater Complex and overlying Cambrian limestone.

Topics: Structures, Resources, Igneous rocks, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

The Hebgen Lake Earthquake Area, Montana and Wyoming part of MT Field Guides
Several high-angle normal faults bounding the west front of the Madison Range north of Hebgen Lake, recurrently active during much of Neogene time, reactivated catastrophically on August 7, 1959. Faulting was accompanied by largest historic earthquake within the Intermountain Seismic Belt. Unusual geologic features were formed–spectacular fault scarps, a large landslide, a deformed lake basin (Hebgen Lake), and a new lake (Earthquake Lake)–each of which demonstrates the destructive power of a large eathquake. These features are described in the context of the bedrock geology in this field guide.

Topics: Hazards, Surficial geology, Structures, Sedimentary rocks, Metamorphic rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Paleocene Fort Union Formation along the Powder River, Montana and Wyoming part of MT Field Guides
The Paleocene Fort Union Formation in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming and adjoining areas contains a large number of very thick, closely spaced coal beds that make up some of the largest coal reserves in the United States. The main purpose of this field guide is to provide a knowledge of the stratigraphy, fluvial facies sequences, and depositional environments of portions of this coal resource at three main localities along the Powder River. Field data from measured sections and outcrop descriptions are synthesized into a depositional model for the origin of the Tongue River Member of the Powder River Formation.

Topics: Resources, Sedimentary rocks, Fossils
Geographic Location: Southeast Montana
Geologic Province: Montana Plains

Depositional Surfaces in the Eagle Sandstone at Billings, Montana part of MT Field Guides
Marine shelf sandstones and barrier bars are commonly formed by lateral accretion of sand bodies with time lines inclined to the formation boundaries. Shelton (1965) described low-angle inclined bedding in the lowermost sandstone unit of the Eagle Sandstone at Billings, Montana. He recognized these beds as shoreface accretion surfaces of a barrier bar and likened them to those found on present-day Galveston Island, Texas. The Billings location provides an excellent opportunity to examine an important hydrocarbon reservoir rock of the Northern Rocky Mountain region.

Topics: Resources, Sedimentary rocks, Fossils
Geographic Location: South-Central Montana
Geologic Province: Montana Plains