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The Stillwater Complex, Southern Montana; A Layered Mafic Intrusion part of MT Field Guides
Layered complexes provide the most visible evidence of processes of magmatic differentiation; thus, they occupy a central place in the study of igneous petrology. Such complexes are not only scientifically rewarding, they are host to several types of mineral deposits, including copper-nickel, chromium, and platinum-group elements. The Stillwater Complex is one of the world's great layered mafic intrusions, distinguished not so much by its size as by the fact that it is tilted on its side, and erosion has exposed the layering to ready access. This fieldguide presents a summary of the geology of the complex in the Benbow and Mountain View areas. The Benbow area offers easy access to a variety of rocks from the ultramafic series and chromite deposits but only limited exposures of features from the banded series. The Mountain View area offers easy access to most of the banded series and the platinum deposits.

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

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the Middle Rocky Mountains part of MT Field Guides
This trip is designed to show participants the granite-cored Laramide (Late Cretaceous-earliest Eocene) mountain ranges in the middle Rocky Mountains, and their various stages of burial by Cenozoic deposits and subsequent Quaternary exhumation. Mountain-flank structures involving Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic rocks, the classic Heart Mountain detachment fault complex, and the rootless overthrust mountain ranges of the Wyoming-Utah-Idaho thrust belt are traversed.

Topics: Metamorphic rocks, Structures, Sedimentary rocks, Hazards, Hydrology, Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Yellowstone National Park
Geologic Province: Yellowstone Plateau

Road Log to the Picket Pin Mountain, Chrome Mountain and Contact Mountain Areas part of MT Field Guides
This road log describes the geologic features along the access roads for three additional traverses: Guide to the Picket Pin Mountain Area, Guide to the Chrome Mountain Area, and A Traverse Through the Banded Series in the Contact Mountain Area. "This trip requires nearly 2 hours without stops. Beyond 12.5 miles, the road is rough and steep in places; a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

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

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

Plutonism at Deep Crustal Levels: The Idaho Batholith, Montana and Idaho part of MT Field Guides
The Idaho batholith field trip traverses a well exposed cross-section of the northern Idaho batholith, briefly examines the broad aspects of this deep-seated granitoid batholith and its regionally metamorphosed country rocks, and considers the role of the synplutonic mafic magmas from the mantle in providing heat for melting of continental crustal rocks to form the more felsic main-phase units of the batholith.

Topics: Metamorphic rocks, Igneous rocks
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Rocky Mountain Fold-Thrust Belt

Volcanism and Plutonism at Shallow Crustal Levels: The Elkhorn Mountains Volcanics and the Boulder Batholith, Southwestern Montana part of MT Field Guides
The Upper Cretaceous Elkhorn Mountains Volcanics (EMV) and Boulder batholith of southwestern Montana provide an example of a large-volume, epizonal, volcanic-plutonic complex whose deep level of erosion has exposed the cogenetic intrusive rocks while preserving sizeable portions of the volcanic field. Such a volcanic-plutonic association provides a unique opportunity for evaluation of many aspects of the evolution of a shallow-crustal magmatic system, such as geochemical relations of both the volcanic and plutonic rocks and the nature of intrusive-extrusive relationships at the present level of exposure.

Topics: Metamorphic rocks, Igneous rocks, Structures
Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Rocky Mountain Fold-Thrust Belt

Early Proterozoic Geology of the Highland Mountains, Southwestern Montana, and Field Guide to the Basement Rocks that Compose the Highland Mountain Gneiss Dome part of MT Field Guides
The Highland Mountains are underlain by the largest of the northwesternmost exposures of basement crystalline rocks in southwestern Montana....Metasedimentary rocks in the Highland Mountains are in part lithologically similar to the Late Archean multilithologic sequence (in the Tobacco Root, Ruby, and the northern Madison and Gravelly Ranges), but are considerably thinner. In the Highland Mountains the individual beds of aluminous schist, marble, quartzite, and iron-formation extend for only short distances, but the assemblage as a whole is mappable. It nowhere exceeds 300 ft (100 m) in thickness and appears to pinch out to the north....these rocks in the Highlands, unlike those to the southeast, are overlain by more than 10,000 ft (3000 m) of aluminous biotite gneiss that may have been deposited as muds basinward from the Late Archean shelf edge.

Geographic Location: Southwest Montana
Geologic Province: Central Rocky Mountains Foreland Province

Field Guide; Belt Butte and Tiger Butte part of MT Field Guides
This field trip extends east from Great Falls across rolling glacial plains to the summit of Belt Butte, where its formation and the collapse structure adjacent to it will be discussed. In addition, the Tiger Butte laccolithic intrusion, contact metamorphic effects, associated dikes, and structure resulting from the intrusion will be examined.

Topics: Fossils, Hazards, Surficial geology, Resources, Metamorphic rocks, Igneous rocks, Sedimentary rocks
Geographic Location: North-Central Montana
Geologic Province: Montana Plains

Road Log from Bozeman to Specimen Creek via Gallatin Canyon and U.S. 191 part of MT Field Guides
This trip leads southward through the Gallatin Range to Specimen Creek in Yellowstone National Park. It affords an excellent worm's-eye view of the structure and stratigraphy of this range as revealed both laterally and vertically through the quietly beautiful Gallatin Canyon. The route also borders the east margin of the Madison Range and its spectacular Spanish Peaks uplift. The Gallatin and Madison Ranges are geologically and topographically similar, an essential difference being the thick cap of andesitic lava and breccia that covers the high parts of the Gallatin Range.

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

Middle Proterozoic Belt Supergroup, Western Montana part of MT Field Guides
From Great Falls, to Butte, Helena Glacier National Park and Spokane, this field trip crosses onto the leading edge of the Rocky Mountain thrust belt and proceeds to the stratiform copper-silver deposits in the Revett Formation of the Troy Mine in the main part of the Belt basin. The road log includes sections on the paleontology of the Middle Proterozoic Belt Supergroup, stromatolites of the Belt Supergroup (specific to Glacier National Park), Middle Proterozoic Tectonics of the Belt basin, and a sedimentologic and tectonic interpretation of the Belt Supergroup.

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