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Geologic Investigations Series I-1661

Geologic Map of the Chelan 30 x 60 Minute Quadrangle, Washington


R.W. Tabor, V.A. Frizzell, Jr., R.B. Waitt, D.A. Swanson, G.R. Byerly, D.B. Booth, M.J. Hetherington, and R.E. Zartman

Photograph showing the Chiwaukum Mountains in the Chelan Quadrangle of Washington State
The Chiwaukum Mountains in the Chelan quadrangle, looking southwest. In the middle ground is Larch Lake, a glacial tarn carved from Chiwaukum Schist of the Nason terrane. The distant peaks are underlain by the Mount Stuart batholith and rocks of the Ingalls Tectonic Complex.



The Chelan quadrangle hosts a wide variety of rocks and deposits and display a long geologic history ranging from possible Precambrian to Recent. Two major structures, the Leavenworth and Entiat faults divide cross the quadrangle from southeast to northwest and bound the Chiwaukum "graben", a structural low preserving Tertiary sedimentary rocks between blocks of older, metamorphic and igneous rocks.

Pre-Tertiary metamorphic rocks in the quadrangle are subdivided into five major tectonostratigraphic terranes: (1) the Ingalls terrane, equivalent to the Jurassic Ingalls Tectonic Complex of probable mantle and deep oceanic rocks origin, (2) the Nason terrane, composed of the Chiwaukum Schist and related gneiss, (3) the Swakane terrane, made up entirely of the Swakane Biotite Gneiss, a metamorphosed, possibly Precambrian, sedimentary and/or volcanic rock, (4) the Mad River terrane composed mostly of the rocks of the Napeequa River area (Napeequa Schist), a unit of oceanic protolith now considered part of the Chelan Mountains terrane (the Mad River terrane has been abandoned, 2001), and (5) the Chelan Mountains terrane, dominated by the Chelan Complex of Hopson and Mattinson (1971) which is composed of migmatite and gneissic to tonalite of deep-seated igneous and metamorphic origin.During an episode of Late Cretaceous regional metamorphism, all the terranes were intruded by deepseated tonalite to granodiorite plutons, including the Mount Stuart batholith, Ten Peak and Dirty Face plutons, and the Entiat pluton and massive granitoid rocks of the Chelan Complex.

The Duncan Hill pluton intruded rocks of the Chelan Mountains terrane in the Middle Eocene. At about the same time fluvial arkosic sediment of the Chumstick Formation was deposited in a depression. The outpouring of basalt lavas to the southeast of the quadrangle during the Miocene built up the Columbia River Basalt Group. These now slightly warped lavas lapped onto the uplifted older rocks.

Deformation, uplift, and erosion recorded in the rocks and deposits of the quadrangle continued into post-Miocene time. Quaternary deposits reflect advances of glaciers down the major valleys, a complicated history of catastrophic glacial floods down the Columbia River, the formation of lakes in the Columbia and Wenatchee river valleys by landslides and flood backwaters, and hillslope erosion by large and small landslides and debris flows.

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Jump to USGS Data Series 184: Database for the Geologic Map of the Chelan 30-Minute by 60-Minute Quadrangle, Washington (I-1661)

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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: August 28, 2001
Last modified: April 21, 2006 (mfd)

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