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Open-File Report 2006–1260-I

Prepared in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Geological Survey and Office of Geographic Information (MassGIS), Information Technology Division

Surficial Geologic Map of the Mount Grace-Ashburnham-Monson-Webster 24-Quadrangle Area in Central Massachusetts

Compiled by Janet R. Stone

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (688 KB)Introduction

The surficial geologic map shows the distribution of nonlithified earth materials at land surface in an area of 24 7.5-minute quadrangles (1,238 mi2 total) in central Massachusetts. Across Massachusetts, these materials range from a few feet to more than 500 ft in thickness. They overlie bedrock, which crops out in upland hills and as resistant ledges in valley areas. The geologic map differentiates surficial materials of Quaternary age on the basis of their lithologic characteristics (such as grain size and sedimentary structures), constructional geomorphic features, stratigraphic relationships, and age. Surficial materials also are known in engineering classifications as unconsolidated soils, which include coarse-grained soils, fine-grained soils, and organic fine-grained soils. Surficial materials underlie and are the parent materials of modern pedogenic soils, which have developed in them at the land surface. Surficial earth materials significantly affect human use of the land, and an accurate description of their distribution is particularly important for assessing water resources, construction-aggregate resources, and earth-surface hazards, and for making land-use decisions. This work is part of a comprehensive study to produce a statewide digital map of the surficial geology at a 1:24,000-scale level of accuracy. This report includes explanatory text (PDF), quadrangle maps at 1:24,000 scale (PDF files), GIS data layers (ArcGIS shapefiles), metadata for the GIS layers, scanned topographic base maps (TIF), and a readme.txt file.

First posted May 21, 2013

For additional information contact:
Janet Stone
Telephone: (860) 291-6748
Mary DiGiacomo-Cohen
Telephone: (860) 291-6769


Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
MS 926A
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192-0002
Telephone: (703) 648-6915

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Stone, J.R., comp., 2013, Surficial geologic map of the Mount Grace-Ashburnham-Monson-Webster 24-quadrangle area in central Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006–1260–I, 24 sheets, scale 1:24,000, 23-p. text, (Available only online.)



Surficial Materials in Massachusetts

Description of Map Units

Map Compilation

References Cited

Appendix: Sources of Data by 7.5-Minute Quadrangle

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 21-May-2013 15:37:51 EDT