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Open-File Report 2014–1026

A Field Trip Guidebook to the Type Localities of Marland Billings’ 1935 Paleozoic Bedrock Stratigraphy Near Littleton, New Hampshire

By Douglas W. Rankin and Mary B. Rankin

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (691 KB)Abstract

Marland Billings' classic paper published in 1937 in the Geological Society of America Bulletin established a succession of six stratigraphic units in rocks of low metamorphic grade near Littleton, New Hampshire. The two youngest units are fossiliferous in the area, with ages established at the time as “middle” Silurian and Early Devonian. Billings and students mapped the same stratigraphic section in adjacent areas of progressively higher regional metamorphic grade. This work laid the foundation upon which a major part of subsequent work in New England has been directly or indirectly built. This guidebook was written for a field trip held in March 2013 to visit roadcuts that are as close as possible in March to the type localities or areas of Billings’ six-fold stratigraphic succession. Ten stops are in rocks of chlorite grade of Acadian(?) metamorphism; the final stop visits amphibolite of the Ammonoosuc Volcanics. Fieldwork by the authors over the past 20 years confirms Billings’ broad conclusions.

First posted April 7, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
926A National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192


Douglas W. Rankin
U.S. Geological Survey
926A National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Rankin, D.W., and Rankin, M.B., 2014, A field trip guidebook to the type localities of Marland Billings’ 1935 Paleozoic bedrock stratigraphy near Littleton, New Hampshire: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1026, 21 p.,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)



Geologic Setting

Road Log

References Cited

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