Geologic Map of the South Boston 30' × 60' Quadrangle, Virginia and North Carolina

Scientific Investigations Map 3483
By: , and 



This 1:100,000-scale geologic map of the South Boston 30 × 60 quadrangle, Virginia and North Carolina, provides geologic information for the Piedmont along the I–85 and U.S. Route 58 corridors and in the Roanoke River watershed, which includes the John H. Kerr Reservoir and Lake Gaston. The Raleigh terrane (located on the eastern side of the map) contains Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic(?) polydeformed, amphibolite-facies gneisses and schists. The Carolina slate belt of the Carolina terrane (located in the central part of the map) contains Neoproterozoic metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks at greenschist facies. Although locally complicated, the slate-belt structure mapped across the South Boston map area is generally a broad, complex anticlinorium of the Hyco Formation (here called the Chase City anticlinorium) and is flanked to the west and east by synclinoria, which are cored by the overlying Aaron and Virgilina Formations. The western flank of the Carolina terrane (located in the western-central part of the map) contains similar rocks at higher metamorphic grade. This terrane includes epidote-amphibolite-facies to amphibolite-facies gneisses of the Neoproterozoic Country Line complex, which extends north-northeastward across the map. The Milton terrane (located on the western side of the map) contains Ordovician amphibolite-facies metavolcanic and metasedimentary gneisses of the Cunningham complex.

Crosscutting relations and fabrics in mafic to felsic plutonic rocks constrain the timing of Neoproterozoic to late Paleozoic deformations across the Piedmont. In the eastern part of the map, a 5- to 9-kilometer-wide band of tectonic elements that contains two late Paleozoic mylonite zones (Nutbush Creek and Lake Gordon) and syntectonic granite (Buggs Island pluton) separates the Raleigh and Carolina terranes. Amphibolite-facies, infrastructural metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks east of the Lake Gordon mylonite zone are generally assigned to the Raleigh terrane. In the western part of the map area, a 5- to 8-kilometer-wide band of late Paleozoic tectonic elements includes the Hyco and Clover shear zones, syntectonic granitic sheets, and amphibolite-facies gneisses along the western margin of the Carolina terrane at its boundary with the Milton terrane. This band of tectonic elements is also the locus for early Mesozoic extensional faults associated with the early Mesozoic Scottsburg, Randolph, and Roanoke Creek rift basins.

The map shows fluvial terrace deposits of sand and gravel on hills and slopes near the Roanoke and Dan Rivers. The terrace deposits that are highest in altitude are the oldest. Saprolite regolith is spatially associated with geologic source units and is not shown separately on the map.

Mineral resources in the area include gneiss and granite quarried for crushed stone, tungsten-bearing vein deposits of the Hamme district, and copper and gold deposits of the Virgilina district. Surface-water resources are abundant and include rivers, tributaries, the John H. Kerr Reservoir, and Lake Gaston. Groundwater flow is concentrated in saprolite regolith, along fractures in the crystalline bedrock, and along fractures and bedding-plane partings in the Mesozoic rift basins.

Suggested Citation

Horton, J.W., Jr., Peper, J.D., Burton, W.C., Weems, R.E., and Sacks, P.E., 2022, Geologic map of the South Boston 30' × 60' quadrangle, Virginia and North Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3483, 1 sheet, scale 1:100,000, 46-p. pamphlet, [Supersedes USGS Open-File Report 93–244.]

ISSN: 2329-132X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Geologic Setting and Previous Work
  • Raleigh Terrane
  • Carolina Slate Belt of Carolina Terrane
  • Western Flank of Carolina Terrane
  • Milton Terrane
  • Late Paleozoic Intrusive Rocks
  • Mesozoic Rift-Related Rocks
  • Unconsolidated Surficial Deposits
  • Regolith
  • Structure
  • Metamorphism
  • Tectonics
  • Mineral Resources
  • Water Resources
  • Description of Map Units
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geologic map of the South Boston 30' × 60' quadrangle, Virginia and North Carolina
Series title Scientific Investigations Map
Series number 3483
DOI 10.3133/sim3483
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Florence Bascom Geoscience Center
Description Pamphlet: vi, 46 p.; 1 Sheet: 62.00 x 35.00 inches; Data Release
Country United States
State North Carolina, Virginia
Other Geospatial South Boston 30 x 60 minute quadrangle
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details