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Scientific Investigations Map 3171

Prepared in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Geological Survey

Bedrock Geologic Map of the Grafton Quadrangle, Worcester County, Massachusetts

By Gregory J. Walsh,1 John N. Aleinikoff,2 and Michael J. Dorais3

1U.S. Geological Survey, Montpelier, VT 05601.
2U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO 80225.
3Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.

Thumbnail of report PDF (17.6 MB)


The bedrock geology of the 7.5-minute Grafton, Massachusetts, quadrangle consists of deformed Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic crystalline metamorphic and intrusive igneous rocks. Neoproterozoic intrusive, metasedimentary, and metavolcanic rocks crop out in the Avalon zone, and Cambrian to Silurian intrusive, metasedimentary, and metavolcanic rocks crop out in the Nashoba zone. Rocks of the Avalon and Nashoba zones, or terranes, are separated by the Bloody Bluff fault.  The bedrock geology was mapped to study the tectonic history of the area and to provide a framework for ongoing hydrogeologic characterization of the fractured bedrock of Massachusetts.

This report presents mapping by G.J. Walsh, geochronology by J.N. Aleinikoff, geochemistry by M.J. Dorais, and consists of a map, text pamphlet, and GIS database.  The map and text pamphlet are available in paper format or as downloadable files (see frame at right). The GIS database is available for download. The database includes contacts of bedrock geologic units, faults, outcrops, structural geologic information, and photographs.

Posted February 24, 2012

For additional information contact:
Gregory J. Walsh
U.S. Geological Survey
P.O. Box 628
87 State Street, Room 324
Montpelier, VT 05602
Telephone: (802) 828–4528
Fax: (802) 828–4465

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:

Walsh, G.J., Aleinikoff, J.N., and Dorais, M.J., 2011, Bedrock geologic map of the Grafton quadrangle, Worcester County, Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3171, 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, 39-p. text.




U-Pb Geochronology



Ponaganset Gneiss (Zpg)

Northbridge Granite Gneiss (Zncg)

Hope Valley Alaskite Gneiss (Zhvb and Zhv)

Grafton Gneiss (Єgg)

Marlboro Formation—Amphibolite (Єm)




Structural Geology

Ductile Structures

First-Generation Foliation—D1 Deformation

Second-Generation Foliation—D2 Deformation

Third-Generation Foliation—D3 Deformation

Ductile Faults

Spencer Brook and Assabet River Faults

Bloody Bluff Fault

Burlington Mylonite Zone

Fisherville Pond Fault

Comment on the Hope Valley Shear Zone

Brittle Structures

Brittle Faults



References Cited

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