Eight short drill cores have been examined from the continental shelf southwest of Nova Scotia. Four cores recovered granitoid rocks of two types. Ilmenite-bearing granitoid rocks petrographically and geochemically resemble granodiorites of the South Mountain Batholith and granites of the Seal Island Pluton. Magnetite-bearing granitoid rocks are also peraluminous but have no exact analogues onshore in Nova Scotia. Two cores recovered metamorphic rocks in a small area 50 km south of Seal Island. One consits of chlorite–muscovite–quartz schist, geochemically similar to rocks of the Halifax Formation. The second sampled epidote–chlorite–quartz schist similar to metavolcanic rocks of the White Rock Formation. One further core sampled quartzite, and another sampled a metavolcanic rock (possibly erratic).The regional extent of these lithotypes can be inferred from gravity and aeromagnetic data. Regional gravity data suggest the presence of a large granite body off southwestern Nova Scotia. In this area, magnetic anomalies are irregular, apparently reflecting the presence of magnetite-bearing granites. The layer-stripping method of analyzing the magnetic field shows that the area is underlain at depth by high magnetic anomalies. Large near-surface linear magnetic anomalies are used to map the extent of the volcanic rocks of the White Rock Formation. The area is cut by several northwest-trending faults that postdate Acadian folding but predate the earliest Jurassic magmatism of the Shelburne Dyke and North Mountain basalt. The unusual magnetic signature of the area off southwestern Nova Scotia may reflect a different basement; it is possible that Meguma rocks are thrust over the Avalon Terrane. Alternatively, it may be solely the result of magnetite-bearing granites. These granites may be related to a Permian thermal event in southwest Nova Scotia, and they have some petrographic similarity to young granites of the Piedmont Zone of South Carolina.