Abstract

A continuous strip of geologic maps has recently been completed along the Idaho-Montana state line between Clark Fork, Idaho, and Superior, Montana. New stratigraphic and petrographic information provides the basis for stratigraphic correlations and for the interpretation of facies changes in this part of the basin of deposition of the Precambrian Belt Series. Identification of facies changes is aided by the recognition of siltite (low-grade metamorphosed siltstone) as a valid rock type, in addition to quartzite and argillite, to classify most of these rocks and to establish mappable units.

The older Belt rocks (Prichard through Wallace Formations) were deposited in a trough whose axis trended northwestward, perhaps approximately through Libby, Montana. Subtle facies changes suggest an ancient shore line southwest of the Coeur d'Alene district, Idaho, perhaps near the present exposed edge of the Idaho batholith. The younger Belt formations of the Missoula Group, however, thicken markedly southeastward toward Superior. Thus, the younger Belt rocks were deposited in a trough whose main axis was about at right angles to that of the older trough and perhaps was near Missoula, Montana. Deposition in the Clark Fork area was scant and often interrupted in Missoula time. The young major cross-warp in the old Belt geosyncline undoubtedly has contributed complexities to Belt correlation farther north.

Detailed petrographic studies indicate that the Belt rocks from the Pend Oreille area, Idaho, are remarkably uniform in the mineralogic composition of similar rock types throughout 40,000 feet of strata. Further mineralogic studies are required to determine whether this uniformity is local or widespread.

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