The U.S. Geological Survey made a detailed aeromagnetic and aeroradioactivity survey of 1050 sq mi of the Spotsylvania area in the Piedmont province of eastern Virginia. The study area consists of sixteen 7½ -minute quadrangles in Spotsylvania and adjoining counties, Virginia. East-west traverses were flown at a spacing of ½ mi and a flight elevation of 500 ft above ground. Geophysical data were compiled at a scale of 1:24,000, with a contour interval of 25 gammas for the magnetics and 25 counts per sec for the aeroradioactivity. The geophysical data were checked in the field, and a lithologic map was made. Correlation is excellent between geophysical data and lithologic units, and it is evident that good detailed aeromagnetic and aeroradioactivity maps can provide appreciable shortcuts in mapping an area such as the Piedmont, where lithologies are complex and outcrops sparse.
Radioactivity highs are generally associated with magnetic lows, and more importantly, for purposes of geologic interpretation where the magnetic expression is flat and featureless, there is considerable radioactivity detail for geologic guidance. By using the two geophysical maps in conjunction, the geology between widely spaced outcrops can be worked out.
In the study area, high radioactivity and low magnetic intensity characterize granitic rocks, many of which were not previously mapped. Mafic bodies are characterized by high magnetic values and low radioactivity. Much of the area is underlain by a sequence of metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks having alternating quartz-muscovite and maġnetiferous chlorite-actinolite assemblages.