Barton Garnet Mine - North River, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Lightnin Bug
N 43° 40.824 W 074° 03.315
18T E 576149 N 4836810
Quick Description: The Garnets and surrounding rock matrix at the Barton Garnet Mine are over 1 billion years old.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/4/2011 7:38:25 AM
Waymark Code: WMD89F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Adirondacks are actually some rather old rock and are geologically part of the Canadian shield, rather than the Appalachian mountains one would expect. The Canadian shield is over 1 billion years old. A guided tour will bring you into the old mine pits to learn about the geology and gather some garnet fragments. You drive in by car from a touristy shop, so the parking coordinates are for the touristy shop.

Specifically, the formation of the garnet rich rock in this area can best be summed up by the article "Megacrystic Gore Mountain–type garnets in the Adirondack Highlands: Age, origin, and tectonic implications" written by James M. McLelland and Bruce W. Selleck.

Here is the abstract (serious geological knowledge follows - my translation in italics):

"Spectacular exposures of the world's largest megacrystic garnets (to 35 cm diameter) occur in a coarse-grained amphibolite at the Barton Garnet Mine in the Adirondack Highlands (Gore Mountain, New York State, USA). [Garnets up to 13 inches in diameter] Over the years, numerous geologists have concluded that the large size of the garnets resulted from an influx of fluids during ca. 1050 Ma upper amphibolite facies metamorphism of a ca. 1155 Ma olivine metagabbro. [There was some metamorphism of 1155 million year old olivine metagabbro rock by fluids around 1050 million years ago. This took place in the mid crustal region - I am pretty sure there was high pressures and temperatures causing the garnets to recrystallize form the surrounding rock.] The presence of fluids under such mid-crustal pressure-temperature conditions is anomalous and warrants explanation. Evidence indicates that the fluids were introduced along, and close to, a steep border fault that juxtaposes charnockite against the garnet ore at the southern margin of the mine. Granitic pegmatites and quartz veins are present in the border zone and locally intrude the garnet ore.

Geochronology has played a critical role in resolving the genesis of the Gore Mountain garnets. Over the past 20 yr Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf techniques have been used to date the crystallization of the garnets as 1049 ± 5 Ma, an age that coincides with the termination of the contractional phase of the Ottawan orogeny, the onset of extensional orogen collapse, and the emplacement of the Lyon Mountain Granite. New U-Pb zircon age determinations of 1045 ± 7.5 (Barton Garnet Mine) and 1055 ± 7.4 (New York State Route 3 near Cranberry Lake) for Lyon Mountain granite pegmatites directly associated with megacrystic garnet amphibolites corroborate the synchronicity of emplacement of Lyon Mountain magmas and the growth of the garnet megacrysts.

It is argued that during the ca. 1050 Ma extensional collapse of the Ottawan orogen, fluids gained access to extensional fault networks and interacted with country rocks. We further suggest that increasing temperature due to advected heat from Lyon Mountain Granite carried the Gore Mountain megagarnet amphibolite into granulite facies conditions that resulted in reactions between hornblende and garnet that produced orthopyroxene and calcic plagioclase intergrowths, both as symplectites and coarsely textured pods developed in pressure shadows. Geothermal modeling of garnet zoning in metapelites (Storm and Spear, 2005) and oxygen isotope zoning in titanite (Bonamici et al., 2011) require a short period of rapid cooling ca. 1050 Ma, which we interpret to be related to the extensional collapse of the Ottawan orogen at that time (Rivers, 2008; McLelland et al., 2010a, 2010b). Reconnaissance of the southern and central Adirondacks reveals that a number of megacrystic garnet occurrences similar to those at Gore Mountain are present in areas that contain both metagabbros and megacrystic garnet amphibolites, and we propose that all of these formed during orogen collapse, intrusion of Lyon Mountain Granite, and fluid-related alteration at high temperature."

Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Parking Coordinates: N 43° 41.285 W 074° 03.586

Access fee (In local currency): 12.00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: no

Website reference: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
No specific requirements, just have fun visiting the waymark.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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alynx visited Barton Garnet Mine - North River, NY 8/6/2012 alynx visited it