New England Province

Granite outcrops contrast to boulder and cobble beach (Acadia National Park)
Granite outcrops contrast to boulder and cobble beach (Acadia National Park)

NPS photo

The New England Province, in the northeastern United States, is a mountainous area of significant relief. The area is made up of highly deformed Precambrian and Paleozoic metamorphic rocks including gneisses, schists, slates, quartzite, and marble. The Precambrian rocks occur primarily to the west and south, with Paleozoic sedimentary and metasedimentary (metamorphosed sedimentary) rocks making up the rest of the region. In some areas, erosion has exposed large masses of coarsely crystalline Paleozoic granite. The province was glaciated during the Pleistocene and shows both depositional and erosional effects of glacial ice. Mt Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park, features glacial lakes and valleys. One of these, Somes Sound, is open to the sea and has the characteristics of a fjord.

The Taconic, Green, and White Mountain Ranges are distinct features of the New England Province. The Taconic Mountains are a north-south trending mountain range along the western edge of the province, and are thought to be formed by erosion of an upper block of a large thrust fault. Also north-south trending, the Green Mountains exist primarily in Vermont and are made of Precambrian gneisses. The Green Mountains exhibit greater relief than the Taconic, with peaks exceeding 1.2 km (4000 ft). The White Mountains are an exhumed mass of Paleozoic granite and include Mt Washington, the tallest in the region at 1,917 m (6288 ft).

The province is also valued for its mineral resources, both industrial and as building materials. Marble, granite, and slate are all widely distributed and quarried here. Talc (used in manufacturing processes), asbestos (used in creating fireproof fabrics), and zinc (from the minerals franklinite, willemite, and zincite) are also mined in the New England Province. The asbestos deposits are marginal, and are actually the southernmost extent of vast asbestos producing areas that exist primarily in Canada. 

Map of New England province

Return to Physiographic Provinces

Sunset from Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Sunset from Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

NPS photo

New England Parks

 

  • Acadia National Park, Maine—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Adams National Historic Park, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • African Burial Ground National Monument, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Boston African American National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Castle Clinton National Monument, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Cape Cod National Seashore, Masschusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Federal Hall National Memorial, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • General Grant National Memorial, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Governors Island National Monument, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Hamilton Grange National Memorial, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Longfellow National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Lowell National Historical Park, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Vermont—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Minute Man National Historical Park, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Morristown National Historical Park, New Jersey—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Roger Williams National Memorial, Rhode Island—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, New Hampshire—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Massachusetts—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, New York—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]
  • Weir Farm National Historic Site, Connecticut—[Geodiversity Atlas]  [Park Home]

Last updated: July 26, 2018