Maine’s Geology


Pertica quadrifaria is the scientific name of a primitive plant that lived about 390 million years ago during the Devonian Period.

For more information, visit the Maine Geological Survey’s web page on Pertical quadrifaria.



Tourmaline is the name for a group of silicate minerals that occur in prisms with a rounded triangular cross section. The most common species in Maine is schorl, a black, iron-bearing tourmaline. Gemstone tourmaline varieties are transparent or translucent, and occur in green, red, and combinations of colors.

For more information, visit the Maine Geological Survey’s web pages on mineral collecting in Maine: and the MGS page on tourmaline:


The rocks and sediments of Maine have preserved a dynamic history stretching from more than a billion years ago to present day. A large portion of Maine’s bedrock was formed during the Paleozoic era, hundreds of millions of years before the first dinosaurs. The loose, unconsolidated materials that cover Maine today were deposited much more recently – only 12,000 to 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.

For a good summary of the geological history of Maine, and a virtual tour of Maine Geology, visit the Maine Geological Survey’s Explore:

Other items to explore on the Maine Geological Survey website:

  • Generalized bedrock geology map
  • Generalized surficial geology map

Maine Geological Survey’s Site of the Month: