Conway granite

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Conway granite is a typically pink mineral-rich igneous (or mesoperthitic) biotite granite.[1] It is amphibole-free and of coarse particle size (with portions of the rock fine-grained or porphyritic).[1]

Conway granite has a relatively high concentration of thorium, at about 56 (±6) PPM; this amount is not enough to make the granite dangerously radioactive, but it is sufficient to make the rock a low-grade (almost certainly not economic, at least in the early years) source of thorium for a thorium fuel cycle.[2]

Geologist Edward Hitchcock named the granite in 1877 after the town of Conway, New Hampshire, which is near where it is mined.[3] The Old Man of the Mountain, a famous geologic feature in New Hampshire (which collapsed in 2003) was made of Conway granite.[4] The formation is found throughout the lower areas of the central White Mountains, such as Franconia Notch, Crawford Notch, the center of the Pemigewasset Wilderness, and the Saco River valley. Other exposures of the formation include the Belknap Mountains south of Lake Winnipesaukee.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Conway Granite." Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data. U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. Department of the Interior. No date. Accessed 2011-03-30.
  2. ^ Adams, JA; Kline, MC; Richardson, KA; Rogers, JJ (1962). "THE CONWAY GRANITE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE AS A MAJOR LOW-GRADE THORIUM RESOURCE". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 48: 1898–905. doi:10.1073/pnas.48.11.1898. PMC 221093Freely accessible. PMID 16591014. 
  3. ^ Billings and Williams, p. 17.
  4. ^ Hutchinson, Johnson, and Hamilton, p. 8.
  5. ^ "New Hampshire geologic map data". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 


  • Hutchinson, Robert; Johnson, William; and Hamilton, Dick. The Old Man of the Mountain. San Francisco: Browntrout Publishers, 2003.
  • Billings, Marland P. and Williams, Charles R. Geology of the Franconia Quadrangle, New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: State Planning and Development Commission, 1935.