The rocks in the Arakan range and its spurs are metamorphic, and comprise clay, slates, ironstone and indurated sandstone; towards the S., ironstone, trap and rocks of basaltic character are common; veins of steatite and white fibrous quartz are also found.
They are rarely metamorphosed to the point of recrystallization, though locally shales are altered to roofing slates, sandstones are indurated, limestones slightly marblized, and coals, originally bituminous, are changed to anthracite in northern Pennsylvania, and to graphite in Rhode Island.
As in all such cases, the plain consists of marine (with some estuarine and flu viatile) stratified deposits, more or less indurated, which were laid down when the land stood lower and the sea had its shore line farther inland than to-day.
The Dakota formation is largely sandstone, which gives rise to hogbacks where it has been tilted, indurated and exposed to erosion along the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains.
It was worked for about a hundred years in only its upper bed, but in 1781, after traversing a layer of indurated clay intersected with small veins of salt 102 yds.