School of Science and Engineering

Geology Department

New York State Geological Association


New York State Geological Association
81st Annual Meeting
September 25-27, 2009
New Paltz, NY

Hosted by
SUNY New Paltz
Department of Geological Sciences



Mail registration is now closed, please register on-site, either Friday at the welcoming reception, or Saturday or Sunday mornings. See below for current trip availability, which may change before Friday.
Registration is now open for the 81st Annual Meeting of the New York State Geological Association to be hosted by SUNY New Paltz, September 25-27, 2009. The meeting will be held at the College, which overlooks the scenic Shawangunk ridge. New Paltz has a spectacular diversity of local geology, and we have a wide range of trips scheduled with something for everyone.

A download link to the Meeting Schedule, Field Trip Descriptions and Registration Form is below, as is a link to Lodging Information. There will be a Friday evening Welcoming Reception, and a Saturday Banquet with keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Marshak of the University of Illinois. Everyone with an interest in geology is invited to attend, amateur or professional. As always, undergraduate student participation in NYSGA is strongly encouraged, and we are offering special student rates for the meeting and banquet.

Shawangunk Ridge

I look forward to seeing you in September.

Dr. Frederick Vollmer
President, New York State Geological Association
Chair, Department of Geological Sciences
SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY



Meeting Schedule, Field Trip Descriptions and Registration Form (Updated August 14)

Lodging Information
All unbooked rooms have been released, but rooms may still be available, mention NYSGA for discount pricing.


Other Links

SUNY New Paltz Geology
New York State Geological Association

SUNY New Paltz Campus Map and Directions: Campus Map
Welcoming Reception and Banquet Location: College Terrace
Field Trip Staging Area: Wooster Science Building (Lot 21)




The Friday evening Welcoming Reception and Saturday Banquet will be held at the College Terrace. Field Trips (except Trip 9) will depart at 8:00 am from SUNY New Paltz parking lots adjacent to Wooster Science Building. Please download full meeting schedule from the link above. The keynote address at the Saturday banquet will be:

"The Impact of Appalachian Orogenies on America's Midcontinent"
Stephen Marshak, University of Illinois, Urbana

Dr. Marshak is currently the Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment at the University of Illinois, and has a distinguished record of research and teaching. His research interests include the Proterozoic tectonic evolution of the Brazilian shield, Phanerozoic tectonism in midcontinent North America, and the structural geology of fold-thrust belts. His numerous publications include the widely used text books Earth: Portrait of a Planet and Essentials of Geology.


FIELD TRIPS - Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bontique Craig

Trip 1 - FULL - All participants must ride in provided buses.
Structures of the Hudson-Valley Fold-Thrust Belt in the Appalachian Foreland of Eastern New York

Leaders: Stephen Marshak (University of Illinois, Urbana), Kurtis C. Burmeister (University of the Pacific), Pragnyadipta Sen (University of Illinois, Urbana), Petr Yakovlev, and Yvette Kuiper (Boston College)

Outcrops west of the Hudson River in the central Hudson Valley, NY, provide excellent exposures of a thin-skinned, foreland fold-thrust belt. This Hudson Valley fold-thrust belt (HVB), which involves Late Silurian through Middle Devonian strata, is generally less than 4 km wide. Thus, first-order structures are small enough to be seen in their entirety. Also, within a short distance along strike, it is possible to examine changes in fold-thrust belt architecture that reflect along-strike changes in stratigraphy and across-strike strain. The HVB also provides exposures of the Taconic unconformity, mesoscopic structures, Lower Devonian faunas and shallow-marine carbonate facies, an orocline, and a context for considering orogenic timing and the transition between the central and northern Appalachians. This trip will begin at classic Route 23 roadcuts near Catskill, will proceed south to examine deformation features near Kingston, and will conclude near Rosendale. The trip includes visits to roadcuts, stream cuts, abandoned room-and-pillar cement mines, and open-pit quarries. This trip is a modification of a trip that the lead authors ran for the 2006 Geological Society of America meeting.

Trip 2
Hydrothermal Alteration, Mass Transfer and Magnetite Mineralization in Dextral Shear Zones, Western Hudson Highlands, NY
Leaders: Michael J. Kalczynski, Alexander E. Gates (Earth & Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ), Matthew L Gorring (Earth & Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, NJ), and Marian V. Lupulescu (Office of State Geologist, New York State Museum, Albany, NY)

The New Jersey and Hudson Highlands host thousands of iron deposits. This trip will focus on several iron oxide deposits located within New York's Harriman State Park. These hydrothermally mineralized, massive magnetite deposits formed in an open fracture system within ~NE trending shear zones, in crystalline rocks of the western Hudson Highlands. Metamorphic fluids flushed through fractures and reacted with wall rocks, mobilized elements and buffered the composition of the fluids depending upon the composition of the local country rock. As these fluids encountered favorable physical or chemical conditions, they deposited varying minerals, in cm-scale bands of different assemblages and compositions. The banding reflects the changing chemistries of the fluids from changes in flux, fluid source, and/or physical conditions. Stops will include several of the abandoned magnetite mines, as well as outcrops both inside and out of the ~NE trending shear system to examine differing structures and lithologies, in and adjacent to the iron deposits and shear zones. Note: Some hiking required.

Trip 3
Stratigraphic and Structural Relationships of the Ordovician Flysch and Molasse Along the Western Boundary of the Taconic Allochthon Near Kingston NY

Leader: Gerald Pratt (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

This trip will visit recently described exposures of the allochthonous Ordovician Normanskill Group juxtaposed against autochthonous Quassaic and Martinsburg sedimentary rocks. Exposures in the Kingston and Esopus Townships demonstrate through stratigraphic position, sedimentary structures and fossils, the collapse of a foredeep basin and subsequent downwarping of a foreland basin during the latest stages of the Taconic Orogeny. The trip includes several stops at outcroppings of the allochthon strata, Taconic Unconformity and the later arenites of the Quassaic which contain an unusual molasse facies.

Trip 4 
Deglaciation in the Southeastern Laurentide Sector and the Hudson Valley - 15,000 Years of Vegetational and Climate History

Leaders: Dorothy Peteet (Lamont Doherty), Kirsten Menking (Vassar), Guy Robinson (Fordham), John Rayburn (SUNY New Paltz), and Byron Stone (United States Geological Survey)

The history of deglaciation in the Hudson Valley is extremely controversial, with disparate data sets revealing chronologies of deglaciation ranging from 23 to 15 kyr. This full-day excursion explores the various types of sites used for chronology, ranging from moraines, lakes, swamps, and bogs to varve outcrops. Important features to be discussed are stratigraphic sequences, landscape reconstructions from plant and animal macrofossils, Be dates from glacial erratics, and the nature of abrupt shifts in climate. We will discuss major regional vegetational shifts at the Younger Dryas, the early Holocene, the Medieval Warming, and the Little Ice Age. At least five stops are planned, ranging from Lake Mohonk and Rhododendron Swamp (adjacent to a Native American Rockshelter), Pine Island Mastodon region, Croton Peninsula, and Iona Marsh on the Hudson. Note: Bring boots.

Trip 5
The Use of Imagery in Popular Geoscience Writing About the Ice Age History of North/South Lake State Park
Leader: Robert Titus (Hartwick College)

The Ice Age provides endless wonderful popular writing for a geologist. To communicate the nature of the Ice Age to the general public, it is appropriate to explore the use of the very graphic images that can be imagined for that time. The North Lake vicinity experienced a complex glaciation. The trip will visit a number of sites that display the evidence and ice age images will be constructed. The hope is to develop better ways to communicate our science to the community around us. Robert Titus is the author of The Catskills in the Ice Age, The Catskills: A Geological Guide, and The Other Side of Time: Essays by "The Catskill Geologist" published by Purple Mountain Press. Note: This trip involves extensive hiking, participants must be physically fit and prepared for a full day of hiking.

Trip 6
Economic Geology of the Hudson Valley

Leaders: Paul Griggs and Jeff Lang (Griggs-Lang Consulting Geologists)

The geology of the Hudson Valley has shaped the industrial history of New York State. The combination of access to the New York City Metropolitan area via the Hudson River and the presence of materials suitable for aggregate and cement manufacture are responsible for the presence of a number of large mines in the Hudson Valley. This trip will visit the only active underground aggregate mine in New York, examine those endangered species--sand and gravel mines and conclude with the Holcim (US) Catskill and Greenport Quarries. The trip will discuss the storied history of cement making in the Hudson Valley and critical shortages of construction materials. Angular unconformities, the classic Tri-States and Helderberg Group stratigraphy and their significance in the cement-making process, 800 foot deep rock cores, dramatic thrust faulting and karst features will be examined as the role of the geologist in mining is explored.


FIELD TRIPS - Sunday, September 27, 2009


Trip 7 - Will be combined with Trip 10, Carleton Brett (U. Cincinnati) will fill in for Charles A. Ver Straeten
The Classic Devonian of the Catskill Front: The Foreland Basin Record of Acadian Orogenesis, Volcanism, Depositional Environments, and Sea Level History
Leader: Charles A. Ver Straeten (New York State Museum)

This field trip is designed to present an overview of the classic Devonian and uppermost Silurian strata of the Catskill Front, and key events and processes preserved in them. A thick wedge of Devonian clastic rocks, with minor carbonates lower in the section, were deposited in the area of the Catskill Front over a period of approximately 42 million years (418 to ca. 376 Ma). The preserved part of this succession today, between Catskill and Slide Mountain, comprises approximately 2.7 km/1.7 miles of Uppermost Silurian and Lower to Upper Devonian strata. Sediments were initially deposited in marine environments in the Appalachian foreland basin. By the Middle Devonian, the seaway became progressively overfilled with synorogenic clastics shed off of the Acadian Orogen in New England. This resulted in a very thick succession of terrestrial environments that preserve the oldest and most intensively studied forests known in the world at present. The trip will make stops in various marine and terrestrial units, and examine the record of Acadian orogenesis, volcanism, and sea level and environmental change through the rock succession. Note: Some hiking will be required, wear appropriate footwear.

Trip 8 - FULL
Fluvial Geomorphology of Upper Esopus Creek and Implications for Water Quality
Leaders: Dan Davis, Mark Vian (New York City Department of Environmental Protection), Peter Knuepfer Binghamton University), and Nicolas Miller (Field Geology Services)

The upper Esopus Creek watershed is an important contributor to the drinking water supply for the New York City water system. Water quality in Ashokan Reservoir is strongly linked to sediment transport in Esopus Creek, and bank erosion and channel migrations can greatly change (especially increase) sediment transport rates and suspended sediment loading. This trip is a tour of the upper Esopus Creek watershed to examine evidence of changing fluvial geomorphic conditions and their implications for effective and multi-objective watershed and stream management strategies. How does erosion into the pro-glacial lake clays and glacial till affect water quality and channel stability? How much has the channel shifted historically, and why? Can we effectively manage for these conditions? This one-day trip will visit several sites that represent a range of channel/valley morphologies and processes, different states of channel evolution, and different management strategies.

Trip 9
Pre-Ottawan (1100 Ma) Rocks and Tectonic Infrastructure of the Hudson Highlands and Manhattan Prong

Leaders: Nicholas M. Ratcliffe and John Aleinikoff USGS (United States Geological Survey)

This trip will visit 8 recently dated pre- Grenville rocks of the northern Hudson Highlands and Manhattan Prong which support intrusive and tectonic events in the time period 1350 Ma to 1134 Ma., which are older than the 1.09 Ma Ottawan orogeny of Rivers(1997). Zircon SHRIMP data and geologic mapping support a long history of intrusive activity and deformation prior to the Ottawan. This older infrastucture also occurs in the Green Mountains and gneiss domes of Vermont and probably elsewhere in the northern Appalachians. The two known areas provide linkages with similar intrusive and deformational events in the Grenvillian of the Adirondacks and Canada. The trip starts near Luddingtonville, NY and ends north of Peekskill on the Hudson River close to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Stops will be in the Poughquag, Lake Carmel, Brewster, Peach Lake, and Peekskill NY quadrangles. Please bring lunch. Note: This trip will begin at 7:30 am to allow travel time south, and will end north of Peekskill.

Trip 10 - See Trip 7 
Analysis of a Basin-Margin Parallel Paleoecological Gradient in the Middle Devonian (basal Givetian) of the Appalachian Basin
Leaders: Alexander Bartholomew (SUNY New Paltz), Thomas Schramm (SUNY New Paltz), Charles A.Ver Straeten (New York State Museum, contributing author)

This trip will examine a suite of exposures focusing on the paleoecology of the dark shales of the Marcellus sub-Group, an interval of recent economic interest. Participants will examine exposures of the East Berne Member of the Mount Marion Fm., focusing on the paleoecology a single fossiliferous horizon, the Dave Elliot Bed. This bed is the first richly fossiliferous horizon above the Cherry Valley Member and preserves the oldest known suite of biofacies composed of the classic Hamilton Fauna of the Middle Devonian Appalachian Basin. Biofacies preserved within the Dave Elliot Bed interval range from deep-water, dysoxic, dark-gray shales to shallow-water, coral-rich assemblages. 

Trip 11 - FULL
The Classic Barrovian Metamorphic Sequence of Dutchess County
Leaders: Frederick Vollmer (SUNY New Paltz) and Jeffrey Walker (Vassar)

This trip will visit classic localities exhibiting the sequence of progressive regional Barrovian metamorphism in Dutchess County, New York, from the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie, east to the Connecticut border. The index mineral zones include chlorite, biotite, garnet, staurolite, kyanite and sillimanite-K-feldspar, following the classic Barrovian moderate thermal gradient sequence. This sequence results from the progressive metamorphism of Ordovician pelites exposed in and below the Taconic Allochthon. The pelitic rock protoloths include shale, graywacke and melange. Cambro-Ordovician shelf carbonates and sandstones are also exposed and show similar progressive metamorphism, providing the opportunity to examine the structural and petrologic relationships between the Taconic Allocthon and the underlying sequence. The majority of stops will be in metapelites and quartzo-feldspatic rocks, however we will also examine some calc-silicates (diopside, tremolite, phlogopite) to compare metamorphism of the different protoliths.

Trip 12
The Shawangunk and Martinsburg Formations Revisited: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Structure and Paleontology
Leaders: Howard R. Feldman (American Museum of Natural History), Jack Epstein (United States Geological Survey), and John A. Smoliga (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals)

This trip will look at the relationship between the early Paleozoic Martinsburg and Shawangunk formations with respect to origin and tectonics, examine the general structure of the region and observe various faults, an enigmatic "diamictite," glacial features and sulphide mineralization related to faulting. We will have a discussion of the regional and local relations of the Ss/Om unconformity, with perhaps a stop atop The Shawangunk ridge, and perhaps a stop at Otisville. In addition we will visit an Ordovician faunule in the Martinsburg dominated by crinoids, with brachiopods, trilobites, bivalves, ostracodes and conulariids.