Field Projects in the Hudson Valley Fold and Thrust Belt
SUNY New Paltz lies within the Hudson Valley Fold and Thrust Belt, which extends from the Shawangunk Mountains north through Kingston and Catskill, New York. This zone of folded and faulted rock was the result of a Paleozoic collisional event, during the closure of an ancient Pre-Atlantic ocean. This belt provides a natural laboratory for field studies in structural geology, stratigraphy, and other geologic subdisiplines. Here students in Dr. Vollmer's Field Methods class learn to read the history of the rocks through careful observation and measurement of the strata.
Jared, James, Jimmy, Allison, and Marion learn techniques for measuring the orientations of irregular bedding layers, as well as identifying lithologies and formational contacts.
Geologic field work is a continuous process of hypothesis development and evaluation. Here Jared, James, Max, Ashley, and Marion puzzle out the meaning of apparently repeated formational contacts.
The ability to accurately collect data under field conditions is essential for the interpretation of bedrock geology. Here the students carefully measure the strata strike and dips using compasses, clinometers, and pocket transits.
Another geologic puzzle to be solved, here layers of three different orientations and lithologies must all be evaluated to determine the geologic history. Here the history includes events that occurred 100's of million years ago, as well as those that occurred only decades ago.
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