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Landscapes of New York
Virtual Field Trip
By Nick D’Anna
Photos courtesy of Gail & Bret
Bennington, A. Orgonik, &
myself
What are landscapes?
3 Major Classifications:
•Mountains
•Plains / Lowlands
•Plateaus / Uplands
New York has all three!
Notice the
Catskills are
part of a
plateau,
and are
not really
mountains
Mountains / Highlands
• At least 300 meters above the surrounding
land.
• Created by a tectonic collision between
two landmasses (Orogeny).
• Characterized by distorted rock structures
(metamorphic bedrock): a result of the
pressures applied during collision.
Plains / Lowlands
• Large areas of flat land at low elevations.
• Lots of gravel, sand and clay.
• HOME SWEET HOME!
Plateau / Uplands
• Large areas of flat land at high elevation.
• Usually flat, horizontal, sedimentary rock structures.
Check your note sheet now
Landscapes
Mountains
Plateaus
Plains
Stop Here!
The rocks around the room are from all
over NY. Describe them as best you
can. What are the clues in the rock
that we can use to answer:
Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic?
Environment of formation?
Fossils?
Mineral Composition?
Landforms are the result
of the interaction of
tectonic forces and the
processes of weathering,
erosion, and deposition.
What
tectonic
events and
surface
processes
were
occurring
during these
times?
Adirondack High Peaks
Correlate page 2 to page 3 of your
ESRT
What was
happening
in NY during
the Middle
Proterozoic?
Correlate pages 2 & 3 to pages 8 & 9.
No horizontal layering – blocky, chunky,
jointed metamorphic rock.
Isolated garnet crystals like
this one, tell us the rock has
been subjected to a lot of
heat and pressure
(metamorphism).
Anorthosite;
composed of large
crystals of
labradorite feldspar
(another clue of
metamorphism).
Distorted bedrock structure
– result of compression
forces during the collision
of landmasses that created
the supercontinent that
came before Pangea.
Letchworth Gorge
Correlate page 2 to page 3 of your
ESRT
What was
happening
in NY during
the
Devonian?
Correlate pages 2 & 3 to pages 8 & 9.
During the Devonian the western parts of NY
are underwater. The Acadian orogeny
occurs mostly to the North (Maine,
Newfoundland, Greenland, etc…).
The rising of those mountains produced a lot
of erosion of the softer surface
sedimentary rocks and the Catskill delta
was formed.
Is this a true mountainous region?
Elevated sedimentary rocks being worn
down by running water
Watkins Glen
These and other marine
fossils tell us that the area
was once covered by a
shallow sea.
Sedimentary
rocks, at fairly
high
elevations,
being worn
down by
running water
Shawangunk Ridge
Notice
the
layering
in the
rocks
Conglomerate rock from the Catskills. The Catskills are made of
sedimentary rocks, not metamorphic rocks!
Take us home, Mr. D
Correlate page 2 to page 3 of your
ESRT
Correlate pages 2 & 3 to pages 8 & 9.
Caumsett State Park,
Lloyd’s Neck, LI
Pleistocene
Sands &
Gravels
Cretaceous Clay
Loess
Glacial till
Thank you for your cooperation,
We’re almost done
Write one thing about a rock
you observed that is a clue to
the landform it is found in.