Hudson Valley Geologist

Random thoughts and opinions of a community college geology professor living in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State.

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I'm on Pulse of the Planet

I obviously took a break from writing this blog. Eventful year, not in a good way, but that's life.I did want to post a link to some podcasts that I participated in for Pulse of the Planet. The Executive Producer, Jim Metzner, lives close to where I teach. The podcasts are only two minutes long and on fossils.According to their website: "Pulse of the...

Rosendale Cement geology walk

For those of you who are local to the Ulster County area...Have you ever wondered about those mines and kilns you see in the woods on the sides of the road between the towns of Rosendale and Kingston?Want to learn more about their original purpose and history?Are you familiar with the Delaware & Hudson (D & H) Canal?  Did you know that it's...

Tripod Rock

I had to drive down I-287 in New Jersey in early January so I made a side trip to visit a place called Pyramid Mountain National Historic Area in Morris County.  This park has a famous feature called Tripod Rock which I've wanted to see for a while.Tripod Rock is similar to the North Salem Balanced Rock in northern Westchester County which I've also...

Really want improvement SUNY?

The two-year community college where I teach (which I do NOT speak for in any way, shape or form) is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system.There has been a lot of talk (and policy) lately from SUNY and the Governor's Office about time to completion and retention. Students often take more than two years to complete the two-year degrees...

Super Blood Moon Eclipse, Oh My!

Where to start...I wrote about all of this before and am recycling a lot of the material from previous posts.   SuperMoon (March 12, 2011)   "Supermoon" Nonsense (May 6, 2012)   Blood Moon Bullshit (April 13, 2014)Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) is remembered by astronomers for developing the Three Laws of Planetary Motion which showed that planets orbited...

Stone Church in Dover Plains

My wife and kids don't often hike with me but today was Father's Day so we went off to a place called Stone Church in Dover Plains - an easy walk to a very cool place.So what is Stone Church?  It's a natural rock formation near Dover Plains in eastern Dutchess County where a stream has cut out and eroded a neat opening in a cliff which evokes the arched...

Manhattanhenge

So yesterday (May 30), and again on July 13 of this year (2015), the setting Sun will line up with Manhattan's roughly east-west street grid - an event dubbed Manhattanhenge (making the connection, of course, to Stonehenge).Here's a picture I saw on my newsfeed this morning.So why does this occur when it does?As the year progresses, the rising and setting...

Niagara Falls Erosion - Part II

In my previous post, Niagara Falls Erosion - Part I, I discussed the geologic setting of the Niagara Escarpment and how the average rate of erosion of the falls since the last Ice Age has been about 3 feet a year.  This is based on the total distance of movement of Niagara Falls from the Niagara Escarpment since the last Ice Age.Today I'll look at this...

Niagara Falls Erosion - Part I

In my last post, I mentioned that the Army Corp of Engineers "turned off" the American side of Niagara Falls back in 1969 to deal with erosion issues.  So how fast do the falls erode?Here's a cross-section of the geology at the falls.  There is one important (for our purposes) rock formation here - the Lockport Dolostone (also called Dolomite but I...

Turning off Niagara

Back after a bit of a hiatus now that the spring semester has ended.A few days ago, my family stopped at Niagara Falls after returning from a geology conference in Madison, Wisconsin (we passed through Canada coming back).They are impressive falls (two really - the American falls in the foreground and the horseshoe-shaped Canadian falls in the background...

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