2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM


OKULEWICZ, Steven C., Engineering Sciences & Physics, College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10314, geologyprof@aol.com

Three Earthcaches have been established on Staten Island, New York for the first time. These virtual caches encompass all three rock types and span in geologic age from the Ordovician Period, approximately 425-450 million years ago to the Pleistocene Epoch 15,000 years ago. Each locality has been selected to illustrate to the interested but non-geologic public, the rich and varied geologic history of New York City's “forgotten” and southern-most borough: Staten Island, New York.

The three selected sites include the igneous green ultramafic rock of the now metamorphosed Staten Island Serpentinite body (“Serpentinite Commons”) which represents an obducted and dismembered ophiolite complex from the Taconic Orogeny of the lower Ordovician Period, a yellow-brown sand, gravel, and multicolored clay (“Folded Sand & Missing Time”) sedimentary deposit that contains lignite and some yellowish amber within an ice-thrust deformed overturned fold of unconsolidated upper Cretaceous Raritan-Magothy strata that is disconformably over- and underlain by reddish-brown glacial till and outwash deposits from the Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Era, and finally the long and sinuous reddish-brown “Harbor Hill Terminal Moraine” that marks the Pleistocene's last gasp of glacial activity in the New York City area.

As Earthcaches, these virtual sites provide readily accessible information and pathways to localities to which the general public is completely unaware. To date, comments received from local and out-of-town Earthcache visitors to these sites have been favorable and have reported them to be both informative and eye-opening. In the future, several more Earthcaches have been planned for this small, but geologically diverse and interesting Island that will explain beach erosion, the Palisades Diabase Intrusion, fault activity, geologic hazards, and some other prominent glacial features.