Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM
PALEOPEDOLOGY OF THE EAST WINDHAM ROADCUT, EAST WINDHAM, NEW YORK
The East Windham roadcut, located approximately 2 km east of East Windham on Rte. 23, is within the Oneonta Formation of the Late Devonian Catskills Magnafacies. The overall morphology of the exposure depicts fluvial sediments with multiple channel forms incising floodplain materials. The East Windham roadcut is recognized as an exemplary expression of fluvial facies in the rock record, utilized by many universities as a teaching tool. The purpose of this project is to describe pedogenic development of the overbank facies at the East Windham roadcut. Three separate paleosols were described and sampled from varying locations throughout this fluvial complex. The first soil profile was measured in an area that has been described as a marshy swamp facies below the lower channel form toward the eastern portion of the roadcut. The soil lacks evidence for the translocation of weathered materials and preserves organic accumulation at a well developed A horizon, marked by drab-haloed root traces. The second soil profile is a group of two distinct soils measured adjacent to the cut bank of the lower channel. Soil development at this position was enhanced by well drained conditions on the ancient floodplain. The soils contain horizons of accumulated weathered clay and carbonate in association with clay filled root traces and pedogenic slickensides, and concentrations of drab-haloed root traces. The third soil profile is at the far western end of the roadcut, above and slightly east of an entrance to a driveway and adjacent to a metal drainage pipe. The base of the profile is overbank mudstone with pedogenic slickensides along ped surfaces. This unit is capped by a lacustrine limestone that appears to have been pedogenically modified and brecciated. Osctracode shells are prevalent throughout the limestone. Overbank mudstone, containing drab-haloed root traces and slickensided clayskins, overly the limestone. This unit is capped sediments containing a significant accumulation of detrital plant material. These paleosols preserve evidence of the paleoenvironmental and biotic influences that helped form this terrestrial environment, and when coupled with classical stratigraphic and facies analysis, enhance the quality of interpretive clarity possible at the East Windham roadcut.