Southeastern Section - 60th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2011)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM


VLANGAS, Louis P., 702 Kingston Rd, Baltimore, MD 21212-1938,

In 1953 working in DE the writer conceived the theory of coastal plain glaciation. In NJ he found overwhelming evidence of that found in DE and MD. He read a paper in April 1970 at the Lexington KY GSA SE meeting entitled “On the Glaciation of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain” (MACPl). Since then he has given 8 related GSA papers through year 2010 to no avail.

In 1891 Prof. Salisbury (Univ. of WI glacial geologist) was engaged to overlook the yearly studies on the coastal plain Pleistocene (Plst) by NJ geologists. The Prof stated there is no evidence that ice ever invaded South NJ – that the older glaciers fell into the vast sea. Asked by NJ geologists to consider glaciation, he disagreed saying “Proof is wanting.” Was the Prof hasty? He concluded that the depositing agent was a large glacial outwash river like the Hudson. This is precluded by two basic facts: the Hudson falls into the same vast sea; and if redirected, it could not surmount the 180' high dissected coastal plain. Yet today, NJ, DE, MD and USGS still echo this untenable conclusion!

Following are a few of the many existing features the Prof reported: ubiquitous large bldrs; glacial striated bldrs; till; erratic bldrs and Cret. soils; photo of folded Trias. shale; regions of pitted topo “like that of a subdued terminal moraine”!

About such a list of glacial features he said (in 1891) “Where these several features coexist it may safely be concluded that glaciers have existed.” The NJ geologists were right! After 115 years real proof of glaciation was found by the writer at Rocky Hill NJ – an abraded small diabase boss with several well striated polished patches! He presented it at GSA’s 2006 Phila meeting.

As a sequel to this concept, Plst terrace (trc) deposits with striated cobbles and bldrs were reported by Wentworth (1928): on the Potomac; VA coastal plain and James R; and the TN basins. Deposits in this region are contiguous and concurrent with the glacial deposits on the MACPl. Therefore, it could also be indicative of Appalachian glaciation. Wentworth concluded the southern striations were by river ice since there are no other glacial features. But the southern trcs resemble reported glacial outwash trcs on the DE and Susq. Rivers to the north. And the writer has glacial evidence for these northern rivers. Also with some other features it is very likely that there was glaciation on the Appalachians.