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Book Chapter

Geology of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey–Pennsylvania

By
Jack B. Epstein
Jack B. Epstein
U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 926A, Reston, Virginia 20192-0002, USA
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Published:
October 06, 2006

Abstract

Many of the parks within the National Park System owe their uniqueness to their geologic framework. Their scenery is the result of diverse natural processes acting upon a variety of rocks that were deposited in varied environments in the geologic past. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA) contains a rich geologic and cultural history within its 68,714 acre boundary. Following the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Delaware River has cut a magnificent gorge through Kit-tantinny Mountain, the Delaware Water Gap, to which all other gaps in the Appalachian Mountains have been compared. Proximity to many institutions of learning in this densely populated area of the northeastern United States (Fig. 1) makes DEWA an ideal locality to study the geology of this part of the Appalachian Mountains. This one-day field trip comprises two stops within the gap itself and will include discussion on stratigraphy, structure, geomorphology, and glacial geology. The first stop will be at the bottom of the gap in Pennsylvania to look at the magnificent exposures in the cleft on the New Jersey side. This will be followed by a traverse to the top of Mount Tammany along a popular trail, where we will compare the geology across the river in Pennsylvania. Much of the information presented in this guidebook is summarized from Epstein (2001a, 2001b, 2001c) and Epstein and Lyttle (2001).

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