Teachers guide to geologic trails in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania–New Jersey
Jack B. Epstein, 2010. "Teachers guide to geologic trails in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania–New Jersey", The Mid-Atlantic Shore to the Appalachian Highlands, Gary M. Fleeger, Steven J. Whitmeyer
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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 Kittatinny 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 an overview discussion of structure, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and glacial geology within the gap. It will be highlighted by hiking a choice of several trails with geologic guides, ranging from gentle to difficult. It is hoped that the “professional” discussions at the stops, loaded with typical geologic jargon, can be translated into simple language that can be understood and assimilated by earth science students along the trails. This trip is mainly targeted for earth science educators and for Pennsylvania geologists needing to meet state-mandated education requirements for licensing professional geologists. The National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the New Jersey Geological Survey, and local schoolteachers had prepared “The Many Faces of Delaware Water Gap: A Curriculum Guide for Grades 3–6” (Ferrence et al., 2003). Copies of this guide will be given to trip participants and can be downloaded from the GSA Data Repository1. The trip will also be useful for instruction at the graduate level. Much of the information presented in this guidebook is modified from Epstein (2006).
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This guidebook features field trips offered during the joint meeting of GSA’s Northeastern and Southeastern Sections held in Baltimore, Maryland, in March 2010. Chapters in this guide reflect the meeting’s theme (“Linking North and South: Exploring the Connections between Continent and Sea”) in that they span the lowlands of eastern Pennsylvania to the highlands of northeastern West Virginia. Four physiographic provinces are covered: Piedmont (Piedmont Upland and Gettysburg-Newark Lowland Sections), Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau. The geologic foci are likewise variable, ranging from Precambrian basement rocks to Pleistocene sediments.