Introduction and update for the “Geology of the Gettysburg battlefield” and geology’s influence on military history
Roger J. Cuffey, 2015. "Introduction and update for the “Geology of the Gettysburg battlefield” and geology’s influence on military history", Tripping from the Fall Line: Field Excursions for the GSA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 2015, David K. Brezinski, Jeffrey P. Halka, Richard A. Ortt, Jr.
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The 1863 Battle of Gettysburg in south-central Pennsylvania was one of the most important in American history, as well as the biggest ever fought within America’s boundaries. It shows clearly how underlying geology and surface topography can influence military actions. Thus, it continues to attract the attention of many specialists of varied interests, in addition to the general public (who came out for the 150th-anniversary reenactments two years ago).
Previously, we prepared a concise field-trip guide (Cuffey et al., 2006a) for use on organized field trips across the battlefield, and for later self-guiding examination of critical sites thereon. Because that guide remains relevant and appropriate, it is available in its entirety, 1 for use with this year’s GSA Annual Meeting field trip.
Please see the National Park Service battlefield map therein (Cuffey et al., 2006a, p. 2, Fig. 1).
A few helpful updates can be added to that guide and are included in this introductory paper. They concern the most visibly battle-damaged building on the battlefield, the similar 1859 Battle of Solferino, and the new Gettysburg Battlefield Visitors’ Center.
1GSA Data Repository Item 2015275, “Geology of the Gettysburg battlefi eld: How Mesozoic events and processes impacted American history” (Cuffey et al.,2006a), is available at www.geosociety.org/pubs/ft2015.htm, or on request from firstname.lastname@example.org or Documents Secretary, GSA, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301-9140, USA.
Figures & Tables
Prepared in conjunction with the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, this volume contains guides to field trips in this historic region. Emanating from the Fall Line city of Baltimore, these trips reflect the diversity of geological features in the mid-Atlantic region including the Piedmont, Appalachian Mountains, and Coastal Plain, and the importance of geology on the development and construction of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Trips to the core of the Appalachian orogen concern themselves with the tectonic and metamorphic history, early Paleozoic carbonate platform development, Devonian paleoclimate, and coal-mine fire hazards. Excursions to the Coastal Plain examine various aspects of Cenozoic stratigraphy, structure, barrier island formation, and wetland and ecosystem development. A variety of trips also explore urban geology, including building and monument stones of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., urban hydrogeology, and Civil War battlefield geology.