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Monday, September 9, 2013

Pennsylvania's Topology Today

The second annual Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program kicked off its first field trip with a lesson on geology from geologist, Gale Blackmer, of PA DCNR.

Master Naturalists observing an outcrop.
Take a second to think about Pennsylvania. What do you see when this word pops into your head? All of the images in your mind are most likely related to geology- forests, mills, dams, lakes, streams, mountains. We introduce Geology as the opening topic for the PA Master Naturalist program because it   lays the groundwork for the following fields such as, botany, watersheds and wildlife studies.


As some may know, Geology is a complex, detailed and expansive subject. For that reason I have decided to share just two take home facts.

1. For those who are familiar with Kaolin Road, which runs from Kennett Square and eventually turns into Limestone Road (route 7) going into Delaware. The road was named after kaolin clay that was used to make porcelain and clay pots. The clay along the road was once excavated and the clay was shipped all over the country and even to the Europe. Today, geology buffs or hobbyist will search areas for leftover traces of kaolin based clay.

2. The only igneous rock in Pennsylvania is called Diabase. This type of rock is often found in dykes and sills, and is quarried for driveway stone and other types of foundation.

2013 Master Naturalist Trainees
You can learn more about the history of Pennsylvania's geology by visiting the Geological Survey @ DCNR's website.

Lastly, say hello to our 2013 Master Naturalist Trainees!


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