Newark Basin

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“I studied roadcuts and outcrops as a kid, on long trips with my family,” Karen says. “I was probably doomed to be a geologist from the beginning.” She grew up in the Genesee Valley, and most of the long trips were down through Pennsylvania and the Virginias to see her father’s parents, in North Carolina. On such a journey, it would have been difficult not to notice all the sheets of rock that had zakelijke energie been bent, tortured, folded, faulted, crumpled-and to wonder how that happened, since the sheets of rock would have started out as flat as a pad of paper. “I am mainly interested in sedimentology, in sedimentary structures. It allows me to do a lot of field work. I’m not too interested in theories of what happens x kilometres down in the earth at certain temperatures and pressures. You seldom do field work if you’re interested in the mantle. There’s a little bit of the humanities that creeps into geology, and that’s why I am in it. You can’t prove things as rigorously as physicists or chemists do. There are no white coats in a geology lab, although geology is going that way. Under the Newark Basin are worn-down remains of the Appalachians-below us here, and under that valley, and so on over to
the Border Fault. In the West, for my thesis, I am working on a basin that also formed on top of a preexisting deformed belt. I can’t say that the basin formed just like this zakelijke energie vergelijken one, but what absorbs me are the mechanics of these successor basins, superposed on mountain belts. The Great Valley in California is probably an example of a late-stage compressional basin-formed as plates came together. We think the Newark Basin is an extensional basin-formed as plates moved apart. In the geologic record, how do we recognize the differences between the two? I am trying to get the picture of the basin as a whole, and what is the history that you can read in these cuts. I can’t synthesize all this in one morning on a field trip, but I can look at the rock here and then evaluate someone else’s interpretation.” She pauses. She looks back along the rockwall. “This interstate is like a knife wound all across the country,” she remarks. “Sure-you could do this sort of thing from here to California. Anyone who wants to, though, had better hurry. Before long, to go all the way across by yourself will be a fossil experience. A person or two. One car. Coast to coast. People do it now without thinking much about it. Yet it’s a most unusual kind of personal freedomparticular to this time span, the one we happen to be in. It’s an amazing, temporary phenomenon that will end. We have the best highway system in the world. It lets us do what people in no other country can do. And it is also an ecological disaster.”

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