Witte Hi Pt S P Geology

Tectonic history kittatinny mountain is part of the

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Unformatted text preview: western New Jersey most of the folds, faults, joints and cleavage formed during three periods of mountain building. About 650 million years ago, during the Late Proterozoic, the granite and gneiss now making up the New Jersey Highlands were part of an ancient continent called Rodinia. About 540 million years ago, powerful tectonic forces began pulling the landmass apart. As the continental crust thinned and stretched, elongate rift valleys were formed. As time went on, the rifts widened and deepened, and flooded with sea water, eventually forming new oceanic basins. Finally, tectonic activity along the coast subsided. Carbonate sediments were deposited along an eastward facing shoreline of a warm shallow sea until about 480 million years ago. During this time, about 3000 feet of material accumulated; it now makes up the carbonate rock that underlies 10 74o 75o 41o 45’ PA NY 76o EXPLANATION Mesozoic rift basins High Point Carboniferous and Permian rocks 41o NY NJ 41o Silurian and Devonian rocks Cambrian to middle Ordovician rocks of the early Paleozoic continental shelf Early Cambrian to middle Ordovician transported rocks of ancient North American continental slope and rise Pa 40o 15’ NJ 0 16 miles Proterozoic metamorphic and plutonic rocks Figure 9. Regional geologic map of the area surrounding High Point State Park. part of Kittatinny Valley. About 460 million years ago the ocean basin began to close and a period of mountain building, called the Taconic Orogeny, began. During its initial stages, the North American plate collided with several smaller plates. This collision caused uplift and erosion of the carbonate rocks. A downwarping followed that submerged the land beneath the sea. Folding, faulting and a westward pushing and stacking of the rocks and sediments in the collision zone formed a mountain chain. Over time the mountains were lowered by erosion, the weathering products of clay, silt, and sand were carried westward by rivers and ocean currents to a deep ocean basin. These materials thickened, compacted and became the shale, siltstone and sandstone of the Martinsbu...
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