87th Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists
RIFTS, OCEANS, AND VOLCANOES - PIEDMONT AND SOUTH MOUNTAIN GEOLOGY IN SOUTHCENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA
2024 | Gettysburg, PA
Jones Geological Services
PA Geological Survey
The 2024 Field Conference will be based in the historic Gettysburg area and will feature three days of field trips! The agenda below will be updated as more conference details are available.
Pre-conference trips will be held throughout the region of the conference. Visit the Pre-Conference Trips page for more information about this opportunities.
The conference will kick off with a morning ride on the Northern Central Railway train. Starting in New Freedom, we will travel northward 15 miles along the York County Heritage Rail Trail. Along the way, you will learn about the Sam's Creek Metabasalt and the Octoraro Formation, visit the historic Hanover Junction Train Station, observe faulting in the Chickies and Harpers Formations, and examine the Harpers Formation and stone-work at the historic Howard Tunnel.
Our group will then head to William H. Kain County Park, where we will have lunch overlooking Lake Redman. A representative of the York Water Company will explain how this reservoir fits into their distribution system.
In the afternoon, the conference will visit York Valley for a two-hour tour of the RHI Magnesita Refractories Quarry in West York. This is a working quarry located within the Ledger and Kinzers Formations.
The conference will head to South Mountain in Cumberland and Adams counties. The day begins at the famous Peters Orchard, one of the leading fruit growers on Catoctin Formation soils. From the orchard, there will be three rotating programs: 1) an overview of the geology of South Mountain by Sean Cornell of Shippensburg University, 2) a discussion on the groundwater movement between Pigeon Hills and Boiling Springs lead by Tim Bechtel of Franklin and Marshall College, and 3) shopping at the fruit market.
The excursion will then move south to Pine Grove Furnace State Park, where there will be another set of rotating programs: 1) a historical walk around Pine Grove Furnace with Andre Weltman, 2) a discussion of the water chemistry of nearby Laurel Lake lead by Sean Cornell, and 3) lunch.
After lunch we will travel farther south into Michaux State Forest, south of Caledonia State Park, to examine some of the Catoctin Formation "metarhyolites" and get a preview of recent research on these rocks. Finally, we will travel to Carbaugh Reservoir. Here on a leisurely stroll you can examine columnar jointing in the metarhyolites, watch and learn how to flintknap stone tools with Paul Marr and Steve Nissly, and discuss all the volcanic rocks within South Mountain. We will also see the work completed by the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Geology Field Experience Students in summer 2023.