Abstract Title

Geologic and Glacial History of Northeast Ohio: Perspectives from Ohio’s State Parks

Abstract

The state parks, nature preserves, and metro parks of northeastern Ohio offer unparalleled views and insight into the natural processes that shaped the landscape into what it is today. Every year, millions of visitors come to these parks to view gorges and waterfalls, explore hiking trails, and relax along lake shores. However, detailed geologic information about these parks is lacking for the public to better understand their ancient history and how they connect to the regional geologic picture. A detailed investigation was conducted to better understand the geologic history of northeast Ohio as viewed from the geology found in the state parks. Research within the parks was conducted to acquire surficial geology data, as well as using well logs and geologic map data to obtain subsurface geology information. Using this acquired data, in addition to previously published geology reports, cross sections through northeastern Ohio, traversing through several of the major parks, was produced. This data reveals Paleozoic bedrock deposits of sedimentary origin deposited during Devonian to Pennsylvanian ages. Results also show that a majority of the parks are situated on the glaciated Allegheny plateau where Pleistocene glaciers advanced over the gentle hills and stream valleys, and blanketed the area in glacial sediments ranging from 5 to 200+ feet in thickness. Glacial features left behind include moraines, kames, eskers, kettle lakes, glacial erratics, and glacial grooves or striations on exposed bedrock. The more southeasterly parks of the region are located just south of the glacial boundary, on the unglaciated portion of the Allegheny plateau. These parks are distinguished by sharper topographic relief, glacial outwash, and a higher amount of bedrock exposures. The overall goal of this research was to gain an understanding of the geologic processes that shaped northeastern Ohio by studying the unique geology within the state parks, and to eventually present these findings to the park-going public via an educational brochure distributed through the parks.

Modified Abstract

The state parks, nature preserves, and metro parks of northeastern Ohio offer unparalleled views and insight into the natural processes that shaped the landscape into what it is today. Every year, millions of visitors come to these parks to view gorges and waterfalls, explore hiking trails, and relax along lake shores. However, detailed geologic information about these parks is lacking for the public to better understand their ancient history and how they connect to the regional geologic picture. A detailed investigation was conducted to better understand the geologic history of northeast Ohio as viewed from the geology found in the state parks. The overall goal of this research was to gain an understanding of the geologic processes that shaped northeastern Ohio by studying the unique geology within the state parks, and to eventually present these findings to the park-going public via an educational brochure distributed through the parks.

Research Category

Geology/Geography

Primary Author's Major

Geology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. David B. Hacker

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

21-3-2017 1:00 PM

Research Area

Geology

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Mar 21st, 1:00 PM

Geologic and Glacial History of Northeast Ohio: Perspectives from Ohio’s State Parks

The state parks, nature preserves, and metro parks of northeastern Ohio offer unparalleled views and insight into the natural processes that shaped the landscape into what it is today. Every year, millions of visitors come to these parks to view gorges and waterfalls, explore hiking trails, and relax along lake shores. However, detailed geologic information about these parks is lacking for the public to better understand their ancient history and how they connect to the regional geologic picture. A detailed investigation was conducted to better understand the geologic history of northeast Ohio as viewed from the geology found in the state parks. Research within the parks was conducted to acquire surficial geology data, as well as using well logs and geologic map data to obtain subsurface geology information. Using this acquired data, in addition to previously published geology reports, cross sections through northeastern Ohio, traversing through several of the major parks, was produced. This data reveals Paleozoic bedrock deposits of sedimentary origin deposited during Devonian to Pennsylvanian ages. Results also show that a majority of the parks are situated on the glaciated Allegheny plateau where Pleistocene glaciers advanced over the gentle hills and stream valleys, and blanketed the area in glacial sediments ranging from 5 to 200+ feet in thickness. Glacial features left behind include moraines, kames, eskers, kettle lakes, glacial erratics, and glacial grooves or striations on exposed bedrock. The more southeasterly parks of the region are located just south of the glacial boundary, on the unglaciated portion of the Allegheny plateau. These parks are distinguished by sharper topographic relief, glacial outwash, and a higher amount of bedrock exposures. The overall goal of this research was to gain an understanding of the geologic processes that shaped northeastern Ohio by studying the unique geology within the state parks, and to eventually present these findings to the park-going public via an educational brochure distributed through the parks.