Glacial Geology

March 25, 2008

I am getting very impatient for spring to finally materialize. Being somewhat warm (above freezing) today, I decided a walk in the local cemetery was warranted. This particular cemetery was established in 1838 and has continuously been used since that time. The whole area around the cemetery was formed from by glaciers, but most of the moraines, kettles, kames, etc. are no longer identifiable because of the impact man has made on the area. The area was quarried extensively in the late 19th century, but the glacial formations in the cemetery itself are largely unaltered. It is a fascinating place to visit. The land all around is mostly flat, but the relief inside the cemetery is amazing.

Here is a kettle formed by glacial movement. It has been terraced to allow for benches so people can sit around it and the stones in the middle are what remains of a fountain.


To give you an idea of the relief here is another picture of the same kettle pond, from one of the highest points in the cemetery.


Looking in the opposite direction from the last picture, here is a view of the top of the building in which the library is housed at a local university. The campus is built right on the edge of the river, so it is not up on a hill. I just happened to be quite high up on a hill when I took this picture.


Here are the stairs I climbed to get these great pictures. Sometime I will go back and just take pictures of stairs in this cemetery. Because of the unusual landscape, there are stairs in really odd places.


So among the eskers, kettles, kames, and oh, yeah, the whole area is a terminal moraine I did take the time to look at some really neat grave markers.

This marker is different from others I have seen. I think it is really neat.


This monument is fairly simple, but one of my favorites.


As I was descending this incline, I stepped onto what I thought was snow, but turned out to be ice. The hill is terraced for the graves, and I was going from one level down to the next at the time. It must have looked hysterical as my feet went straight out in front of me and I landed on my left kidney. I am simply thankful I didn’t land on my head, shoulder, or especially my camera! I picked myself up and took two more shots…


The roots of this tree actually cover the back of this marker. It is in a really odd location. I was standing on the road about 6 feet away from the marker as I took this picture.


After my fall and two final pictures, I decided I should take my weary body home, so I trudged hobbled back to the car. I pulled a couple muscles in my leg and can’t walk very well. I did have the sense to walk to the car on the road however, which was completely free of ice and snow and ice pretending to be snow.

These are a couple of other pictures I took while at the cemetery. The day was nice but very overcast and I thought the sun looked rather odd, so I snapped a picture of it.


This other photo is of a retaining wall that is badly damaged. I assume the rocks underneath were an original wall and the damaged part over top was added later to reinforce the original. At any rate, I think it is an interesting photo.


One comment

  1. Oh Carly, I certainly hope you are able to walk or hobble about today….I refuse to fall. And I don’t think I have in ages! Snow is always a bit dangerous, particularly in light of all the icing we received. You got some good pictures in spite of yourself! And, I got a lesson in science! You could have some fun here, naming all the strange features in our area! It does appear that the Finger Lakes were carved out by glacial movement, as there are so many deep cuts into earth!!!!

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