Kutztown University's Geology
Program - Recent Highlights News!:
Dr. Oakley and her five student researchers have just returned
from their deep sea oceanographic research cruise in the Pacific. Please
visit the expedition's website with blogs written by Dr.
Oakley and her students, plus pictures to see how they fared!
Dr. Kurt Friehauf
and Dr. Laura Sherrod
took the Mineralogy and Field Geology classes on a weekend field
trip to the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York.
Hurricane Irene destroyed many of the roads in the region, so we
made some fascinating detours that proved to be very educational!
strip mine of the Mammoth coal vein in Wadesville, Pennsylvania-
Physical Geology - April 2011
The Wallops Island facility has microscopes and other analytical
tools for studying marine science samples.
Dr. Oakley displaying a map of the area to be
visited during the day's cruise.
It was a chilly morning to be out on a boat, but
Analyzing the texture and composition of stinky
marsh mud - not just hands-on
learning - this is hands-IN learning!
Students preparing to cast the sampling net.
Charismatic macrofauna are always a pleasant
Students digging a pit in the beach sand to study the
stratigraphy of the sedimentary layers.
Students profiling the beach to delineate the
different beach zones.
We really got into digging the sampling pits!
There is so much to see!!
Zinc Mine, New Jersey - Field Geology - October 2010
Dr. Sarah Tindall
and Kurt Friehauf took
Field Geology class on a trip to to make geologic maps underground
in the Sterling Hill
Zinc Mine. Nothing like having 100% outcrop and
3-dimensional data distribution! (no pictures because we were
so absorbed in our work - c'est la
vie! /:-) )
Hill Zinc Mine, New Jersey - Mineralogy - October 2010
Dr. Kurt Friehauf
took his Mineralogy class to the Sterling Hill Zinc
Mine to learn about mining and zinc ore formation. This
field trip is timed to coincide with our discussions of solid
solutions and ion substitution in crystal lattices in the
classroom. Mineralogy is a form of applied chemistry.
Going out and actually seeing things in real life makes the
chemistry a lot more tangible and learning both better retained and fun!
guide Ron Mishkin.
Ron is a mining geology sage! He graciously shares
his lifetime of adventures as a mine geologist all over the U.S.
with the class.
Matt brought his
high-end UV lamp to better find fluorescent minerals
underground. Jess is clearly having a great time (and taking
notes in her field book - a very wise practice!) Dan and
Amanda are really into it, too. Good job!
Virginia - Intro to Oceanography - September 2010
Dr. Kurt Friehauf
took his mineralogy class on our annual five-day-long field trip to the beautiful
Adirondack Mountains of northern New York. It was
beautiful and a lot of fun!
On top of Giant Mountain
Camping is cheaper than hotels and MUCH more
James and Rick estimating percent quartz to
distinguish between charnockite and mangerite. Note how Rick
wisely holds the sample to the side of his hat bill to get better
light on the rock. Good job!
Shared geologic experiences in the field are truly
enriching! Who would have thought that a discussion of the
oxidation state of granitic magma buffered by
fayalite-magnetite-quartz mineral assemblage would bring such
Coal Mine Hydrogeology, Pennsylvania - April 2010
Laura Sherrod took her hydrology class on an full-day field
trip. This abandoned coal mine pit is lined with
pyrite-bearing shales. Oxidation of that pyrite by rainwater
forms a dilute sulfuric acid solution we see in the pit. The
pit water level also tells us something about the elevation of the
groundwater table in the region. Hydrogeology studies great
The class by one of the old shovel buckets
from the mining operation.
Sill, New Jersey - March 2010
Friehauf's Petrology class took a quick day trip to find the
olivine layer of the famous Palisades Sill in New Jersey.
We found what might have
been the olivine layer, but it was too high on the cliff to observe
Our secondary objective was to measure the orientations of a large
number of cooling joints for structural analysis. We now have
a great data set for analysis in lab!
of America meeting, Baltimore, Maryland - March 2010
Dr. Kurt Friehauf's Economic
Geology class traveled with to Arizona. In addition to
touring copper mines in southern Arizona, we made sure to visit
several of Arizona's other natural wonders.
We started by visiting the Grand Canyon. A large open pit mine
moves around 250,000 tons of rock each day. It would take
humans roughly 125,000 years to dig the Grand Canyon at that
rate! Here, Harley, Shane, and Anthony await the sunset
Although hiking is forbidden on Sunset Crater
volcano itself, there are plenty of other cinder cones in the area
on National Forest land. Matt, Jeremy, and Dan here look out
over the broad Arizona landscape from the lip of the crater of one
Barringer Crater (aka Meteor Crater) is the
site of a meteorite impact crater that formed 40,000 years ago when
300,000 ton chunk of iron slammed into the Earth at a speed of
45,000 miles per hour. The resulting explosion overturned the
sedimentary rock strata in the area and left a mile wide hole.
Standing on the rim of the crater really brings home the reality of
Earth's place in the bigger astronomical scheme of things -
especially when one considers this meteorite was only 50 meters in
diameter and the asteroid that allegedly wiped out the dinosaurs was
10,000 meters across!
Petrified Forest National Park is
extraordinary! Thousands of giant, silicified logs of wood lay
scattered across the desert floor, exhumed from their resting place
by erosion. The details of the wood are preserved right down
to the burrows dug by beetles beneath the bark.
Economic Geologists determine the sequence of
mineralization events by carefully studying the veins in the
rock. Younger veins crosscut older veins. By deduction,
we can learn how mineralization proceeded to form the ore deposits
that we rely on for all of our metal needs.
coal mine in the anthracite region, Pennsylvania - October 2009
Laura Sherrod took her Physical Geology (GEL100) to visit the
reclamation of an abandoned coal mine.
Sherrod's expertise includes hydrogeology - the study of water
in the environment - so a visit to a mine portal with acid drainage
was a bit of a treat.
Deep-sea AUV magnetic and seismic study of the
Hawaiian Jurassic crust beneath the Pacific Ocean floor - Autumn
Dr. Adrienne Oakley
will travel with five Kutztown University undergraduate students
this fall on a six-week deep oceanographic research cruise to study
the properties of the ocean floor in the southwest Pacific.
Kutztown University geology student Jewels Wilk spent a month in the
Namibian desert with Dr.
Kurt Friehauf studying one of the oldest intrusion-related
copper deposits in the world. Remarkably, the two billion year
old deposit is almost completely untouched by subsequent
metamorphism. Studying this deposit will help us understand
how copper mineralizing processes may have differed in the ancient
geologic past compared to processes that formed more recent
New York Adirondacks - the
biggest landslide in New York history - May 2011
Dr. Laura Sherrod,
working with Kutztown Geology students Ken Schlosser and Jarred
Swiontek, in cooperation with geologists
Kozlowski and Brian Bird of the NY State Geological Survey,
used Ground Penetrating Radar to map and characterize an
actively-moving massive landslide in upstate New York. This
landslide is the largest in the state's history.
Salton Sea, California - May 2011
Dr. Erin Kraal and
Simpson worked with Kutztown Geology students Liz Heness and
Jewels Wilk along the shores of the Salton Sea on a
multi-disciplinary project studying the interplay between
sedimentological and geomorphological processes. The site is
unusual because the beach sand is composed almost entirely of fish
Island Coastal Zone - Virginia - Summer 2011
Dr. Adrienne Oakley,
working with Kutztown Geology students Eric Sergent and Matt
Sabetta, and Kutztown Marine Science Jaclyn Chariw,
profiling beach forms using total station surveying and
quantitatively analyzing sediment samples. They are
integrating that data with tidal and wave data, as well as storm
surge information to learn how weather affects coastal processes and
Pennsylvania Acid Mine Drainage
- June 2011
Dr. Laura Sherrod,
working with Kutztown Geology students Jarred Swiontek and Jeff
Kadegis, used electrical resistivity geophysics to track water flow
into abandoned coal mines from river channels in Pennsylvania.
Once the source of water entering the coal mines is discovered,
steps can be taken to redirect the water, keeping our streams
running clear and free of contaminants. This is novel approach
to groundwater monitoring is a way to use geophysics to peer beneath
the Earth's surface and study subterranean processes.
Kutztown University geology students Melania Tkach, Dan Ruth, and
Ken Schlosser spent a month in the interior of Alaska with Dr. Kurt Friehauf
where they geologically mapped a Tertiary volcanic complex.
Parts of the mountain were hydrothermally-altered, a characteristic
of many gold deposits. The students also quantitatively
analyzed drill core to assess the potential of a prospect of
metamorphic rocks for zinc mineralization.
search for a historic mass grave - 2010-2011
Dr. Laura Sherrod
and Dr. James Higgins, working with Kutztown Geology student Connor
Messler, used Ground Penetrating Radar to assess whether or not a
historic cemetery in eastern Pennsylvania is the site of a mass
burial related to the 1918 Spanish
influenza pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million
people worldwide in just two years. They presented
their findings at the
Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering
and Environmental Problems in Charleston,
South Carolina (10-14 April 2011).
Africa - May-June 2010
Simpson took several students to do research with him on
ancient sedimentary rocks in South Africa. The expedition was
very successful. Results of this research will be presented by
Dr. Simpson and his students at the national Geological Society of
America meeting in Denver. Samples taken during the trip are
the subject of ongoing analysis in the labs at Kutztown
Kutztown geology undergraduate students Anthony Moorehead and Lauren
Storm traveled to Beijing, China with Dr. Kurt Friehauf
to participate in a graduate course in economic geology taught by
Dr. Friehauf at the China University of Geosciences. While
there, they took time off to visit the many wonderful historic sites
in and around Beijing, including the Forbidden City, Summer Palace,
Great Wall of China, and a historic farming village.
The group then traveled to the remote Qinling Mountains in Henan
Province to study molybdenum mineral deposits. Because mineral
deposits have strategic value, geologic access was restricted in
some areas by the Chinese government (indeed! We were evicted
from one city because it was too close to a military base - no
foreigners were permitted in the area!) We were, however,
lucky to get access to some remarkable rocks never before seen by
We are currently studying samples taken on that expedition to
determine the geological/geochemical processes that formed the
mineral deposits over 100 million years ago!
One of the most prolific and exciting research
projects at Kutztown University combines Dr. Sarah Tindall's
studies of structural geology (how mountains form, and how rocks
fracture and fold) with Dr.
Edward Simpson's studies of the sedimentology (how sand and
silt deposit), stratigraphy (layering of sedimentary rocks), and
paleontology (fossils). Some of the exciting things they've
discovered include evidence of ancient earthquakes that violently
shook the region when the sandstone was still just a mush of
sediment, resulting in the eruption of mud volcanoes and contorting
the bedrock like a twisted puzzle. Their studies have also
helped unravel the history of when and how the Rocky Mountains
formed during the time of the dinosaurs.
This project involves undergraduate students traveling to the Utah
desert every summer. Almost a dozen students have now
contributed to the science on this project and presented their
findings at Geological Society of America meetings.
Anthracite region fern fossils and
underground coal mine fire, Pennsylvania - November 2010
The Kutztown University Geology Club took a weekend off to visit the
underground coal fire at Centralia and collect fern fossils from
abandoned coal mine spoils.
Nova Scotia, Canada + Maine - May 2010
The Kutztown University Geology Club took a trip north to tour
Acadia National Park in Maine, as well as the Canadian province of
Arizona - Tucson Gem and Mineral Show + climbing/hiking - February
(photos coming soon) Geology Club took a couple days off from school to go to the
greatest mineral/fossil show on Earth.
Hawai'i - January 2010
The Geology Club traveled to Hawaii to visit
volcanoes and beaches. Dr. Adrienne Oakley
accompanied them for much of the trip because she knows Hawai'i
well, having done her PhD research at the University of Hawai'i at
Clementz, M.T. and Sewall,
J.O., 2011, Latitudinal Gradients in Greenhouse Seawater d18O:
Evidence from Eocene Sirenian Tooth Enamel, Science, v. 332, p.
L., Hilbert-Wolf, H. L., Wizevich, M.C., Tindall, S.E.,
*Fasinski, B. R., *Storm, L. P., and *Needle, M.D., 2010, Predatory
Digging Behavior by Dinosaurs: Geology, v. 38, p. 699-702. (picked
up by major internet news organizations, written up in he
international magazine the Economist, and BBC 3 and 4 radio
Simpson, W.S., Simpson, E.L.,
Wizevich, M.C., *Malenda, H.F., Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., and Tindall, S.E.,
2010. A preserved Late Cretaceous biological soil crust in the
capping sandstone member, Wahweap Formation, Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, Palaeoclimatic
implications: Sedimentary Geology, v. 230, p. 139-145.
*Moran, K., Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., Golder, K., *Malenda, H.F., *Smith,
C.J., *Storm, L.P., Simpson, E.L.,
Wizevich, M.C., and Tindall, S. E.,
2010, Implications of the wood-boring trace fossil
Asthenopodichnium in the Late Cretaceous Wahweap Formation, Utah,
USA: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology,
v. 297, p. 662-669.
*Storm, L., *Needle, M.D., *Smith, C.J., Fillmore, D. L., Szajna,
E.L., and Lucas, S. G., 2010, An upper
Mississippian vertebrate burrow from the Mauch Chunk Formation,
Eastern Pennsylvania: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,
Palaeoecology, v. 298, p. 341-347. (Highlighted in Discovery News).
*Malenda, H.F., Simpson, E.L.,
Wizevich, M.C., and Tindall,
S.E., Accepted February 2011, Towards the recognition of
biological soil crusts in the rock record: Key features from the
study of modern and Cretaceous examples, In, Noffke, N., and
Chafetz, H., Eds., Microbial Mats in Sandy Deposits (Archean
to Today): Society of Sedimentary Geology Special Publication.
2010, Collaborative Research Grant: A DEEP-AUV Magnetic and Seismic
Study of the Hawaiian Jurassic Crust - The Global Significance of
Jurassic Magnetic Anomalies: National Science Foundation (NSF -
2010, Virginia Climate Change Modeling and Adaptation Project:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Research Grant
Haug, E. W., Kraal,
E.R., Sewall, J. O., van
Dijk, M. V, and Chong, G., 2010, Modeling paleo-flow events on
alluvial fans in the Atacama Desert, Chile: Geomorphology, v.
121, p. 184-196.
Speelman, EN, Sewall,
J. O., Noone, D, Huber, M, von der Heydt, A, Sinninghe
Damsté, JS, and Reichard, G-J, 2010, Modeling the influence
of a reduced equator-to-pole sea surface temperature gradient on the
distribution of water isotopes in the Eocene, Earth and Planetary
Science Letters, v. 298, p. 57-65.
Tindall, S. E.,
Storm, L. P., Jenesky, T. A. and Simpson, E.
L., 2010, Growth faults in the Kaiparowits basin, Utah,
pinpoint initial Laramide deformation in the western Colorado
Plateau: Lithosphere, v. 2, no. 4, p. 221-231.
L., Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L., Wizevich, Michael C., Tindall, Sarah E.,
Fasinski, Ben R., Storm, Lauren P., and Needle, Mattathias D., 2010,
Predatory digging behavior by dinosaurs: Geology, v. 38, no. 8, p.
Volkert, Richard A., Monteverde, Donald H., Friehauf, Kurt C.,
Gates, Alexander E., Dalton, Richard F., and Smith II, Robert C.,
2010, Geochemistry and origin of Neoproterozoic ironstone deposits
in the New Jersey Highlands and implications for the eastern
Laurentian rifted margin in the north-central Appalachians, USA:
Tollo, R.P., Bartholomew , M.J., Hibbard, J.P., and Karabinos, P.M.,
eds., From Rodinia to
Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region:
Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 283–306.
Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., Simpson, E.L.,
Simpson, W.S., Tindall,
S.E., Wizevich, M. C., 2009, Insights into syndepositional
fault movement in a foreland basin; trends in seismites of Upper
Cretaceous Wahweap Formation, Kaiparowits Basin, Utah, U.S.A.: Basin
Research, v. 21.
Fillmore, D. L., Simpson, E.
L., and Lucas, S. G., 2009, Issac Lea’s Palaeosauropus
(=Sauropus”) primaevus: a review of his discovery: Ichnos v. 16, p.
220-229. (DOI: 10/1080/10420940802686152)
E.L., Wizevich, M.C., Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., Tindall, S.E.,
*Bernard, J.J., Simpson, W.S., 2009, An Upper Cretaceous sag pond
deposit: Implications for the recognition of local seismicity and
surface rupture along the Kaibab Monocline, Utah: Geology, v. 37. p
K.C., 2008, Iron-sulfur redox and its effect on
sulfur-isotope fractionation in carbonate-hosted Cu-Au replacement
ores, Superior, Arizona, in Spencer, J.E., and Titley, S.R.,
eds., Ores and orogenesis: Circum-Pacific tectonics, geologic
evolution, and ore deposits, p. 583-590.
Eriksson, P. G., Long, D. G. F., Bumby, A. J., Eriksson, K. A., Simpson, E.
L., Catuneanu, O., Claassen, M., Mtimkulu, Mudziri, K.T., M.
N., Brümer, J. J., and van der Neut, M., 2008,
Palaeohydrological data from the 2.0-1.8 Ga Waterburg Group, South
Africa: Discussion of a possible unique Palaeoproterozoic fluvial
style: South African Journal of Geology, v. 111, p. 183-206.
L., Hilbert-Wolf, H. L., Simpson, W.S., Tindall, S. E.,
*Bernard, J. J., *Jenesky, T. A., and Wizevich, M. C., 2008, The
interaction of aeolian and fluvial processes during deposition of
the Upper Cretaceous capping sandstone member, Wahweap Formation,
Kaiparowits Basin, Utah, U.S.A.: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,
Palaeoecology, v 270. p. 19-28.
and Simpson, Edward L.
- American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund Grants -
Structural, sedimentologic and stratigraphic study of Late
Cretaceous normal faults and syntectonic sediments in the
Kaiparowits basin region, southern Utah. $49,964. (Fall