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USGS Geology in the Parks

Geologic Provinces of the United States: Appalachian Highlands

Delaware River

Delaware River

Photo by Jack B Epstein, USGS

The Delaware River makes a sweeping bend as it heads throogh the world-famous Delaware Water Gap. The bend of the river mimics the underlying geology. The Shawangunk Formation of Silurian age, comprising very hard quartzite and holding up Kittatinny Mountain, dips moderately northward and is overlain by finer clastics of the Bloomsburg Red Beds, also Silurian in age. The dip flattens out under Dunnfield Creek (along which the Appalahcian Trail ascends the mountain) beyomd which the Bloomsburg is thrown into a series of small folds overlying a broader fold in the buried Shawangunk. The bend in the river mimics the form of that anticlinal fold. Approximately 20,000 years ago, Wisconsinan glacialice occupied this valley and a kame terrace of sand and gravel was deposited along Dunnfield Creek (Qkt). The National Park Service visitor's center is located at the arrow.

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