Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Famous Pennsylvania Bluestone

Bluestone is a type of sandstone that is found in Southern Tier New York, Northeast Pennsylvania, Virginia and crops up now in then in surrounding states.  Pennsylvania Blustone, interestingly enough, is made up ofcompressed layers of sand from the bottom of a series of tidal flats that covered northeastern Pennsylvania over 400 million years ago.  Uniquely, this area featured fast moving, shallow water that dropped an array of sediment in a long path, creating the unique look of the stone. As the sand and various debris and organisms fossilized and hardened, it formed a unique type of stone.  Sometimes slabs are picked apart to find almost completely intact fossils.

This is a Bluestone Quarry about 10 miles or so from Tunkhannock, PA.  While the nice slabs are cut and shaped in the hopper (pictured above in the white tarped tent), the debris, broken slabs and small bits are trucked off to make *shivers* gas pads for Natural Gas drilling...

Where else is this stuff used?  How about the Rose Garden terrace at the White House, the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania, Independence Mall, the Peace Bell Garden at the United Nation Headquarters in New York, and many, many other places.  All of this right in your backyard.

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