The New Jersey Palisades Essay examples

The New Jersey Palisades Essay examples

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The Palisades basalt sill is one of the most active mass movement areas in New Jersey (Pallis, 2009) and because of its activity it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms that cause the rockfalls along the outcrop. The Palisades are composed ancient Jurassic flood basalt that formed through at least three distinct intrusion events (Puffer, 2009). It is important to understand that in all of these events the molten magma was allowed to completely cool before the next event allowing for the formation of the iconic hexagonal columns of basalt (Puffer, 2009). These columns are referred to columnar joints and formed when the molten basalt cooled within the earth's crust. The cooling of the basalt caused it to shrink, creating vertical fractures along the weakest planes of the newly formed rock (Puffer, 2009). These joints are called primary joints due to these columnar joints forming as the rock itself formed (Linsey, 2014).
Studying the effects of weathering and erosion on the uplifted and exposed basalt sill is important to understanding the geological events that lead to mass movements in the area. My researc sought to determine exactly what happens to a rock that has been exposed to natural weathering such as thermal, biological, chemical, and wet-dry also referred to as slaking, on a qualitative and quantitative scale. The weathering of the rocks, though apparent on the exterior of the sample, has an extreme and transformative effect on the internal structure (Gupta et al., 1999). Weathering disrupted the internal crystalline structure by producing microfactures, voids, and the deposition of clay minerals (Gupta et al., 1999). Basalt is heavily affected by weathering when concerning porosity and the formation of ...


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...2006) observations: Geomorphology, v. 99, p. 353-368.
Matsuoka, N., and Sakai, H., 1998, Rockfall activity from an alpine cliff during thawing periods: Geomorphology, v. 28, p. 309-328.
Monthly Average Temperature for New York, NY: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USNY0996 (March 2014).
Pallis, Ted, 2009, New Jersey Landslides: New Jersey Geological, Information Circular, p. 1-4.
Puffer, J., Block, K., Steiner C., 2009, Transmission of Flood Basalts through a Shallow Crustal Sill and the Correlation of Sill Layers with Extrusive Flows: The Palisades Intrusive System and the Basalts of the Newark Basic, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Journal of Geology, p. 139-155.
Yan, F., Feng, X., Chen, R., Xia K., Jin, C., Dynamic Tensile Failure of the Rock Interface Between Tuff and Basalt: Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, May 2012, v. 45, p.

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