Niskayuna Central Schools 
Geology Studies

Student Projects, Reflections, and Additional Resources

Mrs. LaRow 

Thatcher Park Field Trip Slide Show:


Student Reflections:

  1. Diana Smith - From studying the land formations of Thatcher Park, the Mohawk Gorge, Rt. 5 Quarry, Helderbergs, and the Platterkill, I have learned that glaciers that covered this area long ago deposited sediments, rocks, and fossilsThese glaciers passed over New York State 21,000 years ago. Many of the rocks that we find are unsorted because the glaciers just dumped them. The Rt. 5 Quarry has conglomerate rocks, which were formed by glacial till, cementing the rocks together to look like one large rock. In the Helderbergs, there are deep cuts. These cuts were formed by the passing glaciers.
  2. Martin Reynolds - I learned about erosion, especially from wind and water. In Thatcher Park, I saw evidence of limestone being eroded in the Lower Manilus. There is water present in underground streams and waterfalls. As the water passes over the land, erosion takes place. Water goes into the cracks in the earth. Then it dissolves the rocks.  Water in waterfalls wears down the rocks along the shores and water beds. When it rains water moves and carries rocks and sediment as it also erodes the land formations.
  3. Susanna Jones - Limestone formations in our area of New York State. About 410 million years ago New York was flooded by the Appalachian Bain. Limestone is an after product of an ocean environment that once covered the area. Our area of NY was once covered by an ocean millions of years ago. If coral is present in the fossils, it means that tropical water was once present. Layers of rock are formed when mountains crumble and turn into rocks or sediments. They fall into bodies of water and form layers. That means water was there when the mountains crumbled.
  4. Carol Woral - I learned about erosion along the Mohawk River.  There is evidence that suggests that Niskayuna has been eroded by water for over a thousand years, and it's still happening.  As we studied the rocks along the river banks in both Niskayuna and Rexford, we could see that they were once the same kind of rocks. The rocks were broken by the force of the water.  Sediments make the water turn brown. You can see that the water is brown on the Niskayuna side of the river. Since the rocks on the Niskayuna side and the Rexford side were once the same rock, this suggests that Niskayuna is being eroded by the flow of the water in the river.

View Field Trips in Google Earth:


Thatcher Park.kml (Download the file and open in Google Earth. Click to download)

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