Delaware Geosymposium 2017

Welcome to the web site for the 2017 Delaware Geosymposium

The 2017 Delaware Geosymposium is organized by the Delaware Geological Survey and the third of our symposia on Delaware geology.

This year's theme: Delaware Geology in the Field.

Date: Friday, April 21, 2017

Organizers and Contact Information:

The fieldtrip coordinators will be Sandy Schenck, P.G. and Peter McLaughlin, P.G., geologists from the Delaware Geological Survey, with support from fellow DGS staff members.

The conference contact email address is:


The 2017 Delaware Geological Survey Geosymposium will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017 as a fieldtrip. As such, the theme is "Delaware Geology in the Field."

The trip itinerary includes two stops to examine interesting aspects of the state's Piedmont geology, one stop to examine an exposure of Cosatal Plain sediments, and a final wrap-up discussion that includes examination of cores through Coastal Plain sediments and metamorphic basement rocks.

Trip participants will visit these outcrops in coach buses and/or vans, with snacks or lunches provided at several of the stops.

7:15 am: Registration / information pickup opens

8:00 – 8:15 am: Welcome, Dr. David R. Wunsch, P.G., State Geologist

8:15 – 8:20 am: Delaware Association of Geologists Announcement, W. Andrews Jenkins, P.G., Senior Environmental Project Manager/Senior Geologist, Duffield Associates

8:20 – 8:30 am: Trip Overview and Announcements

8:30 am: Depart UD Bob Carpenter Center Piedmont Stop 1.

9:00 – 10:00 am: Piedmont Stop 1 and Piedmont overview: New/Old Rock Exposures at Canby Park

This bedrock exposure in Little Mill Creek has always been here and exposed. Even FEMA blasted in the 1980s to help alleviate flooding. However, no geologists have ever recorded or described these rocks! Not even Florence Bascom! Now visited and described, we will see these rocks and a stream bed eroded into the bedrock. We will discuss what rock unit they might be and maybe even see famous “Indian Rock” at Canby Park!

10:00 – 10:30 am: Coffee Break

10:30 am: Depart for Piedmont Stop 2

11:00 – 12:00 am: Piedmont Stop 2: The Brandywine Gorge

Walk along the quarries of blue rock at Alapocas/Northern Greenway. See what real Brandywine Blue Gneiss looks like. See a “screen” which is the evidence for the blue rocks to be magma chambers beneath the Taconic island arc. Learn about the quarries, Fall Line, and Bancroft Mills and be amazed at how much rock was quarried to make early Wilmington.

12:00 – 1:00 pm: LUNCH at Alapocas/Northern Greenway

1:00 pm: Depart for Coastal Plain Stop 1

1:45 – 3:00 pm: Coastal Plain Stop 1: Marl Pit Quarry, Contractors Sand & Gravel Co., Odessa, DE

Examine the Quaternary deposits of the Delaware Coastal Plain where they overlie Paleogene greensands in quarry exposures on the south side of Drawyer's Creek near Odessa. Discuss the formations that occur at the site, identify sedimentary structures and lithologies exposed in the Quaternary sediments, contemplate the ancient depositional environments of the site, and consider the implications of the geology for groundwater systems in the area.

3:00 pm: Depart for UD Farm

3:45 – 5:00 pm: DGS Drill Rig, Cores, and Coffee Break / Wrap Up

See the DGS drill rig. Learn how coring and subsurface sampling impacts DGS research on subsurface geology problems in Delaware. Examine core samples obtained by the rig from sediments and hard rock units in Delaware and discuss how these contribute to our understanding of the relationship of Coastal Plain and Piedmont formations.