Social History: Recent Research




Above Sherman Fall looking Northeast

Photograph by Tom Whiteley



Research on Trenton Falls and the Trenton Limestone date back nearly two centuries, and researchers in the later part of the 20 th century armed with new techniques and ideas for geological observation have renewed the study of Trenton geology. In the late 1960's, the establishment of new stratigraphic research tools and the development of plate tectonic theories made it possible to advance our understanding of the natural history of Trenton Falls. No longer was the goal focused on the description and classification of faunas for establishing simple taxonomic listings. Instead, the focus shifted to documenting patterns of faunal change across a variety of environments and testing for causality of both biotic and environmental change.

The short following discussion highlights some of the most recent geology related advancements in the development of research on the Trenton and equivalent rocks.

Not economic for cement, but for natural gas?

The Trenton Limestone and the superjacent Black River limestones have been used locally in the region for building stone, cement production, and agricultural lime, but have been considered of relatively minor economic importance in the state. Historically they were not a focus for economic growth in New York , but the same rocks in other regions of the eastern United States and Canada were developed for their significant reserves of natural gas and oil. During the later part of last century, new subsurface geophysical techniques, and increased demands for cheaper and more local fossil fuel resources resulted in the discovery of substantial reserves of natural gas from the Trenton and Black River Groups in the subsurface. In the region immediately southeast of Trenton Falls (south-central New York State), the production of natural gas from these intervals has topped the charts. Although natural gas is not found at Trenton Falls itself, the investigation of the Trenton helps to understand the depositional and diagenetic history of the rocks in which natural gas is found.

Future Potential For Research on the Trenton Limestone and Trenton Falls.

As documented by this website, the geology of Trenton Falls has continuously been a source of inspiration, contemplation, and curiosity for generations of geologists. It has fostered decades of geological research and it will continue to provide research opportunities in many areas of geology in which paleontologic, stratigraphic, sedimentologic, or structural techniques are required to investigate the dynamic record of Earth's history. >>Back to Top



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