NYC Geology

NYCOctober 1st UPDATE — Unfortunately, with what must be some recent changes to Chrome and Firefox, this page does not accurately reflect the Jmpress.js code – namely, there is no fluid transition between “slides” as one might see in Prezi and existed for this page even as late as midsummer.  What makes me suspect it is changes to Chrome and Firefox?  Well, it still works correctly in Safari 🙂   So, if you would like to see this page (and Jmpress.js) in action, copy the link and paste it into Safari!  This is all part and parcel of learning to code; keeping up with changes to browsers, changes to the code (JS or CSS) that the creator makes to their Github repository, etc., etc.  Gotta like theproblem solving!


This was a very early project.  I was inspired by a page created by Tim Jones for his physics class, built using Impress.js  I updated the NYC Geology page this summer by upgrading it to Jmpress.js, “a JQuery port of impress.js”. The functionality appears to be very similar, but there are capabilities that I have yet to explore.  I have incorporated photos that I took myself, some I found online, GIFs I created from paleogeographic maps made by  Dr. Ron Blakey, Professor Emeritus, Northern Arizona University Geology Department, and short clips cut from Youtube hosted How The Earth Was Made: New York City (History Channel) featuring Dr. Charles Merguerian of Hofstra University.

The page is useful for my students to review the concepts learned in class about the geological history of the NYC region, including the large rock outcroppings visible in Central Park, the topography and underlying bedrock that allow high rises in midtown and downtown, but that limit the height of buildings in between those areas (think of the Lower East Side for example), the depth and breadth of the Hudson River and the existence of the Verrazano Narrows (the straight that provides passage from the Hudson to the Atlantic Ocean).

For more information about the geological history of the region, please read this draft from the USGS and this from NYC Parks Dept

For an introduction to the natural history of Manhattan, please refer to the Weilikia Project, and the excellent book, Mannahatta, which documents the decade-long work of Eric Sanderson and colleagues of the Wildlife Conservation Society (here is a TED talk he did on the project in 2009)