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Identifying The Distinct Rocks Types In The Streambed Of Muddy Run

2252 words - 9 pages

Rivers and streams are the main transporters of sediment and rock and they are known for their powerful erosional capabilities. Sediment and rock travel down gradient from location to location until they come to rest in a delta or they are deposited when the velocity of the water has become too slow to move the debris any further. Secondary streams, although known for moving less sediment or rock, still retain the power to erode and transport. Muddy Run, a secondary bedrock stream in Oneida Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, is one such example. Bedrock streams, instead of just flowing over the ground, cut down into the local bedrock (Seidl & Dietrich 1993). This following paper will answer two questions concerning Muddy Run. Firstly, throughout its geologic history, from what locations has Muddy Run been eroding and transporting rock? In addition, where did the rocks in Muddy Run once belong and how far could they have possibly travelled?
Muddy Run passes through Huntingdon, running through the Juniata College campus. Its catchment lies in a valley at approximately 700 feet elevation in the majority of locations. The down cutting of bedrock streams, such as Muddy Run, created the typography of the current landscape (Seidl & Dietrich 1993). This bedrock stream is separated from the Juniata River and Standing Stone Creek by ridges on either side of the valley (Figure 1). In addition, the valley is also formed by the south east slope of Warrior’s Ridge (White & D'Invilliers 1885). Muddy Run lies closest to the Juniata River (White & D’Invilliers 1885). However, Muddy Run is most likely a tributary of Standing Stone Creek. Based on the topographic map of Huntingdon County, the tributaries in the valley all appear to be flowing from a bend in Standing Stone Creek. Muddy Run is one of many watersheds in this area. There are approximately three secondary streams in this valley.
Muddy Run cuts through three geologic formations, the Hamilton Group, the Ridgeley Formation, and the Onondaga Formation (Figure 2).The Hamilton Group is made up of the Mahantango and Marcellus formations. Specifically, Marcellus shale makes up the valley along Muddy Run (White & D’Invilliers 1885). Marcellus shale is characterized by black and dark grey colored shale (Cooper 1930). The Hamilton Group was formed during the Middle Devonian period (Cooper 1930). The Onondaga Formation is known for light gray, often semi-crystalline or shaly limestone (Cooper 1930). Lithologically, the Onondaga Formation is close to the Hamilton Group and was also formed in the Middle Devonian period (Willard 1936). Finally, the Ridgeley Formation is characterized by thick bedded, coarse sandstone that formed during the Lower Devonian period (Butts 1918). Muddy Run, by the context of its surroundings, formed sometime after the formation of these three geologic formations. Therefore, Muddy Run formed sometime after the Devonian Period, making it younger than approximately 410 million...

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