Niagara Falls in Ohio? – geomorphological and geological expression of the Niagara Escarpment in the vicinity of Dayton, Ohio.
Thomas Daniel Bashore, Deja Juanita Branch, Frances Coletta Jelinek
The Niagara Escarpment is a significant landform that runs for hundreds of miles in the northern United States and Canada; from eastern Wisconsin through Ontario to central New York State. The most famous part of this feature is no doubt the Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge on the Niagara River, between New York State and Ontario. The geology underlying the Niagara Escarpment comprises Paleozoic Era sediments: Silurian carbonate rocks that are more resistant to erosion overlying more easily eroded sediments from the Ordovician Period; conditions necessary for a waterfall to form. This pattern can be traced along the length of the Niagara Escarpment. What is perhaps less well-known is that in the Dayton area the same age rocks outcrop in a similar relationship along the rim of the Cincinnati Arch expressed at a number of local scenic sites (parks and reserves): for example, Glen Helen, Clifton Gorge, Charleston Falls, Patty Falls (Englewood Metro Park); many with waterfall features clearly not as high as at Niagara Falls but with the same basic geological framework as the latter. The local expression of the Niagara Escarpment is due to an isolated geological inlier, where older rocks (Ordovician age) are overlain by Silurian rocks. We have investigated the geology and geomorphology of some sites in the Dayton area along SW Ohio’s Niagara Escarpment. It is possible to document variation in the geology of the escarpment depending on location along the Cincinnati Arch and depth of erosion. Geomorphological features associated with karst landscapes (limestone solution) of the Silurian sediments have also been investigated. In addition the potential to develop educational materials on this local resource is being explored.
Michael R. Sandy
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project
"Niagara Falls in Ohio? – geomorphological and geological expression of the Niagara Escarpment in the vicinity of Dayton, Ohio." (2018). Stander Symposium Projects. 1421.