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Glacial geology and stratigraphy of Western New York Nuclear Service Center and vicinity, Cattaraugus and Erie Counties, New York

Open-File Report 79-989

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Abstract

A detailed glacial geologic map at a scale of 1:24,000, embracing a 165 square-mile area in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties, NY, shows 27 mapping units, including the till complex in which the West Valley radioactive-waste burial site is located. Stratigraphic relationships at 24 boreholes at the burial site and 6 newly described exposures indicate the age of the till complex to be early late Woodfordian (post-Kent, pre-Lake Escarpment, Valley Heads), equivalent to the Lavery glacial advance. Correlations of mapping units and measured sections with Woodfordian and older glacial and deglacial episodes are proposed. The Lavery till is confined to the valleys of Cattaraugus Creek and its major tributaries. At the waste-burial site in Buttermilk Creek Valley, the Lavery is an interfingering complex of clayey-silt till and thinner beds of deformed, poorly stratified lacustrine clay and silt. Ice readvance after the Kent glacial recession and Erie Interstade erosion imponded proglacial lake water in Buttermilk Creek Valley and covered post-Kent kame deltas and Erie channel gravels with as much as 130 feet of till. The Lavery till thins southward to a thickness of 80 feet at the waste-burial site and to less than 16 feet near the hamlet of West Valley. Water from the Lavery till may flow through subjacent Erie channel gravel and Kent-recessional kame delta sand to the bluffs along Buttermilk Creek, where discharge of water from these exposed pervious deposits appears to cause major slumps. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Glacial geology and stratigraphy of Western New York Nuclear Service Center and vicinity, Cattaraugus and Erie Counties, New York
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
79-989
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1979
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 32 p., 8 sheets :ill., maps ;28 cm.