Evaulation of remote sensing, geological and geophysical data for south-central New York and northern Pennsylvania

Open-File Report 82-319

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A study was made of the relationship between lineaments observed on Landsat satellite images and the geologic framework of a portion of the Allegheny Plateau of south-central New York and northern Pennsylvania. The area is underlain by a relatively thick sequence of salt and other evaporites in the Silurian Salina Group and is a potential site for deep-storage of solid nuclear waste. A combination of remote sensing techniques, detailed geologic mapping and geophysical investigations were applied to the problem. Because of the premature termination of the Department of Energy contract, only a portion of the total work was completed. The completed portion of the project included 1) digital contrast enhancement of several Landsat multispectral scanner (MSS) images, 2) analysis of lineament patterns from a Landsat MSS-7 mosaic, 3) field mapping of bedrock joint patterns, 4) compilation and analysis of surface and subsurface structure and isopach maps, 5) collection and digital analysis of aeromagnetic data for southern New York, 6) compilation and analysis of aeromagnetic and gravity data for much of New York and Pennsylvania, and 7) analysis of seismic reflection survey lines for selected portions of New York and Pennsylvania. We identified eight major lineaments or lineament zones and studied them in detail. They typically represent linear alignments of the most conspicuous or prominent physiographic features observable on Landsat images. The Cortland-Ithaca, Watkins Glen-Tanghannock, Seneca Lake-Elmira, Painted Post-Blossburg and Endicott-Syracuse conspicuous lineaments include the Corning-Bath, Van Etten-Towanda, Van Etten-Candor and Van Etten-Odessa lineaments. In addition, a major fault system--the West Danby fault zone--was further defined by geologic and geophysical investigations during our study; the fault zone was not recognizable on satellite images. The lineaments and lineament zones were categorized by their azimuthal trends. Those with a northerly orientation (e.g. Van Etten-Towanda, Seneca Lake-Elmira, Painted Post-Blossburg and Endicott-Syracuse) are most common. Northeasterly lineaments (e.g. Cortland-Ithaca and Watkins Glen-Taughannock) also are common. The Corning-Bath and Van Etten-Odessa lineaments have a northwesterly orientation and the Van Etten-Candor lineament is the sole representative of the east-west direction. The West Danby fault system also trends east-west. All the lineaments or lineament zones studied appear to be related, in one fashion or another, to structural disturbances, because changes in the structural attitude of beds or thickness of rocks commonly occur along their extent. The changes in many instances occur on multiple stratigraphic horizons and in a manner suggestive of several different styles of tectonism, leading to the conclusion that the lineaments and lineament zones have been periodically reactivated during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras. Aeromagnetic data commonly show a parallel alignment of contours juxtaposed or on line with lineaments and lineament zones, suggesting that these physiographic alignments owe their origin to features within the crystalline basement. Pre-Alleghanian faulting and depositional patterns show that the study area was affected by basement-controlled adjustments along and in the same direction as most of the lineaments and lineament zones. Actual displacements cannot be proven for all of the lineaments or lineament zones, but changes in dip of the rocks across these features suggest either basement hingelines or small displacement faulting which cannot be resolved by the present data. These displacements occurred in at least Middle-Late Ordovician, Middle-Late Silurian and the Early-Middle Devonian times. The major northeast trending lineament zones (Cortland-Ithaca and Watkins Glen-Taughannock) correspond in orientation and lie along the northeastward projection of the Rome Trough, a postulated Paleozoic aulacogen. Results of

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Evaulation of remote sensing, geological and geophysical data for south-central New York and northern Pennsylvania
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
179 p., ill., maps (some col.) ;32 cm.