The Stroudsburg area is within the Valley and Ridge and Great Valley physiographic provinces, Northampton and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania, and Warren County, New Jersey. The northeast-trending subparallel valleys and ridges resulted from erosion of folded heterogeneous sedimentary rocks. These are Middle Ordovician to Middle Devonian in age and are more than 17,000 feet thick. Deposition of a thick flysch sequence (Martinsburg Formation of Ordovician age) accompanied onset of Taconic orogenesis. It was followed by deposition of a thick molasse sequence of Silurian and Early Devonian age (continental and marginal-marine clastics--Shawangunk Formation and Bloomsburg Red Beds--overlain by predominantly marginal-marine and subtidal limestone, dolomite, shale, and sandstone--Poxono Island Formation through Oriskany Group). Basin deepening and gradual shallowing occurred during Esopus through Mahantango deposition, heralding the Acadian clastic wedge exposed north of the Stroudsburg area. Interpretation of sedimentary structures and regional stratigraphic relations suggest that the Silurian and Devonian rocks were deposited in the following environments: A1luviated coastal plain (meandering and braided streams), tidal flats (supratidal and intertidal), barrier zone, and neritic zone (upper and lower).
The rock stratigraphic units have been grouped into four lithotectonic units, each having a different style of deformation. Folds produced in these rocks are disharmonic, and it is believed that each rock sequence is set off from units above and below by
decollements, or zones of detachment. Movement was northwest into the Appalachian basin, primarily by gravitational sliding. The contact between the Shawangunk Formation of Silurian age and Martinsburg Formation of Ordovician age, is one zone of detachment as well as an angular unconformity.
Deformational effects of the Middle to Late Ordovician Taconic orogeny are elusive, but it appears that the folds and most minor structures, including the prominent regional cleavage, were produced during the late Paleozoic Appalachian orogeny and are superimposed upon larger Taconic folds and faults.
Field relations and microscopic study suggest that the regional cleavage in the Stroudsburg area is due to laminar flow of pelitic material along cleavage folia accompanied by mechanical reorientation of platy and elongate minerals and neocrystallization of mica, quartz, chlorite, and probably albite. Numerous lines of evidence point to the conclusion that cleavage developed after the rock was indurated and formed at, and Just below, conditions of low-grade metamorphism. Intensity of cleavage development increases to the southeast across the area. Second-generation slip cleavage, also believed to be Appalachian in age, formed by mechanical reorientation of minerals as well as by limited new mineral growth.
The topography had a profound effect on the direction of movement of the Wisconsin glacier, as well as the manner of its retreat and the deposits that were formed. Till and stratified drift of Wisconsin age and till of Illinoian(?) age are common in the area. Wisconsin deglaciation occurred by northeastward retreat and by stagnation. A conspicuous terminal moraine marks the limit of Wisconsin ice movement. Lake Sciota was dammed between the retreating ice, the moraine, and the surrounding ridges north of Godfrey Ridge. Several deltas mark ice stand positions during the retreat of the ice. Lake-bottom and kame deposits are locally common in Cherry Valley. South of Kittatinny Mountain, on the other hand, melt water was freely discharged to the south.
The wind and water gaps in the Stroudsburg area (including Delaware Water Gap and Wind Gap) are structurally controlled; specifically they are located where folds die out in short distances, where folding is locally more intense, or where resistant rocks dip steeply and have a narrow width of outcrop. This conclusion is contrary to
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USGS Numbered Series
Geology of the Stroudsburg quadrangle and Adjacent areas, Pennsylvania--New Jersey