Wow, what a title but that is what hit me when I was trying to decide on what to write on. My schedule for the summer is always hectic and when I have time to sit down and write a blog, I better have a topic. So this time I thought it might be good to bring you up to date on several items that might be on interest.
My first topic is probably one of the most popular subjects where readers have responded. It is on gold in the area and this was one of my first ever blogs I wrote. I spilled the beans in that blog with locations where gold is best to be found in York and Lancaster counties. Several weeks ago one recreational prospector named Chris Martz sent me a picture of a gold nugget he found in PetersCreek in LancasterCounty. PetersCreek in southern portion of the county is regarded by myself as the best gold-producing stream in southeastern Pennsylvania. Recreational panners from the region descend on that area asking property owners to access the stream. The nugget was analyzed by a jeweler and weighed in at 22 grams. Nice find Chris and it was the first nugget that I have seen come out of this area. I still recommend to folks wanting to learn the art of panning to join a chapter of the Gold Prospectors Association of America. By being a member, you have access to a number of claims across the country, proper insurance and around those folks who have knowledge on panning and gold. Locally, the Delaware Valley Chapter has several claims in southeastern Pennsylvania and meet in the Reading area. Check their website out for details.
In relation to gold panning, the York County Parks popular Panning for Gold day in Spring Valley County Parks is coming up on Saturday, July 27th from 9am – 2 pm. This is always a fun time for everyone and you can actually find gold in the East Branch of the Codorus Creek should luck be on your side. The program is free and no registration is requited – just show and go. Some pans will be available or you can purchase a pan there from the East Coast Gold Panners and Treasures Hunters Association. Expert gold pannres also come into the park since they know that the last Saturday in July is the only day throughout the year that gold may be removed from the stream (due to Park regulations).
A common question I receive from new folks into this hobby is where can they go panning. Unfortunately, there is no public land in the state where panning is allowed. Property owners have to be consulted for permission and I know to new folks that is hard to do, especially if you are from outside the area. I feel bad for these folks that there isn’t any public lands where they can become educated. This is the big advantage on joining a gold panning organization.
Another update is the groundwater survey of CarrollTownship in northern YorkCounty. Jones Geological Services and the United States Geological Survey have teamed to conduct this study as a result of the 2008-2010 earthquake swarm that occurred there. A theory that perhaps groundwater was involved in these tremors was proposed and we are attempting to look for any hints with that. The survey is still in progress with several monitors installed in abandoned wells measuring the water levels. Results will eventually be posted on my website at jonesgeo.com. We are grateful to a number of property owners, CarrollTownship and the Dillsburg Area Authority in making this project possible. I had one report of a small tremor felt west of U.S. Rte. 15 in mid March. Not large enough to be recorded by any seismographs, a report like this from residents is beneficial in our record keeping.
Speaking of earthquakes, I just saw a short article in the July issue of Earth magazine about very small seismic activity associated with Superstorm Sandy. Apparently as a result of waves crashing on the bottom of the ocean, into the shore and particularly into each other, this was enough to be detected by seismographs as far west as Seattle, Washington. The strongest seismic activity was recorded on October 29, 2012. Much of the seismic activity was recorded by the EarthScope instruments, a temporary array of seismographs that is being set up across the country from west to east. Not to advertise, but if you would like to read up-to-date information about our Earth and interesting articles subscribe to Earth magazine (www.earthmagazine.org). Now that is some cool stuff reported about Superstorm Sandy.
My last update is concerning our freshly started tour of the YorkCounty libraries in connection with their Summer Reading Program. What better theme for this popular summer activity is Digging into Reading and we have designed a fun child-participation program called “Tracking Dinosaurs.” I have to admit, I am not a vertebrate paleontologist nor expert on the dinosaurs. Yes, I know about the dinosaurs and related animals that lived in our area during the early part of the Mesozoic, but when it comes to the more popular dinosaurs like T-rex and Triceratops, the children know more than myself.
We have fun allowing the children demonstrate how dinosaurs walked, trace trackways and make up their own theories about what happened. The faces you see on some of these children is worth the trip to that library, especially when they find out they are receiving a fossil to take home. The best reaction of or participants occur after they learned that they have just licked a coprolite to identify it (with the persuasion of myself since I pretend to forget what it is). Now don’t ruin the experience if you plan to attend one of these library programs, we love to the see the youngster’s reactions.
I admit that science is boring. Jones Geological Services believes in including some humor into the program to keep the audience attentive. I think that the humor will help them retain some information or something that may be unlocked later in school when they hear a term that is recalled from such a program as ours. Every child has their own special expression when they come over to you to say Thank You.
Finally, if you are planning to go on a vacation this summer, drop me an email or through the blog to ask me for some geologic information about your destination. Remember, geology is everywhere, no matter if it is Disney World, Myrtle Beach, Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Watkins Glen or Boston.
Believe me, I spend a couple of hours researching the geology of a destination so I can gain just alittle more out of the experience. On the other hand, maybe I am half crazy!!Read More