The Hudson Valley in the Ice Age

The Hudson Valley in the Ice Age

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Authors: Robert and Johanna Titus

Mastodons in Greenville? There were—their bones have turned up there in the past and many still probably lie beneath ponds and swamps in that region.

New York’s version of Los Angeles’s famous La Brea Tar Pits? Well, not tar, but muck, and today rich farmland in the Wallkill Valley has yielded the remains of many ice age mammals.

Sand dunes in the city of Albany? Yes, frozen in time and now part of the Pine Bush Preserve, left where they were blown by prehistoric winds following the draining of Glacial Lake Albany.

Olana, a gift of the Ice Age? Thousands of years before artist Frederic Church designed his famed landscape, Ice Age forces sculpted the site of his estate.

A Niagara Falls in Philmont? Not as wide, and not as large a volume of water, but High Falls is slowly receding backward and will eventually disappear entirely—just like the real Niagara Falls.

Vanderbilt Mansion and Springwood, FDR’s home in Hyde Park, at risk? The Ice Age still threatens havoc in the modern world. Throughout the Hudson Valley, ice age sediments are prone to frequent landslides. These threaten everyday people as well as national landmarks.

Join Professors Robert and Johanna Titus on a tour of the Hudson River Valley and see this familiar region with new eyes—the eyes of geologists who see a half-mile-thick sheet of ice grinding its way down the valley and overtopping even the highest mountains. With the Tituses as your guides, “see” an ancient Manhattan high and dry with the Atlantic shoreline 100 miles to the southeast, North/South Lake State Park as a giant and frigid “waterslide park,” and the immense expanse of Glacial Lake Albany stretching the entire length of the Hudson Valley with its deltas that would become the sites of some of America’s most famous estates. Finally, witness the cataclysmic flood that cascaded through the valley at the end of the Ice Age as a great ice dam broke and a gigantic wall of water swept down the valley.

Writing primarily for a general audience, the Tituses take the reader through the Catskills, the Shawangunks, the Taconics, along the banks of the Hudson River, to Bash Bish Falls and Lake Taghkanic—to all those unique and beautiful places that make the Hudson Valley “the landscape that defined America”—and demonstrate that all this beauty we see every day rose phoenix-like from the devastation caused by the slow, inexorable advance of a grinding, half-mile-thick bulldozer of ice and the raging flood that followed its retreat.

Paperback, 224 pages

Publisher: Black Dome Press

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