My favorite rocks :recommendations from the experts in western Massachusetts

Wiswell, Virginia
Joy Ackerman, PhD
Department of Environmental Studies
Geology is a subject of interest to many people, both professionals and amateurs. Western Massachusetts' geologic history is fascinating and varied. Many relicts of this history, both typical and unique, are obvious to the trained eye. Those with an untrained eye, however, would not notice or would not be unable to understand or place them in historical context. Few texts exist which describe these relicts in western Massachusetts. I have created a guide to four sites that were recommended by local geologists. Focussing on recommendations is a unique and insightful method for illuminating aspects of the area's geology. Two of the sites cover three major areas of geologic processes; deglaciation, the Taconian orogeny, and fluvial processes of the Connecticut River. The site descriptions are preceded by a general explanation of the geologic processes to be observed. In an accompanying paper, I describe my motivations for creating the guide, methodology, problems encountered, and plans for expansion of the guide in the future.

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