MADISON county possesses some features of interest to the geologist; and those of its minerals which possess a commercial value are abundant, if not numerous. The lowest rocks of the county belong to the Clinton group and border Oneida Lake. This and the Niagara and Onondaga groups next above it occupy the low lands in the north part of the county. The red shales of the latter group form the surface rock south of the swamp and beds of gypsum extend along the base of the hills. Upon the north declivities of the hills successively appear the water limestone, Pentamerous limestone, Oriskany sand-stone and Onondaga limestone. Next above these appear the Marcellus and Hamilton shales, which cover more than one-half the entire surface of the county. The Tully limestone, Genesee slate and Ithaca groups are found to a limited extent covering the tops of the southern hills.
The Clinton group so well characterized by its iron ore beds and marine plants, is named from the village of Clinton, Oneida county, around which the characteristic masses of the group are found, and in honor of One who spared no effort to extend a knowledge of science and add to its acquisitions. It consists of green and black-blue shale, greenish and gray sandstone, red sandstone, often laminated, calcareous sandstone, encrinal sandstone and red fossiliferous iron ore beds. The most persistent member of the group is shale, which has a bluish color when first quarried, but changes after long exposure to a greenish hue. The next most persistent member is the greenish sandstone, which corresponds in its change of color to the shale; and the third, and also the most important product of the group, is the iron ore beds, which are two in number. The other masses, though some of them are thick, are not as persistent.
The first locality of the group in the county is at Thomas Donnelly's, on the road from Canastota to the head of Oneida Lake. It comes within plowing depth of the surface and occasionally lies loose upon the surface. The soil in several places is colored -blood red with the ore. The ore has been found for an extent of 80 or 100 acres, forming a rise of a few feet, and surrounded on all sides by swampy land. The ore is mixed with carbonate of lime, requiring, as is the case generally with this ore, to be mixed with argillaceous ores; no additional flux of limestone being needed, but, on the contrary, a material containing silex and alumina. Fossil shells are more numerous in the ores in this locality than elsewhere in the county. It contains the Oblong pentamerous, the Allied atrypa, Depressed strophomena and Radiated delthyris.
For a short distance north, in the swampy ground, the ore may occasionally be seen adhering to the roots of the trees which have blown over. No rock is seen in place from Donnelly's to the lake shore, near Oneida Lake post-office, though rocks are said to exist low in the water at Lewis' point. Back of the post-office the shore is lined with sandstone and shale, in which the vertical joints are well defined, appearing in parallelograms, the angles usually acute and obtuse. Fossils arc somewhat numerous, among which are the Depressed and Clinton strophomena, the Allied atrypa and a species of Stenoscisma, Lingula &c.
At Joscelin's Corners, the ore appears between the road and the lake, forming a mass of about two feet thick, and apparently divided into two layers of a foot each. It is exposed along a horizontal line several hundred feet in length. This ore has been taken to the furnace at Constantia, and no very favorable opinion given of it. Farther west on the lake shore, a thick layer of calcareous sandstone appears in the bank on the Reuben Bushnell place. It is over a foot in thickness and rises about two feet above the lake. The upper part contains encrinites, and for two inches in thickness it is encrinal, laminar and colored red by iron ore. Here was found the tail of the Dolphinhead trimerus, with a few other testaceous fossils. Other thin layers of shale and calcareous sandstone lie under this. The mass divides into regular forms, owing to joints in two directions, and is suitable for building purposes. Alluvion covers the group from Bushnell's to Fort Brewerton.
The Niagara group appears in the north parts of Lenox and Sullivan. It consists of limestone of a dark blue or black color, and of dark shale or slate. When the limestone is but small in quantity it is in hemispheric concretions, whose parts are more or less concentric to each other, like the coats of an onion. In the east part of this county it appears generally as a concretionary mass, in one or two layers, enclosed in dark blue slate or shale, not hard, the concretions varying in size from an inch to two or three feet in diameter. It is there too impure to be used as a limestone, and is but small in quantity; but farther west as the limestone increases in thickness, and is of a better quality, it is quarried both for building and burning for lime. In this county this concretionary character is less observable; but the limestone is granular, shining and looks like a glistening sandstone. Its color is quite dark. It is quarried on the Captain Wood and Adams farms in Lenox. In Sullivan it is found on the Joseph Clark farm, and by the roadside near his residence. On the adjoining farm of Enos Hubbard it is burned for lime. It makes a strong lime, but it is of a dark color, owing to the presence of iron and manganese.
The Onondaga Salt group contains all the gypsum masses of western New York, and furnishes all the salt water of the salines in the counties of Onondaga and Cayuga. It rests upon the Niagara group throughout its whole course west. It makes its first appearance by the side of the Erie Canal in the east part of this county, and from thence west the canal was excavated in the center of the red shale of this group. It increases in breadth on both sides of the canal, the extent of surface on the north side becoming as great after a few miles as on the south side.
The red shale in all its range of surface and thick-ness shows but little variation, and in no part has a fossil yet been observed. At the hill south of Lenox and on Canasaraga creek, as at other places, it shows numerous green spots, varying from an inch or less to several inches in diameter, which strongly contrast with the red ground in which they are placed.
The second deposit of the Onondaga group consists of shales and calcareous slate of a light green and drab color, intermixing and alternating with the red shale at its lower part. On the road from Clockville to Lenox, descending the hill to the turnpike, is one of the best localities for observing the alternation of the different colored masses. The deposit appears to be variable as to color. At times red predominates; at others, the green, bluish and drab; while at others the red is wanting altogether. Gypsum occurs in fibrous masses, either reddish or of a salmon color, colors which are peculiar to this deposit; but the quantity appears to be small. Recent excavations are the best for examining the products of this mass, in consequence of the ready alteration which some of the shales undergo by exposure to the air, from their friable or manly character.
The third or gypseous deposit is the most valuable and important, not only on account of its plaster beds, but because it is only in this that we have positive evidence that salt has existed, in this group in a solid state, and therefore the only source from whence the brine springs of Onondaga, Cayuga and Madison could have been derived. The great mass of the deposit consists of a rather soft, yellowish or drab and brownish colored shale and slate, both argillaceous and calcareous, and of argillaceous and calcareous slaty and more compact masses which are hard, a brownish color predominating. The whole is usually denominated gypseous marl; being earthy and indurated, slaty and compact. Some of the indurated and more solid kinds, when exposed to the weather, present a peculiar appearance like that of having been hacked with a cutting instrument, and with some regularity, owing to cracks and joints in two directions. The stone breaks readily in the direction of the cracks, and the fracture shows stains or marks of infiltration. When an acid is applied to the different associates of the gypsum, they do not effervesce in the free manner of purer limestone, but the effect is produced when in powder. The dark color of the gypsum and the brownish color of many of its associates appear to be owing to carbonaceous matter, and not to metalic oxides, as they become lighter by long exposure. The greenish colored shale, usually so abundant in gypseous deposits, appears to be but an inconsiderable portion.
In this county the massive gypsum commences, associated with a few other rocks not observed to the east, such as the vermicular rock. It does not appear in layers or beds; on the contrary it occurs in insulated masses, as though the particles of each mass had been attracted by a common center, but greatly modified by disturbing causes, so that the forms which it assumed were irregular, not globular masses. In many localities there appear to be two ranges of these masses, generally separated by the vermicular rock, the hopper-shaped cavities, and other less characteristic masses. In no part of the range is there a vertical section of any great height of the gypseous masses exposed; and therefore there is no absolute certainty of their being in ranges, or of the number of ranges, though certain localities indicate both. The disposition of the whole third deposit to a stratiform arrangement favors a like state for the gypsum, but does not define the number of the ranges.
The next mass in importance to the gypsum, geologically, is the vermicular limerock, which is essentially calcareous, and was first made known by Prof. Eaton. It is a porous or cellular rock, strongly resembling porous or cellular lava, everywhere perforated with curvilinear holes, but very compact between the holes. Its color is dark-gray or blue. The cells vary from microscopic to half an inch in diameter, are generally very irregular, and communicate in most instances with one another. Some are spherical and contain spherical crusts. In Bull's plaster quarry, in the town of Lenox, the structure of the cells leaves no doubt as to their mineral origin. The cells show that parts of the rock were disposed to separate into very thin layers which project into the cells, evidently the result of the simultaneous formation of the rock and of a soluble mineral, whose removal caused the cells in question. This view appears to be fully con-firmed by the discovery in this rock of those forms which are due to common salt, showing that a soluble saline material had existed in it, had acquired shape in it, and had subsequently been dissolved, leaving a cavity or cavities. There are two masses of the vermicular rock, an upper and a lower one. The former commences at the ridge west of Oneida creek, and extends to Port Byron. Its thickness is about four feet; its cavities are usually large. The lower mass is limited, its cavities small, and its greatest thickness about twenty feet.
The hopper-shaped cavities are the most interesting of all the products of the group. They are of great importance, for they were produced by common salt, no other common mineral presenting similar ones. They show that salt existed in the third deposit, and the position which they hold in it should regulate all borings made for rock salt. They are in the shape of a mill hopper; hence their name. In all the localities where two ranges of plaster beds are seen, the hoppers occur between them, and between the two masses of vermicular rock. They are from one to three or more inches in diameter. Frequently six of them are joined by their apexes, so as to present the skeleton of a cube, showing that all of them were not formed at the top of a liquid surface, but that they were the result of the dessication of the mass in which they occur, the point of union being the point from whence the crystallization of their particles commenced. They are found in the more solid and slaty parts of the gypseous shale or marl and in the vermicular rock, between what we have considered to be the two ranges or series of plaster masses.
Fossils are extremely rare in the whole of the group, having been found but in three or four localities, and at each one they were few in number.
The whole of the gypsum in Madison county is confined to the towns of Lenox and Sullivan, with the exception of a small portion of the north-east of Smithfield, and a like small portion of the north-west of Stockbridge. In Lenox and Sullivan the northern line of the plaster is near the turnpike road. Bull's quarry, to the right of the road from Sullivan to Clockville, is one of the most interest, though not of pecuniary value, from the thickness of the masses which rest upon the plaster, all of which must be removed before the gypsum can be taken out. Such quarries, therefore, are not so valuable as those where the gypsum is nearer the surface. A vertical section of this quarry represents thin layers of a dark brownish color, somewhat hard, resting upon and forming irregular arches over the gypsum masses. The mass of rocks which forms the arch is composed of six layers, about thirty feet thick, and is full of cracks, owing to the force exerted by the plaster in its expansion upwards, and shows more or less consolidation of that part be-fore the particles of plaster had collected together and assumed the form in which we find them. When the mass which encloses the gypsum is soft and friable no arching appears, owing, no doubt, to the particles of one taking the place of those of the other, both being in a yielding state. In a variegated slaty stratum some ten feet thick, underlying a porous, blueish lime-stone, the upper layer of the series, upon which rests the alluvion of Chittenango, which covers the whole, some fossils exist, among which are species resembling small spear-grass, blackened with carbon, also the Lingula limosa, and two or three undescribed bi-valve shells, whose character is very obscure, and which are only of interest from their rarity and position.
Not far from Bull's quarry, on the top of a low hill about one and one-fourth miles from Clockville, is the Brown quarry, where the gypsum is very near the surface and, therefore, more advantageously quarried. It presents a range of detached masses more or less rounded on the top, and with a flat surface below, enclosed in the usual thin layers of dark brownish and apparently a much altered rock. Above the gypsum are the second and third layers, with hoppers and pores, which appear above it in Bull's quarry.
The old Sullivan bed near the turnpike gate, not worked now, was the first plaster mass discovered. It no doubt contains all the members found at Bull's quarry, though not so prominently developed. The lower part, where the gypsum was quarried, is about twenty feet thick. Above this was the mass which corresponds with the fifth layer above the gypsum at Bull's, then an olive-colored layer much altered, two feet thick, upon which is the vermicular rock, about three feet thick, the pores large and numerous. In a quarry farther east the pores are both large and small.
The plaster hills range from east to west through the county, extending south of the turnpike from two to four miles. The hills are more or less round and short, rendering some portions of their plaster very accessible, the layers in which the masses exist having but a slight inclination. Gypsum is extensively quarried in some sections and is of an excellent quality.
The water lime group takes its name from the earthy drab-colored limestone, from which all the water lime in this section south of the Erie canal, with one exception, is manufactured. It consists generally of dark-blue limestone, and usually of two layers of drab or water limestone, the two always separated by an intervening mass of blue. The group is well defined and is readily recognized by its mineral nature, its fossils in particular, and by its position. It is not less than thirty feet thick, and often attains a thickness of a hundred feet or more. Some of the layers of blue limestone have been deposited in the state of fine sediment, or rather a sediment mixed with a calcareous precipitate, showing a striped appearance, and separating into thin, straight courses in accordance with the stripes. In general they are extremely regular and well defined, usually about three feet thick, but often four, and even thicker. The courses into which they are sometimes divided show a crenelated instead of an even surface, and the projecting parts exhibit a fibrous structure, caused in part by the crystallization of Epsom salts. This effect takes place where the impurities have collected in greatest amount in the seams of the rock while it was permeable to water. One of the layers, very fine grained, and usually from four to five feet thick, is traversed by oblique cracks in at least three directions, breaking the mass into irregular fragments. It sometimes contains irregular nodules of flint; and when these are absent, which is usually the case, it makes the whitest lime and requires less fuel to burn a given quantity of it than any of the other limestone rocks. The manner in which this layer is fractured shows the absence of clay, the tendency of which is to separate into layers; also that its impurities are siliceous, and that the silex existed in that state in which the tendency to accretion predominates. Even where the siliceous nodules are not visible there are parts of the layer in certain localities which show themselves as core after the stone is burned. Along the whole of the outcrop of these upper or Helderberg limestone rocks and groups, wherever this layer occurs, if it contains no nodules, it is the one which is burned for lime.
West of Oneida creek the portion burned for water lime consists of two layers of a drab color which appear to be co-extensive with the group. It is dull in its fracture, and composed of minute grains, with usually but a few lines of division. The "upper layer is somewhat shelly, breaking into irregular thin curved fragments. Less heat is required to burn this than the lower layer. Where the two kinds are burned in the same kiln, the one from the lower layer is placed on the bottom and the other above it. About sixteen cords of wood are required to burn one thousand bushels of water limestone in the common kilns. It is important from the many uses to which water lime is applied to know that a good water limestone will not slake when burned, will harden when ground and mixed with water, and will remain so under water. Upon its hardness or cohesion when set its goodness depends.
The line of separation between the water lime and Onondaga salt groups is defined by a brownish impure limestone, often mottled and containing columnariae of a somewhat spherical form and about an inch or more in size; also a few encrinital fragments and a small othocera. This is the mass which separates the two groups and forms the base of the water lime group.
The same columnaria which exists at the base of the group occurs also at the top, immediately tinder the pentamerous limestone, in a brown mottled, very impure limestone somewhat resembling the one at its base. The quarry south of Chittenango exhibits the fossil in this position. Six of the fossils of the group named in the geological reports are: the Plicated orthis, (O. Plicata,) Rugous avicula, (A. rugosa,) Ornated tentaculites, (T. ornatus,) Antique litorina, (L. antiqua,) Sulcated atrypa, (A. sulcata,) and Elevated cytherina, (C. alta.) Nos. 1, 3 and 6 are extremely abundant; Nos. 1 and 5 have only been found in this group. These are but a few of the different kinds of fossils found in this group, but from the almost constant association of Nos. 1, 2 and 6 it was readily recognized by these alone. Some localities abound in a strophomena which appears to be peculiar to the group. This was the only position in the third district where a catenipora (probably the labyrinthica of Goldfuss) was found. It contains also an agnostis.
The water-lime group is co-extensive with the Helderberg range. It forms the great mass of the gulf at the falls on Chittenango creek, showing a thickness of over one hundred feet. It faces the hill to the south of Chittenango village, on the road to Cazenovia, and is there quarried and burned for water-lime. One of the most important localities, and it is believed one of the first, if not the very first, discovered in the State, is situated about a mile and a half south-west of Chittenango village.2
Pentamerous limestone takes its name from the Pentamerous galeatus, or Helmet pentamerous, for which Galeated pentamerous is substituted on the authority of Noah Webster. This fossil abounds in this rock, and, in this district, like its associates, the Deep enomphalus, (E. profundus,) a rare fossil, Lacunose atrypa, (A. lacunosa,) also somewhat rare, especially in this district, and Gebhard's lepocrinites, (L. gebhards,) is confined to it.
This rock, at its eastern terminus, attains considerable thickness, but diminishes as it extends westward and terminates in this county. It is rarely pure, being more or less mixed with black shale, which gives a dark, usually a black gray, color to the rock. It is in layers, but the lines of division are not straight, and the surface not even. The whole mass has a rough appearance. It does not make a good building stone, except for cellar walls and field enclosures, owing to its accretionary character. Carbonate of iron of a deep orange or brown color, but in very small quantity, is frequently seen in it.
The last place where the pentamerous shells were found with certainty was at the falls of Oneida creek, below Foster's mill, where the rock was not much more than ten feet thick, and terminated before reaching the longitude of Chittenango village. At the falls of Chittenango creek, below Cazenovia, just under the Onondaga and Oriskany sandstone, a layer or two of impure limestone is seen, containing rounded grains of white transparent quartz, with some imperfect shells which resemble the Galeated pentamerous. This was all that was seen which appeared to belong to this rock in Madison county, west of the falls of Oneida creek.
The Oriskany sandstone holds a fixed position in the series and is readily traced from east to west by its characteristic fossils, the Arenaceous delthyris, (D. arenaria,) Elongated atrypa, (A. elongata,) Peculiar atrypa, (A. peculiaris,) and Proximate hipparionix, (H. proximus,) which are of an unusually large size, and in most localities crowded together near the lower part of the rock. The last resembles in no small degree the under part of the hoof of a colt, for which it is often taken; while the first, from its peculiar internal -appearance, has given rise to many fanciful resemblances. Its immediate associates (the Catskill shaly limestone below and caudi-galli grit above) cease before reaching the west border of this county; and from thence it rests upon the Manlius water lime group and is covered by the Onondaga limestone, the three rocks being co-associates to Cayuga Lake. It is very variable in thickness, owing probably to the unevenness of the surface upon which it was deposited.
With some exceptions, this sandstone consists of a medium sized quartz sand, such as is derived from primary rocks, either of granite, gneiss or mica schist. It is of a light yellow color when pure; but the yellow is often shaded brown, or of some other dark color. This and the calciferous sand rock, including the Potsdam sandstone, are the only two rocks in this district which present unaltered, the sand of the primary region as it appears when pure.
The edge of the sandstone is exposed on the Van Epp farm about three-fourths of a mile north-east of Perryville. It lies immediately below the Onondaga limestone, which forms a terrace extending to the village. The sandstone is of a dark gray color, blackish and red, some of it having the appearance of jasper, owing to red oxide of iron, of which an abundance appears to exist at the lower part of the mass, but too much mixed with sand, or the matter of the rock, to be yet of use. From one hundred to two hundred tons of the ore were quarried for the Lenox furnace, but the refractory nature, of the sand made it impracticable to work it. "This," says Vanuxem, "is the only locality I know of in this rock, either in this State or further south, where iron ore exists, and no opinion favorable to the discovery of ore more free from its matrix could be given." At the falls at Perryville the Oriskany sandstone is but a few inches in thickness. Boulders of it are very common to the south of its range in this county, and are found on the tops and sides of the hills in the towns of Madison, Eaton, Hamilton, Lebanon, &c. The width of the vertical joints in this rock on the Van Epp farm shows that water has flowed over its surface.
The Onondaga limestone extends from the Helderberg to near Lake Erie, with its line of continuity unbroken, except by valleys and water courses, though it rarely exceeds ten or fourteen feet in thickness. It is readily recognized by its light gray color, crystalline structure, toughness and organic remains, which are very numerous. It abounds in smooth encrinal stems, which are found only in this rock in the State. They are usually over half an inch in diameter, and some are about an inch. In almost all its localities the fossil is replaced by lamellar carbonate of lime. Some of the specimens are in part of a pink color, favorably contrasting with other parts which are usually of a milk white color, and with the green shale of the rock to which its layers and courses are due. There are many fossils by which this rock is readily recognized, and which are characteristic of it, besides the Encrinites lúvis. Among them is the Elongated pentamerous, which is generally diffused in this rock and, so far as our knowledge of it extends, is confined to it. Some of the specimens show a considerable size being about two and a half inches in depth and four and seven-eighths in length. The Undulated delthyris, which resembles the thick-ribbed delthyris, is also found in it; but the ribs are not so round, and the surface is covered with undulations in the direction of the lines of growth, whence its name. It contains also the Consimilar hipparionix, which is also found in several localities. It is the only rock in which the Gigantic cyathophyllum (C. gigantea,) is found; one of which in the State collection is over eight inches in length and two and one-half inches in diameter. There are four other species of this genus in the collection from this rock; about three species of the Platyceras, three of the Platyostoma, and several other fossils which are new, among which is the fish bone.
The layers and courses of this limestone, as is usual with limestone rocks, are separated by shale, which is of a greenish color, but small in amount. It is co-extensive with the rock, a fact of some importance in the theory or cause of the color of rocks; for the less the crystalline action, the more the red, black and yellow colors predominate, crystallization favoring a lower degree of oxidation of the metallic coloring matter.
The Onondaga limestone, though generally nearly pure, contains in some localities numerous nodules of flint and in parallel layers. Its vertical joints are very regular in two directions, at nearly right angles to each other, often dividing the layers into convenient sized masses. It is one of the most valuable building stones in the Helderberg division. It is scarcely excelled by any in the country for beauty, durability and the fine polish which it receives. Its power to resist the action of air, water and frost, is shown from the fact of its being the bottom rock of streams which no longer exist. It is the rock generally over which the waters flow north, forming the falls great and small at the west end of its range, the most noted of which are the one at Perryville and the one on Chittenango creek at Chittenango Falls.
At Van Epp's, near Perryville, the top of this limestone, which there forms a broad and extensive terrace, abounds, near the excavation for iron ore, in long parallel fissures in two directions. The mass is about ten feet thick. The layer next to the bottom one contains nodules of flint, as at the fall of Perryville. The Cyathophyllum vermiculare, here as in most localities, appears at the lower part of the bottom layer. The rock appears to be nearly level; but between there and Perryville, the inclination south-west is quite considerable for this rock. At Perryville the waters of Canasaraga creek fall from this rock into a gulf about 120 feet deep, excavated in the water lime group. So also at Chittenango Falls, those of Chittenango creek precipitate over the same ledge into a like gulf, the limestone continuing upon the high bank on the west side of the creek, with an increase of breadth advancing towards the village of Chittenango, back of which it is quarried upon a small scale, but more largely on the east side of the creek near the falls.3 Where the ledge or terrace turns to the west from the creek, south of Chittenango, it appears as a high cliff, but partially concealed by the thick woods in front. In all these localities the rock is of good quality, either for building or burning; but for the latter purpose, the compact dark blue oblique cracked limestone of the group below is preferred, as being easier to break, and requiring less heat to obtain the same measure of lime.
The beautiful specimen of coral in the State collection, arranged in the table containing the fossils of the Onondaga limestone, is from the quarry to the south of Chittenango. It consists of circular stars of uniform size, about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, composed of rays slightly undulating and curved, round and crenelated, which pass from one to another by straight and angular lines. No distinct division exists between the stars, other than a slight enlargement of the crenelations and angles of the rays. In the center of each star or circle there is a small raised disk, as in Astrea; the disk being composed of rays, which are bifurcated at the outer margin. It does not appear to belong to any known genus, but is allied to Astrea and Aceroularia, making a third one with them. No less than three distinct circles are perceivable within the outer one, formed by the undulations of the rays.4
Corniferous limestone is one of the names given by Prof. Eaton, in the survey of the Erie canal. It is retained, as being applicable to this rock; for it contains flint or hornstone in nodules, in one or two layers, throughout the whole extent of its range. The nodules are arranged in parallel layers, from two to ten in number. It is a character not to be relied upon alone; for all the limestone rocks contain flint in one or more localities, and arranged in the same manner. It rests invariably upon the Onondaga limestone and is covered by the Marcellus shales.
But few, if any, of the layers afford a pure limestone, and this is especially true of the lower layers. Its color varies from black to ash gray, brownish and light dull blue. The layers which contain flint are usually very compact; others show a crystalline grain, but more rarely; and there are many in which the admixture of shale is very evident, and even in great excess. The rock becomes darker in color as it extends further west.
The joints or vertical divisions in this rock are extremely well defined, so that in quarrying, it presents walls or sides of the greatest regularity. Quarries are usually opened where the nodules of flint exist, the layers immediately below them being esteemed the best. The joints are nearly at right angles to each other.
There are many fossils which are peculiar to the corniferous limestone; but the individuals are few and are not found in every locality. They are, however, so different as a group from those of all its contiguous members, that it is readily known by them. The most characteristic fossil of this rock is the Odontocephalus selenurus. It is quite numerous in some parts, but the heads and tails are separated. The next most characteristic fossil is the Cyrtoceras trivolvis. There are four or five species of this peculiar genus in this rock, all of which look like ram's horns. They are from about four to seven inches in diameter. It also contains two species of strophomena which were formerly considered to be the same, and known by the name of S. depressa or rugosa. So far the Undulated strophomena has only been seen in this rock. Other fossils indicated in the geological reports are, the Lenticular orthis, (O. lenticularis,) a specimen exhibited being about a half inch in diameter, the striar neither fine nor coarse, but sharp edged, increasing laterally four-fold from the apex; a handsome orthis, which resembles a delthyris, (O. delthy roidea;) an Atrypa prisca, which resembles the A. affinis, but the imbrications upon the surface are not so numerous, nor are the edges turned up as in the surface of that species; the Pecteniform avicula, (A. pecteniformis,) a rare fossil; the Linear strophomena, (S. lineata,) a small fossil, abundant in the upper part of the rock; and a fragment of fish bone found at the falls of Perryville.
The Marcellus shales extending east and west, are conveniently divided into two masses, from the presence of limestone and fossils in the one, and their absence generally in the other. The limestone is very impure, of the same dark color as the shale, rarely forming continuous layers or beds, but generally interrupted, flattened masses, with interposed slate or shale. The masses present curved surfaces, showing the cause of the union of their particles was the same with that which produces septaria, the character of which they often assume as to external form, and also as to the cracks or internal divisions. The whole of the layers and septaria and shale, was a deposit from argillaceous and calcareous mud in variable proportions. Where the calcareous material was abundant it produced layers; where but in small quantity it separated into globuliform masses or septaria. The upper shales are not so highly colored as the lower ones. They are disposed to separate, when long exposed, into small thin-edged fragments, the result of a peculiar accretionary structure. The fragments often exhibit stains in spots from iron rust, and also minute crystals of gypsum, the effect of the action of decomposed pyrites and limestone particles. The upper mass appears to diminish in thickness east and west of Marcellus.
There are but few fossils found in this rock, but most of these are peculiar to it. Among them are the Expanded goniatite, the whorl enlarging rapidly from the mouth, and the Marcellus goniatite, which is more abundant and occasionally of great size, both being found only in the two upper limestone layers of the lower shales; the Marcellus cypricardite; and the Limitary orthis, which is very abundant in some localities, and appears to be co-extensive with the shales and the lower part only of the Hamilton group, and to be in great number near the junction of the two, from whence its name. It is exceedingly rare where the mass is thick. There are other fossils; for example, an avicula, which resembles a posidonia; a large orthocera, the Marcellus, which is about a foot in diameter, and is associated with the goniatites; also a more slender one in the shale, but the character obscure; a lingula, and several small shells.
Some portions of the lower shales are black and friable from small carbonaceous fucoids or graptolites, the forms too imperfect to determine without minute and patient examination. From such bodies obviously the seductive particles of carbon were derived, which made this mass so great and general an object of search for coal. The occurrence of coal in very small quantities is a very common character of the lower shales. Along the whole line of its outcrop, every few miles present an excavation which was made in these shales, in hope of discovering coal. The dark color and the actual presence of this fossil product, were considered sure signs of its existence in body. A boring of one hundred feet for coal was made in the Marcellus shales by Mr. Sage, near the road from Chittenango to Cazenovia.
Well characterized septaria are found on the east bank of Chittenango creek, near the high falls. They contain sulphate of strontian, carbonate of iron, &c., in their sepia.
The best exposition of the Marcellus shales is at the falls on Oneida creek, extending from Foster's grist-mill to the saw-mill, where are also two excavations for coal. This shale is seen in numerous other places along its line from east to west, approaching in a few places near the edge of the limestone ridge. At Sage's, south of Chittenango village, the mass is well seen, but not much of its interior, which is better exposed on the Peter Robertson farm, which shows the imperfect layers of the lower part, some of which approach to septaria.
Where the shales rest upon the limestone, between the quarry back of Chittenango and the road to Eagle, there is a spring of water about twenty feet across and of considerable depth. The water enters and disappears by unknown cavities, and it appears to be a sink hole.
The Hamilton group takes its name from the town of Hamilton in this county, which contains no other rock, and affords the best opportunity of examining some of the important members of which it is composed, and where its fossils are in great abundance.
This group includes all the masses between the upper shales of Marcellus and the Tully limestone. It is of great thickness, in no part probably less than 300 feet and increasing to 700 feet. It commences near the Hudson and extends to Lake Erie. It consists of shale, slate and sandstone, with endless mixtures of these. They form three distinct mineral masses as to kinds, but not as to superposition or arrangement, though generally the sandy portion is the middle of the group. The first in order of tenacity of particles is rather a fine-grained shale, often fissile or slaty. In color it is some shade of blue, usually dark or blackish. The second is a coarse shale, often mixed with carbonate of lime. Its color is blue or dark gray when fresh, but becomes olive or brown by long exposure to the weather; it is due to manganese. It has no tendency whatever to separate into regular layers, but when a mass has been long exposed it shows numerous curved divisions, the curves being very short and irregular, and the parts horizontally arranged. The third kind is not so common as the two first. It is a well characterized sandstone, but more or less mixed with either of the other two. It is often in layers, though rarely straight, and usually short or interrupted. It is sometimes mixed with carbonate of lime. The colors of this kind are more varied-brown of various shades, olive, greenish and yellowish.
The group generally is deficient in building materials, the shale of the first kind readily crumbling by exposure to the air. The two latter kinds alone furnish good building stone. The best is where limestone forms the cement, and sand is in the greatest abundance. So rare is the occurrence of regular layers in the group, that their absence is a good negative character of it, and its brownish color externally or where exposed to the weather, a good positive one of the group generally.
It abounds in fossils, such as shells, corals, trilobites, fucoids, and a few plants resembling those of terrene origin. It is admirably characterized by its fossils numerous species and even genera commencing and ending with the group. In organic remains it is the most prolific of all the New York rocks. Among the numerous fossils by which the group is readily recognized are, DeKay's dipleura, (D. deKayi,) entire specimens being very rare. It is rare in the fine slate or shale, but common in the coarse shale and sandstone; Undulated orthonata, a very beautiful shell, wholly confined to this group, and though not abundant, is widely diffused; the O. carinata, a rare fossil in this rock; Mucronated or Sharp-pointed delthyris, a truly graceful shell, resembling the butterfly, for which it is often taken, existing in great numbers, rather generally diffused, and taking its name from its pointed extremities; Microdon bellastriate and Bellerophon hamiltoni, characteristic fossils; Constricted orthoura, (O. constrictum,) which is very peculiar from the part narrowing towards the mouth and then expanding, as if a ligature had there been applied; Recurved cypricardite, (C. recurva,) a very characteristic as well as singular shaped fossil, and like the preceding one found only in this group; Flabella avicula, (A. flabella,) exceedingly numerous in and confined to the group and readily known by its well-defined form, its seven or eight large ribs and small intermediate ones; Great orbicula, (O. grandis,) readily recognized by the nearly flat arcular form of the upper valve and the cup-like form of the lower one; and equally so by the presence near the center of the under part of the upper valve of an indentation which resembles the umbilicus of the human subject, and from which a slight groove passes to the circumference of their shell. The genus avicula abounds in the group, "no less than fifteen species," says Vanuxem, " being already named, and several others in the State collection yet unnamed."
The Hamilton group forms one-half the area of Madison county, covering the whole of Brookfield, except a triangular projection towards the south-west end, where the Ithaca group comes to the surface, the whole of Hamilton and Madison, the larger east half of Lebanon, three-fourths of Eaton, the south-west portion of which is covered by the higher rocks, the extreme south part of Stockbridge, the lower or south half of Smithfield, the line passing from south-east to north-west, all of Fenner, except the north and north-west part, the greater part of Cazenovia, extending on the west side from its south line to about the head of the lake. The lower part of Cazenovia, adjoining Nelson, contains higher rocks; the dividing line between them and the Ithaca group passing by the north-west corner of Nelson, and turning round by the north-east, being the only part of Nelson which contains the group as surface rocks. It extends into DeRuyter from Cazenovia, diminishing in width, and enters the north-east part of Cortland county from DeRuyter in a narrow strip.
The greatest exposition of the group in this county is in the neighborhood of Hamilton village, various openings having been made in the hill back of the University from the bottom to the top. The lower part of the hill shows irregular layers of sandstone and shale, the former in less quantity. Above this are coarse shales of different kinds extending to near the top of the hill. Back of the University, at a little higher level, the shale which was quarried has fallen into fragments. At the top of the hill about twenty feet of sandstone and shale are exposed. Fossils are numerous at the quarry, among which are the Mucronated delthyris, Flabella avicula, Keeled atrypa, Syrtalis strophomena, Plebian atrypa, Prow delthyris, DeKay's dipleura, &c. At the lower quarry are often found fragments of a plant with smooth surface and branches at irregular distances, similar in external structure to those which occur in the Catskill group.
At the upper quarry was found a fragment of the external impression of a singular and beautifully wrought crinoidal fossil, the most so of any hitherto seen in the system and unique as to kind. A cast of it shows a connected surface, upon which six detached circular forms were placed, having the appearance of medallions; their whole surface and sides, which are inclined, being highly wrought with minute markings like gothic tracery. Three were of the same size rather over an inch in diameter, slightly ovoid, and clustered together. One only was entire, the two others having been broken off, but leaving sufficient to show their size and character. The other three were small; two being nearly equal, and each less than the fifth of an inch in diameter; the third was double that diameter; and all were placed together in an angle formed by two of the largest ones. Near the center of the largest and perfect medallion are five branching arms, like those of an asteria or star-fish; between two of these which are most expanded is a star, which probably was the mouth of the animal.
In most instances the calcareous particles of the testaceous fossils have been removed, and their place in part occupied by hydrate of iron, forming a handsome contrast with the yellow gray color of the rock, which it assumes after exposure.
In the excavation of the feeder at Hamilton a considerable mass of the harder and somewhat calcareous shale was thrown out. This resists in a great measure the action of the weather. Some of the small species of cypricardites are quite numerous. At this place a few of the common cyathophyllum were seen; also a columnaria. At the feeder, many heads and other parts of the Dipleura were found in the loose blocks scattered around. The locality of the greatest interest for fossils near Hamilton is the side-hill upon which the Deacon Burchard quarry is seated, about two miles distant. There is a lower quarry to the left in hard dark shale, in which there are a few species, but the individuals are rather numerous. Among them is the impression of a beautiful arborescent coral, often met with in this group, and in no other. The Burchard quarry is near the top of the hill, and consists of thin interrupted layers of light-colored sandstone and hard shale, abounding in fossils; among which are the Flabella avicula, Erect avicula, Rugous cypricardite, Plebian atrypa, Syrtalis strophomena, &c.
On the William Lewis farm, near Solsville, is a quarry of some interest in this group. It was opened for the Chenango Canal. The rock is the hard calcareous gray shale, being the upper rock of the hill. There are no regular horizontal lines of division whatever, but those only which are curved and irregular. The vertical joints are remarkably well defined, giving a wall-like appearance to the rock. This is a common feature to many parts and in many places where the group exists. The joints are in two directions, nearly at right angles to each other; one north-east, the other south-west. A rock of its nature would appear unsuitable for the purposes required; yet the surface of the quarry is good evidence that it is slow to change, except in its color, and the numerous fragments upon the surface of the soil show a disposition rather to wear away than decompose. This quarry is rather rich in fossils as to genera and species, but the individuals are not numerous. It is one of the two localities of the Maximum phragmoceras, and where the greatest number and best preserved specimens were found. The other locality is on the road between Waterville and Bridgewater. This fossil is the largest coiled-chambered shell which is found below the lias of Europe. There is a smaller species which is more expanded from the chambers towards the mouth, and which was found at Ladd's quarry, in the same ledge which appears back of the University, just south of the line, in Chenango county. Lewis' quarry is one of the four or five localities of the Punctated goniatite, (G. punctata;) also of the Undulated conularia, the common avicula, such as the Flabella, the Erect, and the Parity; also the Triquetrous pterinea, (P. triquetu,) Great orbicula, and Channelled cypricardite, (C. alveata.)
The singular and graceful forms first noticed in the canda-galli grit re-appear in this group, and are common to many localities. The forms are better defined in this rock than in the lower one, and the parts are all united or confluent; showing, in other words, a continuous surface, and not one of detached parts, either real or apparent, as in those of the other rock. A common form in this is one which resembles a curtain and its folds, supported at both ends; one raised a little higher than the other, less space being between the ends than in the depth of the folds or curtain. It is furnished also with a stem, which, with the other characters they present, fully establishes their right to be considered as plants; and from their great number, and their associates being organic, they must be of like marine origin.
The hills around Cazenovia village are chiefly composed of the coarse shale, similar as to kind and fossils with those of Lewis' quarry. They are well exposed in crossing the hill to the west, or on the hill-side to the south-east. In mineral character they constitute the larger part of the whole group; they are of the kind which, when long exposed, become of a brownish color; they decompose or wear away very slowly, and are the common building material of their range. The low hill-side to the south-east of New Woodstock shows the same sandstone and fossils as at Hamilton, and the stone is quarried.
The valley through which the Chenango Canal passes is the most interesting feature of the surface of the group. It drains a large portion of the group, and at one period, from its breadth and connection with Oneida and Oriskany valleys, was a large water-course. Its flat bottom, composed for a depth unknown of alluvion, gives it the appearance of having been a lake, after its excavation had ceased, and alluvial materials were poured into it. The ponds which yet remain in it arc evidences of its former nature. The valley of New Woodstock is excavated in the same part of the group, but not to so great a depth in it, except at the south end of the county.
The Tully limestone was not seen in this county, though it must exist here, as it is found to the north-west of DeRuyter village, about two miles distant. It appears in the hill-side more than one hundred feet above the valley, and in two contiguous ravines separated by a road. The one to the north is quarried and contains good solid stone. The hill faces the east. The Cuboidal atrypa is tolerably abundant and affords good specimens. The shales of the Hamilton group are exposed below the limestone, and the Genesee slate above it.5
There are two fossils in this rock which are wholly peculiar to it; the Cuboidal atrypa, which is found in most of the localities of the rock, and the Tully orthis. The Lentiform atrypa, (A. lentiformis,) which Mr. Conrad regards as the young of the A. poisca, is a constant associate of the former two, and is both uniform in size and abundant. There are other fossils in this rock, but they are rare, with the exception of a very small orthis at Smith's ledge, and a strophomena resembling the linear, which occurs in great abundance in the upper part of the limestone at Tully Four Corners. Among the others are the Calymene marginalis, the Avicula reticulata and the Atrypa didyma.
The Genesee slate may be seen in several places along the road from Smyrna to DeRuyter, and at the latter village, which it underlies. It appears in all the side-hills around it. The shale also appears in its range through Lebanon.5
The Ithaca group, including the Portage group, presents but little of interest in the county generally. It is a more useful rock, however, than the group below it, because it contains more materials of sandstone for building, but it produces an inferior soil. The most northerly point where it was seen was at Smith's saw-mill east of Nelson flats, where a mass of about eight feet is exposed. It is a light bluish sandstone, which becomes yellow by exposure to the air. It breaks with a curved fracture, the result of a concretionary structure. It rests upon a black shale or slate. Very little rock is exposed upon the hill side, the surface between there and Peterboro being, apparently, not very elevated; its outlines have the form of alternate depressions and swells. There is a rather better exposition on the road from Cazenovia to New Woodstock, near the mill-dam on the creek. It shows thin layers of sandstone, straight and waved, with slate and shale, and a few fossils.
The hillside below New Woodstock, on the road to DeRuyter, shows a gravel plane which inclines south, rising about one hundred feet above the road, and plainly exhibiting at that level an ancient water-course. It continues from hill to hill for some distance, maintaining about the same elevation above the valley.
About one and one-fourth miles south-east of DeRuyter village is Burdick's quarry, from whence stone was taken for the academy in that village. It lies near the top of the hill. The Curtain-like and Retort-shaped fucoids were found in this quarry. Mr. Vanuxem thus describes a specimen of the latter which was obtained from this quarry: "In form its resembles a chemical retort. The specimen shows something like three systems of confluent raised surfaces, composed of rounded ridges, proceeding in curved lines from a point which is raised, as if they had been projected from a common center, the three systems having united together and terminated no doubt in a point which was broken off." 6
Quartenary Deposits.---Throughout the great level to the west of Oneida county, the blue and brown clays so common to the east section of the district were not distinctly seen. The yellowish is common over this and the adjacent counties north of the Helderberg range, but its position as regards the other de-posits of its class was not satisfactorily exhibited in any one place. There are but few points through this section where any striking superposition of the different deposits was observed, and none in which the whole were exhibited, owing to but few excavations having been made, though hills of alluvion are exceedingly numerous, especially in the counties of Oswego, Onondaga and Cayuga. The best locality noticed is at Chittenango, where three distinct deposits are seen. These separately were observed in many places. This locality is the hill by the site of Judge Warner's residence in Chittenango village, and in the angle formed by the road which leads to Kirkville and the street which extends down the creek.
The lowest mass is a yellow sand in layers, having a slight inclination north, showing that the waters which deposited it had a southerly direction. The top of the sand is deeply water-worn, showing a change of action after deposition. The second deposit consists of round stones and blackish sand, arranged in parallels in conformity to the outline of the first deposit. The stones are red and gray sandstone, dark-colored limestone, like that of the Lockport group north, and of primary rock; they are all rounded, but not worn flat like those of the shores of the great lakes, being more like those of rivers, round, but not discoidal. The surface of this deposit, like the first one, is also uneven, showing disturbance before the upper or third deposit was made. This third deposit differs from the other two as much as they differ from each other. It consists chiefly of red earth, as if derived from the destruction of the red shale. It contains also some of the stones of the second mass. The whole height of the three deposits is about thirty-five feet. The same upper alluvial was met with between Peterboro and Hamilton, and in other places.
The deposition of this mass upon the higher rocks is important; for if not raised from a lower to a higher level, it could only have been carried so at that ancient period when the rocks were greatly extended north, which must be the true explanation of this, as well as of other extensive deposits, which now occupy a higher level than the present out-crop of the rock from whence they originated. In the yellow-colored clay which underlies the swamp back of the village of New Woodstock, the soil of which is muck or peat, the tooth of an elephant was found in digging a ditch. It was separated into parts by exposure to the air and rough usage. This is the only fossil which was seen, forming a part of the quarternary era, during the survey of the district. A part of the tooth is in the State collection.7
Boulders.---This term is applied to all masses whether round or angular that have been removed from their original position, the size and fact of removal being their chief characteristics. Two causes are known to produce the rounded appearance which they often present: the first is friction in the form of rubbing and collision, occasioned by the removal of the boulder itself; and the second, alteration from exposure to the weather, which, commencing with the angles and edges, finally leaves the mass in a globuliform state, should its nature admit of alteration or decomposition. Those north of the Helderberg range have without exception been brought from a northern position, and, though widely diffused, are very unequally distributed, being very numerous in some places and few in others. The greater number consist of primary rock, which have been carried a much greater distance than any of the others; and generally the farther they are seen to the south the smaller is their size. Through this county, boulders of primary rock are seen in numerous places on the hills and hill-sides, extending into Chenango county. One of the largest seen in this county is in the village of Peterboro. It consists chiefly of white quartz, with a little white feldspar and garnet. It is the largest seen south of the Mohawk.
On the limestone range there are boulders of the transition class, which have been carried south and raised to a higher elevation as compared with their present outcrop. South of the range there are numerous blocks which formed a part of its mass, and have been carried miles beyond their original position. The same fact is also true of the Tully limestone, numerous blocks of which exist upon the surface, partially buried, and for miles south of where it is in place. The Oriskany sandstone is found in great abundance and immense blocks, scattered over the hills in the towns of Madison, Eaton, Hamilton and Lebanon, being more numerous towards the valley of the Chenango Canal. They often appear upon the hill sides, but few having been noticed towards the middle of the valleys. All the blocks there seen were the counterpart of the mass at Oriskany Falls, being readily recognized from local differences in the rock prevailing at all its points of outcrop. The limestones of the Helderberg division are far more abundantly distributed south, owing to its greater thickness. They are very numerous in the towns of Eaton and Madison, in the latter of which are many lime kilns which are supplied by transported blocks.
Lake Marl is a carbonate of lime which has separated from its solvent in water, the latter preventing its particles from cohering together and allowing them to subside in the state of a calcareous mud. It is in many places constantly depositing from waters holding limestone in solution. There are two sources in this district from whence it was derived. The first and greatest is from the calcareous rocks, and is found in great abundance north of the Helderberg range and in some of its valleys. The other kind appears to have been derived from calcareous alluvion, and is found chiefly to the south of the range. In most places marl is a pure carbonate of lime, occasionally discolored by vegetable matter and containing the common fresh-water shells of the country. But little comparatively is yet used, being made into bricks and burned for lime, which is remarkably white.
The product of the first source exists in immense quantity in the towns of Lenox and Sullivan. There is a large deposit south of Canastota, between the canal and the hills south. The greatest amount is in Cowaselon swamp, which covers an area of several thousand acres.8 There, as in most of its localities it is covered with peat or muck. When an attempt was made to drain the swamp by opening a ditch fourteen feet deep to Oneida Lake, a large portion of the muck was carried off with the water, leaving a snow-white surface of marl of great extent. The marl, it is said, has been sounded with poles, but the bottom not reached. The product of the second source is seen on the high ground north-west of Peterboro, on the road to Perryville. The soil is swampy and shows alluvion with calcareous pebbles. The bottom of the ditches by the roadside expose marl. The ponds in the valleys of Eaton, Madison, Lebanon and Hamilton all contain marl.
Calcareous Tufa, without doubt, commenced with the first exudations into the valleys when free from water, and has continued to form unto this day. It is an exceedingly abundant product, its localities being very numerous, and the quantity prodigiously great at some of them. Unlike marl, its particles separated where air had access to them and enabled them to cohere and form a solid substance. One of its most abundant sources has been the calcareous portions of the gypseous deposit; the mass being permeable to water the fluid deposits the tufa after passing through it and appears again at the surface of the earth. The deposits generally appear at the sides of the hills or valleys near the point where the calcareous waters issue, and continue down in many instances to a considerable distance, should their course be oblique, or above the drains of the valley, else they are arrested by the waters of the valley. Sometimes where the deposit has been rapid, a mixture of earth or marl and tufa takes place. Deposits are numerous in this county, near Chittenango, Clockville and elsewhere.
Peat or Muck is an abundant product, constantly forming in low situations from which the water is not drained. It rests upon a subsoil of clay or marl impermeable to water, this being an essential condition of its existence. It is formed by successive growths of the same or different kinds of vegetation, which have lost life and changed to a brown of different shades, sometimes almost black. Though its production in the first instance requires the lowest level, it is so spongy and retentive of water, that by successive growths it raises its bed and appears in mounds and hillocks. This result is aided greatly by deposits of tufa, which, in several localities in this district, constantly form beneath it. Usually the surface is more or less soft, yielding to pressure, often shaking or trembling when walked upon. Its two great uses are for fuel and manure. At Cowaselon swamp is a large body of peat of good quality. By the road from Chittenango village through the vlie or natural meadow, which covers some three thousand acres, it shows in a ditch that at least two successive growths of tamarisk existed on its border, the lower one, underlaid with lake marl, about three feet below the surface, and the upper and smaller one, near the surface.
Sulphur Springs.---The Chittenango sulphur springs, the most important ones in Madison county, are situated in the valley of Chittenango creek, and issue from the hill of calciferous slate, which here forms its eastern boundary. One of these springs, on the lands of the late John B. Yates, about a mile south of the village of Chittenango, was examined by Mr. Beck. Its temperature was 49 degrees F., and its elevation above tide 440 feet.9 Its water is limpid and emits a strong odor of sulphuretted hydrogen, with which it is sufficiently charged to blacken silver and the salts of lead. Its specific gravity is 1.00341. The following is the composition of a pint, according to Mr. Beck's analysis:---
|Carbonate of lime||0.88||grains.|
|Sulphate of soda||1.66||"|
|Sulphate of lime and magnesia||12.75||"|
|Chloride of sodium||0.14||"|
Besides sulphuretted hydrogen the water contains a small portion of carbonic acid gas.
Another interesting spring is found in the same valley on the farm of Judge Warner about two miles south of the village. The water rushes out of a crevice in the rock at the rate of about thirty-eight gallons per minute. When fresh from the spring it has an opaline or milky appearance and a strong sulphurous odor. It retains the former quality after eighteen hours' exposure to the air. When boiled the water becomes clear and deposits a whitish precipitate, which is principally sulphate of lime. All the sulphur springs examined, with this single exception, are perfectly limpid; and hence Mr. Warner gave this the characteristic name of Chittenango White Sulphur Springs. Its temperature is about 49 degrees, and its elevation above tide, 450 feet. Its water is so strongly charged with sulphuretted hydrogen gas that its odor is not only perceptible at a considerable distance, but its peculiar chemical effect is to be observed upon the bathing and lodging houses in the vicinity. Its specific gravity is 1.00254. The following is the composition in a pint:---
|Carbonate of lime||1.33||grains.|
|Sulphate of lime||8.22||"|
|" " magnesia||3.11||"|
On Cowaselon creek, below the furnace, is another sulphur spring, but it is of far less importance.
Petrifying Springs.---Probably the most noted springs of this character ar e those in the locality of Chittenango, which also afford the best opportunity for studying the circumstances attending the conversion of vegetable matter, into carbonate of lime. Numerous springs issue from the porous limestone, and specimens may be obtained of leaves, moss, wood &c., in all states, from that of the proper vegetable to that of the hard calcareous substance in which scarcely a trace of vegetable matter can be detected. The petrified wood consists almost entirely of carbonate of lime with very minute and variable proportions of silica, alumina and oxide of iron. An analysis of 1,000 parts from one of these springs, which emitted a faint odor of sulphuretted hydrogen and contained a little carbonic acid, revealed 1.94 parts of solid matter, consisting of carbonate and sulphate of lime and sulphate of magnesia. "It has been conjectured that the conversion of vegetable into mineral matter is intimately connected with the phenomena of slow putrefaction, and that these must be studied whenever we attempt to reason on the conversion of fossils into stone." 10
Saline Springs.---There is a salt spring about three-fourths of a mile west of Canastota, in the marsh on the Captain Oliver Clark farm, about thirty rods north of the canal. Surface indications early led Mr. Clark to experiment with the water obtained from a deep spring dug in the marsh; and subsequently a boring was made of 190 feet in the red shale and 6 feet in hard green rock, the latter requiring several days to perforate it. The work is said to have been abandoned by reason of a broken drill, which could not be extracted. The water, which at the commencement showed a strength of 2Ĺ degrees by the Salometer, was increased to 9 degrees. Notwithstanding, the result of this effort gave little encouragement to further prosecute the work, it was revived in 1863 and again in 1867. It is scarcely to be expected, however, when the comparative probable strength of the waters is considered, that this can be made a profitable enterprise, while the salt interest at Montezuma, even with State aid, was unremunerative and abandoned, and that at Syracuse is languishing.
2 - Lewis C. Beck, State Geologist.
The following are the results of two analyses of hydraulic limestone from the locality of Chittenango; the first by Mr. H Seybert, (in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, II. 229,) and the second by Lewis C. Beck:---
|Peroxide of iron||1.50||1.75|
|" bituminous matter and loss||1.70|
The composition of calcined lime, in the state in which it is ordinarily used as a cement is, as determined by Mr. Beck:---
|Carbonic acid and moisture||10.90|
|Peroxide of iron and alumina||10.77|
The proportion of carbonic acid, however, depends entirely upon the manner in which the calcination is conducted, and it probably differs considerably in different specimens.
3 - The following is an analysis of the gray crinoidal limestone from the quarry near Chittenango Falls:---
|Carbonate of lime||98.50|
|Oxide of iron||0.35|
|Insoluble matter (silica and alumina)||0.90|
4 - The following fossils in this group were identified and named by T. D. Conrad; Testacea-Delthyris raricosta, Strophomena gibbosa, Strophomena perlana, Atrypa nasuta, Atrypa unisulcata, Atrypa acutiplicata, Avicula pecteniformis, Cypricardites inflata, Bellerophon curvilineatus, Pleurotomaria poulsoni, Pleurotomaria unisulcata; Crustacea-Asaphus aspectans.
5 - See page 78.
6 - See page 78-9.
7 - See page 80.
8 - Lardner Vantixern, State Geologist, states the area to be about 10,000 acres, and Prof. Gurdon Evans, State Surveyor in 1853, more than 15,000 acres. Large tracts of land have been reclaimed by the partial drainage of the swamp.
9 - The mean temperature of Chittenango is not far from 47-50 degrees.
10 - Lyell's address to the Geological Society of London, 1837.