Posted by lobo
on Monday, December 18th 2023:
You can go back in time and see something of the Bronx undisturbed from one billion years ago. There was no life as we know it, albeit single cell organisms swimming in the seas. Viewing west over the area of Riverdale today, there would be no Palisades cliffs. They would not appear for another 750 million years. The Hudson would be 980 million years into the future! Turning east travelling along current day Van Cortlandt Park South and down Gun Hill Road to Webster Ave., we would find there is no Bronx River either! Yet, a time machine awaits us right in Woodlawn Cemetery today, ready to take us back to a piece of the Bronx undisturbed from a billion years ago!
Back then, NYC was part of a vast mountain chain. The rock that formed this geography was created by the collision of two continents. The upheaval from this collision formed this mountain range. Much of this rock is now subterranean, forming the bedrock running south below NYC and beyond. The oldest of this bedrock is “Fordham Gneiss” (pronounced Nice).
In a few areas of the Bronx, notably in Woodlawn, Van Cortlandt & Pelham areas, you can see, stand on and touch this rock! A portion rising above the surface in the SE corner of Woodlawn Cemetery has been undisturbed since its creation (albeit erosion, which has worn it down over the course of a billion years).
So, if you are ever in this area of the Bronx, stop by and check out the oldest geological wonder that most of us will ever encounter! There is older undisturbed rock to be found, (over 4 billion years old), but you would have to visit Canada or the MidWest US region to find those!
Reference ID: BX91839