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October 16-18, 2014- Carlisle: PA’s Great Valley and adjacent mountains

FCOPG3.gif79th Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists, 2014 PENNSYLVANIA’S GREAT VALLEY AND ADJACENT MOUNTAINS, Carlisle, PA Hosts: Dickinson College and Pennsylvania Geological Survey The 79th Annual Field Conference of PA Geologists will convene in Carlisle, PA, October 16-18, 2014. The meeting will present bedrock, economic and environmental geology, structures and geomorphology of South Mountain, the Great Valley and the bordering area of the Appalachian Mountains that are exposed principally in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and Perry Counties. Use of LIDAR in mapping and interpreting bedrock and geomorphology is a theme. Three classic sites from the 1991 Field Conference will be revisited with new interpretations. We will visit 5 quarries in sandstone, limestone, shale, and colluvium/alluvium and discuss their geologic as well as their diverse economic importance. The results of dye-tracing that demonstrates long-distance travel of ground water to large springs in carbonates will be featured. Half-day pre-conference trips inlcuding Yellow Breeches Geology by Kayak, Caving the Great Valley, Orienteering South Mountain, The Marcellus of South Central PA, Battle of South Mountain, Fossil Collecting, and The Story of Boiling Springs will be offered for sites not suitable for large groups.

Banquet Program:End of an Era: the Charcoal Iron Industry at Pine Grove Furnace

Andre Weltman, president of the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, will speak about the 19th century charcoal iron industry and how it survived and failed in the years after the Civil War. This wide-ranging presentation will cover the essentials of iron-making with a focus on raw materials especially charcoal derived from local forests; why some furnaces such as Pine Grove (in operation circa 1764 to 1895) were able to survive after the Civil War despite the emergence of the modern steel industry; and involvement at Pine Grove of John Birkinbine, a nationally known mining & ironworks engineer who upgraded the operation in 1877.

Andre is a epidemiologist/physician at the PA Department of Health in Harrisburg. He lives near Pine Grove Furnace State Park and and lectures and writes about local history there. Each October at the park’s Fall Furnace Festival, he leads a small group of “living history” collier reenactors to make charcoal using the same technique that supplied fuel to the furnace for 130 years