Cacapon - Oriskany Sandstone Earthcache EarthCache
Size:  (not chosen)
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
Cache set in Cacapon State Park that educates you and tests your
knowledge together with taking you to a very interesting
Learn about Sandstone, in particular Oriskany Sandstone in this
area and enjoy
what you learn and what you see.
Note: For safety please park at the given PARKING co-ordinates -
do NOT stop on the road near the cache site and please ensure at
all times you take care near the road and ensure children are kept
with you and safe.
The co-ordinates at the top of the page will take you to an
Information Post about Oriskany Sandstone and also brings you close
to a fine example of it. You will need to go to this location to be
able to answer all the questions and be able to log this Earth
Oriskany Sandstone is a fine to coarse grained sandstone and is a
quartz rich arenite, it is a very old Sandstone that was deposited
345 - 400 million years ago in the Devonian period.
It has the characteristic of having reservoirs and this is
evidenced by the production of natural gas. This sandstone can be
seen to have crossbedding features and can be interbedded with thin
layers of limestone and another feature can be thin layers
containing fossil moulds, although I personally did not see any
evidence of this at this example.
When exposed to weathering Oriskany Sandstone can often be easily
crumbled and that is one reason why it is not generally used in
construction, however, this particular sandstone has a high level
of Silica - at least 98% and this makes it a valuable resource for
using in high grade/quality glass manufacturing and has been mined
in the area for many years.
The formation of sandstone starts when a layer or layers of sand
accumulate and settle. Once it has accumulated, the sand becomes
compacted by overlying deposits and cemented by the precipitation
of minerals within the pore spaces between sand grains becoming
The Oriskany Sandstone is a thin/thick bedded fine/coarse-grained
sandstone, it is not generally cemented, locally the cement is
irregularly distributed. Some sandstone beds have a banded
appearance caused by layers alternating between tightly cemented
and poorly cemented areas. Lattice patterns can result where
cemented bands form at right angles to bedding as well as parallel
to bedding. Fractures may have caused transverse bands, as they are
parallel to fractures in the formation.
Although there is a mixed colouration here the mined sandstone can
be very white.
At the co-ordinates and the immediate surrounding area you will see
the fine example of the Oriskany Sandstone - There are, at all
times of year, evidence of plant and animal life here - do have a
look and you will be surprised at what you see and feel free to
take photographs to post with your log entry.
Cacapon Resort State Park is in the shadows of the Cacapon Mountain
over an area of 6,000 acres and offers Year Round outdoor getaways
and has golfing, lake activites, hiking opportunities and some
fantastic trails and a variety of accomodation. It is a beautiful
location so do ensure you have plenty of time to appreciate and
take advantage of all it has to offer.
Ten miles away from Cacapon State Park is Berkeley Springs State
Park, and here you can find natural springs where the water that
travels through the Oriskany Sandstone can be used and found - the
water flows through the Oriskany Sandstone of Warm Spring Ridge and
out along it's base where it is at a consistent temperature of 74
degrees Fahrenheit. Since the 1750's it has been used internally
for digestive disorders and the relief of stress. The area was
frequently visited by George Washington and you can see the bathtub
that he used in 1748 within the park.
Another lovely place worth dedicating some time to visit and
To log the cache you
need to send the answers and requirements to the questions and
tasks set out below to me through the messaging system on my
profile on this site:
1. At the above co-ordinates, looking at the example of Oriskany
Sandstone, describe the colouration of it?
2. Using your GPSr what is the approximate elevation from sea level
at this point?
3. The main part of this example of Oriskany Sandstone lies at
approx what degree? Is it approx 180, 135, 90 or 45 degrees?
4. There are at all times of year evidence of plants, trees growing
amongst the Oriskany Sandstone, give details of one of these?
5. Estimate the height of this example of sandstone and on looking
at it would you say it is cemented or uncemented?
6. What natural element is produced by this sandstone and in excess
of what quanitity?
Please feel free (but not obliged) to take a photograph showing you
and/or your gps in front of the lake opposite the Oriskany
Sandstone or on the James Ambrose Bridge near the parking
co-ordinates. PLEASE DO NOT POST SPOILER PICTURES OF THE ACTUAL
(No hints available.)