Basic Physical Characteristics of NOVA
geology of Northern Virginia
Questions to Explore
- why is NOVA flat?
- why is there no coal/diamonds/oil in Northern Virginia?
- why is there gold and uranium in Northern Virginia?
- what sort of rocks are in those dump trucks leaving the quarries?
- why are there so few rock outcrops in Northern Virginia?
- what stones were used for Native American tools?
- why are the colonial houses like Gunston Hall made of brick and, in a few cases, sandstone?
- why do the rivers in Northern Virginia flow to the east?
"Once Upon a Time..." (The Story of the Rocks in Northern Virginia)
- Prince William Forest Park
- Greenwood Gold Mine
- Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine (prior to reclamation, pH levels in Quantico Creek below the mining site dropped as low as 2.6)
- photo of reclaimed tailings pile ("Tailings" are waste rock and ore that was uneconomic to recover. The tailings included enough sulfur to create environmental damage to aquatic life in Quantico Creek)
- gold in Northern Virginia:
- In the 1780's, Thomas Jefferson wrote "Notes on the State of Virginia." He commented on the presence of gold in the state at the very start of one chapter - A notice of the mines and other subterraneous riches; its trees, plants, fruits, &c.
- Monroe Park and its gold mining history (Molten gold and silica were both squezed through the sediments, as they were scrunched and metamorphosed during orogenies. Visit Goldvein today in Fauquier County, and you can see two large "hornet balls" used to crush the ore and help separate gold from non-valuable quartz.)
- Scott's Run is a site of a former gold mine, and a popular place for recreational gold panning. The May, 1995 issue of Virginia Minerals included this update:
- radon in Northern Virginia:
Geography of Northern Virginia