AN INTRODUCTION TO TIME GEOGRAPHY by Nigel Thrift

By Nigel Thrift

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Because rock units at Roaring Brook contain pegmatite and quartz veins, which are more resistant to erosion than schists, an irregular, undulatory surface, the “Great Unconformity,” developed (plate 3). Coarse sands with rounded pebbles accumulated on this erosional surface. About 180 million years ago, the region tilted east, suggesting the uplift of the Western Highlands. In the following millions of years, geologic time appears to stand still in New England. Erosion dominated the period as the Appalachian Mountains slowly changed into the hills that characterize Connecticut today.

Fall and early winter were unusually warm, so that flocks could remain out at pasture until January 8, 1827. Heavy snows then followed, but there was ultimately no frost in the ground. Farmers in New Hampshire were able to plow their fields by the end of February, even though snow was still covering the mountains. Unusually warm nineteenth-century summers returned from 1860 through 1865 and 1876 through 1878 as well. Climate Cycles The variations in weather patterns mentioned so far were all relatively short and do not in and of themselves constitute climate change.

While the earliest sheets of ice removed virtually all of the soil that had accumulated over many millions of years, the younger sheets ground the rocky ledges to bits, scratching and polishing the remaining surfaces in a slow but relentless process that created much of the presentday topography of Connecticut (fig. 8 At the southernmost point where the melting of the sheets came to equal the supply of ice, the advance then stopped, and rocks and soils carried from the 8. Based on observations in New Hampshire, various geologists estimated that the last ice sheet in that state may have been as much as five thousand feet thick.

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