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The Terminal Moraine

Within the field of vision from various parts of the valley is also the line of that wonderful phenomenon, The Terminal Moraine, or foot of the great sheet of ice that once covered the whole upper part of the North American continent to the supposed depth of several thousand feet, just as a similar ice-sheet now covers nearly all of Greenland. It is simply a more or less irregular line of bowlders [sic], gravel, deposits of unstratified earth, and drift-hills, the debris which for unknown centuries was with a mighty force brought down over valleys and mountains by the immense glacier. The line of the Moraine takes in all of the North Mountain, crosses the Muncy Creek below Tivoli, creeps up to the crest of the Allegheny, and then trends on over valley and mountain to the northwest, into the State of New York, back again into Pennsylvania, down into Ohio, over into Kentucky, and up again through Indiana. The part of Lycoming County above the line of the Moraine is in many places scratched by the pressure of the moving ice-mass, and covered with Drift. The Moraine has been carefully examined across the State from New Jersey to Ohio. It tells the story of a severe and killing Winter that endured for ages, and that ended a long cosmic Summer, during which Mastoden roamed over the same regions as the Elephants now range over the jungles of Africa. What caused this extraordinary change of climate is a riddle not yet positively solved. One entire volume of the many reports of the Second Geological Survey of Pennsylvania is devoted to a detailed description of this marvel of a long past age. It is a most interesting romance of nature to the student of God's handiwork. When Agassiz came to America almost the first thing he looked for was for evidence of glacial action, and he soon found what he looked for, and what he had already become so familiar with in Europe. He had eyes, and could see things in nature quicker and better than most mortals.

  • Gernerd, J. M. M., The Muncy Valley: Snap-Shots of Scenery, Geology and History, 1909, Press of the Gazette and Bulletin, Williamsport PA
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