Back in early September, I accompanied the sed/strat class at SU on a field trip to the eastern shores of Lake Ontario.
|Field trip location marked on a map showing Lake Ontario and New York State.|
The field trip was to look at part of a large freshwater barrier beach system that stretches for over 25km along the New York State shoreline of Lake Ontario.
|Eastern Lake Ontario, with the approximate extent of the barrier/dune system outlined (the barriers are still visible on the map, immediately right of the dotted line. The Tug Hill Region is shown for reference. Basemap created using www.geomapapp.org|
Our first stop was at Sandy Island Beach State Park, a tiny New York State Park between North and South Ponds. This section of the dune complex is over 1000 years old; most of the sand in the system has been inherited from previous highstands in the Ontario Basin (Woodrow et al., 2012).
|Two topographic maps of the Sandy Pond area: a National Geographic topo map on the left and a USGS topographic profile from www.geomapapp.org on the right, both projected in Google Earth. Click for a larger version.|
|Overlooking the beach at Sandy Island Beach State Park|
|Sandy Island Beach, looking northeast.|
|A trench dug in the beach (perpendicular to the shoreline) shows low-angle laminations dipping toward the water. Wave action has sorted the sand grains- the darker layers are darker, heavier minerals).|
|Grass covered dunes landward of Sandy Island Beach|
|Crossing North Pond (looking approximately southeast)|
|Dunes with trees! The highest dunes in the area (NOT pictured) are 15m above Lake Ontario.|
|The lake-side of the barrier dune complex.|
|Beach on a barrier island. We were invited to join some beach-goers for an afternoon party, but reluctantly declined.|
|I can't remember if this sand profile is perpendicular to the shoreline or not. If it is, the laminations look very different than on the first beach we visited.|
|The sand has built up inside the channel so much that plants are growing there. Needless to say, it is problematic for boaters trying to get into Lake Ontario.|
|Birds in the shallow water just inside the channel entrance.|
|Our boat, waiting while we check out the channel.|
|This great board explains sand transport to beachgoers.|