The Appalachian Mountains, some of the oldest mountains in the world, were once larger than the Himalayas. The oldest rocks in Virginia are found along the core of the Blue Ridge Mountains which form the eastern flank of the Appalachians and, on a smaller scale, the eastern side of Page County.
According to Roger Eubank, geologist from Stanley, the eastern portion of the White House farm lies at the western edge of Page Valley with its carbonate geology and the western portion of the farm lies on the beginning of the Massanutten Mountain with its clastic geology.
The farm is divided by two formations – the Edinburgh Formation (predominately limestone) and the Martinsburg Formation (predominately shale).
Mr. Eubank reports, ‘this boundary is more than a contact between two rock formations, it is a contact between two very long-lasting types of geology that are quite different – the ending of one and the beginning of the other.’
Catherine Patterson, student at James Madison University and Dr. Steve Whitmeyer, JMU associate professor of geology and tectonics, are interested in studying the geology at the farm, characterizing the different rock formations and adding to the knowledge of geology in the Valley.
A future post will detail their research and findings.