SEM Imaging of Rocks of the Finger Lakes Region

Sean Maksimuk, Chemical Engineering, University of Rochester


The finger lakes region of New York State is not only beautiful but is also rich in geological history. Along with the 11 Finger lakes many glens can be found. These glens expose various layers of rocks from the Devonian Period (410-360 million years ago). No other place in eastern United States exposes the rocks from this time period like the Finger Lakes region. These glens formed due to continuous erosion by creeks and glaciers that in essence carved the landscapes.


In this project the rocks from three specific glens were imaged using the scanning electron microscope. The glens chosen were Enfield Glen (in Treman State Park), Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Fillmore Glen. The SEM has capabilities to resolve images up to about few nanometers. Furthermore, energy dispersive x-ray analysis was performed to gain elemental information. Of particular interest was the morphology of the rocks, as many had flakey appearances and textures.


To view the images and read the comments please click on the links on the left.