vernal pool


Mittineague Park

Surficial Geology of Mittineague Park

The image below is from the Surficial Geologic Map of the West Springfield Quadrangle, Massachusetts and Connecticut by Roger B. Colton and Joseph H. Hartshorn 1971. (GQ-892) The explanation of the map is taken entirely from the map.
surficial topography
If you're saying "Hey, This looks familiar, but different." You are right! But what do the colors, letters, and symbols mean? I have to look, and I have the map!

Blue ~ Qd ~ Delta Deposits

Yellowish brown to light reddish brown gravel, sand, silt, and clay in topset and foreset beds of Westfield River and Harts Pond gap glacial deltas built southeastward and eastward into Glacial Lake Hitchcock.

(Not found in Mittineague Park, but across the river in Robinson State Park)

Dark Blue ~ Ql ~ Lake Bottom Deposits

Laminated moderate yellowish brown to gray clayey silt and sand, partly varved, as much as 20 feet thick but generally about 10 feet. Overlies varved lake deposits (yellowish gray or grayish brown alternating thin silt and clay layers, each 1/2 to 1 inch thick)

Orange ~ Qt ~ Till

Compact, nonsorted to poorly sorted, nonstratified mixture of clay, silt, sand, pebbles, cobbles, and boulders. Generally reddish brown to pale reddish brown. Includes minor bodies of stratified drift. Thickness generally less than 15 feet, may be as much as 100 feet under crests of some drumlins.

Speckled Yellow ~ Qst ~ River or Stream Terrace Deposits

Yellowish brown well laminated sand, silt, and clay, locally pebbly. Highest terrace 100 feet above Westfield River, numerous nonpaired terraces at lower levels on both sides of river and along Great Brook. Highest terraces formed by deposition of post lake sand and gravel on surfaces cut on delta deposits (Qd), lake deposits (Ql), and glacial stream and lake deposits west of Provin Mountain (Qg4,5,6, and 7) Some deposits as much as 20 feet thick. the Upper Terrace

Yellow ~ Qal ~ Alluvium

Light grayish brown silt, sand, and gravel along the Westfield River, Great Brook, and smaller streams. Occurs in several levels of flood plains as much as 20 feet above river level. Generally less than 20 feet thick.

Brown ~ af ~ Artificial Fill

Artificially emplaced earth, mainly sand and gravel, locally some till. Trash fills not mapped. the Fill

Green ~ Trs ~ Sedimentary and Basaltic Rocks

Sedimentary rocks, reddish brown arkosic siltstone, sandstone, and conglomerate.
And what about those circles with the two lines on opposite sides?


Hill partly or entirely composed of till, smoothed and streamlined by glacial action. Shaft is parallel to long axis of drumlin and to general direction of ice movement. the Drumlin
And that dashed line circle?


Generalized west boundary of Glacial Lake Hitchcock at maximum extent before deposition of deltaic and lake sediments. Drumlins and rock cored till hills appear as islands. Line based on upper limit of lake deposits, especially those around Buck and Hastings Hills in Suffield, the delta on Amostown Road, and on lake level and upwarp data from other studies.

How about that curved line pattern in the parks southern tip?
Those are depression contours where the river once flowed. the Penninsula
OK, now look closely for the line that goes from the left side near the top, down, and to the right side of the bottom, near the word "West" of West Agawam. It goes through the end of the fill, and the depression in the southern penninsula. See it? A cross section view of that line is below.
surficial cross-section

Personal Observations

I notice that the distance between the suface and the bedrock is less in Mittineague Park. I notice the exposed bedrock area south of Buffalo Mountain. I also see that Block Brook runs through the park. Towards the west is Paucatuck brook. I notice a longer fill to the west of the park parallel to the river. I believe that a combination of all these factors help contribute to the park's general wetness. The lower road is most often mud and puddles. The meadows are almost always spongy. The lower shore literally seeps water. (The skunk cabbage like it) The only areas that really ever dry out are those atop the drumlin, Buffalo Mountain, the fill, and near the residential areas. Of course this varies from season to season, year to year. the Meadow
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