The recipe forging Vermont’s current geologic setting is simple in principle:
- Put Vermont in a warm tropical sea
- Allow 200+ million years for sediments (sands, silts, clays, fossils) to be deposited in the sea
- Allow time + weight of sediments to lithify these sediments into rocks (shale, limestone, sandstone)
- Ram another supercontinent (in fits and starts) into the supercontinent VT is part of to bake and transform the rocks (also causes gooey filling to rising up into the cupcake)
- Pull apart supercontinents to get some small igneous sprinkles
- Allow time to slowly erode the grand Himalayan sized sculpture into a gentle rolling landscape of pleasant hills and “mountains”
Over the past couple centuries, naturalists and geologists have slowly pieced together this story using evidence left behind by the slow grind of shifting plates, burrowing trilobites, photosynthetic bacteria, and igenous intrusions.