PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY OF SEDIMENTOLOGY IN NEW YORK
The sedimentary rocks of New York also contribute to the well-being of its residents in different ways. The aesthetic enjoyment of a walk through a classic geologic landscape in your favorite state parks and an understanding of the deep, geologic history of where we live contribute much to our lives. But the mining and extraction of sedimentary rocks also contributes daily to our lives, and has long been a part of New York's economy. The utilization of chert and other rocks for tools and points was of great importance to the Iroquois and other native peoples for centuries. The traditional building stone, roofing slate, bluestone, and local glass industries of the more recent past were vital resources for New Yorkers during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. These products have been overshadowed in modern times by the pursuit of oil and gas, rock salt, crushed stone and cement, and other economic deposits found in sedimentary rocks of different ages across the state.
A planned use of New York rocks involves subsurface storage of natural gas that is largely produced in western Canada. This natural gas is stored underground in natural rock formations for use during those times of the year, as winter, when the gas is needed. Interestingly, the most promising underground storage sites in New York are ancient coral reefs, which once were filled with petroleum and natural gas, but were pumped “dry” and now can be filled with natural gas.