New York - Central Park

New York - Central Park Geological Photo

This image is a geographic extension of the New York City Block image—it extends east into Central Park. The contrast between the human built environment and the naturally vegetated environment intrigues me as both an artist and geologist. How do we feel when we are standing in the forested space of the park versus on the sidewalk along the city block?

The constant between the city block and the park is the Manhattan Schist bedrock that lies below. But I also wonder how different it is below the city block as compared to the park. One way to consider this question is to think about where rainwater ends up. Rain falling on the city lands on impenetrable surfaces that direct the water to pipes that flow off to a nearby river. Rainwater falling on the park lands on forest canopies or grass lawns and permeable soils and makes its way to the bedrock surface. Water then flows into cracks or fractures in the rock to recharge the groundwater.