CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK CITY

Cameron's Line
The collision that formed the Taconic Mountains
—the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains—
about 450 million years ago

A small continental mass, probably similar to the collective islands of Indonesia today, pushed up against the eastern part of North America about 450 million years ago. That caused a line of mountains to form—the Taconic Mountains from Maine to Georgia. The line where this collision occurred is known as "Cameron's Line," named for geologist Eugene Cameron of the University of Wisconsin at Madison who first described it in the 1950s.

Cameron's line can be followed southward across western Massachusetts and western Connecticut and as far as Staten Island in New York. One of the best places to find it is in Central Park where it forms the boundary between the rocks of the Manhattan Formation and the Hartland Formation.

Camerons Line Hartland.jpg

Hartland Formation (Umpire Rock)

Camerons Line Manhattan.jpg

Manhattan Formation (near the carousel)