The Slate Belt

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The bioregion of the Slate Belt is in the northeastern most corner of Northampton County Pennsylvania. This bioregion is unique to others in the region due to the Martinsville Shale deposits. These deposits contain high quality slate that when quarried and sold on the market, lead the industry in the United State for over 100 years. The industry in the south valley consists of cement plants due to rich limestone deposits and abandoned iron mines in the west for the now defunct Bethlehem Steel. To the north of the Slate Belt lie anthracite coalmines from other geological deposits. To the east lie small quasi-fertile farmlands and great swaths of deciduous forest. Further, the Slate Belt bioregion is easily defined by three major geomorphs: the Kittatinny Ridge/Blue Mountain to the north, the Delaware River to the east and south and the Bushkill Creek to the west. These landforms easily demark the bioregion. The people of Welsh and Italian ancestry of the local population that quarries the slate has created a culture that is filled with the pride. All of these unique attributes contribute to formation of a bioregion that can with effort and proper management become independent and self-sustaining. The Slate Belt bioregion is nested within the Great Valley Section of the Valley and Ridge Province that was formed by thrust and fault folding during the Late Ordovician period through and Late Paleozoic era.(Bailey,1992; Geyer, 1979;Van Diver, 1990). During this time Taconian
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