Snapshot: Overview of the mineral resources of the Coastal Plain region of the northeastern United States.
Credits: Most of the text of this page is derived from "Mineral resources of the Northeastern US" by Jane E. Ansley, chapter 6 in The Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Geology of the Northeastern U.S. (published in 2000 by the Paleontological Research Institution). The book was adapted for the web by Andrielle Swaby, Elizabeth J. Hermsen, and Jonathan R. Hendricks. Changes include formatting and revisions to the text and images. Credits for individual images are given in figure captions.
Updates: Page last updated October 20, 2023.
Image above: Sample of selenite gypsum from St. Mary's County, Maryland. Photograph by Jake Slagle (Flickr; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license; image cropped and re-sized).
The Coastal Plain region of the Northeast has very few mineral producing localities. Gypsum and magnesium compounds are the extent of the current mineral production, and kaolin was produced in the past in Maryland. The Coastal Plain, made entirely of a wedge of loose sediments (not cemented or compacted sufficiently to have become sedimentary rock), does not have the abundance of valuable minerals and ores found in igneous and metamorphic rocks, nor the proper conditions to create such minerals. Unlike the other regions, minerals are concentrated in the Coastal Plain only through density separation by streams and wave action along the shoreline.
Sample of selenite gypsum from St. Mary's County, Maryland. Photograph by Jake Slagle (Flickr; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license; image re-sized).
Resources from the Paleontological Research Institution
Digital Atlas of Ancient Life: Minerals (collection of 3D models on Sketchfab): https://skfb.ly/6WxTo
Digital Encyclopedia of Earth Science: Minerals: https://earthathome.org/de/minerals/