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Mt. Sugarloaf

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Mt. Sugarloaf made up of gravel and sand from the Triassic Age that was compacted and cemented together. The sandstone that makes up most of it is called Arkose. It is made up of a variety of minerals. The reddish color typical of Sugarloaf comes from iron deposited at the bottom of a deep lake or ocean, where there was not enough oxygen to "rust" or decay it. The layers that make up the outcropping came from successive deposits from ancient river channels. But Sugarloaf, a sandstone outcropping, is made up of relatively weak rock. Why did it survive the successive glaciers that overswept the area? Part of the reason comes from its unique position: it was protected by its larger northern edge. When the glaciers came, they took much of it and cut the sharp sides that form the mountain. The remnants will not stand long, geologically speaking: its vulnerable flanks will be carved away by later generations of rivers, glaciers, and weathering.


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