To poke around in a preliminary way, Deffeyes and I went up to the Palisades Sill, where I was to return with Karen Kleinspehn, borrowed some diabase with a ten-pound sledge, and then began to travel westward, traversing the Hackensack Valley. It was morning. Small airplanes engorged with businessmen were settling into Teterboro. Deffeyes pointed out that if this were near the end of Wisconsinan time, when the ice was in retreat, those airplanes would have been settling down through several hundred feet of water, with the runway at the bottom of a lake. Glacial Lake Hackensack was the size of Lake Geneva and was host to many islands. It had the Palisades Sill for an eastern shoreline, and on the west the lava hill that is now known zakelijke energie vergelijken as the First Watchung Mountain. The glacier had stopped at Perth Amboy, leaving its moraine there to block the foot of the lake, which the glacier fed with meltwater as it retreated to the north. Some two hundred million years earlier, the runway would have been laid out on a baking red flat beside the first, cooling Watchung-glowing from cracks, from lava fountains, but generally black as carbon. Basalt flows don’t light up the sky. Three hundred million years before that, the airplanes would have been settling down toward the same site through water-in this instance, salt water-on the eastern shelf of a broad low continent, where an almost pure limestone was forming, because virtually nothing from the worn-away continent was eroding into the shallow sea. Three random moments from the upper ninth of time. In Paterson, I-80 chops the Watchung lava. Walking the cut from end to end, Deffeyes picked up some peripheral shale-Triassic red shale. He put it in his mouth and chewed it. “If it’s gritty it’s a silt bed, and if it’s creamy it’s a shale,” he said. “This is creamy. Try it.” I would not have thought to put it in coffee. In the blocky basaltic wall of the road, there were many small pockets, caves the size of peas, caves the size of lemons. As magma approaches the surface of the earth, it is so perfused with gases that it fizzes like ginger ale. In cooling basalt, gas bubbles remain, and form these minicaves. For a century and more, nothing much fills them. Slowly, though, over zakelijke energie a minimum of about a million years, they can fill with zeolite crystals. Until well after the Second World War, not a whole lot was known about the potential uses of zeolite crystals.