New Hampshire Geology New Hampshire Bedrock Map

Welcome to the only website dedicated to making the geological history of New Hampshire easy to understand for the students, teachers and general public of the Granite State.

Before you start to navigate this site, it is important to tell you about the Geologic Timeline that will appear on each page in this site from here on out. Getting a basic understanding of this tool of geologists will make searching for information easier.

What is the Geologic Timeline?

The Geologic Timeline was developed by geologists (scientists who study the materials and processes that make up the Earth) as a way of showing the Earth’s geologic history, from the time the planet formed to the present day. It does this by illustrating geologic time by breaking it up into sections. These sections of time are not equal in length because they are determined by major geological and/or biological changes, which do not tend to happen at regular intervals.

The Geologic Timeline is on the left-hand side of all of the pages at this site. Just put your cursor over the Geoligic Timeline tab, and the timeline will slide open. The bottom of the Line is where Earth’s history began, about 4.6 billion years ago. The top of the Line shows the most recent events, including right now. In between the top and the bottom are the events that have happened AND they are shown in the order that they happened.

There are lots of big, strange words on the Line. Not to worry! These words – like Jurassic (jur-A-sick) – are names that geologists have given to time periods where certain events happened. Although these names are confusing at first, they are actually helpful. Instead of saying “back 150 million years ago when the dinosaurs roamed” we can just say “during the Jurassic period...” These names tell us what was going on at the time AND how long ago they happened. (It’s the same as saying that a house dates from the Revolutionary Period. It tells us that the house was in existence during the time period of 1775 and 1783, when our nation was at war fighting for its independence.)

How to use the Geologic Timeline

To find out what was happening in New Hampshire at a given time, just click on an item on the timeline. This will take you to a page that gives some specific details about that event. Each page will also have links for student and teacher activities and suggested other resources to get even more information on that particular topic.

This site brought to you by:
Daniel E. Reidy, 2003/2004 New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical Fellow,Sixth Grade Teacher, Moultonborough Central School, Moultonborough, NH