NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, New York

Geodiversity refers to the full variety of natural geologic (rocks, minerals, sediments, fossils, landforms, and physical processes) and soil resources and processes that occur in the park. A product of the Geologic Resources Inventory, the NPS Geodiversity Atlas delivers information in support of education, Geoconservation, and integrated management of living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components of the ecosystem.

trees and field

Photo by Susan Dobler.


Roosevelt-Vanderbilt Headquarters (ROVA) consists of three national historic sites located along the Hudson River Valley in Hyde Park, Dutchess County, New York: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (ELRO); Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site (HOFR); and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site (VAMA). Authorized on May 26, 1977, ELRO encompasses approximately 73 hectares (180 acres) and preserves Val-Kill Cottage, the retreat, office, and home of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Originally constructed as a factory for Val-Kill Industries, the building was converted to a home in 1937 and subsequently utilized by the First Lady as a “laboratory” for social change as she formulated and carried out her social and political beliefs (National Park Service 2017b). Designated on January 16, 1944, HOFR contains nearly 344 hectares (850 acres) and preserves the birthplace and home of the 32nd President of the United States, as well as the first U.S. Presidential Library (National Park Service 2017c). President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor are buried together in the Rose Garden on the family estate. Established on December 18, 1940, VAMA preserves the Vanderbilt Mansion, an important example of Beaux-Arts architecture and design constructed by Frederick W. Vanderbilt, grandson of business tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. Encompassing about 85 hectares (210 acres), the historic site contains the palatial mansion, surrounding grounds, gardens, and Hudson River views that create a scenic landscape (National Park Service 2017d).

Geologic Setting

Situated in the Valley and Ridge physiographic province of eastern New York, the bedrock of ROVA consists entirely of Ordovician-age sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks that are blanketed in places by younger Pleistocene surficial deposits. The bedrock of HOFR and VAMA is comprised of greywacke, turbidites, shale (mudstone), and sandstone of the Ordovician Austin Glen Formation that support the scenic bluffs above the Hudson River. Rocks of the Austin Glen Formation are also mapped in ELRO but include siltstone, silty dolostone, and quartzite of the Ordovician Stuyvesant Falls Formation in the eastern area of the historical site near Top Cottage. Overlying the Ordovician bedrock of ROVA are unconsolidated glacial till deposits that were left behind as glaciers advanced and retreated across New York during the Pleistocene, beveling the landscape to produce the rolling hills and low ridges that characterize ROVA.

Regional Geology

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site is a part of the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province and shares its geologic history and some characteristic geologic formations with a region that extends well beyond park boundaries.

Maps and Reports

The Geologic Resources Inventory produces digital geologic maps and reports for more than 270 natural resource parks. The products listed below are currently available for this park, check back often for updates as many maps, reports, and posters are still in progress.
  • Scoping summaries are records of scoping meetings where NPS staff and local geologists determined the park’s geologic mapping plan and what content should be included in the report.
  • Digital geologic maps include files for viewing in GIS software, a guide to using the data, and a document with ancillary map information. Newer products also include data viewable in Google Earth and online map services.
  • Reports use the maps to discuss the park’s setting and significance, notable geologic features and processes, geologic resource management issues, and geologic history.
  • Posters are a static view of the GIS data in PDF format. Newer posters include aerial imagery or shaded relief and other park information. They are also included with the reports.
  • Projects list basic information about the program and all products available for a park.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3393. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

NPS Soil Resources Inventory project has been completed for Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and can be found on the NPS Data Store.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3394. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

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Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site

National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas

The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on geoheritage and geodiversity resources and values within the National Park System. This information supports science-based geoconservation and interpretation in the NPS, as well as STEM education in schools, museums, and field camps. The NPS Geologic Resources Division and many parks work with National and International geoconservation communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available.

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site

Last updated: June 17, 2024