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NEWS & EVENTS

The Rock of Our Foundation

Posted by Nichole Johnson |

Monday, July 15, 2013

News-Lahm-Kerns-252Dr. Terry Lahm, associate provost and professor of geology and environmental science, had the opportunity to examine the original 1914 foundation of Kerns Religious Life News-Lahm-Kerns-252-2Center, first named Rudolph Memorial Library, after the excavation opened and before tuck pointing and foundation repair began. He offered this summary of his initial analysis.

This original foundation is composed of limestone rocks that are held together with mortar. I was most interested in the foundation materials but also the surrounding geology that contributes to the drainage of water away from the foundation.
 

News-Paleogeography-252The original foundation of Kerns is likely composed of a formation known as Columbus Limestone. This limestone is fossiliferous (contains fossils), is Early to Middle Devonian in age (350 to 419 Million Years old) and formed in an ancestral shallow sea that occupied much of the central proportion of North America.  

 

See the paleogeography map (left) that shows this portion of Ohio was in the Appalachian Basin during this time.

Columbus Limestone is mined throughout the central and western portions of Franklin and Delaware counties and this foundation material likely came from these quarries along the Scioto River such as Marble Cliff Quarry in Upper Arlington. This material was used to construct other buildings such as Ohio Stadium and Ohio Statehouse (PDF). 
  

More research will be done to confirm Dr. Lahm's initial analysis. Sounds like an interesting undergraduate research project for history and environmental science majors. 

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