Soil & Water

Unique Geological Features of Genesee County


Clarendon-Linden Fault System

Major faults are not characteristic of the bedrock geology of this area. The CLF is a north-south trending fault system that displays both strike-slip and dip-slip motion, and is expressed as an offset on the Onondaga Escarpment. It extends from Lake Ontario to Allegheny County and is still active to vertical displacements, periodically causing minor earthquakes in the area. This fault does not pose a strong threat to this area. Researchers have identified many potential fault lines to the east and west of the Clarendon-Linden Fault. The most recent event was on May 25, 1995.


Devil’s Rock

Devil's Rock is located along Route 5 near the top of Temperance Hill, next to a New York State Department of Transportation building about 2.5 miles east of Batavia, New York.

The rock derives its name from a legend that the Devil was once chained to it. According to one version of the legend, the Devil was caught napping beside this large boulder. Somehow he was chained to the boulder and for many years he ran ‘round and ‘round the rock trying to gain his freedom. The chain that held him gradually wore a deep grove in the boulder resulting in the rocks interesting mushroom shape.

To some the geological explanation of the rock is even more unbelievable than the legend. The rock is a glacial erratic, being carried to its present location by glacial transportation most likely during the last ice age. I believe the rock is comprised of Lockport Dolostone and was transported at least 15 miles (24.1 km) from the northeast, as this is the distance to the nearest outcropping of this rock.

The rock’s true shape is that of an hourglass. In the late 1960’s the bottom half of the rock was buried during the reconstruction of Route 5. The rock originally had a height of about 20 feet (6.1m), with a base diameter of probably 25 feet (7.6 m). The shape of the rock is due to the weathering and erosion of a softer dolostone layer sandwiched between two harder layers.



Special thanks to Scott Ensminger

Western New York Waterfall Survey

Cataloging waterfalls in the western half of New York State