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Bedrock-surface elevation and overburden thickness maps of the five boroughs, New York City, New York

May 25, 2023

Digital maps of bedrock elevation and overburden thickness (depth to bedrock) were constructed for the five boroughs of New York City by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New York City Department of Design and Construction, from a compilation of historical and newly acquired data. Raster surfaces were interpolated from a point database containing data from more than 14,000 locations collected from a variety of sources. These data were collected between 1905 and 2021. These maps were constructed to supplement existing tools for the evaluation of potential construction of geothermal heat pump technology for buildings in New York City.

The bedrock underlying the study area ranges from easily weathered to very resistant to weathering. This differential susceptibility to erosion, along with numerous north-northwest-trending faults, is believed to control the shape of the bedrock surface. Glacial scouring of the bedrock during the Pleistocene Epoch is the most recent control on the topography of bedrock surfaces. Overburden thickness is an important consideration for evaluation and construction of geothermal systems.

Bedrock-surface elevation ranges from about 360 feet above sea level (in central Staten Island and northern Bronx) to 1,200 feet below sea level (in southern Queens) (North American Vertical Datum of 1988). The overburden thickness ranges from 0 foot thick at surface outcrops on Staten Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx, to 1,280 feet thick in southeastern Queens.

Publication Year 2023
Title Bedrock-surface elevation and overburden thickness maps of the five boroughs, New York City, New York
DOI 10.3133/dr1176
Authors Laura M. DeMott, Frederick Stumm, Jason S. Finkelstein
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Data Report
Series Number 1176
Index ID dr1176
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center