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Laurel Hill (Snake Hill; Penitentiary Quarry), Secaucus, Hudson Co., New Jersey, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 40° 45' 35'' North , 74° 5' 5'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 40.76000,-74.08500
Köppen climate type:Cfa : Humid subtropical climate

A 61 meter (203 feet) high outcrop of a pipe-like diabase intrusive, which is a vertical element of the underlying Palisades Sill. Mineralized shales and sandstones, intruded by the diabase, are visible in the north and southwest sections of the property. Minerals were found in veins in both the diabase and metamorphosed sediments. Quarrying took place from the late 1800s to the 1950s, when a section of the land was utilized as a prison (Penitentiary Quarry). In 1962 Hudson County finished closing their facilities on the site, which included the county prison and the insane asylum. The County entered into a 20 year contract with Callahan Industries to level much of the hill. In the 1960's and 70's Gallo Asphalt had 4 asphalt plants, side by side, adjacent to the quarry and supplied paving materials throughout the surrounding urban region. Production ended on schedule in 1982.

In the early 2000s, further blasting occurred along the New Jersey Turnpike. Most of the original 184 acre parcel is currently being utilized as a county park. (This site is also known as "Snake Hill.)".

Mineral List

51 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

Late Jurassic - Early Jurassic
145 - 201.3 Ma

ID: 2884007
Passaic Formation Mudstone facies

Age: Jurassic (145 - 201.3 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Passaic Formation

Description: Sandy mudstone (JTrpms) is reddish-brown to brownish-red, massive, silty to sandy mudstone and siltstone, which are bioturbated, ripple cross-laminated and interbedded with lenticular sandstone. To southwest where similar lithologic units also occur, they have not been mapped separately, but have been included in undivided unit JTrp.

Comments: Newark Supergroup, Brunswick Group (Lyttle and Epstein, 1987). The Passaic Formation unit description on the map encompasses multiple units (JTRp, JTRpms, JTRps, JTRpsc, JTRpcq, JTRpcl, and TRpg). The Passaic Formation was split into individual units according to the digital map and the appropriate descriptions were used for each. Names for units are from digital map.

Lithology: Major:{sandstone mudstone,siltstone mudstone}, Minor:{siltstone,sandstone}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Manchester, J.G. (1931) The Minerals of New York City and Its Environs. New York Mineralogical Club Bulletin, 3: 58-9.
Puffer, J. & Peters, J. (1974), Economic Geology. Magnetite Veins in Diabase of Laurel Hill, New Jersey, 69: 1294-1299.
Facciolla, N. (1981), Minerals of Laurel Hill, Secaucus, New Jersey.
Peacor, D.R. & Dunn, P.J. (1982), American Mineralogist, 67: 1039-1042.
Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World: 66.
Cummings, Warren L. (2007), Geologist, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Trenton, NJ, personal communication to Mindat staff.

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