Soils and Geology of Wisconsin Field Trip, May 2010

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

May 17, 2010

The Langlade Lobe

Loading up at UWGB
Heading off the Antigo Sand Plain and into the terminal moraine of the Langlade Lobe.
Investigating the soils.
An alfisol.

Below, Kevin Fermanich celebrates the virtues of the Wisconsin State Soil

Stirred, Not Shaken, at Bond Falls

Agate Falls

Palms Quartzite at Wakefield

Left and below: Views of Wakefield

Vicar Iron Mine

A chance to see iron formation in the field.
Let's see where this goes.
The plan was to investigate a steep gorge near the mine. We decided not to chance the bridge.
The gorge turns out to be flanked by volcanic rocks.
The volcanic rocks account for the steep hills on either side of the gorge.
There's always time for soil.
White vans and roads in the iron country don't mix.

Archean Ramsay Greenstone

Most of the Upper Peninsula is underlain by Archean basement. This outcrop east of Wakefield exposes pillow basalt.
A large pillow with alteration rind.
Atop the outcrop are excellent glacial striations.

Lake Gogebic State Park

Between Wakefield and Lake Gogebic State Park.
Camp cooking.

May 18, 2010

Lake Gogebic State Park

Sunrise over Lake Gogebic
There's hard core, and then there's "work on your field notes before 8 A.M." hard core
View across Lake Gogebic.

Bergland Group

Flow-banded rhyolite.
View across Lake Gogebic

Bonanza Falls

Bonanza Falls, just north of White Pine, might just offer the best illustrations of strike and dip anywhere.

Below: Views of the falls.
There are a few potholes here. This one still has tools in it.
Ripple marks.

Lake of the Clouds

Epidote-filled amygdules.

Lunch at Union Bay

Union Bay Campground was nearly empty so we had lunch here.
Large boulder of Copper Harbor Conglomerate.
Alvin? ALVIN? A-A-A-Alvin!!
Ripple Marks
Left: Great mud cracks

Ripple Marks
Cross beds

Inland and a Soil Stop

Jacobsville Sandstone at L'Anse

Canyon Falls

Ford Research Center

Well, of course we brought a Frisbee.
Field trips where we set up for two nights are so convenient.

May 19, 2010

The Quincy Mine

The Quincy Iron Mine now offers tours.
Left and below: the main mine building is made of Jacobsville Sandstone.
There are cores, and then there are cores.
Pneumatic drills
Ore car
A skip. These carried ore, other cargo, and miners up and down the shafts.
The old elevator building was one of the neatest looking buildings I've ever seen. Unfortunately it burned down almost 100 years ago.
Wooden brake shoes for stopping the drum.

Seaman Mineral Museum

It is so much easier to find good minerals when they're neatly arranged in cabinets. The Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech in Houghton is the official mineral museum of Michigan. This is a huge pyrite crystal.
Malachite and azurite
Microcline (Amazonite)
Copper-cemented conglomerate
Dendritic silver
Lake Superior Agate
Fluorescent minerals from Franklin, New Jersey.
Stibnite (Antimony sulfide) has to be one of my favorite minerals.
Of course, gold has its appeal too.
Wire silver
And pasties on the lawn for lunch.

The Cliff Mine

The Keweenaw Fault forms a line of steep cliffs.
We spent a couple of hours prowling the mine dumps. A number of people found small amounts of copper.
Metal detectors proved pretty much useless since so many rocks had small amounts of copper they constantly set off the detector.

Eagle River Falls

This aging truss bridge is now preserved as a historic landmark.
Eagle River Falls. The falls slides down a dip slope of Lakeshore Volcanics. A very rickety wooden dam blocks the original channel, exposing two spectacular potholes. The Copper Harbor Conglomerate laps onto the volcanics to the bottom of the lower pothole.
Copper Harbor Conglomerate beneath the bridge.
Copper Harbor Conglomerate beneath the bridge.
There was a trout traffic jam in the river.
The modern highway bridge is supported by a graceful wooden arch.
Copper Harbor Conglomerate beneath the bridge.
That small trickle has carved a narrow rill, probably mostly by chemical weathering when there's a trickle rather than mechanical erosion.

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

A narrow band of Lakeshore Volcanics defines the shoreline near Eagle Harbor.
Calcite veins in the volcanics.
Left and below: views along the shore.
Colorful lichen.
The lighthouse.

Esrey Park

Esrey Park is another exposure of Lakeshore Volcanics. In the two views below, the distant point is conglomerate overlying the volcanics.

Brockway Mountain

View of Copper Harbor
Highway U.S. 41 starts here.
In case you plan on driving the whole way. The other end is Alligator Alley north of the Everglades and Calle Ocho in Little Havana.

Back to Camp

This marker near Mohawk tells the story of the infamous lake effect snows of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Below, left: The historic marker.

Below, right: The wayside.
This view of the Jacobsville outcrops at L'Anse shows the red color nicely.
It's so convenient to have camp all set up.

May 20, 2010

In Search of Histosols

Looks promising.
Very promising.
But it's not a histosol. Probably an inceptisol
So let's see what the upland soils look like.
Not one but two E horizons. We weren't totally sure what happened here, but there may have been several changes in soil formation history.

Michigamme (Former) Mine

The Michigamme Mine once had spectacular examples of retrograde-metamorphosed garnets as well as magnetite crystals in chlorite schist. It also had a lot of abandoned shafts. When the state widened the highway, they dumped waste rock over the mine, burying all the good stuff. There's a lot of rock here, none of it interesting.

Champion Mine

All that glitters is not gold. At the Champion Mine, it's hematite.

Republic Mine

The Republic Iron Mine closed in 1981 but the overlook and historic markers are still there.
Boulder of banded iron formation
The mine is now filled with several hundred feet of water.
An overlook offers views of the mine and placards tell its history.

Archean Gneiss and Dikes

I'll just relax here until soil forms.

Histosols at Last!

Our well-trained crew tracks down a soils stop.
It's not a histosol unless the water table is in your shoe.

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Created 22 May 2009 , Last Update 15 January 2020