Soils and Geology of Wisconsin Field Trip, May 2011

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

May 15, 2011

Berlin Quarry

The best views of structure in the rhyolite are on weathered surfaces.
There are three quarries adjacent to the cemetery in Berlin. The middle one is most easily accassible.
The coarse rubbly material on the far wall is Cambrian basal conglomerate.
We read the rocks. Signs, not so much.
Oh we're goin' to the chapel ¯
an' we're ¯
gonna get buried... ¯

Redgranite Quarry

The flooded quarry in Redgranite is a favorite with geologists and divers alike. The dark wall in the middle of the quarry is a mafic dike.
These dark veins may be pseudotachylite, frictional melt along an ancient fault.
This case left no doubt. Here we have a slickensided surface with steps. The near side went up, the preserved side went down.
And it merges into one of the dark zones with two drill holes in it. The slickenside surface is at the top of the picture
Offset quartz veins.
The dike extends clear across the quarry.

Ship Rock

Ship Rock is a prominent landmark on highway 21. A prominent joint runs the length of the rock, possibly a conduit for fluids that cemented the sandstone and made it more resistant to erosion.
The violets were out this weekend.

Lunch and a Soil Stop

Hardly any horizon development marks this as an entisol. or maybe an ain't-a-soil.
Yuck, but significant. Cyanobacterial mats like this are abundant in the fossil record. Still, yuck.

Witches' Gulch

Witches' Gulch is a spectacular slot canyon. My hypothesis is that it was cut, or at least entrenched enough to establish its course, during the rapid drainage of Glacial Lake Wisconsin
Liverworts. The leaves are only about 2 mm in diameter. the walls of the gulch are a variety of bryophytes and ferns.
Giant cross bedding, probably aeolian
Spore bodies on fern leaves.

Devil's Lake State Park

Our campsite was close to a blue heron rookery, and they never shut up.
Below: the sign says "Organized Groups Only" but they let us stay anyway.
Looking north at the northern moraine dam
Looking east to the southern moraine dam
Messenger Creek, the only inlet to Devil's Lake.
Sunset view of Devil's Lake.
Above: Winding down the day's activities. Below: Instead of scary ghost stories we told tales of some of the midterms we'd given. Nobody slept a wink.

May 16, 2011

And a briefing on the day's plans.

Baxter Hollow

The road into Baxter Hollow was damaged. The bridge was fine but flooding undermined the pavement.
Some of the granite that underlies the quartzite.

Natural Bridge State Park

Across the highway from the park, a soils stop. And ... the envelope please ... it's a mollisol. Whoever had mollisol in the pool, collect your winnings.
Oh deer!
We had a phenomenal flock of scarlet tanagers putting on a show.

Skillet Creek

Headed north on US 12 toward the South Range
The outcrop at Skillet Creek is famous for its wonderful sedimentary structures.
Ripple marks

Abelman's Gorge

Shagbark hickory bud
A former quarry, once of dubiously legal accessibility, now a state natural area.
Spectacular vertical face with ripple marks.
Artesian spring.

Van Hise Rock

Tyler's Fold

Tyler Hischke proudly points to his fold. Actually this is a famous structure but I had not been here in a long time and it took some exploring to relocate it.

East Bluff Trail

Entrance to the Sasquatch Cave, a fissure in quartzite with Cambrian conglomerate overhead. The fissure was likely originally filled with sandstone that washed out.
Overhanging ledge of Cambrian quartzite.
Devil's Lake
Lichens devouring the rock. OmNomNomNom..
The northern moraine dam.
South end of Devil's Lake.
The high point on the rail is a traditional group photo location.
See what you did. You broke it.
Professor Luczaj sleeping off a Gatorade bender. Either that, or setting up his camera for our group photo.
Lightning stripped bark of this tree and seems to have blasted out a trench in the ground below it.
Shagbark hickory bud.
Looking east over the end of the southern moraine dam.
Devil's Doorway.
The Potholes Trail is fascinating but a brutal descent on the knees.
May apple leaves.

Panorama of Devil's Lake, showing the north moraine dam at left and the south moraine dam at far right.

May 17, 2011

South Moraine Dam

The moraine dam fills the lower half of the gorge. The land here is 100 feet below the level of Devil's Lake.

Man Mound Road Quarry

View of the north end of the Devils Lake gorge

Panorama of the quarry looking west.

Lower Narrows

Below: Panorama of the Lower Narrows, looking south.

Roche a Cri

Petroglyphs at the south end of the rock.
Some of the graffiti is old enough to be historic. One is dated 1846.
A staircase ascends the north end. Previous trips have climbed it but we were spared the 300 plus steps because it's closed for repairs.
A mile or so to the south is the only clear view. It offers a good view of the fissure that gives the rock its name.

Rib Mountain

The view from the top was about as clear as it could be.
Spheroidal weathering.

Below: 360-degree Panorama from Rib Mountain.

Eau Claire Dells

It took numerous visits for me to relocate these potholes, which I photographed in the late '70's. The amount of change in 35 years has been negligible.
Pretty church on highway 29 near Bowler.

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Created 22 May 2009 , Last Update 15 January 2020