Glacial, sedimentary, wisconsin

The Wisconsin Dells | An Ice Age and modern water park

Despite its location in the heart of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Dells is today known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World.” However, it was its rocks—the actual Dells—that first made it a popular Midwest tourist destination back in the 1800s. The Wisconsin Dells—which come from the French word dalles, or narrows—is a 5 mile stretch of… Continue reading The Wisconsin Dells | An Ice Age and modern water park

sedimentary, wisconsin

Ripple Marks

If you’ve ever looked through clear waters at a beach or gentle flowing river to the sand below, you’ve likely seen ripple marks formed by the moving water. The image above actually shows preserved “fossil” ripple marks in the 1.7 billion-year-old Baraboo (Wisconsin) quartzite. These ripple marks were formed when the marine sandstone was initially deposited… Continue reading Ripple Marks

Glacial, sedimentary, structure, wisconsin

Glaciated breccia: A three-part rock story

This piece of glaciated breccia from the Brussels Hill meteorite impact structure in Brussels, Wisconsin is probably one of my favorites in my collection. It’s not the oldest, nor is it necessarily the prettiest, but it holds one of the best stories. This rock began its life ~440 million years ago during the Silurian Period.… Continue reading Glaciated breccia: A three-part rock story

geomorphology, wisconsin

Wave-cut Platforms and Coastal Geomorphology

While Wisconsin more so conjures images of snow and cold (and cheese) than it does the ocean, it actually has a spectacular coastline along Lake Michigan that undergoes traditional coastal geomorphology processes. Cave Point County Park in Door County, Wisconsin features great examples of wave-cut platforms (shown in the above photos). Wave-cut platforms are the… Continue reading Wave-cut Platforms and Coastal Geomorphology

sedimentary, wisconsin

Can you spot the unconformity?

This photo displays a pretty spectacular unconformity—an erosional/non-depositional surface where rock units deposited during different intervals of time appear to be continuous. In the bottom half of the image, you can see Paleoproterozoic pink quartzite ~1.7 Ga in age, while in the top half of the image—directly overlying the quartzite—is Cambrian sandstone conglomerate ~540 Ma… Continue reading Can you spot the unconformity?

structure, tectonics, wisconsin

Van Hise Rock

If you’re a structural geologist or geology student in the midcontinent region, you’ve most likely made the pilgrimage to Van Hise Rock. Located near Rock Springs, Wis., in the Baraboo quartzite range, Van Hise Rock is among the best-known structural geology landmarks in the Midwest. Van Hise Rock provides spectacular exposure of the nearly vertical… Continue reading Van Hise Rock

structure, wisconsin

Crater Hunters Find New Clues to Ancient Impact Storm

The Earth will never catch up to the moon (let’s hope), but the number of Ordovician craters may soon takeoff. That’s because it’s easier and cheaper than ever to sniff out the shocked minerals that confirm an impact. My work on my impact site, Brussels Hill in Wisconsin, is featured in this article, which is… Continue reading Crater Hunters Find New Clues to Ancient Impact Storm