Geology Field Trip Goes Way Back in Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula


Charlotte Painter, '09, and Danielle Hainline, '09, examine a polished slap of Proterozoic Baraboo Quartzite in the Upper Narrows of the Baraboo River.
Geology professors Thom Wilch and Chris Van de Ven led 14 students on this year's Regional Field Geology class trip, which spent mid-May traveling through Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Glacial features dominated the Wisconsin portion of the trip through Kettle Moraine State Park, the Baraboo Syncline and Devil’s Lake region, the Two Creeks buried forest, and Door County. Wisconsin-age glacial features like the terminal and interlobate moraines, kettles, kames, eskers, and countless drumlins were examined. A highlight was finding numerous sticks and a tree stump from the 12,000-year-old Two Creeks buried forest in a Lake Michigan bluff.

Enjoying a bluff composed of Proterozoic Baraboo Quartzite overlooking the terminal moraine damming Devil’s Lake: Charlotte Painter, ’09, Abby Williams, 12, Anneliese Bruegel, ’09, Danielle Hainline, ’09, Carolyn Rath, ’09, and John Jacisin, ’12.
After being well-fed and spending a night at Chris’s parents' home at the very southern end of Door County, the class traveled to the Upper Peninsula and its Precambrian banded iron formations (BIFs), rocks and features related to the Penokean orogeny and Keweenawan lavas. After a visit to Michigan Tech’s mineral museum and an underground tour of the Quincy Mine, Bill Rose of Michigan Tech. University led the class on a tour of spectacular Keweenawa Peninsula geology. Along with the 2-billion-year-old BIFs, the group saw 1 billion-year-old stromatolites, and spectacular views of bluffs along Lake Superior in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Touring the Quincy Mine in Houghton. Back: Charlotte Painter, ’09, Jessica Masternak, ’09, Carolyn Rath, ’09, Becca Elandt, ’09, Danielle Hainline, ’09, Abby Williams, ’12. Front: Brittany Myers, ’10, Anneliese Bruegel, ’09, Emily Stephens, ’12, and Melissa Light, ’11.
Melissa Light, '11, Ryan Emerson, '10, Chris Van de Ven, and Charlotte Painter, '09 at 45degrees north latitude, halfway between the north pole and the equator.

Thom Wilch with Abby Williams, '12 and Brittany Myers, '10 describing the composition of rocks and sediments in a quarry dug into a drumlin near Sullivan, WI.