29 August 2014

Safe and Sound

We're back!

Last Day

Today is our last day on the trip. We broke camp a little earlier than planned  in order to get packed up before the rain arrived; we beat it with only a minute or two to spare. So we had to head down the road a bit before we found an open breakfast joint, the Jolly Inn in Germfask, MI. 

28 August 2014

Miners Beach

Discussion of beach process and cross-stratification. Note how coarse the actual beach sand is here as well.

Miners Castle

After a short overview of Pictured Rocks National Laleshore's regional geology and stratigraphy, we took in the view of Miner'sCastle.


Some wonderful stramatolites exposed just north of the Harvey Quarry in the Kona Dolomite.

Harvey Quarry

A quick stop to check out the fault exposed in the Harvey Quarry, separating Mona Schist from the Menard Quartzite. Good example of mylonite here. 


At this stop on Presque Isle, we look at what has been interpreted as a paleosol. The basal conglomerete sites in the air above the suggested regolith, where a softer layer -- the paleosol -- has been eroded out. 

Basal Conglomerete

Stopping to look at the basal conglomerete layer exposed here in the Jacobsville. 

Joint Sets

Discuss ing joint sets in mafic rocks exposed along the Lake Superior shoreline. 

Sulfide Mineralization

Exploring an area of sulfide mineralization at Presque Isle. Silver mining was attempted, however, after 3-tons of ore removal the source dwindled out and operations shutdown. 

Marquette Ore Docks

We've seen various examples of mines on this trip. Last night we camped close by to where the product is shipped out across the Great Lakes. Coal is also delivered here to supply the power plant in the background. 

Jacobsville Sandstone

Another trip to the Jacobsville Sandstone. This time in Presque Isle Park in Marquette. Running through how to characterize rocks and interpret environments again. 

27 August 2014

Undisclosed Location

Our tent city on full display. A big thanks to Terry and Diane, Forrest's parents, who opened their home and fields to us for the night, and are feeding us some wonderful food. A refreshing change from State Park camping! 

Pillow Basalts

Behind the Menard's near Marquette is an good exposure of pillow basalts. 

Jasper Knob

A spectacular exposure of BIF in Ishpeming at Jasper Knob. 

Champion Mine

Specular hematite in abundance at the Champion Mine. 

Siamo Slate

At this outcrop we're discussing cleavage versus bedding in slates. 

Sedimentary Structures

At our first stop of the day we are examining sedimentary structures in the Jacobsville Sandstone. Lots of cross-stratification throughout the exposure, and some pebbly, basal beds. 

Trip GIS

For the trip participants we put together a GIS data set consisting of geologic maps at a variety of scales, and past and proposed stops. We also attached the relevant write-up, photos, and maps for each stop for easy access. So using apps like Collector for ArcGIS everyone is able to download and access the data offline on their smartphones and tablets. And, when we do have network access, we have a number of additional live data sets available, like traffic, weather, stream gauges, etc. 

Day 4

Looks like another beautiful day for geology in the UP! 

We're packing up camp this morning and will be working our way south and east today, finally camping near Marquette at an undisclosed location...

26 August 2014


After a wonderful day of above and below ground geology we are back in camp with sunlight to spare. And, we're taking advantage of it to cook for ourselves. Everyone is pitching in to help prepare a feast of chicken and bean burritos, with chips and guacamole and salsa for starters. 

A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum

Finishing off the afternoon with a tour of the spectacular Seaman Museum with UM alum Chris Stefano. 

Steam Hoist

Quincy employed what was at one point the world's largest steam-powered hoist. 


Viewing what was part of the active mining area in the Quincy on the seventh level. 


Prior to our tour of the Quincy Mine we stopped for a traditional UP lunch of pasties. 

Hancock Fault

Examine the Hancock Fault inside the Quincy Mine. 

Quincy Tram

We're ready to head down into the mine...

Historic Calumet

The mining industry in this area produced tremendous wealth locally, reflected in the period buildings of historic downtown Calumet. This is a typical example of the extensive use of Jacobsville sandstone in prominent buildings, such as St. Anne's Church from 1900, now the Keweenaw Heritage Center. At one time, Calumet vied for being the capital of Michigan. 

Native Copper

On the hunt for native copper samples in the spillage at the ore loading site at old Centenial #6. 

Centennial Mine

The old hoist house and other workings at the old Centenial Mine. Site of the Keweenaw Copper Company's exploration office. 

Day 2

We need to be in Calumet at 9am for our visit to the Highland Copper Company, so we decided to stop closer by for breakfast on the north side of the canal. The Kaleva Cafe is taking good care of us. They even let Kacey pour some coffee! 

Rise and Shine!

Making coffee for the early-risers. 

25 August 2014


After a great day of Keweenau geology we returned to Houghton for dinner. We made it back to camp just in time to catch some of the wonderful last light of the day. It's cooled off a lot since last night, and with clear skies and no rain in the forecast tonight, hopefully we will all get some good sleep tonight. We've got an early start tomorrow!

Phoenix Mine

Next stop, the Phoenix Mine dump. Another copper mine, with silver as a secondary ore. 

Delaware Mine

Our first trip underground, a visit to the Delware Mine Historic Site. Mined for copper from the mid-19th to mid-20th century. 

Horseshoe Bay

Investigating stramatolites at Horseshoe Bay in the Copper Harbor Conglomerate. Is there some imbricated bedding here as well?


A possible underwater pyro clastic eruption, a hyaliclastic deposit in the Portage Lake Volcanics. 

Eagle River Falls

Eagle River Falls spilling down over the Portage Lake Volcanics onto the Copper Habor Conglomerete, 

Old Allouez #2

Picking over the Allouez mine dump. 

Portage Lake Volcanics

Examining the Portage Lake Volcanics on Bumbleton Hill. They are highly altered here, probably down to a depth of several meters at least. 

Bumbleton Hill Overlook

Starting the day with a general discussion of regional geology of this part of North America. 


Breakfast at Suomi's Bakery and Restaurant in Houghton to us fueled up. Now off to look at some rocks!

Day 2

After a long night of thunderstorms and rain, it's finally breaking. A little dripping from the trees still, but it's looking like it will shape up into a beautiful day. 

24 August 2014

McClain State Park

After fourteen hours on the road we've finally made camp at McClain State Park, near Calumet, MI. It was cloudy much of the way, including a spectacular low fog bank as we crossed the Mackinaw Bridge into St. Ignace, so the drive was rather nice. We picked up three participants along the way, who were already "up north" ahead of the group, so we are now at full strength, with 30 people, five minivans, and a cargo van. 

We stopped in Houghton at the Ambassador restaurant for dinner, which was probably our longest stop of the day. We didn't end up with enough time to spare for any outcrops, however, we scouted a number of locations we will head back to later this week.  

Fortunately we did budget our time well and arrived at the campground just ahead of the rain. Most people were able to get set up and out if it before it got too hard. I was not one of them, as I struggled with a brand new tent (note to self: always set up a new tent once before arriving somewhere in the dark...in the rain...) 

Now it has let up, and is just drizzling on and off. Hopefully lulling people to sleep after a long day, and getting them ready for an early start!

23 August 2014


It's early on a nice summer day here in Ann Arbor, and we are about to get the field trip underway! We've got all our gear stowed and are reviewing some trip logistics before we begin the trek north.

Our final destination today for is the McClain State Park Campground, nearly the farthest will be from Ann Arbor on this trip, so we'll get getting a lot of the driving done today. Hopefully will have time for several geology stops along the way too.