Geology of Michigan

John A. Dorr, Jr. and Donald F. Eschman
Studies the land and waters of Michigan


In the eons before the first man set foot on Michigan soil, ancient mountain ranges yielded to the slow but irresistable forces of erosion and slipped beneath the waters of warm inland seas. Great rivers formed their deltas against the pounding surf, filling the seas to create endless swamps. The vast northern ice sheets scoured the face of the state, heaping high their rock debris as they withdrew to make way for the ancestral Great Lakes. Primitive man appeared here late, one of the last in the long parade of life which passes in review in Michigan's fossil record.

In text and illustrations, Geology of Michigan tells this fascinating story. The authors, both experienced field geologists, offer descriptions of the principal geologic features of the state, explain the origin of these features, and portray the geologic evolution of Michigan from earliest times to the present. Specific topics include the geologic time scale, the geologic eras, water and wind, petroleum and natural gas, and minerals in Michigan. General principles of geology, which may be applied to the study of other regions as well, are explained with great clarity. The authors also provide a wealth of information on the origin and identification of rock and fossil specimens. Michigan collecting localities are indicated on maps and in the text, and collecting methods are expertly described.

Of particular interest to students and geologists for its valuable bibliography and synthesis of heretofore widely scattered information, this abundantly illustrated book can be read by student and layman alike as a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating geology of Michigan.

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I. Introduction     1
Values of Geology, 1; Contents of This Book, 1; General Principles of Historical Interpretation, 2; Major Rock Types and the Rock Cycle, 2; Summary, 12.

II. Earth History and Geologic Time     13
The Sense of Time, 13; Relative Geologic Time, 13; The Geologic Time Scale, 15; Relative Dating of Igneous Rocks, 16; Absolute Time, 18; Summary, 22.

III. General Geologic Setting of Michigan     23
The Broad Picture, 23; The Continental Interior in the Paleozoic, 25; The Paleozoic Geosynclines, 25; A Basin beneath the State, 26; The Plastic Earth, 28; The Earth's Interior, 29.

IV. Precambrian Eras     31
Introduction, 31; Precambrian in Michigan, 38; Iron Ores of Michigan, 61; Keweenaw Copper, 70; White Pine Copper, 77; The Role of Hypotheses in Geology, 79.

V. The Paleozoic---Era of Inland Seas     81
Introduction, 81; The Paleozoic Rock Record in Michigan, 83; The Cambrian Period---Beginning of the Paleozoic Era, 91; The Ordovician Period, 98; The Silurian Period, 102; The Devonian Period, 113; The Mississippian Period, 123; The Pennsylvanian Period, 126; Paleozoic Era---Conclusion and Summary, 134.

VI. The Lost Interval     136

VII. The Pleistocene (Ice Age) Epoch     141
Nature of Glacial Ice, 141; The Work of Ice, 147; General History of the Pleistocene, 158; The Pleistocene in Michigan, 159.

VIII. The Great Lakes in Late Glacial and Postglacial Time     164
Introduction, 164; The Proglacial Lake Sequence, 168; The Record from Mackinac Island, 176.

IX. Water and Wind in Michigan     180
Introduction, 180; Water Use, 180; The Hydrologic Cycle, 181; Water Underground, 182; Extraction of Water from the Ground, 184; The Search for Ground Water, 184; Some Ground Water Problems in Michigan, 185; The Work of Ground Water in the State, 185; Surface Waters in General, 187; Rivers and Streams, 187; Inland Lakes and Swamps, 191; Surface Water Conservation Problems, 198; Wind, 198; Shoreline Processes in General, 205; Waves and Shore Currents, 205; Shore Features, 208; The Herring Lakes---A Case History of Dunes and Bars, 213; The Southeastern Lake Michigan Shore, 217.

X. Petroleum and Natural Gas in Michigan     228
Introduction, 228; Origin and Source, 228; Migration Through the Rocks, 229; Reservoir Rocks, 230; Seals and Traps, 231; Petroleum Exploration, 234; Production of Oil and Gas, 235; Oil and Gas in Michigan, 237; History of Michigan Oil and Gas Production, 237; Geology of Michigan Oil and Gas, 237; Reservoir Rocks in Michigan, 239; Oil and Gas Fields in Michigan, 241; Summary, 243.

XI. Minerals in Michigan     244
Introduction, 244; Nature of Minerals, 244; Methods of Mineral Study, 245; Physical Properties of Minerals, 247; Mineral Collecting in Michigan, 241; Lower Peninsula Localities and Exhibits, 254; Upper Peninsula Localities and Exhibits, 258; List of Michigan Minerals, 262.

XII. Rocks     265
Introduction, 265; Main Rock Types, 265; Rock Textures, 265; Rock Identification, 268; Igneous Rocks, 269; Metamorphic Rocks, 269; Sedimentary Rocks, 272.

XIII. Fossil Invertebrates     285
Introduction, 285; Definition of a Fossil, 285; Types of Fossil Preservation, 285; Naming and Studying Fossils, 287; Classification of Fossil and Living Invertebrate Animals, 288; The Significance of Fossils, 309; Geological Uses of Fossils, 310; Fossils and Ancient Environments, 333; Michigan Fossil-Collecting Localities, 344.

XIV. Fossil Vertebrates in Michigan     350
Introduction, 350; Relative Abundance of Fossil Vertebrates, 350; Problems of Identification and Restoration, 351; Finding Fossil Vertebrates in Michigan, 352; Special Problems, 353; Documentation of the Michigan Record, 354; The Value of Fossil Vertebrates, 354; General References, 355; General Geologic History and Evolution of Vertebrates, 355; Fossil Vertebrate Faunas of Michigan and Their Ancient Environments, 363; Middle Devonian Faunas, 365; Late Devonian Vertebrate Faunas, 366; Early Mississippian Vertebrate Faunas, 366; Pennsylvanian Vertebrate Faunas of Michigan, 367; Pleistocene and Post-Pleistocene Vertebrate Faunas of Michigan, 371; Early Man in Michigan, 388; Detailed List of Fossil Vertebrates from Michigan, 389.

XV. Fossil Plants in Michigan     416
Introduction, 416; General Review of Plant History, 416; Precambrian Plant Remains in Michigan, 417; Paleozoic Fucoids, 423; Devonian Plants, 423; Mississippian Plants, 425; Coal Swamp Floras of the Pennsylvanian Period, 426; Mesozoic Floras, 439; Post-Pleistocene Floras of Michigan, 441; Summary of the Fossil Record of Plants in Michigan, 449.

Bibliography     451
Index     459

Product Details

  • 8-1/2 x 11.
  • 488pp.
  • 159 pages of photographs, 128 line illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1970
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08280-3

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  • $63.00 U.S.