Michigan and the Great Lakes

Great Lakes Rocks

4 Billion Years of Geologic History in the Great Lakes Region
Stephen E. Kesler
A much-needed exploration of Great Lakes geology


The geologic story of the Great Lakes region is one of the most remarkable of any place on Earth. Great Lakes Rocks takes readers on this fascinating journey through geologic history, beginning with an investigation of the surface features—the hills and valleys, waterfalls and caves, and the Great Lakes themselves—that we encounter on a daily basis. From there the book digs deeper into the past, and readers learn about the amazing techniques geologists have used to reconstruct the events that shaped this region millions and even billions of years before humans set foot on Earth. Throughout, the book gives special attention to the link between the region’s geology and its modern history, including the impacts of geology on settlement patterns as well as the development of industries and the present-day economy. Other discussed topics include natural hazards that are geologic in nature, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, and coastal erosion, as well as information on rocks, minerals, and ancient life seen in fossils. Written for nonspecialist readers, this book provides a detailed but easy-to-follow introduction to the geology of the Great Lakes region, and it is an ideal fit for introductory geology courses, including those aimed at nonscience majors.

“This book will surely appeal to a large audience, for it seems that nearly EVERYONE is interested in the ages and origins of rocks, fossils, and economic deposits. Glaciation, topography and water are additional topics of great historical interest. Kesler's book covers them all!”
—Richard W. Ojakangas, University of Minnesota Duluth

 “This new book on the geologic history of the Great Lakes Region is written in an easily readable and entertaining style. The specific examples of important geologic sites and the informative figures make this an important new reference on the geology of the region.”
—William B. Harrison, Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education, Western Michigan University

Cover: Aerial photo of Isle Royale, MI, by Geoffrey George

Stephen E. Kesler is Emeritus Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • "This is a very informative, rock-solid read for anyone even faintly interested in geology or wonders how Michigan was blessed by two beautiful peninsulas that are embraced by four of the Great Lakes."
    Michigan in Books

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 368pp.
  • 100 Illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2019
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05380-3

Add to Cart
  • $29.95 U.S.

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  • Geology; Michigan; Great lakes; rocks; Canada; Michigan Basin; mineral; metal; gas; resource; fossil; glacial; lakes; land; waterfalls; caves; iron; gypsum; gravel; geologist; history; settlement; industry; economy; erosion; natural; hazard; science