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Lake level, shoreline, and dune behavior along the Indiana southern shore of Lake Michigan

By
Erin P. Argyilan
Erin P. Argyilan
Department of Geosciences, Indiana University Northwest, Marram Hall 236, 3400 Broadway, Gary, Indiana 46408, USA
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John W. Johnston
John W. Johnston
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue W, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
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Kenneth Lepper
Kenneth Lepper
Optical Dating and Dosimetry Lab, Department of Geosciences, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 6050/2745, Fargo, North Dakota 58105, USA
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G. William Monaghan
G. William Monaghan
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Cavanaugh Hall 413, 425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA
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Todd A. Thompson
Todd A. Thompson
Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana University, 611 North Walnut Grove, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Published:
December 10, 2018
Publication history
15 August 2018

ABSTRACT

The Indiana Dunes is a name commonly used for the eastern part of the Calumet Lacustrine Plain, generally referring to the large dunes along the coast from Gary, Indiana, eastward to the Michigan state line. However, the Calumet Lacustrine Plain also contains complex coastal landscapes associated with late Wisconsin to Holocene phases of ancestral Lake Michigan (e.g., mainland-attached beaches, barrier beaches, spits), including those formed during quasi-periodic decadal and shorter-term waterlevel variability that characterize modern Lake Michigan (e.g., beach ridges, dunes, interdunal wetlands). Major industrial development and other human activities have impacted the Calumet Lacustrine Plain, often altering these landscapes beyond recognition. Today, geological and paleoenvironmental data are sought to inform regional environmental restoration and management efforts and to increase the resiliency of the coastal landscape to ongoing disturbances. During this field trip, we will examine the relict shorelines and their associated nearshore and onshore features and deposits across the Indiana portion of the Calumet Lacustrine Plain. These features and deposits record the dynamic interaction between coastal processes of Lake Michigan, lake-level change, and long-term longshore sediment transport during the past 15,000 yr. Participants will examine the modern beach, the extensive beach-ridge record of the Tolleston Beach strandplain, a relict dune field, and the large dunes of the modern shoreline, including Mount Baldy. At Mount Baldy, we will focus on the landscape response to human modification of the shoreline. We will also explore the science behind dune decomposition chimneys—collapse features that caused a 6-yr-old boy to become buried more than 3.5 m below the dune surface in 2013 and highlighted a previously unrecognized geologic hazard.

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GSA Special Papers

Ancient Oceans, Orogenic Uplifts, and Glacial Ice: Geologic Crossroads in America’s Heartland

Lee J. Florea
Lee J. Florea
Indiana Geological and Water Survey Indiana University 611 N. Walnut Grove Avenue Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
51
ISBN electronic:
9780813756516
Publication date:
December 10, 2018

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