Lake level, shoreline, and dune behavior along the Indiana southern shore of Lake Michigan
Erin P. Argyilan, John W. Johnston, Kenneth Lepper, G. William Monaghan, Todd A. Thompson, 2018. "Lake level, shoreline, and dune behavior along the Indiana southern shore of Lake Michigan", Ancient Oceans, Orogenic Uplifts, and Glacial Ice: Geologic Crossroads in America’s Heartland, Lee J. Florea
Download citation file:
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.
Figures & Tables
Ancient Oceans, Orogenic Uplifts, and Glacial Ice: Geologic Crossroads in America’s Heartland
This volume, prepared for the 130th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Indianapolis, includes compelling science and field trips in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. A wealth of geologic and human history collides in the Midwest, a confluence that led to the growth of America's industry over the past two centuries. Guides in this volume depict this development from the establishment of New Harmony, the birthplace of American geology, through the construction of Indianapolis's modern skyline. Underpinning this growth were the widespread natural resources-limestone, coal, and water-that built, powered, and connected a growing nation. Take a journey through the Heartland to sand dunes, outcrops, quarries, rivers, caves, and springs that connect Paleozoic stratigraphy with the assembly of Gondwana, continental glaciation with Quaternary geomorphology and hydrology, and landscape with the human environment.