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A previously unrecognized path of early Holocene base flow and elevated discharge from Lake Minong to Lake Chippewa across eastern Upper Michigan

By
Walter L. Loope
Walter L. Loope
U.S. Geological Survey, Munising, Michigan 49862, USA
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Harry M. Jol
Harry M. Jol
Department of Geography and Anthropology, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54702, USA
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Timothy G. Fisher
Timothy G. Fisher
Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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William L. Blewett
William L. Blewett
Department of Geography and Earth Science, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 17257, USA
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Henry M. Loope
Henry M. Loope
Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
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Robert J. Legg
Robert J. Legg
Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan 49855, USA
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Published:
July 01, 2014

It has long been hypothesized that flux of fresh meltwater from glacial Lake Minong in North America's Superior Basin to the North Atlantic Ocean triggered rapid climatic shifts during the early Holocene. The spatial context of recent support for this idea demands a reevaluation of the exit point of meltwater from the Superior Basin. We used ground penetrating radar (GPR), foundation borings from six highway bridges, a GIS model of surface topography, geologic maps, U.S. Department of Agriculture–Natural Resources Conservation Service soils maps, and well logs to investigate the possible linkage of Lake Minong with Lake Chippewa in the Lake Michigan Basin across eastern Upper Michigan. GPR suggests that a connecting channel lies buried beneath the present interlake divide at Danaher. A single optical age hints that the channel aggraded to 225 m as elevated receipt of Lake Agassiz meltwater in the Superior Basin began to wane <10.6 ka. The large supply of sediment required to accommodate aggradation was immediately available at the channel's edge in the littoral shelves of abandoned Lake Algonquin and in distal parts of post-Algonquin fans. As discharge decreased further, the aggraded channel floor was quickly breached and interbasin flow to Lake Chippewa was restored. Basal radiocarbon ages on wood from small lakes along the discharge path and a GIS model of Minong's shoreline are consistent with another transgression of Minong after ca. 9.5 ka. At the peak of the latter transgression, the southeastern rim of the Superior Basin (Nadoway Drift Barrier) failed, ending Lake Minong. Upon Minong's final drop, aggradational sediments were deposited at Danaher, infilling the prior breach.

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GSA Special Papers

Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes

Timothy G. Fisher
Timothy G. Fisher
Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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Edward C. Hansen
Edward C. Hansen
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Hope College, 35 East 12th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
508
ISBN print:
9780813725086
Publication date:
July 01, 2014

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