Detroit Salt Mine field trip, Michigan, USA
Published:January 01, 2013
This annual meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America provides an opportunity to visit a working underground salt mine on a field trip. The trip leaders will take a group into the Detroit Salt Mine, which is located approximately 1200 ft (364 m) deep beneath a portion of the city of Detroit, Michigan. This mine extracts salt through a room and pillar mining process from the Silurian Salina "F" Salt formation. Currently the mined salt is used primarily as crushed salt for ice control throughout the upper Midwest. The company is mining a 30-ft-thick seam of bedded halite. Thin beds of anhydrite and/or dolomite are occasionally interbedded with the high-purity halite.
Figures & Tables
Insights into the Michigan Basin
This guidebook volume is a compilation of field excursions offered at the 47th annual meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 2013. These field trips examine a wide range of geological time intervals and topics, from Silurian salt, to Cretaceous cosmic impact, to newly interpreted Mississippian–Pennsylvanian Michigan stratigraphy, to Quaternary glacial landscape formation, sand dune development, and present-day coastal bluff stability/erosion issues. Trips geographically range throughout southern Michigan and northern Indiana from Detroit, Michigan, in the east to the Kentland Quarry in Indiana to the west.
Early depositional events within the Michigan Basin are examined deep underground in the Detroit Salt Mine (trip leaders: W.B. Harrison III and E.Z. Manos [onsite leader]). This salt mine has been in operation for more than 100 years, and extends for miles beneath the city of Detroit.
Kentland Quarry, located in northwest Indiana, is the site of a Cretaceous-aged meteorite impact (trip leader: J.C. Weber). This site allows for surface examination of a similar style impact event that occurred in now buried Ordovician-age (Trenton) rocks located in Cass County, (southwest) Michigan.
Mississippian-aged fluvial deposits have been traditionally classified as the youngest bedrock exposed in Michigan. These rocks crop out in the center of the Michigan Basin near Grand Ledge, Michigan (trip leaders: N.B.H. Venable, D.A. Barnes, D.B. Westjohn, and P.J. Voice). Younger, more recently identified, Pennsylvanian rocks will be the subject of a related core workshop at the Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education (MGRRE) in Kalamazoo (workshop leaders: S. Towne, W.B. Harrison, and D.B. Westjohn).
The regional, surficial geology of southwest Michigan is highlighted by three field trips. The first trip details the glacial landforms and sedimentary features formed by the differing dynamics of the Michigan and Saginaw lobes of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (trip leaders: A.E. Kehew, A.L. Kozlowski, B.C. Bird, and J.M. Esch). The two other trips follow along the Lake Michigan eastern shoreline and examine development of sand dune complexes (trip leader: E. Hansen) and present-day, coastal bluff stability and erosion issues (trip leaders: R.B. Chase and J.P. Selegean).
- chemically precipitated rocks
- clastic rocks
- depositional environment
- field trips
- Michigan Lower Peninsula
- Salina Group
- salt deposits
- sedimentary rocks
- United States
- Upper Silurian
- Wayne County Michigan
- Detroit Michigan
- Detroit Mine