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The Indiana Dunes area, northwestern Indiana

John R. Hill
John R. Hill
Indiana Geological Survey
611 North Walnut Grove, Bloomington, Indiana 47405
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January 01, 1987


The area designated as the Indiana Dunes is in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in northwestern Indiana. Including roughly 45 mi (72 km) of shoreline at thesouthern tip of Lake Michigan, the dunes area is replete with numerous well-developedgeomorphic features that formed in response to the final stages of the Lake Michigan Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Attractingsuch skilled researchers as T. C. Chamberlain, FrankLeverett, William Alden, Frank Taylor, Jack Hough, and J Harlen Bretz, southern Lake Michigan and environs have yielded a wealth ofinformation about the formative stages of the Great Lakes as well as glaciological mechanisms responsible for their genesis. Thedunes area of Indiana is of particular interest because of the wide variety of dune forms, well-preserved glacial-lake terraces, andimpressive topography of the Valparaiso Moraine that remain relatively unspoiled.

Magnificent examples of blowout dunes, first described by George Babcock Cressey in 1928, can be seen all along the beach of the Indiana Dunes State Park. Access to the park is by Indiana 49 (Fig.1). Numerous well-marked trails traverse the 2, 100-acre (840 ha) park, providing ready access to the foredune complex of the modern beach as well as the interdunal and back-dune areas that formed during the several stages of glacial Lake Chicago.

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore affords numerous access points to, perhaps, the greatest variety of geologic features within the Lake Michigan Basin. Interested persons should stop at the visitor center, which is at the intersection of U.S. 12 and Kemil

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DNAG, Centennial Field Guides

North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America

Geological Society of America
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1987




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