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ABSTRACT

On a regional geological map, western Wisconsin looks as if it has very simple, even boring, geology. It is dominated by flat-lying, layer-cake Ordovician sedimentary rocks thinly overlain by Pleistocene glacial drift, yet detailed investigation reveals many interesting geologic features, furnishing research projects and teaching examples for all levels of geological education. In this “simple” area around Spring Valley, Wisconsin, you will see a major cave, an old mine, a large earthen dam and a meteorite impact site. In addition to what these sites say about the area’s geologic and human history, they furnish insight into how geologists piece together evidence as well as illustrate relevant subjects such as groundwater supply, control of catastrophic flooding and intelligent land use. It is our hope that, while enjoying learning about the features in this scenic part of Wisconsin, many of you will be inspired to seek out the unique geology of your area, and bring that knowledge into your classrooms.

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