Glacial Lake Lind developed in the pre–late Wisconsinan St. Croix River valley, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and lasted more than 1000 yr during the retreat of the Superior lobe at the end of the Wisconsinan glaciation. Lake Lind sediment consists primarily of red varved silt and clay, but also includes mud-flow deposits, nearshore silt (penecontemporaneously deformed in places), nearshore rippled sand, and deltaic sand.
Lake Lind varved red clay is not part of glacial Lake Grantsburg, as suggested by earlier authors, because the red varves are separated from overlying glacial Lake Grantsburg silt and clay by a unit of deltaic and fluvial sand. Furthermore, varve correlations indicate that the base of the red varves is younger to the north, showing that the basin expanded as the Superior lobe retreated and was not a lake basin dammed to the southwest by the advancing Grantsburg sublobe. Varve correlations indicate that the Superior lobe retreated at a rate of about 200 m/yr.
Uniform winter-clay thickness throughout most of the varve couplets suggests thermal stratification in the lake with clay trapped in the epilimnion; some clay would exit the lake at the outlet prior to winter freeze. Zones of thicker winter-clay layers, in places associated with mud-flow layers, indicate outlet incision, lake-level fall, and shoreline erosion and resuspension of lake clay.
The most likely outlet for glacial Lake Lind was in the southwest part of the lake near the present site of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Nearshore sediment indicates that the lake level of glacial Lake Lind was around 280 m. The elevation of the base of the Lake Lind sediments indicates water depth was 20 to 55 m. Evidence in the southern part of the lake basin suggests that the Superior lobe readvanced at least once during the early stages of glacial Lake Lind. Lake Lind ended not by drainage but by being filled in by prograding deltas and outwash plains composed of sand derived from the retreating Superior lobe. It was upon this fluvial surface that the Grantsburg sublobe advanced, depositing till and forming glacial Lake Grantsburg.