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State and Regional Geology: A Guide to Resources (June 2014): East North Central States

By Linda R. Zellmer

East North Central States

The east north central states include Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Several volumes describing the geology of the region are available.  Middle Proterozoic to Cambrian Rifting, Central North America, edited by Richard Ojakangas, Albert Dickas, and John Green, is a collection of technical articles describing the 1.1-billion-year-old rift that extends from northern Michigan to Kansas.  Jack Hough’s Geology of the Great Lakes reviews the geology and glacial history of the lakes, including the various lake stages that existed as the glaciers retreated.  In Geology of the Lake Superior Region, Gene LaBerge describes the geology of the region surrounding the lake and the midcontinent rift in more general terms.

The Ohio Geology Digital Library website contains links to many early reports on the geology of Ohio.  The reports of the Geological Survey of Ohio, edited by John Newberry, Ebenezer Andrews, and Edward Orton, contain descriptions of Ohio’s rock units and stratigraphy.  For a more current summary of Ohio’s geologic history, readers should consult Fossils of Ohio, edited by Rodney Feldmann, Merrianne Hackathorn, and Robert Anstey.

The Handbook of Indiana Geology, edited by William Logan et al., contains more than 600 pages on the geology of the state, including descriptions of its landforms, natural and water resources, and rock units and nomenclature.  Robert Hall’s Geology of Indiana updates the Handbook with more recent interpretations of Indiana’s geology based on plate tectonics.

Two volumes are available on the geology of Illinois, and both mention plate tectonics.  Christopher Schuberth’s A View of the Past is a generalized description of the state’s geology, physiography, and geologic history.  Geology of Illinois, edited by Dennis Kolata and Cheryl Nimz, is a collection of technical papers that synthesize information about the geology, stratigraphy, and natural resources of Illinois and geology’s impact on the state.

Two different volumes describe Michigan geology.  John Dorr and Donald Eschman’s Geology of Michigan contains information on the state’s geology, fossils, and geologic history.  Michigan Geography and Geology, edited by Randall Schaetzl, Joe Darden, and Danita Brandt, provides a more current description of Michigan’s geology based on plate tectonics as well as information on Michigan’s climate, soils, biogeography, and people.

Wisconsin is one of many states that were once covered by glacial deposits.  Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, edited by David Mickelson, Louis Maher, and Susan Simpson, describes the geology along the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin.  In the process, it provides an up-to-date description of the state’s glacial history.  Wisconsin’s Foundations: A Review of the State’s Geology and Its Influence on Geography and Human Activity by Gwen Schultz is a reprint of an earlier volume originally published in 1986; it includes a new foreword by James Robertson and describes Wisconsin’s geologic history from earliest time through the Ice Age.