Geology of the Great Lakes

An overview of the geologic history of the Great Lakes region.

During the Ice Age, a great deal of the northern part of North America was engulfed in glaciers. As the climate warmed, these great ice caps advanced and receded many times, creating a complex and diverse geography in what is now the Great Lakes region. This paper discusses the various geological processes that formed the features and natural resources of the Great Lakes, as well as provides a summary of the geologic history of the area.
“Fast-flowing rivers, glacial ice, and the pounding of waves against the shore occurred over the next 300 million years, wearing down most of the mountains. There was no vegetation protection to slow down these geological processes. As a result, the mountains disintegrated.
The eroded rock debris built up as thick layers of sand, gravel, silt and clay eventually transformed into sedimentary rock. Thus, volcanic activity was the major geological process in the Great Lakes area. Gradually the sand grains cemented together forming sandstone, which can be found in all the lakes.”

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