23rd Annual Dept. of Geology and 9th Annual SESE Field Trip

Posted on 09.22.2015
Quaternary paleosol near the Illinois River.

The 23rd annual Dept. of Geology and 9th annual SESE field trip took place on Saturday, August 29. Undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty from the School of Earth, Society & Environment were invited. The trip visited several locations with Quaternary deposits near the Illinois River about 35 miles northeast of Peoria. Participants examine several famous exposures that show a succession of glacial, proglacial (including fluvial/river, lake, and loess/wind), and interglacial deposits and paleosols (ancient soils) along the Ancient Mississippi River valley. The fluvial deposits of sand and gravel represent analogs to the Mahomet Aquifer, Champaign-Urbana's local water source. The paleosol exposure is considered one of the best-preserved examples of the Sangamon Geosol in the world! Another exposure, which includes complex deformation, is considered one of the most spectacular natural outcrops of glacial deposits in Illinois. Hilt Johnson, a former professor in the Dept. of Geology intensively studied that deformed exposure and the research was instrumental in developing an important model of till formation called the deforming bed. There is a detailed guidebook (ISGS Guidebook 35) with lots of photos and information about the stops on the trip at:

http://library.isgs.illinois.edu/Pubs/pdfs/guidebooks/guidebook-35.pdf

At least six geologists from the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) participated in the trip, led mostly by Dr. Dick Berg (ISGS Director).