Clay deposits that have been used in the ceramic industry
occur sporadically over an area of about 50 square miles
in eastern Goodhue County, southeastern Minnesota. The
deposits are in the Ostrander Member of the Cretaceous
Windrow Formation and to a lesser extent in Pleistocene
lake deposits. Currently they are being used in the manufacture
of vitreous drain pipe and related products.
The Windrow Formation in the area overlies gently
folded Cambrian and Ordovician strata. It consists of a
lower Iron Hill Member, a ferruginous weathered residuum,
and an upper Ostrander Member, a clastic unit. The Iron
Hill Member was developed on a mature topographic surface;
it formed through residual accumulation of limonite,
clay, and chert, the relatively insoluble weathering products
of the underlying carbonate rocks. The Ostrander
Member formed as floodplain deposits, which were derived
from a mixed Precambrian and Paleozoic source.
The clay deposits in the Ostrander Member are lenses
or tabular bodies as much as a few feet thick and several
tens of acres in areal extent that are intercalated with ferruginous
sands. The only l known deposit of Pleistocene age
is laminated and is as much as 30 feet thick. It is interpreted
to have been formed in a glacial lake.
RI-02 Geology of Clay Deposits Red Wing Area, Goodhue and Wabasha Counties, Minnesota.
Minnesota Geological Survey.
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