Lithologic studies in northeastern Minnesota suggest that drift prospecting is a useful tool for mapping drift-covered bedrock. A detailed study of till clasts composition in the Long Island Lake Quadrangle revealed a significant relationship between drift lithology and bedrock geology. The Long Island Lake Quadrangle is a suitable area for this study for the following reasons: (1) outcrops are numerous enough to have allowed the construction of a detailed geologic map; (2) the area contains eight distinctive rock units; (3) the local bedrock experienced glacial erosion, indicated by the existence of glacially abraded and quarried outcrops. The distribution of glacial sediments, mainly till and outwash, were mapped and one hundred and one samples of drift were collected along traverses parallel to ice flow (perpendicular to strike of the bedrock). Both till and outwash contain a large quantity of local bedrock clasts in the size ranges greater than 1mm in diameter. Clasts smaller than 1mm are mainly minerals, and therefore not so diagnostic of local bedrock. As a test, boulders greater than 1 meter in diameter were used in the field for inferring bedrock contacts. These contacts were found to be within 60 meters (200 ft.) of contacts placed by outcrop mapping. Lack of local bedrock clasts in the smaller size fractions indicate either high resistance of local bedrock to crushing, or lack of opportunity for crushing because of short residence time in the glacial system (short distance transport). In either case, the fine-grained fraction therefore represents a contribution to the glacial load from more distant sources and the coarse-grained fraction represents a contribution form local sources.
A Thesis submitted to the faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota by Curtis I. Everson in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, June 1977. Plate 1 referenced in the thesis is also attached to this record, along with the Explanation for Plate 1.
Everson, Curtis I.
Drift Lithology in Relation to Bedrock Geology, Long Island Lake Quadrangle, Cook County, Minnesota.
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