Glacial Landforms -- 1
GeoT Geography | Glacial Erratic Boulders | The Ultimate Erratic? | Ultimate Erratic -- Page 2 | Glacial Landforms -- 1 | Glacial Landforms -- 2 | Glacial Landforms -- 3 | Glacial Landforms -- 4 | Loess and Sand Dunes | Hoopeston's Location | Landscape of Northern Vermilion County | Penfield Illinois
At first glance, or maybe, second and third, there just doesn't seem like much to look at in Illinois.
The landforms of glacial Illinois are subtle -- they do not strike out to the eye the way others do in other areas -- this is what makes them all the more interesting to identify and describe.
A great deal of geologic process has shaped our surface, and how it all came about is a fascinating story.
We will take a look and describe what we see, what it is, and how it got there.
Click the photo for a more detailed discussion of end moraine formation.
The black soil in the field is the result of weathering of the glacial drift and thousands of years of prairie grass vegetation.
As the annual grasses grew and died, more and more humus was added to the soil giving it the black color.
Black soil is an unusual feature for most of the world.
Note the gravel used for the road -- it too, is a product of the glaciers.
Note that not all of Illinois was covered by glacial ice.
In those areas, we can develope an idea of what much of Illinois was like prior to glaciation.
The Wisconsinan Stage represents the most recently glaciated area -- and where glacial landforms are best displayed.
Note the looping patterns of the moraines -- some even cut across earlier ones.
End moraines in northern Illinois are much more pronounced than those farther south, since they are much younger.
Moraine crest -- moraines range in width from fairly narrow (a mile or so across) to several miles.
Ascending a moraine north of Danville, Illinois.
A late fall sunset illuminates the flat surface of a groundmoraine.
Glacial till. The large gray stone shows flatenning and a few scratchs called striations -- caused by abrasion in transit.
View of the Illinois Central (now, Canadian National) rail cut in Paxton, Illinois.
This is a view from the foreslope of one moraine to the low ridge on the horizon which is another.
Same location -- a little closer to the crest.
We have seen the surface expression of both end moraines, and groundmoraines -- this is what they are composed of.
Same exposure a few feet downslope.
Pedestrian bridge over the rail cut -- dating from the 1920's.