HOUGHTON -- The Keweenaw Peninsula is a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local experts Bill Rose and Erika Vye in reading the landscape to learn how the Copper Country came to be the way it is today. In July Erika and Bill will lead one-day field trips exploring one of four major events in Earth's history that make up the geology of the Keweenaw -- Lavas, the Keweenaw Fault, the Jacobsville Sandstone, and Copper Mining Waste.
Erika Vye, who recently completed her PhD in geology at Michigan Tech, explains types of faults in the presentation "VISITING the KEWEENAW FAULT: GeoEducation and GeoTourism," that she and Bill Rose gave at the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District annual meeting on April 21, 2016. Erika and Bill will lead a geotour on the Keweenaw Fault on July 26, 2016.
This is the third year of day-long geotours on four of the five Geoelements of Keweenaw Geoheritage. Participants can expect to cover a lot of ground and be outside the entire day. Travel is a combination of van transport, short walks, and trips aboard Michigan Tech's research vessel, the Agassiz. Trips are limited by boat capacity to 17 people. Each day trip costs $145 and includes lunch and transportation to each site.
Pictured here after disembarking from the R/V Agassiz during one of the 2015 geotours are tour leader Bill Rose, far right, and Steve Trynoski of Bete Grise, who has participated in several geotours and shared his expertise on the region.
A schedule of the Geoheritage Tours is as follows:
July 25th - Lavas and the Keweenaw Rift
July 26th - The Keweenaw Fault
July 27th - Jacobsville Sandstone (Please note: This trip is full at this time.)
July 28th - Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior
For more information, trip descriptions and registration, click here.
Keweenaw Now participated in the 2015 geotour on Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior. Here is a video clip from Bill Rose's introduction to the Torch Lake stamp sand:
During his July 30, 2015, geoheritage tour of copper mining waste in the Keweenaw, Bill Rose, Michigan Tech emeritus professor of geological studies, explains how stamp sand in Torch Lake forms man-made deltas. The tour group gathers near Torch Lake in Lake Linden, Michigan. Michigan Tech Professors Carol MacLennan and Charles Kerfoot accompany the tour and add their expertise. (Video by Keweenaw Now)*
More photos from 2015 geotour on Copper Mining Waste:
A walk along the Gay stamp sand included observation of mining ruins, such as this sluice where water carried the mining waste to Lake Superior.
A view of Lake Superior from the Gay stamp sands.
Erika Vye, center, is joined by van drivers for the tour -- Clare Seguin, left, elementary school teacher from Madison, Wis., and Keri Anderson, Michigan Tech geology researcher.
Tour group participants enjoy a picnic near the mouth of the Tobacco River in Keweenaw County, not far from the Gay stamp sands.
Aboard the Agassiz, Captain Steve Roblee explains safety precautions for the boat rides. Seated at left is Michigan Tech Professor Carol MacLennan, expert on the history of the area.
The remains of a historic dredge in Torch Lake, viewed from the Agassiz.
Local residents Eloise and Bill Haller enjoy the geotour, including the ride on the Agassiz research vessel. "I learned a lot about the stamp sands," Eloise said, "how they create dead zones and how fast they're moving down to Big Traverse -- and seeing the black stamp sands on one side (of the breakwater) and the white sands on the other side is dramatic."
This photo shows how the black stamp sands from Gay (at right) have been moving down the Lake Superior shore. They have begun to move around the breakwater at Big Traverse, threatening the clean sand on the other side.
* Editor's Note: More video clips from this 2015 geotour can be viewed in our Feb. 9, 2016, article on the Torch Lake Watershed project.