G420: Glacial and Pleistocene Geology

Meeting Time: T, R, 9:30 - 10:45 Location: room 212 Weeks Hall

ResourcesScheduleLabs| Required_Textbook |News

Instructor : Dr. David M. Mickelson

Office: 256 Weeks Hall

Office Hours: T, Th 11:00-12:00

E-mail: mickelson@geology.wisc.edu

T.A.: Ben Laabs

Office: 248 Weeks Hall

Office Hours:M & W 9:30 to 11:00

E-mail: blaabs@geology.wisc.edu

Rules for Spring 2002

Classes:  T-TH 9:30 - 10:45 212 Weeks Hall
   NOTE the time. BE on time!

Lab:  Wed 1:20 - 3:15   A220 Weeks Hall
                 3:30 - 5:25   A220 Weeks Hall

Requirements: 2 Hour Exams:
    Week of February 26
    Week of April 1
Final exam: 2:25 Tuesday, May 13

A paper or a field project may be substituted for quizzes or one hour exam.  Suggestions for field projects will be made on request.  All field projects and paper titles must be approved, and papers turned in by May 6.  Papers may not be substituted for lab grades.

Most handouts for the class are in a folder on reserve in the library.  A few additional ones will be handed out in class. I recommend that you make a set of handouts for yourself and bring them to class every lecture!

Three Required Field Trips:
1. One-day trip on Saturday, March 8 around Dane County.
2. Devil's Lake Mapping Project (This trip can be taken anytime in April and should be done in groups).  This counts as a lab grade. One map per group.  None accepted after May 6.
3. There will be an overnight trip to Kettle Moraine, Valders, Two Creeks and other sites on March 29 and 30.NOTE THAT THESE DATES ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE DATES LISTED IN THE TIMETABLE!

Grading:  Hour Exam    25%
   Hour Exam  25%
   Lab   25%
   Final Exam  25%

Grades are curved at the end of the semester to produce a reasonable grade distribution.  Although an evaluation of your standing relative to others in the class is available at any time, individual exams are not curved separately.

Required Textbook *
Bennett, M.R. and N.F. Glasser, 1996. Glacial Geology: Ice Sheets and Landforms. Wiley, London.

(Available at UW Bookstore or Textbooks Underground on State St.)

*More textbooks will arrive after the second week of the semester; do not panic if you cannot find it at the bookstore.The book is also being sold on amazon.com.


Libraries | Books | Other Publications | Websites |


University of Wisconsin library resources.

Geology and Geophysics Library also has a web page.

Books (check reserve in Geology and Geophysics Library and Geography Library)

Benn and Evans, 1998. Glaciers and Glaciation, Arnold

Bradley, R.S., 1999. Paleoclimatology: reconstructing climates of the Quaternary. Unwin Hyman, Winchester, MA.

Dawson, A.G., 1992. Ice Age Earth: Late Quaternary Geology and Climate. Routledge, New York.

Drewry, D. 1986. Glacial Geologic Processes. Edward Arnold, London

Hooke, R. LeB., 1998, Principles of Glacier Mechanics, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Hambrey, M.J,1994, Glacial Environments, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, Canada.

Imbrie, J. and Imbrie, K.P., 1979. Ice Ages--Solving the Mystery. Harvard.

Menzies, John, ed., 1995a, Modern Glacial Environments: Processes, Dynamics and Sediments, Butterworth-Heineman, Oxford, England.

Menzies, John, ed., 1995b, Past Glacial Environments: Sediments, forms, and Techniques, Butterworth-Heineman, Oxford, England.

Paterson, W.S.B., 1994 The Physics of Glaciers (3rd Edition). Pergamon Press, Oxford.

Sharp, R.P. 1988. Living Ice: understanding Glaciers andGlaciation. Cambridge University Press.

Sugden, D.E., and John, B.S., 1976 (or most recent edition). Glaciers and Landscape. Edward Arnold, London.

Other Publications

Ashley, G. M., J. Shaw, and N. Smith, 1985. Glacial Sedimentary Environments. SEPM Short Course No. 16.


Quaternary Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.geology.wisc.edu/~qlab). This site list publications of our group, discuss research projects, and has a variety of links to other glacial and Quaternary sites.

Web Journal: Glacial Geology and Geomorphology (http://ggg.qub.ac.uk/) - this contains its own list of resources (http://ggg.qub.ac.uk/resources/frame.htm) - free subscription

Glacial Geology at the University of Cincinnati http://tvl1.geo.uc.edu/ice/Glacier.html A good resource for pictures of glacial landforms and processes - dig deep, as there are many images hidden around this site, including pictures of deposits from the Grimsvotn jokulhlaup in Iceland in 1996.

Glacial Geology at the University of Minnesota ( This contains lots of useful information and links to student projects on aspects of Minnesota glacial geology

Schedule -- Spring 2003

Week: Date, Topic, (Required Bennett and Glasser pages in parentheses)

Week of (Tue. dates) (pages in Bennet and Glasser)
    Jan.   21 Introduction, Glacier ice, classification of glaciers (1-28)
                Lab - Intro. to maps and airphotos - Optional lab

            28 Mass balance, Ice flow (29-64)
                Lab - Mass balance and flow, ice sheet game

Feb. 4 Glacier morphology, Classification of glacial deposits (65-82)
            Lab - Glaciers

        11 Erosional processes (83-107, 108-147)
               Lab - Erosional features, Red Hill

        18 Till - features and formation (148-166)
                Lab - Till and directional features--Gahanna

        25 Till Properties (HOUR EXAM) (167-197)
                Lab - Till and erosional features, lab techniques

March 4 Minor moraines, drumlins (235-258)
                Lab - till stratigraphy

        8 ONE DAY TRIP

        11 Moraines, landscapes (215-235)
                Lab - Deglaciation in the midwest, Lab midterm

        18 Spring break

        25 Channels, eskers (75-82, 258-278)
                Lab - Quaternary mapping and cross sections

        29-30 TWO DAY TRIP

April 1 Other ice contact stratified deposits (HOUR EXAM)(279-283)
                Lab - Deglaciation (New Hampshire)

        8 Outwash, loess (library readings)
               Lab - Deglaciation (cont.)

    15 Glacial lakes, rebound (287-295)
            Lab - Wisconsin glacial features

    22 Rebound, sea levels (library readings)
            Lab - Lakes

    29 Sea levels (295-313, 316-335)
            Lab - Sea level

May 6 Periglacial features, glacial songs (library readings)
        Lab - Lab final