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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

Chamberlin, T. C.
Topography and geology,   pp. [110]-120 PDF (5.3 MB)

Page 120

vast lapse of time consumed in their growth, the elements were gnawing, carving
and channeling
the surface, and the outcropping edges of the formations were becoming more
and more jagged,
and now, after the last stratum had been added, and the whole had been lifted
from the waters
that gave it birth, there ensued perhaps a still vaster era, during which
the history was simply
that of surface erosion. The face pf-the state became creased with the wrinkles
of age. The
edges of her rocky wrappings became ragged with the wear of time. The remaining
periods, the great C[rboniferous age, the Mesozoic era, and the earlier Tertiary
periods passed,.
leaving no other record than that of denudation.
                                THE'GLACIAL PERIOD.
     With the approach of the great Ice Age, a new chapter was opened. An
immense sheet of,
ice moved slowly, but irresistibly, down from the north, planing down the
prominences, filling up
the valleys, polishing and grooving the strata, and heaping up its rubbish
of sand, gravel, clay and
bowlders over the face of the country. It engraved the insoits progressonthercks,.and,by.....
rea-dtg-1he- -   lern)thatone-prodigious togue of -ice plowed a ong the bed
of Lake-Michi-..
gan, and a smaller one pushed throughh thve._valley ofGreen bay and Rock
river, w--iteano0the-
-immensemice-stream flowed southwestward through...the .tro-ugh of.Lake Superior_
into Minne-sotav.--Te--i ivrionof the glacier through these great channels
seems to have left
the southwestern portion of the state intact, and over it we find no drift
accumulations. With
the approach of a warmer climate, the ice-streams were melted backward, leaving
their debris
heaped promiscuously over the surface, giving it a new configuration. In
the midst of this
retreat, a series of halts and advances seem to have taken place in close
succession, by which Se
aspusand hills along the foot of the                            -- tl-r-w--ha
more rapid
retreat ensued-.--eef      t   s       was to produce that remarkable chain
of drift hills and
Ti-fes, known as the Kettle range, which we have already described as winding
over the
surface of the state in a very peculiar manner. It is a great historic rampart,
recording the
position of the edge of the glacier at a certain stage of its retreat, and
doubtless at the same time
noting a great climatic or dynamic change.
     The melting of the glacier gavese r tolarge- tantities f_ water,_and.hence.tonumerous
torrents, as well as lakes. There occurred about this time a depression of
the land to the north-
ward whiich was perhaps the cause, in part or in whole, of the retreat of
the ice. This gave
origin to the great lakes. The waters advanced somewhat upon the laud and
deposited the red
clay that borders Lakes Michigan and Superior and occupies the Green bay
valley as far up as
the vicinity of Fond du Lac. After several oscillations, the lakes settled
down into their_rpresent
positions. Where     he lacier lowed over thneai-   tleft    irregular sheet
of comminged..
clay, sand, gravel and bowlders spread unevenly over the surface. The depressions
formed by
i tsirregularities soon filed with water and gave origin to numerous Ir-bab-y
not one
bTi     ousands of   I--i-nlakes had an existence be-foreke g acia p-erio-6d.
-wh-e-rev-er tthe
great lakes-ad- anc--&upon the land, they leveled its surface and left-their
record in lacustine
clays.and sandy beach lines.
     With the retreat of the glacier, vegetation covered the surface. and
by its aid ainbd.he-ction
of the elements our fertile -drit soils, among the last and best of Wisconsin's
formations, were
.produced. Anid-thisdrkT-iTf goes on,

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