Near Wausau in Marathon County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Over time, the sand grains cemented and transformed into sandstone, and eventually, with more heat and pressure, into quartzite, a very hard rock. This process preserved these ripple marks.
For the next several hundred years, extensive weathering and erosion reduced the surrounding region to a flat "peneplain." However, Rib Mountain, with its hard, resistant quartzite, projected high above this surface.
Then, about 600 million years ago, expanding oceans covered Wisconsin, depositing thousands of feet of sediment. Slowly, these layers of sediment wore away, once again revealing Rib Mountain and its ancient ripple marks.
[caption] Pictured above are algal stromatolites composed of blue-green algae, bacteria, and silt on the bottom of the Pre-Cambrian Sea. They are believed to be the first life-forms to colonize the earth.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features.
Location. 44° 55.236′ N, 89° 41.664′ W. Marker is near Wausau, Wisconsin, in Marathon County. Marker can be reached from Park Road west of County Highway N. Marker is by the Queen's Chair in Rib Mountain State Park (fee area). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4200 Park Road, Wausau WI 54401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. To Charles E. Parker (a few steps from this marker); Rib Mountain State Park (a few steps from this marker); Monadnocks (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Rib Mountain State Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Mountain View (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Pineries (approx. half a mile away); First Teachers Training School in Wisconsin (approx. 3.6 miles away); Historical Memorial Park (approx. 4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wausau.
Also see . . . About Rib Mountain. "The formation of Rib Mountain began some 1.5 to 2 billion years ago with the violent fusion, through intense heat, of sand into mammoth chunks of quartzite." (Submitted on February 21, 2009.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,190 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 21, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.