Willmar in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Geology of the Willmar Region
The agricultural land of the Willmar region has a history that dates back 60 million years, when an inland sea covered the Great Plains from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. As the adjacent land eroded and life in the sea flourished, sediments for sandstone, shale, and limestone were deposited on the sea floor and eventually became rock. Later, when the sea level dropped, these sedimentary rocks were exposed on dry land.
About 14,000 years ago, during the end of the Ice Age of the last two million years, glaciers advancing southward from Canada scraped up and carried great quantities of those sedimentary marine rocks from Manitoba and northwestern Minnesota. When the ice melted, rock fragments, crushed by the moving ice, were left as a layer of glacial drift across the state. This drift was rich in lime, magnesia and potash, so became a great natural resource as the parent material for fertile soils over much of the state.
Earlier glaciers also advanced across Minnesota from the north-northeast about 25,000 years ago. This ice eroded the igneous bedrock in Ontario and the Lake Superior region
Most of the surface material in the Willmar region is the rich, fertile sediment deposited by the more recent glaciers from the northwest. The belt of hilly topography and abundant lakes northwest of Willmar, however, once marked the edge of a glacial lobe from the north-northeast. The margin of that ice left piles of sediment there at its farthest advance, forming a glacial deposit called a terminal moraine. While this moraine is buried under the more recent drift from the northwest, its effect on the topography is still very evident.
Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Geological Survey 1998
Erected 1998 by the Geological Society of Minnesota in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Geological Survey.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota: Geological Society of Minnesota series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1998.
Location. 45° 7.626′ N, 95° 2.782′ W. Marker is in Willmar, MinnesotaTouch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Willmar MN 56201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Great Northern Railway Engine No. 2523 (approx. half a mile away); "Kandiyohi" (approx. half a mile away); Kandiyohi County Indian History (approx. half a mile away); Robbins Island (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veteran's Memorial (approx. one mile away); C.C.C. Worker (approx. one mile away); Haugen Homestead (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Willmar.
Also see . . . Geology of Minnesota. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on August 2, 2014.)
Additional keywords. Geology of Minnesota Willmar Region
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 2, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 423 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 2, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.