2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (9–12 October 2011)
424 Tuesday, 11 October 2011
1:00 PM-5:00 PM, Minneapolis Convention Center: Ballroom A Foyer, 2nd Ave. Entrance

Subterranean Twin Cities

Primary Leader: Greg Brick
Field Trip Description: This fieldtrip is based on the award-winning book SUBTERRANEAN TWIN CITIES published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2009. Minneapolis and St Paul are underlain by the Middle Ordovician St Peter Sandstone, which is honeycombed with a heterogeneous mix of underground spaces, natural and artificial. The book’s author will lead participants on a narrated bus tour describing locations of subterranean interest, showing how they relate to the local geology. There will be stops at the famous Carver’s Cave, a landmark since 1766 and prime example of the action of groundwater piping in generating pseudokarst, as well as at Mill Ruins Park, with its miles of hydropower tunnels and the jumping-off place for hard-core exploration of the deep Minneapolis sewer-caves. Other places of note that will be discussed along the way are the largest sinkhole in the Metro, bat hibernacula, brewery caves, cheese caves, mushroom caves, nightclub caves, silica mines, utility labyrinths, the Trout Brook subterranean river, and Fountain Cave, where the city of St Paul was supposedly founded in 1838. From anecdote to high science, it’s all here, so you can maximize your time in the convenience of a bus with the person who wrote the book on the subject. Owing to liability concerns and time constraints this will be largely a surface tour.
Field Trip will span: 1 day
Sponsor(s): GSA Hydrogeology Division, Minnesota Ground Water Association (pending), GSA Engineering Geology Division

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