North-Central Section - 49th Annual Meeting (19-20 May 2015)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM


ROSE, William I., Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931,

The Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale represent the heart of the Mid-Continent Rift, ponded flood basalts, topped by fining-upward fluvial redbeds. They were then uplifted several miles by a thrust fault and exposed. Geothermal metamorphism is highlighted, resulting in Earth's most notable exposed native copper. Ancient indigenous mining followed by US’ first great metal mining district resulted. Geodiversity is further enhanced with continental glaciation and Earth’s largest freshwater lake cradled by the rift valley, in the middle of North America, leading to an unusual hydrospheric and atmospheric environment.

Locally and nationally, because earth science is underplayed in schools, people may be aware of geoheritage, but are far from understanding and applying it to their lives. I am a geoscientist trying to enhance local awareness of geoheritage in the Keweenaw. Our work consists of: 1. Geoinformation via the web. 2. Field trips (vans, trolleys, kayaks, tour boats, bicycles, walks). 3. Move glacial boulders from quarries to public places for landscape/education. 4. Interpret national and state parks, school campuses with geosites, cities, towns and village parks, businesses with outdoor space. 5. Interpretation with local non profit museums. 6. Land conservation/access/acquisition with mining/logging and conservation groups, 7. Help teachers to develop field exercises. 8. Speak to mineral collector clubs, regional tourism/development groups, park and historical museum public events. 9. Build partnerships with “peripheral” groups that have common interests (artists, musicians, outdoor recreation, industrial archeology, forestry, wildlife ecology, biodiversity, outdoor research, conservation).

Our long term hope is that growing public interest and fostering awareness will build grassroots support for a proposal of a Global Geopark in the Keweenaw and Isle Royale, possibly the first in US!

  • Rose6-3.pdf (13.7 MB)