, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 193-198

Recent geologic development of Lake Michigan (U.S.A.)

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Abstract

The stresses placed on Lake Michigan since the advent of industrialization require knowledge of the sedimentology of the whole lake in order to make informed decisions for environmental planning. Sediment accumulation rates are low: areas of the lake receiving the most sediment average only 1 mm a−1; deep-water basins average 0.1 to 0.5 mm a−1; and large areas are not receiving any sediment. Sediment was deposited rapidly (typically 5 mm a−1), in the form of rock flour, during the deglaciation of both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior Basins. Then the rate of accumulation decreased by 80–90% and has remained relatively constant since final deglaciation. Because active sedimentation occurs mostly in the deep water areas of the lake, the sediment remains undisturbed and contains a record of the chemical history of the lake.