2003 Geology Field Trip - Missouri Breaks in Montana

01413-16 Geology 2500 - Field trip.

Link to index of geologic log for trip.

Link to report by William Moak on Pleistocene Glaciation and diversion of the Missouri River.

Audience: This trip is meant for those with an interest in geology and who value field learning in the field. Anyone with an interest in geoscience is welcome.

Conditions: Participants need to be aware that the trip requires camping and living out of a canoe or kayak for five days and all that possibly entails. Discomfort at times is highly likely. At this time of the year the average lows are in the 40s, and average highs in the 70s. Discussions with paddlers who have done this seciton indicates this is a good time of year, but a late spring blizzard is possible. We will plan for this trip very carefully. Here is a description of required gear and some organizational aspects.

When: from May 12th to May 22nd. There will also be three pre-trip meetings, on Wednesdays at noon. First meeting the first week of classes.


Geology to be learned: The geology of Montana is very rich, and includes both plains and cordillera geologic provinces. The river section we will be traveling is noted for its beautiful badlands. Quaternary geology and fluvial geomorphology round out the surficial geology that can be seen. In addition, very well exposed Cretaceous stratigraphy tells of the Western Interior Seaway that used to reside here. Tertiary instrusives, folding and faulting, also are well exposed along the river. In addition in the nearby area is the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction boundary that we plan to visit on the way in. Tertiary intrusives we will visit are especially puzzling in that they don't fit standard models for where you should get igneous activity.

Mosaic from USGS airphoto coverage of Missouri River between Fort Benton and Peck Reservoir. Click on it to get full image (its big!).

Questions: Harmon D. Maher Jr., harmon_maher@mail.unomaha.edu