2003 Geology Field Trip - Missouri
Breaks in Montana
01413-16 Geology 2500 - Field trip.
to index of geologic log for trip.
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.
- 2 days drving up looking at geology on the way,
- 5 days on the Missouri river paddling and looking at geology
in the grand exploration tradition of Lewis & Clark. This
portion of the river has been designated a National Wild and
Scenic River, and is described as being much like it was
when Lewis and Clark paddled it. This section of the river is
described as a float trip - no whitewater. It would take perhaps
8 days to paddle the entire section and do it any justice geologically
- which we do not have the luxury of doing. We will instead focus
on the White Cliffs section from Coal Banks Landing to Judith
Landing, since the geology seems to be a bit more diverse on
this section. It is 47 river miles long, and the average current
is 3.5 mph, and typically takes 3 days to paddle. In addition,
we will likely do the section from Judith Landing to McClelland
Ferry, which is some 14 river miles long.
- 2 days drving back on a different route looking at geology.
- 1 day for the unexpected ( if all goes well we will get back
after 9 days).
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., email@example.com
- Jengo, J. W., 2002, Boken Masses of Rock and Stones":
Lewis and Clark as Geological Trailblazers, The Professional
Geologist, p. 2-6
- Hansen, W. B., 2002, Canoeing With Lewis & Clark AAPG
Geotour Geologic River Log Portion May 21-24, 2002, Coal Banks
to Judith Landing, Montana Geoscience Foundation, Great Falls,
Montana, 27 p.
- Lindvall, R. M., 1962, Geology of the Eagle Buttes Quadrangle,
Chouteau County, MT: USGS Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-349.