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Posts Tagged ‘MN’

Ann’s Musing on Geology & Other Things is hosting the Accretionary Wedge #29: What geological features about the area you call “home” do you love? and what do you not like? Its a busy time at the end of the semester, but I knew immediately how I would answer this question.

I’ve only recently moved to St. Peter in order to teach for a year at Gustavus College.   Previous to Minnesota, I’ve lived in a variety of places and in my mind they all can be categorized either as “flat” or as “hilly.”   The flat places I’ve landed have all been located on sedimentary rocks & have involved at least a several hour drive to reach a garnet-bearing metamorphic rock.   But some of the hilly places have also been a few hours from garnet-grade rocks.   My ideal “home” would have garnet-bearing rocks either underfoot or within a 30 minute drive and some form of topographic relief greater than a few 100 meters.   Such as:

Alp de Confin--1000 m above the nearest town--with both pelitic & mafic eclogites to ooh & ahh over

However, I currently live on glacial till next to a river valley that cuts down into dolomite & sandstone.   Ok, the erratics have garnet in them occasionally, but that’s not the local bedrock.   Things I can appreciate here, though?   Its not dead flat.   The till has a fairly nice hummocky topography to it.

GoogleMaps terrain map of the area east of St. Peter

I can also get to high grade metamorphic rocks in a few hours, which is almost close enough to drive to during a lab period.   Actually, the gneisses are along the same river that flows through town, so technically I think I could canoe upriver to get to garnets.   Would probably take a while to get there though…

Figure 2 from Schmitz et al. (2006)

I also appreciate the fact that I live within the listening range of Minnesota public radio that has a very diverse & eclectic selection of classical music on their playlist.   But that’s the pianist in me speaking 🙂

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Quick flood update

Well, though it stopped raining on Thursday, the water in the Minnesota River has continued to rise.   I just got a text message from Gustavus warning me that parts of 169, 99, and 22 are currently closed.   The section on 99 is the bridge which my last few pictures were from on Friday.   The MN department of transportation is reporting the closings.   I’ll include a screenshot of the ones near St. Peter.

Sunday night, 26. Sept 2010, closings around St. Peter due to flooding

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Yesterday, Anne talked about some her experiences with floods and why that encouraged her to become not only a geologist, but more specifically a hydrogeologist.   I’m not a hydrogeologist.   Its not my thing.   I like rocks.   But currently, I’m living in SE MN and there’s quite a bit of flooding along the Minnesota River, so I’ll take a moment and don my hydro-interest hat.

I drove yesterday (Friday) from Mankato to St. Peter along Highway 169.

GoogleEarth image of Rt 169

The Minnesota River is over its banks and flooding the surround fields, parks, and boat launch sites, but its not as high as when I was here visiting last spring (that closed bridges like 99 at the north end of St. Peter).   However, the water in the floodplain has driven a number of the local deer up into 169, which meant that I drove (and tried to avoid) five dead deer yesterday on the 10-mile drive between Mankato and St. Peter.

I’ll post all of my shots on Flickr (note to self: stopping on 169 is not a great idea since the average driver is doing >65 mph), but two of my favorites:

boat launch on Rt 169

Just south of St. Peter on 169

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