Geology of Isle Royale National Park

mapa de Isle Royale

Map of Isle Royale

Isle Royale National Park is a wilderness archipelago, and that’s one of those words which is much easier to say than it is to spell, believe me! No wheeled vehicles are allowed on Isle Royale National Park, wheelchairs are the only exception, which all helps to maintain what is largely a road-less land filled with unspoiled forests, where wild creatures can live relatively undisturbed amongst the refreshing lakes which are only accessible on foot, by boat or by airplane. Don’t underestimate the hiking adventures which await on Isle Royale National Park, there are around 166 miles of trails and numerous inland lakes. This really is an island paradise just waiting to be explored.

What you see on the surface of Isle Royale National Park is only around 10,000 years old, the product of sculpting, plant pioneering and soil building which has give the island the covering it enjoys today, the island actually first appeared beneath the glacial ice, as the level of the lake dropped, the island rose . . . simple as! Pretty soon the island began to develop soil, then the plants and animals began to arrive and make it their home. The many inland lakes were first formed in basins which were gouged out by the glaciers before shrinking, as ponds and lakes do.  This is the recent geological history of Isle Royale National Park, but the real story begins much earlier than that, 1.2 billion years ago.

The great rift of the earth’s crust 1.2 billion years ago may even have extended south as far as the Gulf of Mexico, a whole series of cracks pouring out molten lava and covering thousands of square kilometers of land. There is a rock record of these events in the bedrock of Isle Royale to this day, the volcanics, the sandstones and the conglomerates are all there as evidence.

Towards the south west of Isle Royale is where the glacier took a rest whilst it retreated, you can see this from small hills of deposits. There are three small pits in the rock on the Stall Trail, for example, where Indians mined copper around 2000 B.C.


An abandoned mine shaft on Isle Royale Nationa...

An abandoned mine shaft on Isle Royale National Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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