LAKE MICHIGAN'S LAKE LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS EC**
In Wisconsin, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
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You are standing on an 8.7 acre island that has been a part of Lake Michigan nautical history and ship lore since the days of sail powered ships that first navigated these waters. The beacon has guided mariners past the rugged shoreline for many years.
This is a simple and fun EarthCache. The purpose will be to notice the measureable loss of water in Lake Michigan over the last 25+ years. The information on the historical lake levels comes from the Division of Natural Resources.
This site is just a hundred+ feet from the CANA ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE on an island on the shores of the Door County peninsula. The rocky shores around the island and the reefs at the mouth of the Bay were major hazards to the shipping lanes.
Lake Michigan is one of the Great Lakes, and the only one located entirely within the border of the United States. It is the 3rd largest of the five lakes behind Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It may be of interest that Lake Michigan, the Mackinaw Straits and Lake Huron are the same body of water, but were discovered by different early explorers and historical circumstances so have different names.It has a surface area of 22,400+ square miles. It contains a volumn of 1,180 cubic miles of water. More than 12,000,000 people live along its shores.
Lake Micigan was formed during the Great Ice Age as glaciers advanced accross what is now called the Great Lake Region. As they receeded large glacial lakes were formed. Lake Michigan has diminished from its orgional size over time yet its importance to both humans and the ecosystems remain strong.
AT THIS SITE in times past: A warm salt-water sea covered this area. Marine life thrived like: bachiopods, triobites, crinoids, corals and many other creatures. This sea bottom, composed of Maquoketa Shale was then covered with the skeletical remains of these ancient marine creatures and sediment from erosion which under preasure, heat and time became limestone. There is visual evidence of micro fossils at this location.
LAKE LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS:
Fluctuations in Lake Michigan's water have occured continually since the end of the Ice Age.
Lake Michigan's water levels can affect the extent of shoreline property damage, riparian interests (beach withs and public access), dredging and shipping (depth of navigation channels), construction of marinas and other water dependant facilities, drinking water intakes, cooling water intakes for steel mills and electric generating stations.
Continual lake levels records have been kept since 1919. The 'lowest' level was recorded in March of 1964, the 'highest' in October 1985. The difference is 6.3 feet.
YOU ARE STANDING above the shoreline where there is evidence of the 'high' water mark.
TO RECEIVE CREDIT for this EarthCache 'find' please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org the answers to these questions.
PLEASE SEND YOUR ANSWERS SOON after you log or I may need to delete!
1-What visual evidence is there that this is the 'high' water point?
2- Using your GPSr or otherwise estimate how many feet the water has dropped from its 'high' point.
3- What is the present water elevation?
4- Do you see any fossils in the rocks nearby?
5- What is the man made rock formation is nearby?
Please submit a photo of yourself or group with the water in the background. (pic optional of course)
**7/12/12 COULD SOMEONE PLEASE SEND TO email@example.com CLOSE- UP PICS OF THE MARINE LIFE FOSSILS nearby!!!! THANKS SOOO MUCH !!
There is a $4 fee to access the island. This earthcache is ONLY available during posted hours. Call (920)743-5958 if you need hours or if it is open/closed because of the weather.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 7/14/2014 8:47:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time (3:47 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum