IATCC- Dells of the Eau Claire
In Wisconsin, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
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Dells of the Eau Claire county park is located in Marathon County. From Antigo head south on US 45, then east on route 56, and then south on County Y, or head east from Wausau on County Z turning onto route Y.
At the park there are 3 parking areas the east unit has a swimming beach, dam, pinic area, and campground, the west unit has a picnic area, group campground, and scenic overlook and easy access with wheelchair access to the rock terraces in the middle of the river, and the south unit gives easy access to the south river trail, the forest preserve trail and the hardwood trail.
This earthcache is a short walk which is on the south side of the river trail. The Dells is a large gorge carved in to the bedrock by rushing melt water off the last glacier during the ICE AGE. From this view you can see the falls and rapids along with many small islands that were carved during the glacial meltoff during the last ice age. This is an excellent area to observe fracture controlled stream flow and the development of multiple stream terraces.
The presence of ancient rock, known as the Eau Claire River Myloite, which was formed 2 billion years ago by lava flowing to the earth's crust and over that time the rock tilted to its present near-vertical position.
During the glacial meltoff several potholes were formed on the rocks in the dells. These can be found on the rock terraces here at this location. These round depressions are created by sand and rock caught in a strong cylindrical water flow. The river drops 65 feet in just a mile and a half, and here it also continues to carve the exposed rocks. Downstream the flow is quite tranquil.
There are several trails including a segment of the Ice Age Trail, the trails form a loop following the high cliffs on the River Trail and crossing the river on the high bridge and then the south river trail follwing the river at the river level through pine forest and unique rock formations. The rocky gorge and forested areas are wooded with a northern mesic forest of hemlock, sugar maple, yellow birch, and mountain maple. Canada yew is abundant in dense patches and the spring flora is rich.
To claim this cache please obtain:
1. Estimate height of the vertical rock at/near this location, and how many different layers are present.
2. Estimate the difference in height and plant/tree growth from the south side of the river (trail/land) to the north side of the river (top of bluff) at this location.
3. Look at the potholes and measure the depth and width of the largest pothole on the rock terrace directly opposite this location.
4. How many stream terraces are there and which channel has the most terraces.
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Last Updated: on 8/25/2014 7:50:49 PM Pacific Daylight Time (2:50 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum