Antigo Silt Loam
In Wisconsin, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
How Geocaching Works
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This cache is an earthcache located just east of Antigo, Wisconsin. Located on Route 52 near the airport in Antigo is a small park with a paved pull out where the information needed to answer the questions involved in the cache.
Antigo Silt Loam
Antigo Silt Loam was first identified near the city of Antigo during the Langlade County soil survey project, and was named after the nearby city. This historical marker is located northeast of Antigo on Highway 52. Antigo Silt Loam was named the official State Soil of Wisconsin by the State Legislature in 1983, a declaration reminding us of the importance of our soil resources. Antigo soil represents the more than 800 different types of soil in Wisconsin.
Antigo Silt Loam even has a song named after it:
It goes like this:
An - ti - go, a soil to know, Wis - con-sin’s crops and livestock grow; and forests too, on
An - ti - go; and forests, too, on An - ti - go.
2. Great Lakes region, fertile land; glaciers spread both clay and sand;
Winds blew silt, then forests grew, giving soils their brownish hue.
3. Great Lakes region, fertile land, you strengthen us in heart and hand;
Each slope, each flower, each wild bird call proclaims a unity in all.
4. Plant a seed and pull a weed; the soil will give us all we need
And plenty more, so birds may feed: and plenty more, so birds may feed.
5. Of all the crops, true peace is tops; its soil is love that never stops;
It blesses sand and water drops: it blesses sand and water drops.
Antigo is one of the most productive agricultural soils in north central Wisconsin. Many areas are used for growing corn, small grains, and hay. In some places, potatoes or snap beans are important crops. Other areas are used for pastureland or timber production.
Formation of Antigo
About 11,000 years ago, near the end of the last Ice Age, glacial melt waters deposited the sand and gravel outwash that forms the lower subsoil and substratum of the Antigo soil. Strong winds and glacial melt waters then deposited 2 to 3 feet of silty loess and loamy outwash on top of the sand and gravel. Soil development, under northern hardwood forests, produced an organic enriched surface layer and a clay enriched subsoil.
A Prime Agricultural Soil
Antigo occurs mostly on nearly level ground, suitable for agriculture. The organic enriched surface layer provides an excellent seedbed and good tithe. The silty upper layers hold plenty of nutrients and water for plant growth. The underlying sand and gravel layers allow for good drainage. These factors, combined with a favorable climate, make Antigo a Prime Farmland soil, one of the most productive agricultural soils in north central Wisconsin.
Conserving the Resource
Soil quality is a good indicator of a healthy ecosystem. The soil stores water for use by plants and filters our ground water and surface water. We depend on the soil to provide us with food and fiber. Soils play a major role in recycling carbon and nitrogen. Without soils neither we nor the ecosystems in which we live could exist. The quality of our soil resources directly affects our quality of life. Good conservation practices allow us to use the soil while protecting the environment and keeping the soil healthy for future generations.
Loamy: a soil consisting of a friable mixture of varying proportions of clay, silt, and sand
Loess: an unstratified usually buff to yellowish brown loamy deposit found in North America, Europe,
and Asia and believed to be chiefly deposited by the wind
Outwash: detritus consisting chiefly of gravel and sand carried by running water from the melting ice of a glacier and laid down in stratified deposits
1.loose sedimentary material with rock particles usually 1/20 millimeter or less in diameter; also: soil containing 80 percent or more of such silt and less than 12 percent of clay
2. a deposit of sediment (as by a river)
Subsoil: the stratum of weathered material that underlies the surface soil
Substrate:the base on which an organism lives: the soil is the substrate of most seed plants
Substratum: an underlying Support: Foundation: as
a: substance that is a permanent subject of qualities or phenomena
b: the material of which something is made and from which it derives its special qualities
c: a layer beneath the surface soil; specifically: SUBSOIL
d: SUBSTRATE: the base on which an organism lives the: soil is the substrate of most seed plants
Tilth: state of aggregation of a soil especially in relation to its suitability for crop growth
For more information on soils:
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service:
Soil education site:
To Claim this cache please answer the following questions:
From information given in the information given here and the information given at the Coordinates answer:
1.Approximately how many counties in the state of Wisconsin have Antigo Silt Loam?
2.What is the process that occurred that changed the silty, loamy, gravel outwash into a fertile, productive soil capable supporting a versatile agricultural industry?
3.What are the components that enabled this process?
Perform the following actions:
4a. What is at this location (look beyond the historical marker)?
4b. Look at the soil and describe the texture/composition?
SPRING, SUMMER, FALL (if able, if it is winter an alternative task will be listed)
4c: Describe what you see and how it could relate to the Loess (look beyond again)
4d: Is the wind blowing?
Yes: what direction, approx how fast, what type if geological/ecological arrangement/rearrangement is taking place? Temperature?
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Last Updated: on 10/13/2014 12:03:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:03 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum