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Located at a City Park. Be aware of parking regulations and "feed the meter"
Like most of the lakes in Minnesota, Lake Minnetonka was formed during the Ice Age of the last two million years. It is 14,000 acres (57 km²) and its irregular shape with numerous bays means that it has about 140 miles (230 km) of shoreline. The first people of European descent known to have visited the lake were two 14-year-old boys from Fort Snelling, Joe Brown and Will Snelling. They found the lake in 1822 by paddling up Minnehaha Creek, though few people visited the lake in the following 30 years.
In 1852, the lake was given its name by Minnesota's territorial governor, Alexander Ramsey. He had been told that the American Indians in the area used a phrase sounding like minn-ni-tanka, meaning “big water,” to refer to the lake. The same year, the first settlements were constructed around it, and in 1853, the first hotel was built.
The area under the Lake Minnetonka area was once a river valley. It was cut from the sandstones and limestone that were laid down after 300 to 500 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era. As the glaciers advanced southward through Minnesota, about 25000 years ago, they covered the river valley.
Lake Minnetonka was formed after the last of these Wisconsinian glaciers receded about 10000 years ago. It is a Kettle Lake, formed by the giant blocks of ice that were in the beds of the ancient river valley. As the glaciers retreated, sediments covered these blocks and they slowly melted. Usually kettle lakes are no larger than 2 km (1 ¼ mi) in diameter and are less than 10 meters (33 ft.) deep. However, because of the huge size and closeness of the blocks, Lake Minnetonka formed into a large composite kettle lake.
At Ground Zero, you are going to find an informational sign on the Geology of Lake Minnetonka. Use the information on the sign to help you with the requirements needed to log this earthcache.
Requirement 1: Walk over to the shore of the lake and find the elevation. Using your elevation data and information from the sign answer this question-
How far below the current surface elevation is the bedrock?
Requirement 2: List the sediments that were trapped in the ice.
Requirement 3: Post a picture of you/group at Ground Zero.
While your here why not grab several of the other local caches, take a boat trip, or eat at any of the great restaurants that are within walking distance of this earthcache.
Email your answers to the questions, to me, using the link in my profile only. If your answers are not recieved by me in an appropriate amount of time, your log will be deleted. Photos are accepted and appreciated as long as the answers to the questions are not revealed. You do not have to wait for confirmation from me before logging this cache as completed. Most of all……learn……and enjoy the view.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum