Wisconsin Dells formed by Ice Age freeze-and-thaw cycle

30Aug12

Summer in Wisconsin is not the same without Wisconsin Dells.

I lived in the Badger State for several years, and not a summer went by without my family and me staying for a few days and nights in Wisconsin Dells, the “waterpark capital of the world.” The 4.4-square-mile city of Wisconsin Dells is home to the largest indoor and outdoor waterparks — among them Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park, Noah’s Ark, Kalahari Resort and Great Wolf Lodge.

This is a full-page graphic. For a more detailed view, please click here to view a PDF.

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Click here for more graphics

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The Dells is made up of a seven-mile-long network of rivers, lakes and canyons, as deep as 10 feet in some parts, carved into Cambrian sandstone by the glacial draining of Lake Wisconsin during the Cenozoic Age. Over the years, the city has parlayed its natural beauty into a giant, year-round amusement park, offering all sorts of thrills — from scenic river boat cruises and water rides in the summer to downhill skiing and snowmobile rides in the winter.

This graphic is about how these rivers, lakes, canyons and rocky cliffs — that give shape and texture to the area — evolved over time, forming what has become a geological gem of the American midwest. Almost 2 billion years ago, according to various sources, Wisconsin was literally under water. It was drenched in tropical climate in its position just south of the equator. Then about a billion years later, a large mass of rock broke out of water and rose above sea level to form the Wisconsin dome. Over time, after a series of freeze-and-thaw cycles, Wisconsin evolved into a dry land, then plant and animal life began to appear.

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INTERACTIVE: TURNING BACK THE ASIAN CARP

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Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2007.

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Also in this blog:

How the Penumbra system works
The world’s richest oil deposit
The Haiti earthquake
Treating gunshot wounds
What animals mean when they ‘talk’

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3 Responses to “Wisconsin Dells formed by Ice Age freeze-and-thaw cycle”

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