Michigan Glaciers

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Water plays an essential role in life on Earth; whether it’s affecting human life, animal life, plants, or rocks, water is the key to just about everything. The shape of land on Earth has been impacted over time by the ever-changing water that covers most of the planet. In Michigan especially, the effect that water has on the land can clearly be seen throughout the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. This change comes from rivers and lakes eroding, transporting, and depositing; glaciers carving the land and leaving behind water; and humans manipulating water for beneficial reasons. It’s no secret that Michigan is shaped by water simply due to the fact that it is surrounded by lakes on almost every border it has, but the rivers and lakes have more …show more content…
In Michigan, glaciers helped form the Great Lakes that surround the state. Hannah Ettema from the Michigan Nature Association says that “…the first glaciers flowed south from what is now Canada, seeking the areas of least resistance. It is believed that the Great Lakes were once ancient riverbeds, providing the glaciers perfect pathways south. With each advance and retreat of the glaciers, the shape and water level of the lakes changed” (Ettema, 2010). The glaciers moved back and forth causing erosion that formed deep pits, which filled with meltwater before the glacier could move back. Figure 2 shows the movement of glaciers and how they shape the land. In this case, the glaciers rounded out the land and the meltwater would have eventually formed …show more content…
Glaciers left behind more than just the Great Lakes in the state of Michigan. The topography and landforms of Michigan were formed mostly from glacial activity. According to the MSU Department of Geography and L. M. Sommers, author of “Michigan: A Geography”, “Of all the glacial landforms, moraines best tell the tale of the retreat of the ice from the surface of Michigan. They mark the lines of halt and with their accompanying till plains, the lines of retreat. They reveal the halting retreats and slight readvances of the glacier; they show us where the ice held its position for thousands of years. Each glacial lobe built up its own set of moraines which can be mapped and more or less definitely set apart one from the other…” (Sommers, 1984). Moraines are hills and rugged ridges made from the glaciers constantly coming and going and they can be seen all throughout Michigan, such as the Port Huron moraine. These were formed from glaciers in the Pleistocene era, which is known for the most recent Ice

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