Saint Paul Geology Safari

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<strong>Morton gneiss</strong><br />You can start your safari a mere one block east of the Museum! The Ramsey County West Building is covered with Morton gneiss (pronounced "nice"). At 3.6 billion years old, this is some of the oldest rock in the world!Downtown St. PaulSt. Peter sandstone is very loose and falls apart easily. Sand accumulates at the bottom of the bluff. This sand forms the beaches along rivers and lakes in our region.Hinckley sandstone formed at the bottom of the ocean more than 540 million years ago. Some stones still preserve ripple marks, testifying to its marine origin.The bottom layer was laid down at the bottom of an ancient sea, some 500 million years ago. Then the sea receded. When sea levels rose again, a new layer formed on top of the old one.Many of the older houses in town have basements made of limestone blocks. These were a popular building material before cement blocks became common.The Minnesota and Mississippi valleys are much wider than the rivers they hold. That’s because 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, a massive lake drained through here, cutting a deep valley. As the water emptied the rivers shrank, but the wide valleys remain.The Minnesota and Mississippi valleys are much wider than the rivers they hold. That’s because 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, a massive lake drained through here, cutting a deep valley. As the water emptied the rivers shrank, but the wide valleys remain.This sculpture on the north side of the High Bridge pays tribute to St. Paul’s geological and architectural past. It’s made of limestone blocks that formed at the bottom of an ancient sea, and which were later used as the foundations for some of the first houses in the city.Walk another two blocks east to the Wabasha bridge. There you can see layers of different rock, laid down by a tropical ocean 470 to 440 million years ago. From top to bottom: the Decorah shale (fine clay from mid-level depths); Platteville limestone (dissolved shells from deep water); Glenwood shale; and St. Peter sandstone (sand from shallow water).The bluffs along the Mississippi contain St. Peter sandstone. Laid down by a tropical ocean some 470 million years ago, this formation extends as far as Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.Many "brownstone" houses along Grand and Summit Avenues use sandstone quarried along the southern shore of Lake Superior. This material became popular in the 1860s and 1870s, when new railroads made it easy to transport.
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the dinos are realy fun and i love how you can build one!

posted on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 2:46pm
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Anonymous says:

this place is cool. i've seen other dinosaur places, but this was the coolest :)

proud to be an iowan :)

posted on Sat, 09/04/2010 - 1:12pm
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Anonymous says:

the animal part in the dinisore place is scary when the look like real animals its just plaine creepy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 09/04/2010 - 1:10pm
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Anonymous says:

these pictures are just amazing. i love them.

posted on Sun, 08/29/2010 - 1:51pm
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Anonymous says:

The Slide show goes too fast to read the captions.

posted on Thu, 08/26/2010 - 5:45pm
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Anonymous says:

it is relly cool because it is540 millionyears old!!!!!!!

posted on Sun, 08/15/2010 - 4:36pm
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Anonymous says:

Yaaaa! I've been there :)
Gooo North Dakota!

posted on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 12:39pm
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Anonymous says:

i love how big dinosuars are i wish i could have seen one in real life i wish they were still living to this very day

posted on Sun, 07/25/2010 - 4:17pm
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Anonymous says:

amazing, these pictures are awsome!

posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 12:40pm
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Anonymous says:

thiz is a sweet lookimg house!!! :)

posted on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 3:22pm
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Anonymous says:

i think it would be a very cool house tooooooooooo!

posted on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 12:38pm
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Anonymous says:

This is a cool exibit! I think that is one of the best. I wish they had some touch and see stuff. I am a kinetic learner, and it would have been good to touch some fossils....oh well.

posted on Sat, 05/08/2010 - 9:09pm
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Anonymous says:

that is a really cool sculpture that must have been pretty hard to make

posted on Sat, 04/10/2010 - 3:05pm
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Anonymous says:

Dinosaurs are one of the firdt creatures to walk on the earth. They are very big in size and might be a carnivor or an herbivor.

posted on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 1:05pm
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Anonymous says:

yes they r the most meanest creagures that walked the earth. so i'm with u.

posted on Wed, 06/30/2010 - 12:14pm

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