Photograph of Mosquito Beach at Pictured Rock National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Michigan. The photo shows a weathered rock formation made out of orangish-beige stone at the left foreground. Trees are growing on top of it, and it is reflected in the water at its base. In the background, more of the lakeshore can be seen stretching into the distance.

Additional Resources for the Earth Science of the Midwestern United States

Page snapshot: Lists of supplemental and teaching resources for the geology of the midwestern U.S., sorted by topic.

Topics covered on this page: Geologic history; Fossils; Topography; Mineral resources; Glaciers; Energy; Climate; Earth hazards.

Credits: Most of the resources from this page come from the The Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Earth Science of the Midwestern US, edited by Mark D. Lucas, Robert M. Ross, and Andrielle N. Swaby (published in 2014 by the Paleontological Research Institution; currently out of print). The book was adapted for the web by Elizabeth J. Hermsen and Jonathan R. Hendricks in 2022.

Updates: Page last updated January 10, 2023.

Image above: "Mosquito Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Michigan." Photo by Mark Stacey (GPA Photo Archive on flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, image cropped and resized).

Disclaimer: Links to commercial websites (internet retailers, rock and mineral shops, informational websites that include a shop, etc.) do not constitute endorsement of their products.

Geologic history

Books, articles, and reports

Morey, G. B., and H. Dahlberg. 1995. Geology of Minnesota. State of Minnesota, Department of Natural Resources. PDF:


AAPG. 1979. Great Lakes Geological Highway Map (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin). AAPG, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

AAPG. 1984. Northern Great Plains Geological Highway Map (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota). AAPG, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Activities and teacher resources

Minnesota Geoloical Survey classroom materials (hosted by University of Minnesota):


General/multiple states

Books, articles, and reports

Holman, J. A. 2001. In quest of Great Lakes Ice Age vertebrates. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, Michigan, 230 pp.


Websites from the Paleontological Research Institution & partners:

Cretaceous Atlas of Ancient Life, Western Interior Seaway (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming):

Pennsylvanian Atlas of Ancient Life, Midcontinent United States (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas):


Phillips, T. L., M. J. Avcin, and D. Berggren. 1976. Fossil peat of the Illinois Basin: A guide to the study of coal balls of Pennsylvanian age. Illinois State Geological Survey, 39 pp. Read at Biodiversity Heritage Library:

Shabica, C. W., and A. A. Hay, eds. 1997. Richardson’s guide to the fossil fauna of Mazon Creek. Northeastern Illinois University Press, Chicago, 308 pp.

Wittry, J. 2012. The Mazon Creek fossil fauna. Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois, in association with Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, 202 pp.

Wittry, J., and I. Glasspool. 2013. Pennsylvanian Age fossils of northeastern Illinois, USA. Flora of the Mazon Creek region. The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois. PDF from the Field Museum:

Wittry, J., and R. Rodriguez. 2018. Pennsylvanian Age fossils of northeastern Illinois, USA. Fossil shark egg cases of the Mazon Creek region. The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois. PDF from the Field Museum:


Anderson, W. I. 1998. Iowa’s geological past: Three billion years of change. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 440 pp.

Rose, J. N. 1967. Fossils and rocks of eastern Iowa. A half-billion years of Iowa history. Iowa Geological Survey, Educational Series 1, 147 pp. PDF from State Library of Iowa:

Wolf, R. 1983. Fossils of Iowa: Field guide to Paleozoic deposits. Iowa State University Press, Ames, 212 pp. Reprinted 2006.


Han, T. M., and B. Runnegar. 1992. Megascopic eukaryotic algae from the 2.1-billion-year-old Negaunee iron-formation, Michigan. Science 257: 232–235. [Technical] DOI:

Kesling, R. V. and R. B. Chilman. 1975. Strata and megafossils of the Middle Devonian Silica Formation. University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology Papers on Paleontology No. 8, 338 pp. [Reprinted 2012.]

Kchodl, J.J., and R. Chase. 2006. The complete guide to Michigan fossils. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, and Petoskey Publishing Co., Traverse City, 112 pp.

Mueller, B., and W. H. Wilde. 2004. The complete guide to Petoskey stones. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 80 pp.


Mossler, J., S. Benson, and A. C. Runkel. 1995. Minnesota at a glance: Fossil collecting in the Twin Cities area.. Minnesota Geological Survey. Download from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy:

Runkel, A.C. 2020. Minnesota at a glance: Paleozoic history of southeastern Minnesota-ancient tropical seas. Minnesota Geological Survey. Download from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy:

Sloan, R. 2005. Minnesota fossils and fossiliferous rocks. Published by the author, Winona, Minnesota, 218 pp.


Books, articles, and reports

Feldmann, R.M., ed. 1995. Fossils of Ohio. Ohio Geological Survey Bulletin 70, 577 pp.

Lepper, B. T. 2006. Forensic mystery: The Burning Tree mastodon. Timeline 23(4): 22–31.

Meyer, D., and R. A. Davis. 2009. A sea without fish. Life in the Ordovician sea of the Cincinnati region. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 346 pp.


Fossils in Ohio (Ohio Department of Natural Resources):

The stratigraphy and fossils of the Upper Ordovician near Cincinnati, Ohio. (S. Holland, 2013, University of Georgia Stratigraphy Lab:


Books, articles, and reports

Hagadorn, J. W., R. H. Dott, and D. Damrow. 2002. Stranded on an Late Cambrian shoreline: Medusae from central Wisconsin. Geology 30: 147–150. [Technical]<0147:SOALCS>2.0.CO;2

Nehm, R. H., and B. E. Bemis. 2002. Common Paleozoic fossils of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Educational Series 45, 25 pp. PDF:


Fossils of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey):


Major landscape features [of Wisconsin] (Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey):

Karst and sinkholes [of Wisconsin]. (Wisconsin Geological & Natural History):

Mineral resources

Fluorite: Illinois' State Mineral. (Illinois State Geological Survey):

Descriptions of Illinois Minerals (Illinois State Geological Survey):

Minerals of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey):



Lineback, J. A. 1979. Quaternary deposits of Illinois. Illinois State Geological Survey. PDF:


Iowa Pleistocene Snail Discus macclintocki, 2011. Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


Snow, R. S., T. V. Lowell, and R. F. Rupp. 1991. A field guide: The Kelleys Island glacial grooves, subglackial erosion features on the Marblehead Peninsula, Carbonate Petrology, and associated paleontology. Ohio Journal of Science 91(1) 16-26. PDF:


Glacial Lake Agassiz (North Dakota Geological Survey Notes 5 by John Bluemle):


Books, articles, and reports

Black, R. F. 1974. Geology of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve fo Wisconsin. National Park Service Scientific Monograph No. 2.

Mickelson, D. M., L J. Maher, Jr., and S. L. Simpson. 2011. Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 305 pp.


Ice Age geology [of Wisconsin] (Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey):

Ice Age National Science Trail (Wisconsin):

Major landscape features [of Wisconsin] (Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey):


Hadley, D. W., and J. H. Pelham. 1976. Glacial deposits of Wisconsin, Sand and gravel resource potential. Map #10, WGNHS Publications.


General/multiple states

Benson, M. E., and A. B. Wilson. 2015. Frac sand in the United States—a geological overview. USGS Open-File Report 2015-1107, 78 pgs. PDF:


Abandoned mine lands (Illinois Department of Natural Resources):

About oil and gas in Illinois (Illinois Department of Natural Resources):

Illinois history (Illinois Petroleum Resources Board):

Oil fields in Illinois (Illinois State Geological Survey):


Choi, C. Q. 2013. Fracking practices to blame for Ohio earthquakes. Live Science, September 4, 2013.

Fonticella, C. 2018. How acid mine drainage has affected southeast Ohio's waterways. The Post, February 7, 2018.


Industrial sand mining overview (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources):

Sand rush in Wisconsin (by Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Observatory):



Climate impacts in the Midwest (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, via City of Chicago):

Fourth National Climate Assessment [2018]: Midwest:

National Climate Assessment 2014: Midwest:

Why Does the U.S. Midwest Get So Many Severe Thunderstorms? (Cliff Mass Weather Blog Monday, 23 May 2011):

Great Lakes Interactive Climatology Map:

Midwestern Regional Climate Center:

The Climate Explorer:

Earth hazards

General Earth hazards

Books, articles, and reports

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, Michigan Department of State Police, and The Michigan Citizen-Community Emergency Response Coordinating Council. 2019. Michigan Hazard Mitigation Plan. MSP/EMHSD publication 106, 453 pp. PDF:


Climate and health in Minnesota (Minnesota Department of Health):

Disasters [Iowa] (Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management):

Environmental Public Health [Indiana] (Indiana Department of Health):

Illinois Emergency Management Agency:

Natural disasters and severe weather (Minnesota Department of Health):

Ohio Department of Public Safety:

Wisconsin Emergency Management:


Radon fact sheet for Indiana (PDF):

Radon in homes (Minnesota Department of Health):

Radon in Ohio:

Radon information for Wisconsin (Wisconsin Department of Health Services):


The derecho of June 29, 2012 (S. Zubrick, National Weather Service, July 27, 2012):