UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Accession .* 02148 Oa$s
The Commissioners of the Wisconsin
Geological* and Natural History Surrey.
K. A. 15IKGE, Director.
Mad iso /?,, Wisco iixin-.
Cedar Point, Lake Mendota, in 1 880. A shore too young for the beach profile. The cliff has since
receded and the old cedar tree has fallen away.
WISCONSIN GEOLOGICAL AND NATURAL HISTORY SURVEY.
E. A. BIRGE, Director. '. JJ' HAMBERLIN, Consulting Geologists.
BULLETIN NO. VIII. EDUCATIONAL SERIES NO. 2
Lakes of Southeastern Wisconsin,
N. M. FENNEMAN, Ph. D.,
Professor of Geology, University of Colorado
PUBLISHED BY THE STATE.
'Udteconefn Geological and IRatural Dtetors Survey.
BOARD OP COMMISSIONERS
KOBEBT M. LAFOLLETTE,
Governor of the State.
L. D. HABVEY., Vice-President,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
President of the University of Wisconsin.
EDWIN E. BBYANT, President,
President of the Commissioners of Fisheries.
CHABLES S. SLICHTEB, Secretary,
President of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and
E. A. BIBGE, Director of the Survey.
C. E. VAN HISE, Consulting Geologist.
T. C. CHAMBEBLIN, Consulting Geologist (Quarternary Geology)
E. R. BUCKLEY, Geologist.
In charge of Economic Geology.
S. WEIDMAN, Geologist.
In charge of Geology of Wausau District.
U. S. GBANT, GEOLOGIST.
Survey of Southwestern Wisconsin.
N. M. FENNEMAN, Geologist.
Physical Geography of Lake Region.
L. S. SMITH, in charge of Hydrography.
This report on the physical geography of the lakes of Wisconsin
is intended to assist students of physiography, and especially the
teachers of the southeastern part of the State in using the natural
features of the region as an aid to understanding the principles of
physical geography and geology. In a former bulletin published by
this Survey* the physical geography and geology of the region of
Devil's Lake and the Dalles were discussed, with special reference to
the forces which have produced the scenery of that district. In the
present bulletin attention is directed to the origin and history of
the small lakes which are so abundant in Southeastern Wisconsin,
and the work done by them upon their shores is discussed in detail.
It is expected that the report will be used as a guide for students
and teachers who visit the lakes, either to study their physiography
or to demonstrate to others the part which lakes play in the forces
which modify the landscape. The discussion of general principles is
somewhat less extensive than in the bulletin on Devil's Lake and
much attention is given to the details of the work of the various lakes.
No attempt is made to avoid repetition of principles in the treatment
of the action of the several lakes.
It will be noticed that little or no reference is made to the largest
of Wisconsin's inland lakes, Lake Winnebago. The area of this lake
is so great and its depth so small that the conditions are, in many
respects, different from those of most of the smaller lakes. The
scientific problems and the economic value of the lake are so impor-
tant that the lake will probably be the subject of a special bulletin
in the future.
Reference is made at various points in this bulletin to hydrographic
maps. These are maps heretofore issued by this Survey on the sepa-
* BULLETIN No. V. EDUCATIONAL SERIES No. 1. The Geography of the Reg-
ion About Devil's Lake and the Dalles of the Wisconsin, with some notes on
its surface geology. By Rollin D. Salisbury, A. M., Professor of Geographic
Geology, University of Chicago, and Wallace W. Atwood, B. S., Assistant in
Geology, University of Chicago,. 1900.
rate lakes. They include most of the lakes whose physical geography
is here discussed. Copies of the maps will be sent to any persons
who receive this bulletin and desire to obtain them, and, as soon as
certain maps now ready for publication are issued, the entire set will
be bound up as an atlas and distributed as one of the bulletins of the
E. A. BIRGE,
CHAPTER I. LAKE BASINS AS RELATED TO THE GEOLOGY OF WISCONSIN.
General Geology of the Area 1
Tne Strata 1
The Glacial Drift 2
Classification of Lake Basins of this Area 3
Erosion Valleys blocked by drift 6
Valleys between Terminal Moraine Ridges 7
Troughs of small Glacial Lobes 8
Inequalities in the Ground Moraine 9
Extinction of Lakes 9
CHAPTER II. THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES.
Waves and Currents 13
Shore Forms due to Water Work 22
Forms due chiefly to Cutting 22
Forms due to transportation and deposition 25
Shore forms due to Ice 30
Cycles of Shore Lines 32
CHAPTER III. THE LAKES AT MADISON.
Position and History of the Four Lakes 35
Pre-Glacial Valleys 35
Strata exposed 37
Suggestion of Ice Erosion 38
Drainage Basins and Lake Levels 39
Lake Mendota 40
Transportation beyond Wave-base 53
Shores of Lake Monona 56
CHAPTER IV. GENEVA AND DELAVAN.
Lake Geneva 63
Sources and Outlet 66
Shore Features 67
Shores of Delavan Lake 76
CHAPTER V. LAUDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES.
The Lauderdale Basins 8&
Shores of Mill Lake 85
Middle Lake 87
Green Lake 87
Beulah Lake 88
CHAPTER VI. THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT.
Geology of the District 93
The Moraine 93
The Underlying Rocks 94
Origin of Lake Pewaukee 94
The Area of Raines and Pitted Plains 95
Glacial History of the Area 97
Pewaukee Lake 98
Nagawicka Lake 100
The Nashotah-Nemahbin Line 103
Upper Nashotah 103
Lower Nashotah 104
Upper Nemahbin 104
Lower Nebahbin 105
The Genesee Lakes 106
Beaver Lake 106
Pine Lake 108
North Lake Ill
Mouse Lake 112
Okauchee Lake 113
Oconomowoc Lake 115
Lac La Belle 116
Fowler Lake 118
Silver Lake 119
CHAPTER VII. LAKES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY.
Topography of the Region 120
The Lake Basins 122
Development of Shore Lines 125
Big Cedar Lake 125
Little Cedar Lake 129
CHAPTER VTTI. BLKHART LAKE.
Geological History 130
Shores of EJkhart Lake 132
Sheboygan Swamp 135
Cedar Lake . 137
CHAPTER IX. GREEN LAKE.
Surrounding Topography and its History ................. 138
Stratified Rocks ......................................... 140
Origin of the Basin ...................................... 142
Development of Shore Features .......................... " 143
The Beach Profile ................................... 143
Recession of Different Rock Cliffs compared ........... 145
Cliff-cutting in the Till .............................. 146
Structures built by Waves and Currents .............. 148
CHAPTER X. THE WAUPACA CHAIN-O'-LAKES.
Geology of the District ................................... 158
Shores ................................................. 160
Rainbow and Hicks Lakes ........................... 161
Taylor Lake ......................................... 163
McCrossen's Lake .................................... 163
Round Lake ......................................... 164
Columbian Lake ..................................... 164
Long Lake .......................................... 165
Situation and Area of Lakes ............................. 166
INDEX ........................................... 169
I. Cedar Point, Lake >Mendota Frontispiece
General Geological Map of Wisconsin 1
II. Glacial Lakes of Wisconsin Ice Epoch 2
III. Gemeral Map of Lake Region 4
IV. Turtle Lake; a laike in the ground moraine 4
V. Fig. 1 Beach on Lake Nagawicka 24
Fig. 2 Kames near Oconomowoc 24
VI. Fig. 1 Farwell's Point, Lake Mendota 28
Fig. 2 Bay-head beach, Maple Bluff 28
VII. Fig. 1 Boulders cm shore, Lake Winnebago 33
'Fig. 2 The Park at Oshkosh 33
VIII. Profile Rock, Lake Mendota 35
IX. Eagle Heights, Lake Mendota 44
X. Maple Bluff, Lake Mendota 47
XI. Figs. 1 and 2 Picnic Point, Lake 'Mendota 49
XII. Figs. 1 and 2 Ice push, Lake IMendota 52
XIII. Fig. 1 Ice rampart, Lake Mendota 58
Fig. 2 Effect of ice push on marsh 58
XIV. Fig. 1 Lake Monona 60
Fig. 2 Kames near Lac la Belle 60
XV. Cutting shore, Lake Geneva 65
XVI. Camp Collie, Lake Geneva 68
XVII. Lime Kiln Point, Lake Geneva 76
XVIII. Willow Point, Delavan Lake 78
XIX. Fig. 1-^Bar, Delavan Lake 80
Fig. 2 Gravel cliff, Delavan Lake 80
XX. Lauderdale Lake 83
XXI. Fig. 1 Lake Holden, a lake mearmg extinction 88
Fig. 2 Beulah Lake 88
XXII. Fig. 1 Spit, Nagawlcka Lake 100
Fig. 2 Hooked spit, Pewaukee Lake 100
XXIII. The Mission, Upper Nashotah Lake 103
XXIV. Fig. 1 Fresh ice-pushed terrace, Pine Lake 105
Fig. 2 Old ice-pushed terrace, Oconomowoc Lake 105
XXV. Fig. 1 'Cliff in kame gravels, Okauchee Lake 113
Fig. 2 Abandoned cliff, Silver Lake 113
XXVI. Fig. 1 Old cliff, Lac la Belle 117
Fig. 2 Vegetable accumulations, Lac la Belle 117
XXVII. Pebbly Beach, Big Cedar Lake 127
XXVIII. Fig. 1 Bar (tombolo), Big Cedar Lake 128
Fig. 2 Rainbow Lake, Waupaca 128
XXIX. Turtle Bay, Elkhart Lake 132
XXX. Cedar Lake 137
XXXI. Lucas Bluff, Green Lake 141
XXXII. Fig. 1 Sugar Loaf, Green Lake 144
Fig. 2 Cliff, Green Lake 144
XXXIII. Fig. 1 Gravel point, Green Lake 145
Fig. 2 Lone Tree Poimt, Green Lake 145
XXXIV. Gravel beach, Green Lake 147
XXXV. Rainbow Lake and Club Island, Waupaca 157
XXXVI. Entrance to Columbian Lake, Waupaca 164
FIGURES IN TEXT.
FIG. 1. Cross section of strata in eastern Wisconsin 1
FIG. 2. Burial of ice-mass by gravels 3
FIG. 3. Map of principal terminal moraines 5
FIG. 4. Series of particles in their orbits, having a phasal
difference of ninety degrees 14
FIG. 5. The same with orbits doubled in size; phasal differ-
ence, forty-five degrees; absolute amount of differen-
tial movement the same as in Fig. 4 14
FIG. 6. The same as Fig. 4, with phasal difference reduced to
forty-five degrees 14
FIG. 7. The same as Fig. 5 with phasal difference increased to
ninety degrees. A condition for breakers 14
FIG. 8. The same as Fig. 7, with orbits sufficiently reduced in
size to prevent breaking 14
FIG. 9. The same as Fig. 8, with orbits stil further reduced . . 14
FIG. 10. Diagram showing advance of wave form 15
FIG. 11. Decrease of orbits with depth 16
FIG. 12. Trochoid curves and lines of like phase 17
xii ILL US TRA TIONS.
PIG. 13. Paths of individual particles during the passage of a
wave of translation 19
FIG. 14. Direction of movement of particles within a wave of
FIG. 15. Ideal section of cut-and-built terrace (Gilbert) 23
FIG. 16. Ideal section of a beach (Gilbert) 26
FIG. 17. Ideal section of a barrier (Gilbert) 29
FIG. 18. Ideal section of an ice-pushed terrace 31
FIG. 19. Ideal section of a wave-built terrace 31
FIG. 20. East bay, Lake Mendota 51
FIG. 21. Hooks on Lake Geneva, south side 73
FIG. 22. Wave-built terrace at the Narrows, Lake Geneva 74
FIG. 23. Cusps on Lake Geneva, north side 75
FIG. 24. Spits at the outlet of Delavan Lake 79
FIG. 25. Bars at mouth of stream, Delavan Lake 80
FIG. 26. Cedar Point, Delavan Lake 81
FIG. 27. Bar forming between Mill and Middle Lakes, Lauder-
dale Group 85
FIG. 28. Bars connecting Green Island with the mainland,
Lauderdale Group 87
FIG. 29. Shore line against a kame area, Lake Beulah 90
FIG. 30. Profile of shore, Pine Lake 110
FIG. 31. Rampart at Outlet of North Lake 112
FIG. 32. Bars from headland in Lac La Belle 118
FIG. 33. Vicinity of Lakes in Washington County 123
FIG. 34. Point Lookout, Big Cedar Lake 128
FIG. 35. East side of Sheboygan Swamp 135
FIG. 36. Ideal longitudinal section of Green Lake 142
FIG. 37. Dartford Bay, Green Lake 149
FIG. 38. Terrace Beach. Green Lake . 151
The lakes of Wisconsin are of no small importance to the
state. If all other considerations be set aside, their money
value is many times that of an equal area of good farm land.
The prices obtained for lots fronting some of these lakes are not
exceeded except in the larger cities. The amount of money
brought to the state annually by summer residents of the lake
districts is such as to rank this source of income with the great
The scientific aspect of the lakes is no less important. Basins
capable of containing water are so numerous and so diverse in
character as to form a constant allurement to the study of the
geological history of the state, especially of that part of its his-
tory when most of the state was covered with ice.
The immediate purpose of this report is educational. It is
in accordance with this purpose that the report is issued as the
second in a series of educational bulletins. That lakes form a
large part of the natural scenery of Wisconsin is sufficient rea-
son why they should be utilized in the work of teaching. In
addition to their own importance as lakes, they show valuable
analogies to the work of the ocean. The same forces and pro-
cesses are at work here with the exception of those involved in
tides. The same forms are produced and their relations are
more clearly seen because their dimensions are smaller.
The lakes covered by this study are distributed over an area
extending from Waupaca county on the north to the southern
boundary of the state, and from Lake Michigan westward to the
Driftless area. The lakes are those which were included in the
hydrographic survey made under the same authority. The hy-
drographic maps thus prepared were used in the field as the
basis of work.
xiv IN TROD UC TO LI Y.
The field work en which this report is based was performed
chiefly in the summer of 1890 and completed in September,
1891. In the case of each lake or lake district, the topography
and surface geology of the vicinity were first examined in suf-
ficient detail to warrant the statements made about the geolog-
ical history of the basins. The shores of each lake were
traversed on foot or followed by boat, and in case of the more
important lakes both methods were used. The central purpose
of these examinations was to note the effects of the forces and
processes connected with shores, chiefly those of waves and cur-
rents. The work of these forces is revealed in changes now in
progress but more especially in the topographic forms, which,
in their manifold variations and combinations, make up the
varied scenery of shores.
In close connection with the study of shore processes is the
question of the power of the water on the bottom as revealed by
the character of the sediments. In the examination of these
sediments a considerable amount of dredging was done. In the
case of Lake Mendota Mr. Chancey Juday, under the direction
of Dr. E. A. Birge, carried on the work of dredging systemat-
ically during the autumn of 1900 and the spring of 1901. The
samples were taken with care and the depths from which they
came were noted with exactness. The study of these samples
is the chief basis of the discussion of bottom currents in Lake
It has been found advisable to devote a chapter of the report
to the work of waves and currents and to give a brief general
treatment of the topographic features which are produced by
their agency. The entire descriptive accounts of the shores of
the several lakes may be considered as illustrative of the general
principles in chapter II. A similar discussion (chapter I) is
devoted to the geologic conditions of the area and the general
principles of the origin and extinction of lake basins. The gen-
eral geology of the area as given here is based upon the reports
of the state issued under the directorship of Dr. T. C. Chamber-
lin. The geologic and topographic surroundings of each lake
are discussed in the chapters devoted to the several districts.
INTR ODUC TOR Y. xv
The plates are in large part from photographs which were
taken by the writer during the regular field work. Others are
from photographs purchased for the purpose. Plate XX is
from a cut furnished by the C., M. & St. P. Ry. Co., Plates
VIII and IX are from pictures in the collection of the United
States Geological Survey and were obtained through the kind-
ness of Mr. Bailey Willis.
In the field work and in the preparation of this report, the
assistance and counsel of the director of the survey, Dr. E. A.
Birge, have been constantly sought and have been uniformly
valuable. A special acknowledgment is here made of the assist-
ance received from Professor T. C. Chamberlin, consulting
geologist in Pleistocene geology. In some cases it has been pos-
sible to refer the suggestions received to his published works;
the personal communications were in many cases equally valu-
able. From Professor C. R. Van Hise, consulting geologist,
similar assistance was received.
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. I.
General Geological Map of Wisconsin, reproduced from Geology of Wisconsin, Vol. I.
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
LAKE BASINS AS RELATED TO THE GEOLOGY OF WISCONSIN.
GENERAL GEOLOGY OF THE AREA.
The strata. In the northern part of Wisconsin a large area
of pre-Cambrian crystalline rocks is exposed at the surface or
covered only by the glacial drift, (See Plate I.) The strata
of Paleozoic rocks dip away from this center and are exposed
(supposing the drift to be removed) in bands, the older and
lower ones outcropping nearer the Archaean center. For our
purposes the strata may be regarded as alternately hard and soft.
The outcrop of each hard stratum constitutes a ridge whose east-
ward slope is long and gentle in general agreement with the dip
of the stratum (Fig. 1) ; the corresponding westward slopes or
FIG. 1. Diagrammatic cross section of strata in Eastern Wisconsin.
escarpments are in places precipitous and bare of vegetation, but
in general they are much reduced by weathering and by the cov-
ering of glacial drift. At places these ridges have now a very
zigzag course, due to valley cutting by side streams descending
their scarp slopes to join the larger streams which occupy the
valleys on the outcrops of the softer strata.
2 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The three hard limestone strata whose edges are prominent
in the manner described are the Lower Magnesian, the Tren-
ton (together with the Galena), and the Niagara. In the east-
ern part of the state the strike of these strata, and therefore
the trend of the ridges is east of north. Here the Niagara es-
carpment is very prominent, despite the covering of drift. It
is much less serrated than that of the Lower Magnesian lime-
stone farther west. Among the pre-glacial stream valleys which
indent the margin of the latter are those in which Green Lake
and the Madison lakes are now retained behind dams of gla-
The glacial drift. In very recent times, geologically speak-
ing, most of the United States north of the Ohio and Missouri
rivers was covered by an ice sheet which spread southward
from several centers of accumulation in Canada. The glacial
invasion was repeated at intervals, some of which may easily
have been longer than the time which has elapsed since the
last disappearance of the ice. The lakes and other features
of glacial origin referred to in this report are concerned only
with the last advance of the ice.
This last or Wisconsin ice sheet was divided for some dis-
tance back from its margin, into lobes (Plate II). One of
these lobes occupied the valley of Lake Michigan and is known
as the Lake Michigan glacier. Another, the Green Bay gla-
cier, advanced through the valley whose center is now marked
by Green Bay and Lake Winnebago. For a hundred and fifty
miles the margins of these two lobes were in contact or separated
only by the ever accumulating moraine. This line reaches
from the place at which the lobes became distinct on the Green
Bay peninsula to a point south of Whitewater. Notwithstand-
ing the approximate or complete contact of their edges, each
of the lobes had the features of a distinct glacier, in that the ice
moved outward from the center toward the margin at all points.
The transportation of material below the ice and in its basal
portion was necessarily in the same direction. Hence along
the common margin of the two lobes drift was accumulated
from both sides.
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. II.
THE EXTENT OF THESE MARGINAL LAKES IS UNDETERMINED.
Glacial Lobes of the Wisconsin Ics Epoch, reproduced from Geology of Wisconsin, Vol. I.
RELATION OF THE LAKE BASINS TO GEOLOGY. 3
FIG. 2. Terminal moraines, adapted from Third Annual Report, U. S. G. S.
The result of accumulation of drift at the line of contact of
two lobes is seen in the very tumultuous ridge known as the
Kettle moraine. This is simply the combined terminal moraines
of two glaciers. In its making it was necessarily subject to
certain conditions which do not attend the making of terminal
moraines by a single glacier. The most important of these con-
ditions was a restricted drainage. The constant melting at the
front of two vigorous glaciers yielded a great volume of water
which could escape only by flowing between the glaciers along
the zone of accumulating drift. A very large part of this drift
has, therefore, been thoroughly worked over by water and laid
down as kame gravels.
The accumulation of drift was not confined to the margins of
the several glaciers. Deposits made beneath the ice are almost
universal over that part of Wisconsin which was visited by the
4 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
glacier 1 , reaching a maximum thickness of several hundred feet.
The surface slopes of this ground moraine are, in general, much
less abrupt than those of the terminal moraines. Being less
hummocky, it has also fewer undrained depressions, though
some of its undulations do contain swamps and lakes. (Plate
ORIGIN" AND CLASSIFICATION OF LAKE BASINS.
The basins of all the lakes referred to in this discussion may
be conveniently grouped in five 1 classes. The five classes may be
designated as follows : 1. Pits due to melting out of ice blocks.
2. Erosion valleys blocked by drift. 3. Valleys between ter-
minal moraine ridges. 4. Troughs of small glacial lobes. 5.
Undulations in ground moraine.
Lakes of each class may be distinguished in the field from
those of other classes by certain criteria to be enumerated bel-
low. In the area considered, there is occasional gradation
between classes, but in the large majority of cases the origin is
due mainly to a single one of the causes implied in the above
Pits. The melting out of any mass of ice which has been
incorporated into a deposit of drift, will cause a basin. Such
masses may be so included in various ways :
(a) In that style of terminal moraine which has been called
dump moraine, ice blocks may and sometimes do form a part
of the mass of the ridge. Their melting leaves pits or kettles
in the unstratified bowlder clay. Such kettles are small; they
lie normally on ridges, and rarely, if ever, hold water perma-
(b) When a lake borders the ice front, icebergs may float
out and ground, and these may become surrounded or covered
as the lake is filled with sediment. Pits produced by the melt-
ing of these are also small.
(c) The origin of the large pits which may contain good
lakes, and of the great majority of pitted plains in Wisconsin
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII, PL. III.
SHOWING LOCATION OF
RELATION OF THE LAKE BASINS TO GEOLOGY. 5
is connected with the habit of the ice during retreat. It has
been well shown by the studies of Professor Chamberlin in
Greenland* that the ice of continental glaciers is rather sharply
divided horizontally into two layers. The lower layer 1 carries
the debris, which may compose a large part of its mass. The
ice above this debris-laden portion is clear and free from load.
When the front retreats the clear upper ice may disappear rap-
idly, but when the surface of the lower layer begins to melt,
the 1 stones, clay, etc. fall from their places and soon form a bed
so thick that the ice below is protected from further melting.
FIG. 3. Burial of ice mass by gravels: a, Clear ice of upper part of glacier;
b, Debris-laden ice of lower portion of glacier; c, Burled block of lower
portion of glacier; d, Gravel laid down by streams issuing from the glacier;
e, Any obstruction to free drainage away from the glacier.
Thus it may happen that the front of the clear ice above may be
melted back some miles while masses of the lower portion lie
buried and stagnant (Fig. 3). It is plain that if the drainage
away from the glacier is vigorous, the detrital covering of these
remnants will be washed away and they will melt promptly, leav-
ing little trace of their presence. A sluggish drainage, on the
contrary, may not only preserve the covering, but thicken it by
constant deposit. When the aggrading streams from the gla-
cier have built a plain over such ice masses, their subsequent
melting may cause basins of truly lake-like proportions.! The
*Bulletin of The Geological Society of America, Vol. 6.
fThis conception was received by personal communication from Pro-
fessor T. C. Chamberlin.
6 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
conditions for such sluggish drainage were present to an unus-
ual degree at places along the Kettle moraine. (Described in
chapter VI on the Oconomowoc Lake District.)
The characteristics by which these basins are distinguished
are as follows: (1) The material is waterlaid, hence more or
less stratified, but usually quite imperfectly. It may all be
called kame gravel. (2) The level below which the basins are
sunk is a plain. This follows from the nature of the deposi-
tion and is a very noticeable feature. It may, of course, hap-
pen that pits are so closely crowded that their several rims are
broken and in places do not rise to the level of deposition.
(3) The steep slope. This may be called the pit slope or kame
slope, and is frequently almost equal to the subaerial earth-
slope 1 corresponding to the material. ( See Plate XXIII. ) The
melting out of an ice block, like the falling out of a bottom, may
cause the gravels to assume a slope as steep as the material can
lie. Cliff cutting would only renew or freshen the same slope.
In general the original kame slopes have suffered little reduc-
tion and are almost as steep as where kept fresh by cliff cutting.
Where cutting has been in progress at their bases and given a
greater steepness, a convex curve in vertical cross section is pro-
duced. This is often a marked feature. Where small bays
have been cut off by bars and reduced to swamp, the kame slope
may lie behind the swamp.
Erosion valleys blocked by drift. Pre-glacial valleys might
or might not be entirely obscured by the drift covering. Their
chances to escape filling were about in proportion as their direc-
tion agreed with that of the ice movement. If that agreement
was close the glacier might even deepen the valley by scouring,
though it does not follow that this result was necessary or even
frequent. The same valley whether deepened or partly filled,
might receive local deposits which would constitute dams when
the 4 ice retired and water again flowed into 'the valley. Some
of the finest lakes of Wisconsin were formed in this way.
These lake basins may be recognized in the field by the fol-
lowing characteristic features: (1) There must be a valley
in the subjacent formation itself and not merely in the drift
RELATION OF THE LAKE BASINS TO GEOLOGY. 7-
This valley may show itself in rock cliffs as on Green and Men-
dota lakes, or it may be known by exposures near the lake as at
Pewaukee, or it might become known only in the drilling of
wells. If the material in which the former valley was cut be
of an unconsolidated nature as an older drift sheet, the deter-
mination is much more difficult though not necessarily impos-
sible. (2) There must be a dam of glacial drift. This dam
may be of either terminal or ground moraine. Lake Mendota
is held by a dam of terminal moraine, while the divisions be-
tween the other lakes of the chain on the Catfish river are rather
inequalities in the ground moraine. (3) The surrounding
slopes show in general a ground moraine topography or the
veneering of an erosion topography. (See chapters on Green
lake and the Madison lakes. ) Thus they distinguish these lakes
in general appearance from pit lakes. (4) There is frequently
a line of lakes along the former valley as the Green-Puckaway
line and the line along the Catfish river. This is not always
present; Pewaukee lake, for example, is alone. Neither can
it be said that the lakes are always elongated in the direction of
the former valley ; Monona, for example, is elongated in another
direction and Lake Kegonsa is nearly circular. But whether
by a series of lakes or the elongation of one, or the mere contin-
uation of the valley, the course of the pre-glacial valley can be
fairly ascertained in all such cases in the area studied. (5)
When the depth of the valley has been increased by scooping,
the products of scooping may appear in the drift to leeward. It
may also appear in this case that the bottom of the lake lies
deeper than the bed rock under any portion of its rim ; in other
words, that there would be a basin in the bed rock if the drift
were removed, a condition which could not be brought about by
the mere damming of an erosion valley.
Valleys between terminal moraine ridges. That part of the
Kettle moraine which was formed between the Michigan and
Green Bay glaciers, has at places a number of nearly parallel
ridges.* When basins are enclosed between such ridges, they
*For description and mode of formation see chapter VII.
3 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
may be distinguished from those of other classes named by very
definite marks : ( 1 ) The ridges themselves must be recognized
as terminal moraine. The topography of the slopes thus has
an expression which is distinctive, at least from classes 1, 2
and 5. (2) Such lakes have their length in the direction oi
the terminal moraine. (3) The depth of drift on their border
must be such as to exclude them from class 2, though it may
easily happen that the line of terminal moraine may agree for
some distance with that of pre-glacial erosion. This is prob-
ably true of the moraine around Big Cedar lake, which is the
best example of this class.
It should be observed that even in this example there was
another factor concerned in the origin of the basin. While the
major features are those of a trough between two ridges of ter-
minal moraine, it is quite probable that but for the presence qf
ice blocks, the outwash from the glacieTs would have entirely
filled the trough with gravel as it partly filled it by a gravel
plain on the west side.
Troughs of small glacial lobes. The formation of such
troughs, containing finger-like lobes at the margin of the glacier,
may be illustrated in the origin of Lake Geneva. The spread-
ing of the glacier near its margin, together with its melting
along lines where the ice is thin, tends to cause marginal lobes or
scallops which may be so narrow as to have the form of fingers.
Such portions of the dying glacier seem to have occupied the
valleys of Lake Geneva and similar valleys north of it.* The
features which this lake shows are distinguishing features of
this class of lakes: (1) Their length is in the direction of
the ice movement. (2) They have the terminal moraine on
their lee end ; it may be also for some distance back along their
sides. (3) They cannot be accounted for as stream valleys,
though it is probable that such lobes would be located on drain-
*The direction of glacial movement assumed here is taken from the
General Map of the Eastern Formations accompanying Vol. 1, Geology
of Wisconsin (Chamberlin). More recent studies may assign a
different direction to the movement of the ice in the vicinity of Lake
Geneva and therefore exclude it from this class of lakes.
RELATION OF THE LAKE BASINS TO GEOLOGY. 9
age lines rather than on divides. This is the class of lakes
which they most resemble. They must be distinguished from
them by the absence of a rock valley at the level of the lake.
For example, in the case of Lake Geneva, the drift is very thick.
Whatever drainage valley far below may have determined the
glacial lobe, the lake is held probably one hundred feet higher
than it could have been, by the damming of any valley cut in
the subjacent rock.
Inequalities in ground moraine. To this class must be re-
ferred a large number of basins whose conditions of formation
cannot be more definitely given. They are (1) shallow, since
the curves of ground moraine are gentle when no other condi-
tions are prominent. (2) Agreeing with these gentle slopea
under their waters, the slopes of their shores are likewise smooth.
(See Plate IV.) This type grades into type 2 as the reason
for inequality becomes more apparently due to erosion valleys
in the pre-glacial surface.
EXTINCTION OF LAKES.
Even the so-called permanent lakes are but fleeting features
and are soon obliterated by the surface agencies. The recog-
nized processes in their extinction are three: the corrasion or
downcutting of the outlet, filling by detritus eroded from the
shores or brought in by streams, and the accumulation of the
remains of vegetable matter growing in the lake itself. To
these may be added filling by animal remains, for some marl, at
least, is of animal origin.
The proportions in which these three processes operate vary
greatly. It is estimated by de Lapparent that of all the detritus
handled by the ocean as shore drift, fifteen-sixteenths is brought
down by streams from the land, leaving but one-sixteenth to be
supplied by waves through the wearing back of cliffs. Prob-
ably the reverse proportion would be more nearly correct for
small lakes of the drift covered area. It is probable, for ex-
ample, that Lake Mendota receives fifteen times as much detri-
tus from the wasting of its cliffs (see Ch. II, page 23) as is
10 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
brought in by the Catfish river and other small streams. Lakes
having other topographic surroundings may differ widely in
these proportions. The smallness of stream detritus in the ex-
tinction of these lakes in the drift is due directly to the peculiar
topography and the small dissection of the land by streams, that
is, to the newness of the surface. As the surface becomes older
and more dissected the factor will become larger, provided any
lakes then survive to receive the sediment.
Several factors, however, tend to make the wasting of the cliffs
of these small lakes more rapid than that of the cliffs of the
ocean. The glacial drift is a very loose material; again, the
very absence of stream detritus enables the lake waters to ex-
pand their energies in obtaining load from their shores. At
the' present time also, the youth of the shore line is such that
a very large proportion of the shores is cutting. (See page 32.)
Lake Mendota is at least two-thirds surrounded by cliffs. Lake
Geneva has even a larger ratio of cutting to building coasts.
This process might at first appear to be a balanced one so far
as the extinction of the lake is concerned. It might be pointed
out that while the sediments thus won go to fill up the lake, the
basin is being at the same time broadened. But the increase
of capacity by local broadening of the basin is always less than
the decrease due to filling, especially when the shores are high.
Indirectly also, this process aids the cutting off of bays by bars
(see Ch. II) and hastens their extinction by vegetable accumula-
tion. Eventually also, the broadening of the marginal shelf,
which is the necessary correlative of cliff cutting, must favor
vegetation. Estimates of the actual amount of filling by detritus
received from the shores may be based on the known recession of
cliffs in historic time, or on the width of the subaqueous terraces.
Such estimates make it safe to affirm that if all such detritus
ever received from the land by one of the larger lakes of this
area were spread evenly over its bottom, the filling thus effected
would be expressed in inches or a very small number of feet.
Downcutting of the outlet by corrasion is a factor of greater
importance. Many of these lakes are fed so largely by springs
that the outlet is a stream of considerable power in proportion
RELATION OF THE LAKE BASINS TO GEOLOGY. n
to the feeble tributaries. In the area covered by this survey,
the outlets, without exception, flow over bowlder clay or kame
gravels, in which valleys are easily cut. It should be noted
that the pure water issuing from the lakes is able to do more
cutting in this loose material than the same water could do if
supplied with some sediment, The opposite statement, fre-
quently made, is true for outlets cut in solid rock, such as the
Niagara river. Here a certain amount of load becomes tools
with which to cut down the bed of the stream, but for the same
stream flowing over uncompacted materials, the so-called tools
are unnecessary and become merely so much load which hinders
the work of corrasion.
In this way the level of Lake Geneva was lowered at least
seven feet before the construction of the dam. One-eleventh
of its capacity was thus destroyed. In the same way Lake Men-
dot a lost probably one-seventh of its water, and other lakes lost
similar amounts. These fractions are much larger than those
which would express the amounts of water displaced by detritus.
It should be observed, however, that the corrasion of outlets be-
comes smaller as stream grading proceeds, while the load of sedi-
ment delivered by streams becomes progressively larger as the
topography advances toward maturity. This distinction must
be one of importance in case of such a lake as Green, whose bot-
tom lies two hundred and thirty feet below its outlet (ignoring
the dam). The lake will doubtless be extinguished long before
the stream has cut its valley to that depth. These outlets would
be cut down faster were it not for the regulative influence of
the lake on floods. So long as dams are maintained at a con-
stant height and ^11 the overflow is by one stream, the variation
in the level of these streams is very small. For most of the
lakes of eastern Wisconsin it is measured in inches rather than
in feet. The same amount of water discharged in occasional
torrents would do much more work.
Vegetable accumulation is more in evidence than either of
the processes considered above. The bottoms of many lakes are
covered with chara, eelgrass and pondweed. The surface at
the same time supports algae whose dead remains are added to
12 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the deepening mire on the bottom. Simultaneously hogs of
grass and sedge are pushing outward from the shores. Fields
of these heavy mats are loosened hy the wind and become float-
ing bogs, whose debris is dropped upon any part of the lake bot-
tom. Even the "cleanest" lakes give abundant evidence of the
magnitude of the effects of this process. At the west end of
Lake Geneva, the superb gravel beach separates the lake from
a broad area which was once lake, but is now filled with veg-
etable material. The large fields of pure peat north of Williams
bay and east of Buttons bay are about four feet thick over areas
which were once lake.
In the old age of a small lake vegetable accumulation is
greatly accelerated, so that the customary appearance of the
"dead lake" is that of a grassy flat where peat has taken the
place of water. (Plate XXI, Fig. 1.) This peat is often many
feet deep and the ratio of vegetable matter to mineral impuri-
ties indicates the rate of vegetable accumulation as compared
with that of detrital filling. Below this part is usually clay or
marl. This emphasizes the fact that the peat represents, for any
one spot, the closing stages of the lake's life. The clay expresses
the preponderance of sedimentation at an earlier stage while the
lake was deeper. At this earlier time vegetation was doing its
more active work in other and shallower parts of the lake. In
judging of the former extent of such a lake, it is to be remem-
bered that the surface of the flat is lower and therefore nar-
rower than that of the water was before, because it was only in
the old age of the lake that this process was able to entirely dis-
place the water. The final extinction may be by either of the
other processes, sedimentation or drainage, by the former par-
ticularly in arid regions and by the latter where the catchment
area is large and the stream which runs out of the lake is corre-
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES.
Like all topographic features, shorelines have a life history.
They have their infancy and their systematic development to ma-
turity and old age. Each stage has its own characteristic set ol
features. A study of these features as seen on any shore supplies
the necessary data to determine the age of the shore. As in all
geographic forms this age is measured, not by years, but by the
progress which has been made toward the completion of a cer-
tain work. What this work is in the case of shorelines may be
stated to better advantage at the close of the chapter. The pro-
gressive change from the time when the water first assumes its
level and rests against the new shore to the time when it has
brought its boundaries into such harmony with its movements
that no more work can be done, is termed a cycle.*
WAVES AND CURRENTS.
The immediate agents of work are w T aves and currents. Both
are caused by the wind, which may co-operate with them, or may
cease while their work goes on. The waves which concern us
here are of two kinds : those of oscillation and those of transla-
tion. These two kinds involve different principles of move-
ment, but it is probably quite generally true that on shallow
marginal bottoms both tendencies unite to produce waves of a
In waves of oscillation, which are the common waves on deep
water, no transfer of water takes place. Except where
there are wind-driven currents, the particles in one of these
waves move in circular orbits, each one revolving about the point
"Compare cycle of stream work; Salisbury and Atwood, Bulletin V,
this series; also page 32, at close of this chapter.
14 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
which it occupies when the water is at rest. It will be seen
later that in shallow water these circular orbits become ellip-
tical by the shortening of the vertical diameter and the length-
ening of the horizontal. If the water is drifting before the
wind, the path of each particle becomes a spiral.
FIG. 4. Series of particles in, their orbits. The circles represent the orbits of
the particles which revolve from left to right. At any given moment each
particle is advanced in its orbit ninety degrees more than its neighbor to
the right. The curved line representing the form of the wave, advancing
from left to right, connects the simultaneous positions of all particles.
FIG. 5. The same with orbits doubled in size; phasal difference forty-five
degrees; absolute amount of differential movement the same as in
FIG. 6. The same as fig. 4, with phasal difference reduced to forty-five degrees.
FIG. 7. The same as fig. 5, with phasal difference increased to ninety degrees.
A condition for breakers.
FIG. 8. The same as fig. 7, with orbits sufficiently reduced in size to prevent
FIG. 9. The same ag fig. 8, with orbits still further reduced.
Figure 4 represents a series of oscillating particles. The
several particles may be thought of as rotating in the direction
of the hands of a watch while the wave advances from left to
right. Each one is more advanced in its orbit (or has a more
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 15
advanced phase) than the one in front of it. By connecting
the several points a curve is produced which, has the form of
the water wave. The particle at the crest of each, wave is mov-
ing forward in the direction in which the wave is traveling,
while the lowest particle in the trough is moving backward at
the same rate. Particles in front of the crests are rising in
their orbits while those in the rear are descending.
It follows that a particle starting at the crest and making
one complete revolution occupies successively all positions from
crest to trough and back to crest again, hence the wave form
moves forward a distance equal to its length while each particle
is making one revolution. (Compare Fig. 10.) It has been
found that for waves of a given length, the time occupied in
one revolution is the same, whatever be the size of the orbit
and the consequent height of the wave.* This is equivalent to
saying that the rate at which waves travel depends upon their
FIG. 10. When the particles have positions represented by the small squares,
the wave surface is represented by the solid line. When each particle has
advanced through one-fourth of its orbit to the position represented by the
small cross the waves have advanced to the position represented by the
If each one of a series of particles is describing its own orbit
and the phases of successive particles differ (as shown in Figs.
4 to 9), it follows that each particle is subject to a gliding be-
tween its neighbors. The amount of this gliding will be spoken
of here as the differential movement of particles. For dia-
grammatic purposes, it is convenient to consider this differential
as a considerable arc of the orbit, hence particles are chosen
which are removed from one another by a considerable fraction,
of the length of the diameter.
It may be seen by comparing Figs. 4 and 6 that when the
differential movement between particles is great the length of
the wave is correspondingly small. As the differential move-
*G. G. Stokes "On the Theory of Oscillatory Waves." Cambridge
Trans., Vol. VIII, p. 449.
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
ment between particles is increased and the waves shortened,
the contrast between crests and troughs becomes increasingly
apparent. The crests are always deeper, shorter and more
sharply curved than the troughs.*
The limit of possible steepness of waves is the curve known
as the common cycloid. In this condition the crests are sharp
angles or cusps. Fig. 8 shows a series of particles in waves
of this shape. In figure 7 the differential movement of parti-
cles has been increased beyond the amount which results in
cusped waves. If the several particles of this series be con-
nected the resulting curve is seen to be looped instead of cusped.
FIG. 11. Decrease of orbits with depth.
The water surface can not assume this form, hence the wave
"breaks." A sudden wind may so augment the orbits of parti-
cles that the height of the waves increases more rapidly than
their length ; the differential movement of particles then becomes
excessive. Whitecaps are breakers resulting from this cause.
Later in the storm, the waves have lengthened and whitecaps
are less frequent. True breakers, as the word is used, result
from the interference of a shallow bottom, to be discussed later.
(See Plate XXXIV.)
*This curve, which is the trochoid, is generated by any point within
a circle rolling on a horizontal line. Lines of water particles which
are horizontal when at rest, whether at or below the surface, assume
this shape during wave motion.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES.
The diminution of orbital movement below the surface is in
geometrical ratio and very rapid. (Fig. 11.) A*rough approxi-
mation may be made by dividing the orbits by two, for each in-
crease of depth equal to one-ninth the length of the wave.* Even
this very conservative statement involves practically still water
at a depth equal to one-half the wave length, but no such simple
formulas are more than roughly approximate, and that only for
certain conditions which are assumed to be common. The solid
curved lines in Fig. 12 are drawn through particles having the
same phase. These may therefore be called lines of like
phase. The same particles would be ranged in straight
FIG. 12. Trochoid curves' and lines of like phase.
vertical lines if the water were at rest. In like manner all
particles on one of the trochoid curves would come to rest on a
straight horizontal line. Near the surface, the rectangles
formed by these lines when the water is at rest are greatly dis-
torted and rapidly changed in form during wave movement;
at a moderate depth their shapes are subject to little change.
*Prof. C. S. Lyman "A New Form of Wave Apparatus."
Franklin Institute, Vol. 86, p. 192. Formula
where r = radius of surface orbit; r'= radius of orbit at depth equal
to Jc; R = radius of rolling circle (producing the trochoid), and e =
base of Napierian logarithms.
18 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
When the depth of the water is so small that wave agitation
reaches the bottom, the orbits described by the particles, even at
the surface, are no longer circles but ovals resembling ellipses.
The bottom particles can, of course, have no vertical movement,
but retain their horizontal movement in straight lines to and
fro. The ovals approach nearer and nearer to circular form
as the surface is approached.
When waves advance on a bottom which becomes progressively
shallower, the effects may be seen at the surface in four changes
of form: (1) The wave becomes higher, the orbits of the
particles becoming larger, because the motion is continually
being transmitted from a larger to a smaller quantity of water.
(2) The wave length is continuously diminished, because fric-
tion on the bottom is shared by all the particles above, giving
rise to increased differential movement between particles. (3)
The crests become steeper and shorter in comparison with the
troughs, the necessary accompaniment of shortening waves.
(4) The form becomes asymmetrical, the front becoming
steeper than the back. This results from the more rapid move-
ment of the crest than of the trough, which in turn is due to the
fact that motion in the upper portions of orbits is less interfered
with by friction on the bottom than in the lower portions.
The breaking of waves on a shelving shore results in part
from their shortening and steepening as noted above; in part,
also, from the more rapid progress of crest than of trough.
On most shores, the breaking of waves (disregarding white-
caps) occurs close to the water's edge. Here the wave makes
a plunge. Between the shore and the line where this plung-
ing occurs, there is no true wave motion, merely an alternating
inrush and outrush of water. If the offshore slope be very
small, the incoming waves may break far out from shore. The
conflict of orbits in the breaking wave so reduces its size, that
it may recover its true wave form and advance a long distance
over the shallowing bottom without further breaking. It then
breaks again near the water's edge as in the ordinary case. If
the slope of the bottom be suitable, waves may break at some
distance from shore and advance inward with continuously
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 19
foaming crests. Even in this case there is commonly a final
plunge near the water's edge where the volume of rising water
in front of the crest is too small to continue the advancing form.
The crests of advancing surf on a shelving bottom are usually
in lines nearly parallel to the contours of its shore. Even when
the direction of the crests in the deeper water offshore is nearly
at right angles to the shoreline, they are refracted on the shal-
low marginal bottom into a position approximately parallel to
the water's edge. This is a necessary result of the retardation
of that end of the wave which first enters shallow water. Its
progress is delayed as if waiting for the more remote end to
swing round for a simultaneous advance toward the shore.
PIG. 13. Paths of individual particles during the passage of a wave of trans-
lation, the horizontal movement being the same at all depths, the vertical
movement decreasing with depth to zero.
Waves of translation, as the name implies, involve an actual
transfer of water instead of an oscillatory movement. They
are contrasted with waves of oscillation in many ways. One
wave of translation is quite independent of its companions.
It is true that the conditions which produce such waves on
lake shores generally give rise to a series of similar waves of
translation, but the propagation of any one wave is a process
complete in itself and the waves may be any distance apart.
A water particle concerned in such a wave is simply lifted
and carried forward in a semi-ellipse and does not return to
its former position. Moreover all water particles from sur-
face to bottom move forward the same distance 1 . Each one
starts from rest as the wave approaches, and comes to rest again
in its advanced position when the wave? has passed.* (Figs.
13 and 14.)
*See J. Scott Russell "The Wave of Translation." London, 1885.
20 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Such a wave can be produced only by the sudden addition
of a new volume of water to the lake or to some part of it. The
wave travels onward as described, to the shore where it deliv-
ers the extra volume of water. When the slope of the marginal
bottom is so gentle as to cause an offshore breaker line, such
waves may sometimes be seen advancing shoreward from that
line, their crests rising above the general level of the water,
the interspaces being quite flat and much broader than the
crests. The sudden supply of an additional volume of water
necessary to produce such waves comes from the plunging
crests at the offshore breaker line. Such waves break onshore
just as waves of oscillation do. They are not to be confused
with ordinary waves which are wind-driven or confounded
with current. They are best distinguished in appearance by
the flatness of the water surface between their crests. Under
favorable conditions, this phenomenon is well shown on the
shore of Lake Michigan at Jackson Park, Chicago.
FIG. 14. Direction of movement of particles within a wave of translation rising
as the crest approaches, descending when it has passed.
It is a matter of common observation that the coming in of
breakers on a beach is accompanied by an outward moving of
water at the bottom. The necessity of this is frequently due
to the fact that the incoming breakers are wind-driven and there-
fore accompanied by an onshore current at the surface which
must be compensated by a reverse movement below. When
there is no current due to wind, there may be, on a gently shelv-
ing bottom, almost pure translatory waves between the line at
which the waves break and the shore. Even where the waves
do not assume this character, common oscillatory waves on a
shallow bottom carry more water forward under their crests
than backward under their troughs for the reason that the mo-
tion of crests is less interfered with by friction on the bottom.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 21
The volume of water moving out as undertow is greater at
some distance from shore than near the water's edge, because
some of the water turns back before reaching the extreme. limit.
Its power, on the other hand, diminishes rapidly as the depth
increases ; increasing depth and cross section involve decreasing
rates of travel; power to move objects varies as the square of
this velocity. Again, the competency of a current to move
stones of a certain size depends, not on its steady progress of so
many miles per hour, but on its maximum rate even though kept
up for but a fraction of a second ; hence a given amount of water
passing out at a #iven rate as undertow will have greater effi-
ciency if its motion, instead of being uniform, be broken up into
quick jerks, between which there may be intervals of quiet or
even of slower movement in the opposite direction. This is
what occurs near shore where the same water which is moving
out as undertow is also subject to the oscillatory movement of
waves. This advantage, also, is rapidly lost as the water deep-
ens and the influence of wave oscillation is less felt.
This same principle of concentrating motion into sudden im-
pulses may sometimes favor the incoming instead of the outgoing
water. The water may be carried shoreward on a gently slop-
ing bottom, entirely by waves of translation, which are separated
by three or four times the length of one wave. In such a case
the shoreward motion will be performed in much less time than
that used by the returning water. It will, therefore, be more
efficient as will be seen by its effects in pushing sand shoreward.
The shoreward urging of bottom materials may also be favored
by onshore currents provided there is a lateral escape for the
water. If it must return by undertow sediments cannot be car-
ried shoreward by wind drift-
In general ic may be said that the slope of a marginal bottom is
rendered more gentle by the carrying of sediments outward from
the shore toward the deeper water and that the slope is made
steeper by the pushing of sediments shoreward, thereby adding
to the land and shifting the water's edge lakeward. These two
tendencies are in conflict. If the offshore slope is very steep,
the undertow is favored and the steepness is being reduced ; if
22 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the slope is excessively gentle, pure waves of translation are
favored, which carry sediments shoreward and co-operate with
currents, mentioned below, in building the land lakeward and
steepening the slope. Between the two extremes there is a
slope 1 which provides an equilibrium between the in-bringing
and the out-taking forces. This form is called the profile of
Shore currents, as considered in the modification of lake
shores, have their beginnings in the general drift of the surface
water before the wind. When this drift impinges on a shore it
tends to follow the direction of that line with a degree of detail
dependent upon the strength of the current ; the feebler the cur-
rent the smaller the sinuosities of the shoreline to which it can
conform. The return of the water may be by vertical or by
horizontal circulation. In the former case the return currents
are beneath. This is especially necessary where both sides of
the lake are equally exposed to the force of the wind and all the
water of the surface is thus driven in the same general direction.
If one side of the lake be relatively protected from the wind, the
return of the water may be by a surface current running con-
trary to the wind on the protected side. For example, a north-
west wind blowing on a small lake with high banks, may drive a
strong current south along the east side while the water returns
to the north under the protection of the high west coast. This
is sometimes observed but vertical circulation is more common.
SHORE FORMS DUE TO WATER WORK.
Forms due chiefly to cutting. When the basin is first filled,
the water rests against a surface which is in no way adapted to
its movements. Usually the coast line is far too much broken
by headlands and reentrants to be followed by shore currents.
The slopes of the marginal bottom have likewise no adjustment
to the processes which determine profile. The topography in
which basins occur is such that generally, though not necessa-
rily, salient points and curves have steep slopes both above and
below the water line, while reentrants are marked by gentler
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 23
When the offshore slope is steep, incoming waves suffer little
loss of power until the shore is reached. If the basin be limited
by vertical or very steep walls extending some distance below the
surface, the waves are reflected and do not break. Such a wall
may endure a long time showing little evidence of the power of
the waves. This principle is well known to engineers and is
applied in the construction of breakwaters. A talus may
accumulate by sub-aerial weathering which will offer the con-
ditions for breaking waves.
FIG. 15. Ideal section of a cut-and-built terrace (Gilbert).
When the slope is such that waves break, the mass of water in
the crests delivers a powerful blow as it plunges forward against
the coast. This blow may be very effective if the material of
the cliff be uncompacted, or if it be rock which is broken into
blocks by jointing cracks. (Plate XXV, Fig. 1.) But if the
cliff be of homogeneous, unfractured rock the most powerful
blow of water has little effect.* If, however, some fragments
be allowed to lie at the foot of the cliff and to receive the force
of the water's fall, these fragments will be hurled against the
solid rock with telling effect. Such "tools'' are early supplied
by cliffs themselves when composed of jointed blocks, but the
first ones are easily carried away to deep water by the outrush
which follows the breaking of the surf. They cannot lie on a
steep slope of the constructional shore. After this process has
gone on for some time a notch will have been cut in the steep
slope, affording a resting place for fragments which the surf
may hurl against the cliff. (See Fig. 15, also Plates XXXI and
*See Gilbert, Lake Bonneville, page 31.
24 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
XXXII, Fig. 2.) From this time forth, the work of cliff cut-
ting will be more rapid. The erosion is limited to undercutting
in a narrow belt which reaches little, if any, higher than the
crests of the waves. The cliff proper, or steep face above, is due
to the falling of material whose support has been cut away.
(See Plates VIII, IX, X, and frontispiece.) If undercutting
stops, the steepness of the cliff is soon reduced by weathering.
(Plate XXV, Fig 2.) If the cliff be high a small amount of
undercutting will cause the fall of a large amount of debris
which will require a proportionately long time for its removal
by waves and currents. The lower the cliff, the more rapid its
The rate of cliff recession varies with the strength of its mate-
rial, the power of the waves, the capacity of the currents whicK
must remove the waste, and with the height of the cliff. The
shores of Lake Geneva have at several points receded fully a rod
since the original government survey, made in 1835.* This
rapid cutting is very local and often very temporary. For rea-
sons depending on the recent raising of the lake level, the rate
is much too great to be taken as an average for the entire history
of the lake. The average total recession of all the cutting
coasts of this lake, since its formation, may be estimated at a
small number of rods.
The distance through which the cliff has retreated landward
is the width of a cut terrace, which has remained as the stump of
the bank which has been cut away. This shelf is usually
widened by the accumulation on its front of some of the waste
which the cliff has yielded. (See' Fig. 15.) So long as the ter-
race is narrow and steep, heavy stones may thus be added to its
front. As its width increases and its slope becomes more gentle,
this growth by building becomes slower and slower and may
cease entirely. At all events it is progressively limited to con-
stantly finer material. The terrace is constantly being cut down
by the waves and currents which wash its surface. The result
of this cutting is, in turn, to conserve the poweT of future waves
*Information kindly furnished by Mr. Beckwith of Lake Geneva.
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. V.
Beach on Lake Nagawicka, looking west. Currents from the south were unable to round the point suddenly
and have therefore built a temporary spit off shore.
Kame area near Oconomowoc.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 25
to be expended at the foot of the cliff. When the edge of the
shelf is distinctly marked, its depth may be 1 taken as that at
which wave action ceases to stir the sediments. (Compare
Lake Mendota, p. 52, also Green lake, p. 145.) This depth is
here spoken of as wave-base.*
Forms due to transportation and deposition. While the cut
or cut-and-built terrace is narrow and steep the resultant of all
th_> water's action on its surface has a strong offshore compon-
ent, which succeeds in dragging the products of erosion to its
outer edge and dropping them there in deep water. As the shelf
widens this becomes impossible and the pebbles on the Bottom
are then repeatedly borne to and fro within the breaker line.
The direction in which waves approach the shore is rarely quite
perpendicular. When the final plunge is made the water is
seen to run up on shore at an angle and to fall back again
in such a manner as to transport pebbles in a zigzag
line. This is one of two important processes in transportation.
The other, whose action is more widespread, does not require
that the materials to be transported (the shore drift*) shall be
caught between the plunging surf and the shore. It is the work
of currents rather than of waves. Currents alongshore are
more or less efficient over a considerable zone. Of themselves
they are relatively weak in stirring the materials on the bottom,
but where waves are active the currents need only take advantage
of the moments when sand grains are in commotion and pebbles
are tilted up on edge. At such times a very feeble current may
impart the decisive impulse which determines that motion shall
be in one direction rather than another.
The former of the two modes of transportation given above
is peculiar to the beach, a feature whose function it is to trans-
port shore drift. The latter mode is common to all bottoms
which are shallow enough to be reached by wave agitation.
Fragments of considerable size may be carried alongshore in
this manner where there is no water sufficiently shallow to admit
*Pollowing the suggestion of Dr. F. P. Gulliver Proceedings of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. XXXIV, No. 8, page 177.
26 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
of breakers. This. is true at Cedar Cliff, Lake: Mendota. (See
frontispiece.) The beach has some analogy with the 1 wave in
that its form is relatively permanent while the materials which
compose it are constantly changing. Its development at tho
foot of a cliff is begun when stones first find a resting-place
at the water's edge. These stones accumulate 1 first in reentrant
angles or small bays, forming bay-head beaches. ( See descrip-
tion under Lake Mendota, p. 46; also Plate VI, Fig. 2.) It
will be seen later how the beach also develops on slopes which are
too low for the profile of equilibrium.
When the beach is developed at the foot of an actively cutting
cliff the structure has but a single slope, but is steeper above
than below the level of the water in repose. This may be best
explained by the fact that the water in rushing upward from
this line is losing power and depositing load, while in falling
back it is gaining power and taking up load. Below this line
of the water's edge these conditions are reversed. The entire
shoreward movement is being constantly communicated to a de-
creasing amount of water, hence the power on the bottom is in-
creased, while in falling back the opposite condition involves
loss of power and deposition.
FIG. 16. Ideal section of a beach (Gilbert).
For the same reason the materials of the beach become prcn
gressively finer from the water's edge upward and also down-
ward from the line where the surf makes its final plunge.
Hence the largest stones transported are between these two
lines, under the edge of the water. This is the strip which is
continued in the subaqueous embankment (see below). It is
therefore common to see the latter made of gravel when the
beach above the water line is very sandy. (See Green lake,
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 27
Where the beach fronts a low slope, a ridge is built whose
back or landward slope is steeper than its lakeward slope in
front. (See Fig. 16.) This profile of the beach ridge is com-
mon to beach structures whether built at the water's edge or as
bars and barriers, originally constructed at a distance from
Where a current fails to conform to the curves of a shore-
line, its most common mode of deviation is to leap from head-
land to headland, cutting across bays, running tangent to tli6
shore at one or both sides. In this case the shore drift, which
travels with the current, is likewise carried away from the shore
and dropped in the path of the current. It is built into a sub-
aqueous embankment whose surface will be just near enough to
that of the water to bring the sand or gravel, of which it is com-
posed, within the competency of the current assisted by wave
agitation ; therefore the larger the individual stones, the nearer
will the top of the embankment be to the surface of the water.
The growth of this embankment is at the distal end, where the
stones which have traveled its length are dropped into deeper
water after the manner of the building of a railroad embank-
ment. Some material fails to make the entire journey and is
dropped on the sides, adding to the width of the structure.
Waves begin to break over the ridge and the dashing water piles
some of the stones into a higher ridge. Vegetation soon takes
hold and the structure is firmly held above water. The sub-
aqueous embankment has become a spit which has assumed
-all the functions of a beach. (See Plate XXII.)
Wind drift may follow an irregular shore more or less closely
but may lack the definiteness of course necessary to enable it to
hold its unity and continuity in crossing a bay. Such drift does
not build bars, partly because the material carried is being used
to fill the minor indentations of the shore, and partly because
the current is dissipated in crossing the bay. The resulting
deposit forms an indefinite shoal instead of a definite bar.
(See Turtle bay, Elkhart lake, page 132.)
The subaqueous ridge may entirely span the bay, in which
-case it is commonly called a bar, though the word bnr ;
28 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
frequently applied to spits having one free end and also to struc-
tures which have been raised above water and have become
beaches. The bar still further excludes currents and large
waves from the bay and thus favors the growth of vegetation.
If sediment is being washed in by streams that also is held in
the bay which, through these agencies, becomes first a swamp
and then meadow or forest. The bar, instead of connecting two
parts of the shoreline, may connect islands, or an island with
the mainland. For this variety the Italian term tombolo has
been suggested.* (See Plate XXVIII, Tig. 1.)
It happens, not infrequently, that while one set of winds and
currents has succeeded in building a spit in its own direction
another set of winds and currents may dominate for a sufficient
time to turn the point and form a hook. (See Plate XXII,
Fig. 2.) The spit may continue to grow in its initial direc-
tion and be repeatedly turned forming a series of prongs di-
recte'd shoreward from a trunk. (See Figs. 20 and 34.) Spits
may also be built by the turning off of currents from headlands
where there is no bay; they may then be turned landward
again, forming looped bars by a combination of currents which
it is not always possible to account for by the configuration of
the shores. (Plates XVII and XVIII. See Gilbert, Lake
Bonneville, p. 55.)
For various reasons the position of a beach once built may be
shifted farther and farther lakeward, its successive positions be-
ing marked by a series of be'ach ridges forming a wave-built ter-
race. (Fig. 19.) This is very frequent in narrow bays so situ-
ated that the currents on both sides set toward the head of the bay
at the same time. The water escapes by undertow which cannot
dispose of all the shore drift carried in by the currents. This is
then added to the widening beach at the head of the bay. (See
Elkhart lake, p. 133.) Again, a current which is able at one
time to conform to the outline of a bay, passing in at one side
and out at the other, becomes stronger and may not be able to
*F. P. Gulliver Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and,
Sciences, January, 1899.
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. VI.
Farwell's Point, Lake Mendota. The waste of the cliff lies at its foot and is hurled by the surf
against the base of the cliff.
Apart of Maple Bluff, Lake Mendota. A small bay-head beach shows the beginning of beach development.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES. 29
describe so sharp a curve after its course has been more smoothed
by the natural development of the shoreline. The cutting away
of small headlands and the filling of small bays and the similar
smoothing of inequalities of the bottom help to make for the
shore current a path along which it may travel with the mini-
mum waste of energy. When this has been accomplished the
current with its greater power, will sweep less close to shore
in the larger bays and their beaches will tend to move lakeward.
(See Lake Mendota, Plate XI, Fig. 2.)
The various forms of beaches, spits and bars may be, in the
main, regarded as attempts to bring the shoreline into harmony
with the horizontal circulation of the water. The barrier is a
feature of deposition whose function it is to correct the profile,
increasing the offshore slope where that is too low, by moving the
shoreline lakeward. (Fig. 17. ) It is, in a general way, parallel
to the shore, an offshore ridge which is built above the water level
in a manner described above, under bars, and which develops a
beach and substitutes itself for the shoreline. It is probable
that in some small degree the material which composes it has
been pushed shoreward from the bottom farther out. In the
main the material seems to be brought alongshore because of
the greater transporting power of currents along this line. The
ridge begins to grow along the line at which heavy storm waves
break. It is only when the offshore slope is deficient, that
FIG. 17. Ideal section of a barrier (Gilbert), showing how the offishore slope
is steepened by this feature.
there is an offshore breaker line. It is in this case only that
the line of maximum agitation, and therefore of greatest trans-
portation, lies offshore instead of at the water's edge. In its
beginnings the barrier is to be regarded as a train of sediment
moving along the line of greatest agitation, and not as a
depositional form laid down where it could no longer be car-
ried. When the ridge has been raised above water and become
30 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
a beach, it is equally dependent upon a supply of material,
without which it must steadily be eroded back. (See Gilbert,
Lake' Bonne ville, p. 40 j also the writer in The Journal of Geol-
ogy, Vol. X, p. 29.)
SHOEE FORMS DUE TO ICE.*
When a thick sheet of ice, covering a small lake, expands un-
der the influence of rapidly warming weather, the consequent
pushing may result in the overriding of low shores for many
feet by the edges of the ice. (See Plate XII, Fig. 1.) If the
shores be such as to offer great resistance, the ice itself may be
upheaved in long ridges. If the shore against which the ice is
braced yields before the enormous stress, its materials are
pushed up into an irregular ridge called the rampart. (See
Plate XIII.) In most cases ridges of this origin are readily
distinguished from beach ridges by their irregularity, both of
plan and crest, and by their composition, which is of the ma-
terials of the shore. The majority of old ramparts found are
of glacial drift which is rich in bowlders, for the simple reason
that ridges of such material are very durable. (See Elkhart
lake, p. 133.) Many ridges are of composite origin, their posi-
tions being determined and their materials largely furnished by
beach action, their forms and altitude being imparted by ice
Ridges are frequently met with, which in position and hori-
zontal form would be called spits, but whose composition is of
bowlders and thoroughly unassorted material. Such ridges may
generally be accounted for by the agency of ice, pushing up the
materials of a shoal bottom which a subsidence of the water
level has brought within reach of the ice. This occurrence is
well illustrated in the ridge of "Willow walk," Lake Mendota,
and in the similar ridge which extends northward from the east
side of Governor's island. (Compare Fig. 31.)
*See paper by Dr. E. R. Buckley in the Transactions of the Wiscon-
sin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, Vol. XIII.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORES.
Many lakes in the kame gravels have a characteristic shelf or
walk at the foot of their steep banks. This feature may have
any width up to three or four yards and is usually about two
feet above the water level. It is formed by successive additions
of gravel on its front. The gravel being incoherent and having
no great bowlders is pushed up from the beach to a somewhat
uniform height. Repeated contributions in the same manner
produce the terrace or walk. (Fig. 18, also Plate XXIV.)
The usual associations of this form are those of a slowly falling
lake level, a factor which aids greatly in bringing the beach
gravels within the grasp of the ice.
FIG. 18. Ideal section of an ice-pushed terrace, built of either assorted or
unassorted shore materials.
Perhaps the most wide-spread evidence of the agency of ice
is found in the lines of bowlders just above the water's edge.
These are rarely absent from shores where the waves are cutting
into bowlder clay. Such heavy bowlders are less easily dragged
off-shore by the outrush following breakers ; again, even at the
same distance from shore, their size causes them to be incorpor-
ated into the ice sooner than the smaller stones on the bottom.
FIG. 19. Ideal section of a wave-built terrace, built of assorted shore drift.
(See p. 28.)
A selection is therefore constantly going on, the smaller stones
being more easily carried off-shore in summer and the larger
bowlders being more readily pushed on-shore in winter. Wind
driven ice is often very effective in this process. (Plate VII,
32 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
CYCLES OF SHORE LINES.
In summing up the eftcts which the waters of a lake have
on its shores, a certain systematic development appears, by
which the features which indicate youth gradually give jplace
to those which denote age. Infancy is generally characterized
by irregularity and by lack of adjustment to the movements of
the water. This is seen when the water first enters the basin or
in case of a rise of level. Generally speaking its curves are short
and its bays and headlands many. Similarly the depth of the
marginal bottom lacks uniformity. Shore currents at this
stage lack continuity ; they are subject to eddies and whirls and
they penetrate even the minor bays. The erosion of the shore
is almost universal, its waste products being used to fill up minor
depressions and to pave the beach which is to be the roadway for
future transportation alongshore. This done, the currents take
on more majesty of flow, passing by the smaller re-entrants
which they span with bars built of the material of the wasting
headlands. This simplifying of the shore-line by destruction
and by reconstruction is the business of youth. Each step in
eliminating the smaller curves makes larger changes possible by
giving to shore currents broader sweeps and more continuity of
There comes a time when no more cut-offs can be made. The
beach then in use will not be abandoned for another as the shore
of a bay is supplanted by the bar in front. The beach at any
given place will change its position gradually, shifting land-
ward or lakeward, according as the balance of transportation of
shore drift is toward or from that place. The work of this ma-
ture stage* uses beaches which were being made ready in youth.
The methods of work involve steady progress, in contrast with
the sudden changes resorted to in younger stages.
For a long time, parts of the shore continue to erode while
others are building, but, with increasing adjustment, this too
*The significance of the word maturity as applied to shores has
not yet become uniform among good authorities. It is sometimes used
to denote a somewhat later stage than that described here.
THE WORK OF LAKES UPON THEIR SHORE 8. 33
must disappear. If little or no material is brought in by
streams the entire shore must eventually recede. The rate of
erosion must be slow, for the only disposition of the products of
wasting is by carrying out in suspension to the deep water.
The amount thus disposed of is limited by the comparatively
slow process of reduction to mud by extreme attrition on the
beach. If abundant sediment is brought by streams the bal-
ance of beach action may be in favor of building the entire shore
lakeward. Few shorelines reach a stage beyond maturity.
Lakes are such transitory features that they are usually extin-
guished long before maturity is passed. In the case of the
oce'an the rising or sinking of coasts brings about new shore
lines often at short intervals.
When a new shore line is assumed by a falling of the water's
level the banks are necessarily low and the outline consists of
broad curves. The principles applying to its development are
the same as those which control the case of a shore produced by
the original filling of a basin, but the variety of scenery is want-
ing. Barriers are frequently built along shores determined by
a sinking of the water level. As seen above, they indicate a
deficient off-shore slope. The normal profile of an adjusted
marginal bottom is found to be steeper near the water's edge
than farther out* A fall of the water within certain limits,
therefore, carries its edge down the steeper slope to a new posi-
tion from which the off-shore slope is deficient.
A new shoreline indicated by a rise of level is of the same
nature as that which is assumed when the basin was first filled.
This case is exemplified in many of the lakes included in this
report, whose levels have been raised by dams. Where the
water rises against a bank of kame gravels, a characteristic ter-
race develops, composed of the heaviest stones which can be
handled by the waves. The name breaker terrace is suggested
by the habitual location of the breaker line at the edge' of this
form. Its front has a steep slope, sometimes as steep as cob-
*The writer, Journal of Geology, Vol. X, page. 27.
34 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
ble stones can build, and it shows no admixture of finer gravels.
On its surface, finer materials are being transported among
the larger stones. Similar forms are built of lighter gravels by
moderate waves, but these are destroyed in heavy storms.
(Plate VII, Fig. 2.) Those built of the heaviest cobbles which
can be moved are persistent forms and are very characteristic of
lakes in the glacial drift, especially of those in the kame areas.
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 35
THE LAKES AT MADISON.
POSITION AND HISTORY OF THE FOUR LAKES.
The chain of beautiful lakes traversed by the Yahara or Cat-
fish river, bear the Indian names of Kegonsa, Waubesa, Monona
and Mendota. These lakes were formerly familiarly known by
number in the order in which they were reached in traveling up
stream, or northwest. Lake Monona is quite generally spoken
of by its older friends as Third lake and Mendota as Fourth.
Pre-glacial valleys. The quick eye of the explorer in his
canoe might readily have recognized what may easily be passed
over in these days of railroad travel, that is, that these four
lakes occupy a single valley. He could not, however, grasp their
close relation in origin, for that was before the days of the gla-
cial theory. It is only since the surface of northeastern United
States has been known tohave been glaciated that its various feat-
ures, such as lakes, rivers and hills, have been consistently in-
terpreted. The explanation of these lakes involves the delinea-
tion of valleys in which pre-glacial rivers flowed, rivers which
no longer exist, but which have left clear records of their exist-
ence and work.
One class of these records is visible to the eye of the traveler ;
it is found in the long, continuous though winding valley
partly occupied by the Catfish river with its chain of lakes.
This valley is carved in rock, which may sometimes be seen out-
cropping on the hillsides and stream channels, or it may be
known only by well borings. To the eye of the topographer,
however, the hills themselves reveal their rock cores by their
forms even where completely covered by a mantle of drift. The
foundations of some of these hills are made known by the flat-
36 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
ness of their tops and the steepness of their upper slopes where
the former rock escarpment is but partially obscured.
Another class of evidence of pre-glacial stream erosion is seen
on the geological map. From this it appears that along a strip
reaching southeast from Lake Mendota, the drift lies on older
and lower rocks than on either side of this strip. These evidences
warrant the following conclusions concerning the geological his-
tory of the lakes :
The Trenton limestone (Ordovician) once lay in an unbroken
nearly horizontal sheet over this whole area, as it still covers
the eastern part of the state and almost covers the southwestern.
(See Geology of Wisconsin, Vol. I, p. 260.) The Trenton it-
self was probably covered by one or more of the higher forma-
tions which now cover it in eastern Wisconsin and at Blue
During a very long time before the ice age, it may be
since Cretaceous time, while the' Wisconsin river was fol-
lowing its present course and making its present valley from
Prairie du Sac to the Mississippi river, it had a consid-
erable tributary from the southeast. The course of this trib-
utary was westward from the present site of Madison. Doubt-
less at the same time 1 another stream flowed southeast to join
what then corresponded to the Rock river. One or both of these
streams cut the long valley which extends southeast from Madi-
son toward Janesville and west from Madison to the Wisconsin
river. How much of this long valley drained northwest to the
Wisconsin River and how much drained southeast to the Rock
River is undetermined.
These streams began at first upon rocks not lower than the
Trenton, and probably not higher than the Niagara. This
means that the bottom of this valley may have been anywhere
from six to twelve hundred feet higher than the city of Madi-
son is today. The valley was carved lower and lower until the
beds of the 1 streams were deep in the Potsdam sandstone and the
streams themselves were running at a level perhaps fifty or one
hundred feet below that of the present lakes or Catfish river.
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 37
Strata exposed. The rocks exposed by this cutting were:
(1) The Potsdam sandstone proper. This was the surf ace rock
over nearly the present areas of Lakes Monona and Mendota,
and in the bottom of some tributary valleys on the north side for
at least six or eight miles from their mouths. It may be seen
now at the foot of the cliffs at Maple bluff, Eagle heights, and
the other rock cliffs of Lake Mendota. It is the bed rock over
considerable areas around the lakes, but it rarely appears in out-
crops on account of its friability and the drift covering.
(2) The Mendota limestone. (Compare Green lake, p. 141.)
This calcareous horizon in the upper Potsdam receives its name
from Lake Mendota, on whose shores its type is seen. It is best
exhibited at Maple bluff, where it forms the capping of the up-
land, sixty feet above the lake. Its base is perhaps thirty feet
above the water. It shows here one or more of the fine green.
bands so charactristic of the Mendota. Another characteristic
appearance, the chocolate colored mottling, is also well dis-
played. The same rock, with the same appearance, lies at the
top of most of the high cliffs around the lake, such as Governor's
island, FarwelPs point, Livesey springs, and Eagle bluff. It
has a faint dip to the south and appears at the water's edge on
the south side of Lake Monona at Ethelwyn park.
(3) The Madison sandstone is not conspicuous in cliffs. It
is softer and less resistant than the Mendota below or the Lower
Magnesian limestone above, hence its area of outcrop is usually
a gentle slope between the more obtrusive outcrops of the lime-
(4) The edge of the Lower Magnesian limestone often gives
steep slopes to the higher hills several miles from the lakes.
Beyond this border are large patches of St. Peter's sandstone
covered here and there with smaller remnants of Trenton lime-
stone. For more than ten miles from Madison all strata higher
than the Trenton have been eroded away.
Change of drainage by glaciation. When the last or Wis-
consin glacial epoch came on, the drainage was changed. The
ice lay upon Wisconsin, except its southwest corner. It cov-
ered the Wisconsin river valley as far west as Prairie du Sac ;
38 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the tributary valley from the southeast was covered to a distance
of eleven miles west of Madison and its lower course deeply
filled with outwash. When the ice retreated this valley was
left partly filled with a ground moraine, having an irregular
surface many feet above the level of the former river. Not only
this, but ridges of terminal moraine were thrown across the
valley, causing a slope to the east from the vicinity of Middle-
ton. The result was that when the surface waters again began
to seek the sea, they found a lower path southeastward to the
Rock river. The irregular deposit of ground moraine had
made of the old valley a series of basins which were filled with
water and whose overflow forms the lower course of the Catfish
Suggestion of ice erosion. The possibility, if not the prob-
ability, must always be admitted that the basin of Lake Men-
dota has been deepened by the erosive action of the glacier, so
that its bottom may be lower than that of the pre-glacial stream
valley. This process would be favored by the fact that the
length of the basin lies in the direction of the ice movement;
also by the fact that the basin is in the friable Potsdam sand-
stone. The very sandy mass of moraine of terminal aspect, at
the west end of the lake is in harmony with this suggestion.
Lake Monona has its length in the same direction and has at ita
southwest end a similar sandy moraine deposit. Lakes Waubesa
and Kegonsa, on the other hand, lie in that part of the valley
whose direction is transverse to that of the ice movement. They
are shallow as compared with Lakes Monona and Mendota and
have in their lee no such morainic deposits.
The deepest part of Lake Mendota is an abrupt pit, eighty-
four feet in depth, southwest of Governor's island. The depres-
sion has its length in a direction transverse to that of the ice
movement, which was in a general way west by south. Its
width from the rocky rim on its northeast side, seventy feet above
its bottom, to the rim on its southwest side thirty feet above its
bottom, is less than two hundred yards. Such a hole is not to
be thought of as excavated by ice moving in a southwesterly di-
rection. If its depth is due to this agency, there must have been
THE LAKES AT MADISDN. 39
local or temporary movement of the ice transverse to its general
direction. Such variations of movement do occur, following the
lines of well marked valleys. It is possible, however, that this
depression represents the deep valley of a pre-glacial stream,
having on its east side a rock bluff, and that this portion of the
trough was preserved, as transverse valleys sometimes are, by Its
temporary filling with fragments of ice. On this supposition
the beds of pre-glacial streams lay lower than the bottom of the
present lake, and however much ice erosion may have increased
the capacity of the present basins, it did not increase their
Drainage basins and lake levels. A drainage basin of per-
haps two hundred and fifty square miles discharges its water
into Lake Mendota. A part of this water enters as surface
drainage, mainly by the Catfish river and Six Mile creek. An-
other part derived from the rainfall over the same catchment
basin, enters the soil and reaches the lake as springs. These
springs may also bring water from beyond the limits of the
drainage basin, while ground water from a part of that basin
may feed springs which issue beyond its limits. The lower lakes
of the chain receive all this drainage which overflows from Lake
Mendota, and before Lake Kegonsa is reached the catchment
area has been almost doubled.
As the early settlers found these lakes, the surface level of
Lake Mendota was very little above that of Lake Monona, but
later a dam was built which holds the water of the former lake
five feet higher than that of the latter. The building of this
dam has had important effects on the shore features, as will be
seen later. When water first filled these basins, the level of
Lake Mendota, at least, if not of the others, doubtless stood at
least as high as, or a little higher than the level of the present
Mendota when dammed to its full height. The evidences by
which such a fact may be known may consist of forms which
have been either cut or built at levels higher than that at which
the waves can now work ; or the evidences may lie in materials
appropriate to beach action and found higher than the present
beach. As to the forms, some faint cliffs occur at the foot of
4Q LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the hills, both north and south of Six Mile creek, half a mile or
more from the present lake shore. That these are indeed cliffs
cut by the lake is made plain by bowlders which are strewn at
their feet, as bowlder lines are now found at the foot of any ac-
tive cliff in bowlder clay.* The soil and vegetation on opposite
sides of this line also show a contrast. The higher ground in
which the cliff was cut carries oak forests, while the lower
bowlder strewn ground bears only grass. A similar bowlder
line is seen at the foot of the hill in the swamp behind Univer-
sity bay. None of these evidences indicate a former level
more than two or three feet above that at which the present dam
is capable of holding the lake. Other cliffs are found in abun-
dance behind swamp lands, some of them so distinct as to be
scarcely distinguishable from cliffs now cutting, but most of
these do not lie above the present lake level.
Shores. While the lake has been losing in capacity by the
falling of its level, and by retiring from its bays, it has on the
other hand been extending its limits, along most of its shore line.
It is to this wearing away of banks by waves and currents that
the lake owes its fine cliffs. Probably two-thirds of the shore
is thus wearing back at the present time.
At any well exposed headland on this lake where the waves are
cutting back the shore, they are capable of cutting down the
shelf which remains where the cliff once stood, to a depth of
about twenty feet, that is to say, the wave-base for this lake is
about twenty feet below the surface. (Ch. II, p. 24.) An exam-
ination of the hydrographic map of the lake will show that
at the foot of most of the cliffs, the off-shore slope is compara-
tively gentle until the twenty foot contour line is reached, when
it falls off suddenly to deep water. The outer edge of this
shelf is the extreme limit at which the shore may have stood
when the waves first began to cut the cliff. Probably most of
the cliffs never occupied positions at the edges of their respective
*See page 31.
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 4.^
shelves. Many of these shelves have been broadened by deposit
on their lakeward sides as well as by the cutting back of the
land. Others may be altered from marginal shoals which ex-
isted when the basin was first filled.
Shelves or terraces formed by cutting alone may frequently
be recognized by the nature of the material which covers their
surfaces. If the cliff is cut in bowlder clay, the shelf will con-
sist of the same material. In this case its down-cutting must be
accomplished by the carrying away of such materials as the
waves and currents are able to handle. The bowlders and cob-
ble stones will be left in place but dropped to continually lower
levels as the clay and sand in which they are embedded is eroded
away. A dredge of the kind used in this survey, when dragged
over such a bottom, rattles over the larger stones and only occa-
sionally brings up gravel. The distinct shelves west of Picnic
point and Second point are found to have such bottoms.
ISTot all the cut terraces of Mendota show their origin so dis-
tinctly by a layer of heavy residual materials free from finer
stuff which might be handled by wave-and-current action.
Down-cutting shelves may be temporarily covered with a sheet
of sand, which is in process of transportation. The shelf may
be swept clean and eroded only during heavy storms, or by
storms from a certain direction, or it may never be free from
such a sheet of moving sand. A considerable amount of vege-
tation may still further mask the significant features and ob-
scure the real process. Where a cliff is seen to be actively cut-
ting, the shelf at its foot may safely be assumed to be cutting
down by a process which is always more or less intermittent.
Cliff cutting in bowlder clay characterizes many miles of the
coast. That on the west side of Picnic point is particularly ac-
tive. The cliff is nearly bare of vegetation. Trees at the top
have been undercut many feet. Large roots still projecting lake-
ward, show that when the trees were young, they stood a consid-
erable distance back from the brow of the cliff. Eventually
this process must destroy the point, possibly reducing it first
to an island by eroding away its narrower portion. The shelf
which remains at the foot of this cliff has been mentioned as
42 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
covered with heavy residual stones which reveal its origin as a
cut terrace. In passing around to the east side, the character
of the shelf changes. It is here covered with sand and mud sup-
porting a rank vegetation. The outline of the shelf is in exact
harmony with its origin, as indicated hy its materials. The
point has been cut back from twenty to forty rods on its west
side where the heaviest storms beat ; on the east side the cutting
is less active. Before the currents can be turned to follow the
shore, their momentum has carried them with their load far to
eastward where their energy is dissipated and the load must be
dropped. The terrace on this side is therefore of the cut-and-
built type (Fig. 15). It is quite significant also that the outer
edge of this eastward extension is a few feet lower than the
edge of the cut terrace on the west side. It illustrates that the
process of planing down a shelf to wave base is necessarily slow,
while the edge of a platform, which is being built of fine ma-
terials, is constantly at wave base.
The lake front of the city of Madison from Willow walk
(near the outlet) to "University bay is of the same nature. The
numerous piers now obstruct the shore currents and cutting is
doubtless less rapid than formerly. The fine cliff at the Uni-
versity campus is now much protected by its dense covering of
trees and undergrowth. Independent of protection due to vege-
tation, the cutting of such a till cliff becomes more and more
slow because of the bowlders which are dropped from its face
and accumulate at its foot. (Compare Green lake, p. 146.)
The effectiveness of this protection, both by vegetation and
by bowlders, is said to have increased greatly in the last twenty
years. Previous to that period the wasting of the cliff had been
a matter of some concern. This rapid recession was a tempo-
rary effect of the raising of the level. The horizon of wave ac-
tion had been suddenly lifted beyond the beach whose form had
become adapted to resist attack.
A fourth of a mile east of Second point, the style of till cliff
is varied by deep gullying; the same is seen north of Mendota
beach. This gullying is favored in each case by a long back slope
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 4.3
yielding a large run-off during rains and by an absence of for-
est. Both these conditions are fulfilled at all places on lake
Mendota where the cliffs are conspicuously gullied.
A very long and beautiful cliff cut in bowlder clay reaches
from west of Fox's bluff to the flat which borders Six Mile
creek. The distinct terrace at its base, which at a depth of fif-
teen feet gives way to a sudden slope into deep water", is of the
cnt-and-built type and probably in large part built rather than
cut. When examined by dredging, it was covered with vegeta-
tion growing in sand. The glacial drift in and near Fox's bluff
is very sandy and the material thus yielded has made a very
shapely beach. Toward the north the terrace becomes more and
more of the built type and broadens into the extensive shallow
in and in front of Catfish bay. The edge of the terrace just
north of Fox's bluff is at fifteen instead of twenty feet. This
means that wave base is higher here because of the protection
from west winds.
If the material in which the cliff and bench are being cut is
rock, the bottom is not infrequently found to be covered with
large fragments. Despite the apparent solidity of such a bot-
torn, the shelf must suffer continual downward erosion to the
wave base. This is accomplished both by the abrasion of the
fragments and the slow undermining of their foundations by
wearing away the rock below.
Such beds of fragments cover the broad shelf which lies west
and south of Governor's island. This shelf is nearly one-
fourth of a mile wide. At its inner edge is a vertical rock cliff
twenty feet high. It is impossible to affirm that all this was
once a land area belonging to Governor's island. Probably the
cliff never stood at the extreme edge of the shelf, out the whole
bench has been cut downward by the process described above.
No part of it is built terrace, at least at its steep front to the
southwest. The whole has the same form and features which
it would have if the cliff had been driven backward over its
entire width. On the other hand, so great an amount of erosion
would imply a perfection of beach development which does not
44 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
now exist and does not appear to have existed before the raising
of the lake level.
The phenomena off Maple bluff (Plate X and frontispiece)
are identical with those 1 off Governor's island, but the former,
sixty feet high, cannot be cut backward so rapidly as the latter,
twenty feet high ; hence the shelf below is narrower. Its edge
is also less sharply marked by a sudden change of slope, for the
reason that the slope of the original bottom was but little more
than that of the top of the cut terrace.
The fine rock cliff which stretches from Eagle heights to Mer-
rill park (Plate IX) is seen to have at its base a comparatively
narrow shelf, indicating that the recession of the cliff has not
been great. Three factors enter here: (1) The greater re-
sistance of the rock, as compared with the till cliffs at Picnic
and Second points. But the rock is the same as that at Gover-
nor's island and Maple bluff where recession has been greater.
(2) The height of the cliff. There *is a contrast here with
Governor's island but still not with Maple bluff. (3) The
smaller fetch of the waves raised by the heavier storms from the
west. On this point the conditions of cliff cutting at Eagle
heights are clearly in contrast with those at Maple bluff.
Other rock cliffs appear at Livesey springs, West point and
Farwell's point. At Livesey springs the weathering along
jointing planes gives scallops of unusual beauty; at Farwell's
point the falling of talus blocks has left the striking outline
called "profile rock." (Plates VIII and VI, Fig. 1.) The
freshness of this breaking suggests the rapidity with which cliff
cutting is going on.
Governor's island is an approximately circular landmass
about twenty feet high and fifty rods in diameter. On its lake-
ward or southern side it is composed of rock. The whole is
covered with till and the northern half of the island reveals
nothing else. It is now joined to the mainland on the north
by an artificial roadway. The question at once suggests itself
whether this island has been severed from the mainland by
wave action or whether it was united by a bar wJiich was subse-
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 4.5
quently followed by the roadway (see hydrographic map). It
cannot be known with certainty that the channel behind the
island is made entirely by waves and currents, but it has been
enlarged by their action and the island may once have been
joined to the mainland by a natural isthmus. The currents of
the lake (at least at its present level) do not favor a bar in this
position. That a large amount of cutting has taken place is evi-
dent from (1) the rapidity of cutting at present; (2) the rock
shelf of almost one-fourth of a mile south and west of the island ;
(3) the small island called Eocky roost which, with the line of
bowlders connecting it to Governor's island, is clearly a remnant
of a larger mass whose finer constituent materials were eroded
away leaving this pile of bowlders ; (4) cutting of the mainland
is now in progress on the west side to within two hundred feet of
the roadway. The island is likewise being cut on its north or
landward side. Similar accumulations of bowlders on the east
side strengthen the 1 inference. If the roadway followed the line
of a natural bar there would be on one side a beach, on which
shore drift would be in process of transportation by the same 1 cur-
rent which made the bar. If the roadway were removed today,
currents would again sweep through the passage and widen it> in-
stead of turning off from mainland to island (or the reverse), as
is done by currents which build bars. (Compare Plate XXVIII,
Fig. 1, Big Cedar lake.)
The structures which Lake Mendota has built are no less
significant than the cliffs which have been cut. The latter
show the quarries from which much material has been taken,
but this material has not been discarded in a disorderly way.
Every bit of beach is a busy workshop where the stones dug or
quarried from the cliffs are being broken up, assorted and even
polished, ready to be used in building. The structures thus
made are often of peculiar beauty. The exquisite curve of the
beach west of Picnic point is not surpassed in grace by any line
in architecture. (Plate XI.)
Much of the material cut from the cliffs has been used in
building the subaqueous terraces already mentioned. Though
46 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
hidden from view its function in its present place is very im-
portant. It has all been so disposed of as to make the patns of
currents smooth and regular. It is only by the gradual per-
fection of this roadway that the lake is able to build those more
impressive features which appear above the water. The clay
from the cliffs has in large measure been carried beyond this-
terrace. Being easily held in suspension there is no definite
limit to its distribution.
Of the third class of deposits, the distinctively beach struc-
tures, this lake has many and various forms. All stages may
be seen from the bay-head beaches (Chapter II, p. 25) just be-
ginning on an infant coast line, to old bars which are' now being,
eroded away a]ong with the cliffs from which they sprang.
The most infantile bit of coast on the lake is on the west side
of Maple bluff, probably at the steamer landing below Cedar
cliff. (See Frontispiece.) Even this coast had reached a more-
advanced stage of youth before the dam was built at the outlet-
Its infancy has been renewed by the change of level. The water
rose three or four feet against the vertical cliff so that large-
waves from the west no longer break but are reflected from the-
vertical or overhanging wall and lose their force and form in a
choppy sea. Here there is not only no beach, but at places,
no sljelf, sufficiently near the water surface to provoke breakers
and support stones within their grasp to be hurled against the-
cliff. The line of this cliff is serrated by more rapid erosion
in jointing cracks. (See Plate VI, Fig. 2, and compare Green
lake, Plate XXXI.) In these triangular recesses are seen the
earliest forms of beach accumulation. They have .been called
bay-head beaches. The accumulations of detritus at this stage
is slow. Temporarily they even favor greater erosion within
the bay heads than upon the headlands, for their stones are used
by storm waves to pound against the cliff. With the develop-
ment of the coast, these short strands will be extended laterally
and the gradually forming shelf at the foot of the headlands will
come to retain stones within the grasp of large waves which will
then form breakers and dash the stones against the cliff. With
THE LAKES AT MADISON.
the exception of Devil's lake there is no other stretch of shore
line so young in its cycle, on any of the lakes in eastern Wiscon-
Slightly more advanced stages of the same features may he
seen at some places on the south side of the bluff (Plate X),
also at Livesey springs, and at places from Eagle heights to
Merrill park. (Plate IX.) Along most of this fine cliff the,
development has gone still farther, so that a distinct shelf holds
stones which are moved by breakers, while gravels are sometimes
carried along shore between the heavier fragments. The same
is true of the other rock cliffs, as West point, Farwell's point,
Governor's island, and most of the south side of Maple bluff.
A type of structure representing a more advanced shore de-
velopment is seen in the bars which have not yet been raised
above water. One of these, more than a mile in length,
stretches across Catfish bay.* The area of the bay behind the
line of this bar was once larger than at present by one or two
square miles. There was then considerable activity of waves
and currents. They cut distinct cliffs at the base of the wooded
hills which bound the present grassy swamps. These cliffs still
remain, some of them a foot or more above the lake level at high-
water and having bowlder lines at their bases. From the fad-
ing cliffs which lie above the present water level, the lake has
long since receded. From other cliffs the lake has receded
so recently that the roots of trees still stand out just as they
were exposed by undercutting. This may be seen east of the
Catfish river, where the widening swamp is now crowding the
lake still farther from its former shore. That these cliffs
whose cutting must have ceased within the lifetime of compara-
tively young trees, should now be separated from the lake by
hundreds of feet or even yards of swamp is among the impres-
sive things which emphasize the rate of vegetable accumulations
when conditions have once become favorable. The swamp area
is in part delta, but the upper layers are largely of vegetable
*This statement supposes that the lake is held at the full height of
48 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
origin. This accumulation is still rapid, making the swamp
land less swampy and extending its area lakeward. Even since
the building of the bar some currents of less strength continue
to follow the shores within the bay. These and the pushing of
the ice have built some poor ridges of sand, especially on the
west side. On the east side for some distance north of the bar
the waves are still actively cutting a cliff in very sandy drift.
The stronger currents, however, no longer enter the bay but
cross it along the line of the bar. Their habitual course has
shifted even since the bar has been forming. This has resulted
in building repeated ridges or shallows near the west side in-
stead of a single linear embankment. The materials for this
building have come in large measure from the long cliff stretch-
ing away to the southwest beyond Fox's bluff. As seen on the
map the curve of the bar is a continuation of this line. Tk'e
cliff at the east end, capable of yielding detritus for the bar, is
now limited by the bay west of Governor's island. Its con-
tributions, however, have the advantage of being more easily
identified. The waste from the highly colored green layer of
friable sandstone in Farwell's point is easily traced westward.
Its disintegrated products recognized by their green color have
been dredged from the bar west of its middle point.
In the main it must be supposed that the position of the deep
channel which divides the bar into two parts, indicates greater
vigor of bar-building from the west than from the east. That
this channel is at times filled to a sufficient degree to allow the
crossing of shore drift along the bar is proved by the presence
of green sand from FarwelPs point west of the channel. Such
filling is only temporary, the lakeward current from the Bay
being sufficient to reopen the channel. The depth of the pass-
age may be expected to vary with the dominant current It
has been found to be as deep as fourteen feet.
Over most of this embankment the water when at full height
is still from one to two feet deep, but its building is probably
rapid and, geologically speaking, the time is close at hand when
this bar will be a beach and the bay behind will become first
swamp and later solid ground. The crest of this bar is of irreg-
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII , PL. XI.
Beach west of Picnic Point, Lake Mendota, showing smooth curve. The fact of transportation along shore
is emphasized by the accumulation of sand behind the brush.
The same. The beach at the left is a new shore line in front of the old bay. At the right is an old cliff,
cut when the currents were active in the bay.
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 49
ular height ; both horizontally and vertically its lacks the beau-
tiful curves which characterize structures which are purely of
beach origin. These irregularities suggest that when the level
of the lake was low and much of Catfish bay was swamp, the
pushing of ice against its grassy front added to the height of the
beach. The ridge, where broad and indefinite, may owe much
of its volume to the wrinkling exemplified in Plate XIII, Fig. 2.
Another bar, in every way similar, now spans University bay.
The water over this line is generally less than six inches. The
cliffs at both its ends are actively contributing to its building
and it will probably assume the functions of the beach even
earlier than the one in front of Catfish bay. The interest in
this bay lies in the fact that the present bar building is the sec-
ond attempt to simplify the shoreline in this quarter. When
the shore currents were following shorter curves and penetrating
farther into bays, they built a bar along the line of the present
lake shore drive. This older bar was raised above water and
had become the beach probably before the present bar began
building. It is possible that when Picnic point has been en-
tirely cut away, and the bay in front of the present bar has been
still further shallowed, a new system of currents may build
another bar still farther out.
The future appearance of the bars which now lie below the
surface in Catfish and University bays may be seen in the fine
beach west of Picnic point. This beach lies upon a bar which
has been raised fully two feet above high water. It is thirty
feet broad between the lake in front and the swamp behind. Its
form in vertical cross section is true to the ideal diagram * and
the curve of its shoreline is symmetrical and beautiful. (Plate
XI, Fig. 1.) At its east end may be seen, side by side, the old
cliff which was cut when the currents entered the bay, and the
new beach which marks the simplified shoreline. (Plate XI,
Fig. 2.) The common future of beach structures, if the cycle
be not interrupted, is readily foreseen in this instance. Picnic
point will disappear in a few centuries and leave the bar exposed
*See Fig. 17.
50 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
to the waves. The shoreline will then not only be pushed hack
to its original position behind the present swamp, but will con-
tinue to recede while the cycle continues.
A similar beach ridge of long and graceful curve borders the
head of the bay north of Maple bluff. Here, as in the case of
the older bar in University bay, a part of the ridge has been
altered for a roadway, but its character is evident. At the
southeast end, the old cliffs of the lake in its former extent are
Again at the west end of the lake a ridge nearly a mile in
length runs south from Pheasant Branch. The constituent ma-
terial of this ridge is more sandy, in contrast with the gravelly
character of the others mentioned. This results from the sandy
character of the cliff to the south from which much of its mate-
rial has been derived. The ridge is fully one hundred feet
wide at its south end where its flat surface is covered with forest
of oak and hickory and is occupied by cottages. The bay which
was cut off by this former bar has advanced beyond the condi-
tion of swamp. It is a meadow or rather savanna having occa-
sional trees overlooking broad fields of grass. The beach be-
tween Mendota beach and Merrill springs is of the same kind.
While the long beach ridge south of Pheasant Branch was
built largely of the waste of the sandy cliff to the south, this
process is now about at an end. The hydrographic map shows
that the offshore slope is about the same in front of cliff and bar.
The state of equilibrium has about been reached. Both are now
about equally exposed to the waves. The cliff, while remaining
steep from its recent cutting, is now receding slowly, if at all,
so that a dense thicket is supported on its front. The beach
ridge must be widening slowly, if at all. It sometimes receives
large additions of sand on its front by the pushing of the ice,
but these may be entirely removed before the next addition is
made. In a comparatively short time, the shores of both high-
land and savanna will be experiencing the same degree of cut-
ting or the same degree of filling.
Probably the shoreline most advanced in its cycle is at the east
side of the lake, south of Maple bluff. For a half mile south
THE LAKES AT MADISON.
of the steamboat landing at the golf grounds, is a low cliff, cut-
ting rapidly in a narrow ridge of nearly pure sand. A spit has
been built southward from this cliff in front of a small bay one-
half mile north of the outlet (Fig. 20). This work was done by
currents from the north and the growing spit might have been ex-
FIG. 20. East Bay, Lake Menclota: a, Low and rapidly receding cliff in sandy
material; b, Spit which is being cut back as the cliff recedes; c, Hooks
formed by currents setting into the bay; d, Looped bar which has 1 grown
from the cliff onjthe south.
pected to span the bay as a bar; but the exposure to the west
winds is such that the point of the spit was turned sharply into
the bay, making a hook of acute angle. As is frequently the
case with such hooks, the turn has been made at several succes-
sive stages of growth, thus making two or three hooks on the
52 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
same trunk. A similar spit growing northward from the cliff
south of the bay has been turned shoreward in a curve and
united again with the mainland, forming a loop, enclosing a
swamp. The advancement in the cycle is marked by the cutting
away of the fronts of these beach structures. When the cliffs
from which they grew held their positions farther to the west,
the spits were built in continuation of the same line. With the
recession of the cliffs comes the recession of the beach structures.
This is especially marked in the one from the north, which
springs from a cliff of sand ; trees which have grown upon the
spit are now undercut and falling into the water. When the line
of cliffs and beach ridges has been pushed back a little farther
there will be no bay and no necessity for spits and bars. The
transient character of beach structures is well illustrated here.
Ice ramparts are seen in typical form on this lake. Many
of them were renewed and enlarged by the powerful pushing of
the ice in the spring of 1899.* (Plates XII and XIII.)
Those on the east side of Picnic point rise at places ten feet
above the lake. The trees upheaved in their making, which
continue to stand with roots exposed, or to lie in disordered posi-
tions are calculated to excite the attention of the most indiffer-
ent. Equally picturesque results were produced west of the pier
at the state hospital for the insane. Older forms of the same
type are seen north of Morris park, and at various places for
An illustration of a different sort is found at Willow walk.
This is a ridge extending a fourth of a mile south from the x ou1r
let to a low cliff, cutting in the till. For a part of this distance
the ridge lies between the lake and a swamp below the lake level.
The adjacent lake bottom is strewn with bowlders and cobble
stones. The ridge is composed of similar heavy stones and is
primarily an ice rampart, though a portion of its north end is
artificial and the entire ridge has been increased artificially to
serve as a dam. In this case the bowlders have been gathered
*E. R. Buckley Ice Ramparts. Transactions of the Wisconsin Acad-
emy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, Vol. XIII.
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 53
by the ice from the bottom of the shallow margin. It will be
observed that this rampart lying between lake and swamp (re-
cently converted into park) and united at one end to a cliff, has
the exact relations of a spit. This is by no means uncommon ;
a similar one projects northward on the east side of Governor's
island, and another heads westward across the mouth of Pheas-
ant Branch creek. (Compare Sheboygan swamp, page 135.)
Its origin has nothing in common with that of spits except that
each indicates the path of shore currents. The lake in its
early high stage doubtless covered the present line of Willow
walk, as well as the flats to the east; but the same low ridge
which is now parallel with the shore, farther south, extended as
a shoal to the outlet. This shoal was cut down by the erosion of
its transportable materials leaving its surface covered with large
stones. As the level of the lake sank with the cutting down of
the outlet, these stones came within the grasp of the ice which
pushed them outward into a ridge. The cliffs to the north and
south continue to retreat and the shoal in front of the rampart
continues to cut down. Willow walk has the same tendency
to shift its position to the east, which is seen in the beach ridges
adjacent to East bay.
Transportation beyond wave-base. Along a considerable por-
tion of the shore of Lake Mendota there is a distinct marginal
shelf or terrace. This belt slopes outward gently to a depth
varying from fifteen to twenty feet. Its width varies from a few
rods to nearly half a mile. At its edge begins a steeper, some-
times very steep, descent to the depths of the lake. This marginal
shelf is in part cut terrace and in part cut-and-built. Where it
results from cutting alone its surface is strewn with the heavier
stones which could not be removed by the currents but have been
let directly down by the erosion of the sand, sandstone or bowlder
clay on which they rest. This is well illustrated at the north
end of Picnic point where the cliff and shelf are cut in the drift ;
also on the southwest side of Governor's island where the cut-
ting is in the Potsdam sandstone. Where the shelf is of the
cut-and-built kind it is covered either at its edge or over its entire
width with finer materials, brought by the currents and under-
54: LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
tow. Examples of this kind are seen east of Picnic and Second
points and off the coast of Morris park.
The existence of the well marked edge of the shelf shows that
the processes concerned in its making come to a, definite stop at
a depth of fifteen or twenty feet. The cause of this stop is inter-
preted to be the inability of the waves to agitate the fine parti-
cles at greater depth. Beyond this line the processes associated
with the shore do not operate. So far as they are concerned
(shore currents, wave action and undertow) the deeper bottom
beyond twenty feet would be mantled with a continually thicken-
ing sheet of mud.
Dredgings show that such a uniform sheet of mud does not
exist at depths beyond wave-base.* The change from sand to
mud occurs at many places at depths from forty to fifty feet.
On certain spots large gravel stones or even bowlders are found
at like depths.
At a few points the front of the terrace is so steep that stones
may be supposed to have descended under the influence of grav-
ity with little help from the movements of the water. Such a
slope is found off Picnic point where the steepest gradient is one
foot in six or eight feet (see hydrographic map). Here gravel
stones one-half inch in diameter were brought up from a depth
of fifty-five feet, but the action of gravity on a steep slope cannot
be invoked because the gravel is found at least ten rods beyond
the foot of the steep slope. The shoal off Second point has on its
east side a very steep descent where sands and gravel are? found
more than fifty feet deep. On the west side of the same shoal
these materials which show the power of water are found from
twenty to forty rods beyond the foot of the' steep slope and rest-
ing on a comparatively level bottom. The shoal west of this one
shows similar phenomena, bowlders at a depth of twenty-three
feet, cobble stones at forty-five feet and coarse gravels at more
than fifty feet on a slope so faint that rolling under the' influence
of gravity alone cannot be supposed. The shoal west of the outlet
*Most of the dredgings on which this discussion is based were made
by Mr. Chancey Juday, for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural His-
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 55
shows similar stones at nearly fifty feet on a nearly level bottom.
Perhaps the steepest slope in the lake is at the front of the ter-
race southwest of Governor's island. It descends to a hole
eighty-four feet deep, the deepest point in the lake. Not only
does the sand cover the front of this steep slope to its bottom, but
it is found on the ascent beyond the hole up to a depth of seventy-
eight feet, beyond which mud prevails on a shallower bottom.
The gentle slopes of the bottoms from which many of these
coarser sediments were dredged excludes the supposition that
they were brought here through quiet water. !N"or is it suppos-
able that these materials represent the undisturbed original bo1>-
tom of the basin. The constantly accumulating sheet of mud
must, under all ordinary conditions, have been far thicker than
necessary to hide all the gravels of the original bottom. There re-
main two possible explanations of their presence: (1) That they
were carried to their present position by deep currents. (2)
That they are residual material out of which the finer constitu-
ents have been washed by deep currents. The first supposition
is favored by a suggestion of gradation in the size of the stones
as the water becomes deeper. Bowlders were not definitely
located at a greater depth than twenty-three feet (on the shoal
between Eagle heights and Fox's bluff), and sands were gen-
erally found beyond the limits of gravel. The determination
of this gradation was not very decisive as the presence of the
larger stones could be known only by the behavior of the dredge
which could not lift them.
The supposition that the stones found are residual material
from which the finer constituents have been eToded, requires less
vigor of circulation than the above supposition, because currents
of less power would suffice to carry away the finer constituents.
It is probable that this is the dominant process though it would
be impossible for either process to go on without the other. If
the heavy stones found near some of the well formed marginal
terraces are habitually transported by currents it is difficult to
see how the neighboring shelves themselves can preserve their
forms. It is safe to say that the activity of the deep currents
of Lake Mendota is at least great enough to erode the finer con-
56 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
stituents from the gravels. It is highly probable that in this
process the heavy gravels themselves suffer some movement.
These deep currents are the necessary correlative of the wind
drift at the surface. The corresponding return currents may be
at the surface but this horizontal circulation is rare. When the
return is by vertical circulation the lower member may be a
uniform sheet moving in a direction opposite to that of the sur-
face member ; or the irregularities of the shore and bottom may
make the movement of the sheet very unequal and may give to
it locally almost any direction or any intensity.
The investigations on temperature conducted by Dr. Birge
point to the conclusion that when the lake has a strongly
marked direct thermal stratification, as in summer, when the
temperature of the water varies inversely with the depth,
there is little or no circulation of water at the bottom due to
wind currents or any other cause. The lower member of the
circulation does not reach the bottom and the form of the
current would not be influenced by bottom topography. It
is when the lake is homothermous that the currents may reach
the bottom. Their power at such times would probably still be
very small if not concentrated along certain lines by the influ-
ence of an irregular bottom topography and shore contours.
That such concentration does take place is shown by the local
nature of the stony deposits on the deeper bottoms and the preva-
lence of fine mud even at smaller depths. Such concentrations
might well be expected at the foot of shoals, and this is where the
stony sediments have been most noticeable. The end of Picnic
point would be expected to show similar evidences of erosive
power, which it does. The front of the shelf southwest of Gov-
ernor's island is also favorably located.
SHORES OF LAKE MONONA.
The shores of Lake Monona have much the same aspect as
those of Lake Mendota. The only differences which appear are
those which would be expected from its smaller size. Wave
action is less vigorous, hence cliff cutting is less rapid and the
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 57
faces of the cliffs are more densely overgrown with trees and
underbrush. An additional reason for less vigorous cliff cutting
lies in the fact that the level of Lake Monona has not been raised
by a dam. (Compare Lake Mendota, page 42.)
The hydrographie map also shows that the descent to deep
water, where this is at all abrupt, begins at a higher level
than it does in the larger lake. This indicates that wave
agitation becomes ineffective at a less depth. If the shelf at the
inlet of Lake Monona be compared with the shelf off Morris
park, a part of Lake Mendota equally protected from the strong-
est winds, it will be seen that the former ceases at a depth of ten
feet, the latter at fifteen feet. It is also probable that such a
small and shallow bay as the one west of Ethelwyn park, would
long ago have been spanned by a bar, had it occurred in the
larger lake. Such conclusions, however, are always venture-
some, because of the difficulty of predicting the exact form of a
current after a series of rebounds.
Along almost the entire frontage of the city of Madison from
the crossing of the railroad tracks almost to the inlet, the lake
lies against a high shore of glacial drift. Though classed as a
cutting coast, it cannot be said to be actively retreating now, for
much of it is protected by artificial structures which are renewed
as fast as they are worn away by water and ice. This lake front
is more used than that of Mendota and the numerous piers ob-
struct the movements of shore drift, causing local accumulations.
These structures themselves, of course, receive the destructive
wear which would otherwise be performed upon the shore; if
not repaired from time to time they would finally disappear and
the shoreline would resume its retreat.
The marginal shelf for a width of forty to eighty rods may be
classed as cut terrace. Out to a depth of ten feet its surface
carries stones too heavy to be transported by currents. As in all
such cases this indicates merely that the shelf has been cut down ;
it does not follow that the whole area was once land. This shelf
at its northeast end is continuous with the distinctly built ter-
race in front of the inlet. (Compare map of Mendota from
Morris park to the inlet.)
58 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The highland at Elmside has suffered much wasting by the
waves and this process still continues active, but the bench at
the foot of the cliff is nowhere covered with heavy residual
stones. Some of these must lie embedded under the marginal
sands. They have no doubt been at times uncovered, but they
are now concealed beneath a sheet of sand. As the offshore
depth is diminished by this sheet, the cliff must retreat with ever
When the lake was new, the Catfish river entered a consider-
able bay, which covered the area of the present flats on both sides
of the inlet. This bay was no doubt shallow from the first.
The currents which ran across its front were scattered and irreg-
ular drift rather than currents, and built no well defined bars.
The load which they carried was spread out in the finely marked
marginal shelf, extending outward to ,a depth of ten feet. In
the filling of some bays, the bar is the initial factor, causing
stagnation of the lagoon behind, which in turn favors its filling
by vegetation. This bay was sufficiently shallow so that vegeta-
tion flourished without the protection of a bar, and the ridges
which now appear near the shore of the marsh came into exist^
ence only after the rising surface of the marsh and the falling
level of the lake made ice push possible. They are ice ridges
built of such fine bottom deposits as the currents could transport
among the rushes and other vegetation. l^ear the highlands
which limit the swamp both east and south, these irregular
ridges unite into single well defined ice ramparts containing
many bowlders, showing that the bottom within reach of the ice
has at one time been bowlder strewn. (Compare Willow walk,
Beyond Elmside, the shore turns to the southeast and is low
and sandy for nearly a mile. Starkweather's creek enters here
through a swampy flat, similar to that which borders the Catfish
river. Here again the swamp is fronted by a ridge. For pur-
poses of study it is to be regretted that the making of the wagon
road has for some distance obscured the original features of this
ridge, but the larger part remains unaltered and clearly distin-
guishes the ridge in form and origin from the one before men-
THE LAKES AT MADISON. 59
tioned. In this case bar building was the initial step in con-
verting the bay into a land surface. Beach action is here well
developed, partly, no doubt, because of better exposure to the
prevailing winds. A strong bar was built southeastward and
another came to meet it from the opposite direction. The
growth of the embankment from the northwest was so vigorous
that the mouth of Starkweather's creek was crowded farther and
farther southeastward. The creek now turns at a right angle
.and flows for one hundred and twenty rods parallel to the shore
before it succeeds in entering the lake. ( See hydrographic map. )
Going south beyond the stream for more than half a mile, the
shore again comes to be against a cliff cut in drift ; but before
the shoreline meets the hills, the former cliff may be seen to the
east beyond a flat strip. The old cliff is best seen south of the
ice houses which stand on the flat between it and the present
shore. This flat consists partly of a very broad beach ridge of
sand and gravel five or six feet above the water, and partly of a
narrow strip of meadow between the ridge and the old cliff.
The base of the cliff is now at least five feet above the lake. It
is not "safe, however, to conclude that the lake was five feet
higher for the meadow itself may have been raised by tHe accu-
mulation of muck.
Beyond the highland mentioned above, and the small bay
whose shore is marked by an ice rampart, in front of a low val-
ley, is the cliff at Allis's. This is one of the few places where
the waves of this lake are cutting in rock. The adjacent mar-
ginal bottom shows the features of a cut terrace, that is, a rocky
bed out to a depth of six feet. Doubtless the same feature
would be seen continuing further out to deeper water if not cov-
ered by the work of terrace building. The rock disappears be-
fore Keyes' spring is reached.
Southwest of this spring is another area of lowland, in front
of which a massive tree-covered beach ridge extends for some
distance southwestward from the cliff spoken of above. At its
widest point it reaches one hundred feet but it narrows to a sin-
gle ice rampart of bowlders which continues for sixty rods to the
next cliff. This part of the shore has had a different history.
6Q LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The presence of these bowlders pushed up from the adjacent
bottoms where others still remain shows that the shore at this
place is at least not receiving permanent deposits. It is possi-
ble that these bowlders lay on the original surface of a sHoal,
but it is more probable that the shoal has been suffering down-
cutting, leaving a larger proportion of heavier stones than was
found on the original surface.
From this point to Winnequah the shore is one long cliff cut
in till and continuing to cut, though not rapidly. A slowly
wasting till cliff is nowhere better illustrated. It is almost all
forested and its steeper parts are covered with dense under-
growth. At its foot is the characteristic bowlder line. The
adjacent bottom which has been cut down to allow the waves to
attack the shore is strewn with bowlders and cobbles, which
could not be carried away.
South of Winnequah a peninsula of swampland extends into
the outlet bay. Its position suggests that it is a wasting and not
a growing form. It is fronted by a ridge reaching from Winne-
quah far around into the bay ; but this ridge is not a loop bar be-
hind which an area once lake is being converted into dry land ;
it is a rampart, containing heavy stones, which were left on the
marginal bottom in the process of downward erosion and sub-
sequently pushed onshore by the ice.
At intervals all around the outlet bay are feeble ridges front-
ing the swamp land. They are for the most part pushed by ice
and are composed largely of muck. On the south side, however,
is an old spit, now a good beach ridge, which supports an elm
tree two feet in diameter, showing that the ridge must have main-
tained its position for a long time.
West of this in the slight reentrant opposite the peninsula on
the north side, is another evidence of a. former higher level.
This consists of a bowlder-strewn area similar to those described
on Lake Mendota. (See page 39.) Without doubt it indi-
cates a former shore, but not more than two feet above the pres-
ent level. (Compare Turville point and Assembly grounds.)
West of this the till cliff is resumed and soon attains the same
character which it has at Winnequah. The terrace at the foot
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. XIV.
Kames west of Lac La Belle.
THE LAKES AT MADISON. Qi
of Raywood Heights, for a considerable distance from shore, is
strewn with heavy residual stones.
At Ethelwyn park, the Mendota limestone comes down to the
water and makes a rock cliff. It is thin bedded and easily
broken up ; it is being actively eroded by the waves and the shelf
at its foot is covered with fragments. The existence of a rock
hill in the pre-glacial topography doubtless determines this
salient curve. The reentrant just east similarly corresponds to
an old erosion valley; a well at this place was sunk forty feet
without reaching rock.
The head of the bay west of Ethelwyn park ( See' Plate XIV,
Fig. 1 ) is approaching the stage where vegetable filling will
proceed at an accelerated rate. Rushes and pond lilies now pre-
vail, but cat-tails are' coming in at the edges, and sedges and
grasses will soon follow. (See Plate XXVI, Fig. 1.) At the
middle of the west side is a highland of steep slope, which comes
down to the water at one place in a cliff. This same steep slope
when followed north or south has the form of an old cliff behind
a flat terrace five feet above the lake. No bowlders are found
at the foot of the steep slope and in their absence the form can-
not be definitely regarded as cut by waves.
Farther north on the east side of Turville point, the old level
two feet above the present has left its familiar marks in faint
cliff and bowlder line. The massive ice rampart which stands
on the northeast side of this point is among the finest seen on
any lake. The name "rampart" seems peculiarly appropriate
when the form is viewed here in its typical development. The
point is of low ground and the ridge rises abruptly on its inner
side, five feet or more. The height from the outer side is, of
course, greater. Age has smoothed out the crags and rugged-
ness which characterize the recently upheaved forms on the
shores of Lake Mendota.
The ridge of which the Assembly Ground occupies the north-
west end has a hummocky topography. It presents a moderately
steep slope toward the lake and its base is for the most part cut-
ting. Where the rise from the water is gentle, the push of the
ice has been effective in raising ramparts.
62 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Beyond Murphy's creek is another hill and shore of similar
character. When the lake stood at the higher level indicated
at Turville point and west of the outlet, it entered a bay between
these two hills. The base of the hill in the Assembly Ground
was then vigorously cut. Standing on the west end of this hill,
the result of this cutting appears in the contrast between the
north and south slopes. A similar cliff was cut at the east end
of the hill beyond Murphy's creek. In a curved line between
these two cliffs, was built the broad low ridge, now seen just east
of the wagon road. The present beach ridge connects the pres-
ent cliffs with an almost straight line.
The bay at the west end of the lake is necessarily cut off from
active circulation. On this account and by reason of its small
depth its life must in any case be short as compared with that of
the lake as a whole. This tendency to early death is greatly
strengthened by the construction of the railroad tracks which
complete the isolation of the bay from the circulation of the lake.
The width of the flats along its border measures the amount cf
shrinkage which the water surface has already suffered. An old
cliff which was once cut with vigor, lies south of the road, just
west of the South Madison station. Another is seen west of the
road going south from Greenbush. The present shore line has
ridges similar to those mentioned around the outlet bay. They
owe their origin chiefly to ice.
LAKES 'GENEVA AND DELAVAN. $3
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN.
Lake Geneva has a character which is peculiarly its own. It
has an almost complete rim of high wooded slopes with a notable
absence of swamps on its borders. Its waters are deep, clear,
and cold. It is large enough to allow of vigorous waves which,
show Nature's power as well as her beauty. This opportunity
for wave action has given rise to a variety of shore features
which have much scientific interest as well as scenic charm.
Lake Geneva is probably the most widely known summer re-
sort in Wisconsin, the natural result of its rare beauty and its
accessibility to large city populations, especially to that of Chi-
cago. Its banks are already largely appropriated to the pur-
poses of summer residents. Each year a temporary population
of some thousands is to be found in the cottages, hotels, villas^
and veritable palaces, which occupy its shores. Steamers, pub-
lic and private, may be numbered in dozens, and row boats in
hundreds. This development as a resort has been followed by
the establishment of annual conventions whose popularity has en-
hanced the fame of the lake. The Yerkes observatory belonging
to the University of Chicago, is located west of Williams Bay.
This point affords not only the present natural advantage of a
clear atmosphere, but also the reasonable hope that the atmos-
phere will not in the future be clouded with smoke.
The Niagara limestone underlies the lake basin and the coun-
try on the north, south, and east. It is so deeply buried, how-
ever, by the drift that it is rarely reached even by deep wells.
Near the Narrows it is found at a little more than one hundred
64 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
feet below the lake level. Between this point and the city of
Lake Geneva it is reached by a very few wells about fifty feet
deeper. Elsewhere in the vicinity of the lake its depth is not
At various places the drift is firmly consolidated into sand-
stone or conglomerate. This is reported from a few wells as
sandstone. It is also seen as coarse conglomerate in the cliff
at Camp Collie and in the gravel pits at Fontana. West of the
Narrows on the south side it appears at the water's edge as a
ledge of hard gritstone.
West of the lake lies a narrow north and south belt of Hudson
river shales, likewise deeply buried by the drift. The basin of
Lake Delavan lies wholly within this belt, which is here less than
three miles wide. This narrow band of shales sends an exten-
sion to the east to meet the western end of Lake Geneva. This
strip extending eastward indicates that the overlying Niagara
limestone has been eroded along the line of the lake valley.
From the erosion of the Niagara limestone along the line of
the lake valley, it might seem to be a fair inference from the geo-
logical map alone that the present lake valley is a pre-glacial
river valley, blocked by the drift. But whatever influence a
pre-glacial river valley may have exerted, determining the be-
havior of the ice and the deposit of its load, the depth of that
deposit bhows that the lake basin is not one of that class in which
the drift constitutes a mere barrier across a linear valley but that
the entire rim is built up by the same workmanship.
The origin of this lake was almost wholly by glacial processes.
The Michigan glacier of the last glacial epoch advanced over this
region from the northeast, perhaps moving more west than south.
The front of the ice remained a long time on a line which may
now be drawn between the west ends of Lakes Geneva and Dela-
van. A well marked terminal moraine along that line now over-
looks Big Foot Prairie, which lies to the southwest from sixty to
one hundred feet lower. Between the two lakes and for a short
distance north of Delavan the terminal moraine is narrow, not
exceeding two or three miles, and its topographic contrast with
the ground moraine to the northeast makes the line between the
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAY AN. 55
two comparatively easy to draw. Generally speaking, the topog-
raphy between the two lakes is a ground moraine with gentle
curves. South of Lake Geneva the conditions are different.
Here the terminal moraine (on its inner side), instead of con-
trasting clearly with the ground moraine, is extended east and
northeast in patches of kames between which are often seen the
gently flowing curves of ground moraine. Such deposits indi-
cate a less unified ice-sheet, retreating with a more ragged front
in the clefts of which the kames were dropped.
The spreading of the glacier near its margin, together with
its melting along lines where the ice is thin tends to cause large
lobes or scallops in the wasting margin and may even sub-divide
these lobes in the form of fingers. This may have been the final
form assumed before the ice melted entirely from the vicinity
of Geneva and Delavan lakes. If this was the case** three of
the last surviving fingers occupied the valleys of Geneva, Como,
and Delavan. The valleys of Sugar creek and Honey creek to
the north are of the same character. These linear remnants of a
retreating ice-sheet are not to be confused with outlying blocks
which become imbedded in deposits of outwash, and leave basins
on melting. The ice lobes which occupied valleys of the type
here described were integral and active parts of the glacier. The
sides of these valleys have not the abruptness of slopes belonging
to pits resulting from the melting of ice blocks. Their curves
are such as could have been conformed to by a moving sheet. It
is probable that pre-existing valleys, lying in the direction of the
glacier's movement, would favor such a subdivision upon melt-
ing, for the simple reason that thick ice lasts longer than thin
ice. The final narrowing of these tongues of ice might be
attended by kame building as in the retreat of any other glacier
front. This was strikingly the case at the edge of the Como
*Since writing this chapter, a detailed study of the geology of this
district has been made by Mr. William C. Alden of the U. S. Geological
Survey. . It is possible that the results of his studies may modify the
conception of ice movement in this vicinity.
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
SOURCES AND OUTLET.
The 1 water of Lake Geneva is derived partly from springs,
which discharge immediately into the lake, and partly from nu-
merous small streams which deliver the water of other springs
a short distance away. The village of Fontana is well named
for its abounding springs. One' small group issuing within a
radius of a few feet furnishes fifteen horse power to a mill a few
rods distant. These and the many other springs at Fontana
unite their waters into the clear cold stream which enters the
lake at its western end.
At certain places lines of springs issue from the base of a bluff
at a considerable elevation above the lake. On the north side
of the lowland at Fontana and the west side of the lowland north
of Williams Bay, such lines of springs or seepage lie from thirty
to forty feet above the lake. In each case the result has been
an accumulation of peat on a slope below the seepage line. This
peat now forms a terrace ten to twenty feet high of varying
width up to some hundreds of feet. The one which lies west of
the road for a distance of three-fourths of a mile north of Will-
iams Bay is especially perfect, having a gently sloping top, a
steep front, and a perfectly definite inner boundary at the foot
of a steep wooded bluff. This bluff is so steep, even close to its
foot, as to suggest some recent or continuous agency cutting at
its base. Such an agent could be none other than the spring
water issuing from the sands or gravels at that line. This com-
bination of cliff and terrace bears a striking resemblance, except
in materials, to wave-wrought features.
The outlet of Lake Geneva is to the northeast through the
White river, a stream of considerable size and eroding power.
If allowed to do its work uncurbed this stream would steadily
cut down its channel and reduce the level of the lake. Up to the
year 1836 the stream had succeeded in cutting down to a level
six or seven feet below the present surface. At that time a dam
was put in, which has since held the water at its present level.
Seasonal variations have an extreme range of a little more than
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN. 67
The lake has left no distinct record of a level higher than that
of the present high water mark, hence the amount of cutting
which the outlet accomplished previous to 1836 cannot be defi-
nitely known to be greater than the six or seven feet which the
dam has replaced. Here, as in other cases, it was found con-
venient merely to refill the notch which the stream had cut, thus
causing the waves to renew their attack upon the shore at the
horizon where the earliest cliffs were cut and the first small
beaches built. As viewed from the railroad bridge east of the
dam, the narrow valley cut by the outlet is very clear. The
stream here meanders between bluffs about one hundred and
twenty yards apart.
The shore processes of Lake Geneva are being carried on vig-
orously ; probably more so than would have been the case had the
water always stood at its present level. Before the outlet had
cut its notch in the rim, cliffs were being cut at nearly the same
places where cutting is now at work. The farther these cliffs
were cut back, the broader became the terraces intervening be-
tween the cliffs and deep water. The broadening of these ter-
races meant increasing hindrance to incoming waves. The con-
tinuation of this development at the same horizon leads inevita-
bly to a weakening in the cutting of cliffs. The energy thus
taken from cliff cutting was expended in cutting down the shelf.
When the level of the water fell the waves were obliged to spend
all their energies upon the platform which they had built, cut-
ting down its level and carrying its materials out to deeper water.
When the level was restored the water at the foot of the old cliff
had therefore a greater depth than it would have had without
the intervention of the lower stage. The renewed attack was
therefore made with greater energy. It is before the vigor of
this second advance that cliffs are now retreating, for sixty-five
years have not been sufficient to exhaust the advantage which was
being stored up while the waves were at work on the cutting down
of the terrace.
68 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The cutting shores of Lake Geneva largely predominate over
the building shores, though cutting is not so nearly universal as
it once was. The cliffs vary in freshness from those whose
fronts are as bare and steep as the side of a new railroad cut,*
to gentle grassy and wooded slopes at whose base there is almost
an equilibrium between erosion and deposit.
The south face of Camp Collie was one of the first class. This
point is well exposed to all winds not northerly. Shore currents
moving by it are narrowed and accelerated, and their transport-
ing power is thereby increased. Hence the shore drift removed
should exceed that which was brought, but a pier of piles, though
unable to resist the pushing of the ice, has checked the transpor-
tation of shore drift and retarded the cutting at the base of the
cliff. The cliff was formerly quite bare and as steep as the un-
compacted till could lie. Weathering tends constantly to reduce
this slope and to allow vegetation a start, but its efforts were
neutralized by the ceaseless sawing away of the base. But for
the protection afforded by the boulders which fell from the face
of the cliff and formed a line at its base, the retreat of the cliff
would have been much greater. This wall of defense has been
re-enforced by artificial breastworks of stumps and brush, all of
which contribute to the stability of the promontory and delay the
progress of its destruction. Trees and bushes are now begin-
ning to protect the cliff from weathering. Between the foot of
this cliff and the descent to deep water, is a platform which is
the stump of the former headland, widened a little perhaps by
the waste of the cliff. This platform is covered with heavy
stones which offer little suggestion of beach transportation, but
the relations of a neighboring beach ridge, to be mentioned late,r,
show that the transportation of lighter gravels along shore is
effected between these larger stones.
*Mr. Beckwith of Lake Geneva, a surveyor of long experience, finds
that a comparison of recent surveys with the government survey of
1835 indicates a recession of certain high cliffs of fully one rod. Many
of the land-marks of the former survey are unsatisfactory and the work
was often inaccurate, but the evidence from a considerable number of
comparisons is consistent.
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN. gg
Cedar point, east of Williams bay, is similar in form and
features to Camp Collie on the west. An occasional headland
on the south side of the lake is equally raw, and one just west
of the Narrows notably so. Black point near the center and
Manning's point at the east end are so improved and artificially
protected by walls that their natural cliff faces do not appear.
Along most of the shore, not hereafter mentioned as building,
cutting shores are the rule, though such raw faces as the one just
described are exceptions. The cliff between Camp Collie and
the west end is interrupted at places by flats a few yards or rods
in length. The bluffs behind these low areas are often quite as
abrupt as are those at the water's edge, the flats being laid down
by the waves in the crenulations of a former cliff. When
the 1 lake first began to do work upon its shore, cliff cut-
ting was practically universal. It was only after some
labor had been spent upon the making of a beach
(Ch. II, p. 25) that cutting was abandoned in the small
reentrants and concentrated upon the salients. These old cliffs
now stand like deserted diggings behind the accumulations of
later activities. They are records of the lake's pioneer work.
Another cliff cut in a more youthful stage of the shoreline may
be seen east of Glenwood Hotel. This is forty feet high and its
steepness is not much reduced by weathering since the time when
the water stopped cutting at its base. It is now several rods
from shore, the shoreline being cast in larger curves. The south
shore of the Narrows is against a broad flat, with a former cliff
lying several hundred feet behind. The flat will be considered
later, among forms due to deposition.
In the case of a lake so youthful as Geneva it may well be
assumed that a large part of the material already cut away from
the headlands has been used in the construction of the shelf nec-
essary to the beach profile. Only a part has been carried along-
shore and built into structures which are visible as wave-built
forms. But these deposits are nevertheless large and the forms
thus built are among the interesting and attractive features of
the lake. The forms best illustrated on Lake Geneva may be
fO LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
described under the heads of bars, hooks, cusps and wave-built
The large bars of Lake Geneva are all now raised above water
and have become parts of the coast, the bays cut off being filled
to the stage of swamp or meadow. With the exception of one in-
stance to be mentioned under hooks, there are now no consider-
able embankment in the unfinished form of spits. The reentrant
curves of suitable size and conditions to be spanned by bars in the
present stage of the lake's development are already abandoned in
favor of the broader curves upon which the completed bars lie.
The remaining bays, such as Williams, Geneva, and Buttons, are
too large, deep, and open to currents, to be attempted at the pres-
ent time. The four large bars now dividing the lake from swamp
or meadow are respectively at the west end, the head of Williams
bay, the head of Buttons bay, and at the south curve east of the
Narrows. Their features and histories are so similar that a
somewhat full description of one will make detailed accounts of
the others unnecessary.
The beach at the head of Williams bay lies on the lakeward
slope of a massive bar. There has been additional filling for the
wagon road which follows the bar, but the volume of some hun-
dreds of loads of gravel is very small in comparison with that
of the broad ridge whose foundations are deep down on the orig-
inal bottom of a once longer bay extending to the north. The
thirty or forty foot ridge of gravel lying above the lake on the
one side and the peaty meadow on the other are by no means the
measure of deposit along this shore. Deposition began as a sub-
aqueous bar on the bottom of the old bay some feet below the
present water level, and the slope of the structure is so gentle
that its base is now many hundreds of feet in width.
The material for this structure has come from the south along
both sides of the bay, largely from the cliffs of the bay itself.
Some, no doubt, has been enabled by currents of changing direc-
tion, to round the capes at Camp Collie and Cedar point and may
have come a long distance from the east or west. That the ma-
terial has come from both directions is shown by its greater
coarseness near the ends with increasing fineness toward the cen-
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN. fa
ter. The winds which cause currents to move north on one side
would generally, though not always, cause a current in the same
direction on the other side. This forestalling of horizontal cir-
culation makes a strong undertow the only avenue of return.
This drags the finer stuff far lakeward, leaving well assorted
gravels to be added to the broadening beach. The laws which
govern profiles will not suffer that any great advantage or dis-
advantage go long uncompensated. In this case the great
strength of inbound currents on both sides of the bay gives to
the undertow its unusual power, an advantage in carrying sedi-
ment lakeward. On the other hand the large amount of sedi-
ment dragged out into the bay has greatly reduced the slope
upon which sediments must now be carried lakeward, thus fav-
oring the deposit at the margin.
The fine beach at the west end differs but little from the one
just described. The bar has probably been completed more re-
cently. The bay behincl is less advanced in its transformation
to solid ground. The offshore slope has not been reduced to the
same low grade by bottom deposits. All its differences may be
due to the fact that the task was larger by reason of the greater
depth of the basin and the greater width of the bay. There is
somewhat more opportunity for horizontal circulation and a less
absolute dependence upon undertow for the return of the water
of incoming currents. The mouth of the small stream which
enters the lake at the middle of this beach is not notably turned
to either side, indicating that the supply of shore drift from
north and south is about the same.
Buttons bay at the east end once had a long eastward exten-
sion. It was never so deep as Williams bay and the currents
have been able so to alter the shore as to leave but a wide open
reentrant curve where once was a deep reentrant angle. The
mouth of the stream which enters here has been carried many
rods to the north by the excess of shore drift from the south, or
rather from the west. This excess of drift from the west is but
the obvious result of the shape of the lake and the dominant
A short broad beach line across the hollow west of Camp Col-
72 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
lie is identical in form with the larger bars described. It is in-
teresting on account of the abrupt change at its east end from
its pebble-covered front to the stony shelf and bowlder line at the
foot of Camp Collie cliff. As the pebbles when coming from
the west must go somewhere and when going west must come
from somewhere, it is plain that beach transportation is at work
among the heavy stones, on the shelf whose appearance contains
little suggestion of such a process.
The wide lowland east of the golf grounds is separated from
the lake by a bar of somewhat different aspect. For most of its
length from its eastern end, its appearance is similar to that of
the bars already described. It is narrower, however, for rea-
sons which are related to the broad, open form of the curve.
The currents accommodate themselves to the curve, suffer little
check by lateral expansion, and hence are not now widening the
beach at a rapid rate. Behind the west end of the bar is an
open lagoon which receives the waters of several small streams.
This lagoon indicates that the features of this coast line are more
recent than the corresponding features in the bays mentioned.
The bar here is broken by two passages, evidently kept open by
the flood waters of the small streams entering the lake. (Fig.
21.) Despite these passages, however, shore drift is transported
both east and west upon the front of the bar. Violent storms
disregard such passages, temporarily completing the bar of trav-
eling drift. (Compare Lake Mendota, p. 48.) Stream cur-
rents reopen them, carrying out the obstructive drift to a posi-
tion from which the waves again scrape it inward to the front of
the bar. This is a process associated with the typical barrier,
a feature which is not often exemplified in the small lakes.
Where the northwest ends of the segments of this bar are ter-
minated by the passages, they are turned at right angles in a
southwest direction into the lagoon. These hooks are the work
of alternating currents, driven by onshore winds. The material
has first been brought alongshore from the southeast, without
which supply the end of the hook could not grow. Transporta-
tion in the opposite direction is attested by the spit which
stretches southeast from the raw cliff at the golf grounds. This
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN.
cliff is in line with the bar. The work of southeasterly cur-
rents is also shown by the submerged points heading across the
passages in that direction. These points are of coarse gravel
and cobbles, much heavier than the material from the southeast
which has built the hooks.
FIG. 21. Hooks on south side of Lake Geneva.
Most of the bars described are becoming wider by the accre-
tion of layer upon their lakeward sides; this process tends to
broaden the ridge into a flat topped band, but there are certain
parts of the shore where the construction of one beach ridge is
followed by the building of others at small intervals farther and
farther to lakeward.
The most noteworthy instance of this process is on the south
side of the Narrows. Curiously enough, the effect of currents
through this constricted passage has been to build the shore out-
ward, narrowing the passage still further. (Fig. 22.) The
74 LAKE 8 OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
dominant currents ares from the west. A stream one-half mile
to the west has already heen deflected eastward and will be much
more so when the' presnt shoal pointing eastward from its west
bank has been raised to the level of the water. At one time the
bluff of the 1 south shore was washed by the waves on its east side
as it now is on its west side ; but the strong currents following the
shore from the southwest failed to make the turn to the southeast
with sufficient promptness to carry their loads of drift close to
shore. The first result was a shoal line, or broad subaqueous
embankment, several hundred feet from the shore and stretching
almost to the golf grounds. Later the processes which raise bars
above water (see Chapter II, p. 27) converted this line into a
be'ach. A second ridge was built later in front of the first, and
then a third and a fourth, the whole making a terrace at least one
Fio. 22. South side of The Narrows, Lake Geneva: a, Actively cutting cliffs;
b, Mouth of stream turned eastward, showing the prevailing direction of
shore drift; c, Steep slope marking original shore line; d, Wave-built terrace.
hundred feet wide, with the crest of the second ridge six feet
above water. Between the terrace and the old cliff the resulting
swamp is rapidly becoming solid ground. The northwest end
of the wave built terrace is being cut away as the cliff west of it
recedes. At the same time the broadening of the outer ridge on
the northeast side proceeds. Thus the foreland which indents
the lake from the south is shifting eastward. Similar areas em-
bracing a fraction of an acre, or at most several acres, are found
at various places.
A portion of the north shore beginning at the narrows and ex-
tending to the east ia marked by a series of flat forelands whose
form and regularity of interval entitles them to be treated as
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN. 75
cusps. (Fig. 23.) This designation has been associated with
a tendency of the drift to accumulate in outstanding points de-
termined by waves and currents instead of in the initial reen-
trants of the shoreline. It is also sometimes implied that these
points of accumulation recur rhythmically, the forms of the re-
sulting areas suggesting the name. On this portion of the shore
these points occur at appropriate intervals, beginning with one-
fourth of a mile at the narrows and increasing toward the east.
FIG. 23. Cusps' on north side of The Narrows, Lake Geneva: The third and
fourth show beach ridges fronting low ground. The first and second have
been altered for private grounds.
Pour cusps appear of normal form and rhythmically spaced.
At the place where the fifth should be expected is a headland
whose horizontal plan is about the same as that of the cusps.
A sixth and a seventh foreland which were built by the waves
appear after successively longer intervals. There is not
much evidence that these last owe their location to the re-
quirements of rhythm. Most of these cuspate forelands have
been much altered as private grounds. Those which have
not been so altered are, in the main, V-bars probably of the type
described by Gilbert,* behind which is lower ground extending
back to the original shore. The combination of currents lead-
ing to the formation of this series has not been made out
Studies of similar forms on sea coasts point to their very gen-
eral association with currents through elongated passages.f
*Lake Bonneville, p. 57 and Plate VII.
fGulliver, loc. cit., p. 216; al<5 Gilbert, loc. cit.
76 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Among the lakes described in this bulletin there is no other
passage similar to this one at the narrows, and no other example
of rhythmically arranged cusps.
Lime Kiln point (Plate XVII) east of Marengo park is
a looped bar built mainly by currents from the east, In this
case the volume of the ridge has been increased by the work of
ice which has added to it bowlders from the marginal bottom.
The original direction of the bar's growth was, no doubt, north
of west. The bar was then turned to the south where it again
joins the mainland. This turning to the south has been effected
at three successive stages at intervals of a few yards.
The work of ice in the formation of ramparts is visible at
many places. No well formed ramparts extend for long dis-
tances, because there are no long stretches of coast having a
shape favorable to their formation. (Chapter II, p. 30.) Gen-
tly sloping coasts capable of being pushed up into riflges by on-
shore shove, are interrupted by steep cliffs which successfully
withstand the pushing. Occasional short ridges are so generally
distributed, especially along the north side, as to make their enu-
meration inconvenient and unnecessary. Many short beach
ridges along the generally cutting coasts are also deformed by
the pushing of the ice.
SHORES OF LAKE DELAVAN.
Delavan lake is fed chiefly by Jackson creek, which enters
the north end of the lake. Its outlet continues the line of the in-
let in a direction south of west. The general aspect of its shores
is somewhat different from that of the shores of Geneva. The
gravelly nature of the banks and their moderate height have en-
abled this lake to pass rapidly through the youth of its shore-
lines. A good beach profile is the rule, though the process of
beach transportation is generally carried on among the heavier
stones which have fallen from the cliffs and strew the surface
of the bench below.
Cliff-cutting is still the prevailing feature of the shores, Ibut
abandoned cliffs appear at a considerable number of places,
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN. 77
where currents are now depositing. For example, active cut-
ting once extended almost around the peninsula which indents
the southwest end. Xow it is confined to the side which faces
the open lake, while features of deposition, to be described later,
occupy the sides. Old cliffs cut in the infancy of the lake lie
behind the flats at Willow point, Cedar point, and Mettowee
At present cutting prevails on the southeast side from the
swampy delta near the west end to beyond Point Comfort, and
on the northwest side from near the west end to the Assembly
grounds. At some places the cliff is steep and raw, but usually
the rate of wasting permits a qover of vegetation. At other
places equilibrium prevails between transportation in and out,
while occasional structures of deposition add variety to the view
and interest to the observation. The very general cutting is in-
dicated by the prevalence of stone walls on the lake fronts of
The most widespread agency at work on the building coasts
of Delavan is vegetable accumulation. The marginal Bottoms
and shallower portions of this lake support vegetation in unusual
luxuriance and where protected from the active interference of
waves and currents this vegetable accumulation encroaches rap-
idly upon the domain of the water. Fortunately the areas so
protected, while large enough to show the vigor and physio-
graphic importance of aquatic vegetation, constitute a small
fraction of the whole lake area. There is compensation also for
the disadvantages of vegetation in the great advantage which is
thus afforded to fish. The two bays at the southwest and the one
at the outlet offer these conditions of security from interfer-
ence by waves and currents and are accordingly retreating be-
fore the advance of the swamp. At places, as at the assembly
grounds, the shore drift is carried along between stems of grow-
ing plants, as at other places it moves among larger stones.
The extent and character of filling on the bottom by the decay
of vegetation was incidently revealed during the construction
of the roadway across the outlet at the Assembly grounds. The
water here was from five to ten feet deep and the roadway is a
Y8 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
gravel embankment. When the dumping of the gravel was be-
gun a very large amount seemed to disappear entirely before the
level of the bottom was at all changed. When the dump was
completed, there stood on both sides, parallel ridges of equal
height, consisting of the ooze of the bottom which the weight of
the gravel had forced upward through a distance measured by
the depth of the water plus the height of the embankment above..
The peninsula at the west end has suffered some interesting
changes. At one time its southeast side was activly cut by a cur-
rent which followed the curve of the bay on the south. This-
bay was somewhat larger and considerably deeper than at the
present time. The material washed from this cliff on the south-
east was carried part way around the head of the bay and built
first into a spit, then into a beach, whose materials are gravel and
cobble stones. Gradually the shallowing of the bay, and the
improvement of profile on the front of the peninsula caused the
currents to skip the unnecessary curve. They began to deposit
where they had been eroding. The result already achieved is a
wave-built flat three or four hundred feet wide on the southeast
corner of the peninsula. Minor currents still enter the bay and
keep the point of the growing flat turned westward. But for
their agency, the point would by this time have been extended
into a long spit or a bar across the bay.
The north side of the peninsula was similarly ciit when the
north bay was stirred by active currents. Now, however, the
currents from the southeast are building their drift into a bar
whose course leads straight across the bay. It has already ad-
vanced nearly half way across and is above the level of low water
for much of its length. The currents which follow the opposite
shore still enter the bay and are extending to the southwest a
long spit which has become the shore line. When the bar from
the peninsula is completed, this spit must cease to grow because
the beach on its front will fall into disuse.
The bay at the outlet is being closed in exactly the same way.
A bar is starting north from the Assembly grounds pur-
suing a course which will some day intersect a long and
still growing spit on the north side' which heads to the
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN.
southwest. (Fig. 24.) This spit is "built of the mate-
rial cut from the low cliff west of Lake Lawn hotel. At
some future time the bar from the Assembly grounds will
have been completed, leaving only a sufficient passage for
the outlet. Then the supply of material from the Lake Lawn
hotel cliff will no longer be contributed to the spit on the north,
but will travel south on the front of the bar. A channel through
the bar will be maintained by the outlet stream, but shoredrift
will be transported across the channel when currents are strong.
FIG. 24. Spits at the outlet of Delavan Lake.
When this drift begins to come south, it is manifest that the pro-
portion of load brought in, to load taken out, at the front of the
assembly grounds will be much increased. The same will be
true of the Lake Lawn cliff, that is, the moderate cutting now in
progress will probably be impossible. If any cutting does con-
tinue, the load thus given to the currents may be carried long
distances before being deposited. There will come a time when
no more bays remain to be spanned. Then the shore drift which
continues to be fed to the currents will be disposed of in two
ways : a part will be used to broaden lakeward the beach struc-
tures already formed ; the remainder will travel on and on, or
back and forth, until, under the constant trituration it will all
have been reduced to such a degree of fineness as to be carried
out by the undertow beyond the grasp of incoming waves.
The strength of shore currents in comparison with small
gO LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
streams is well illustrated at the inlet. The dominant currents
on this part of the shore are from the south. The mouth of the
inlet was once at the bridge. The load brought down by the
stream, or alongshore from the south was subjected, in the vicin-
ity of the bridge, to the action of both stream and shore current.
A glance at the map will show which current prevailed. The
shore current has steadily built its bar along a curve of its own
choosing for nearly half a mile. (Plate XIX, Fig. 1.) The
stream has been forced to turn a right angle and follow the
growing bar to its end, before being able to discharge its waters
into the lake. The process can go no farther now for currents
from the west have built in the opposite direction a short em-
bankment to meet the long one from the southeast. The two
now form one beach line, cut by a passage, across which the
current from the river alternates with shore currents. When
the stream is high and its current strong, the passage is scoured
open ; when the waves and currents are relatively strong, drift
is carried across the break. Even the sediment which is carried
lakeward by the stream, may be recovered from the shallow bot-
tom by wave action and urged shoreward again to resume its
journey on the beach.
FIG. 25. Bars at mouth of small stream, west end of Delavan Lake.
The mouth of the small stream on the south side near the
west end, shows a somewhat different effect of current action.
The stream once discharged its water into a small triangular bay.
The natural course of bar-building would have been in an almost
straight line on the lakeward side of the triangle. Owing, how-
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIM., PL. XIX.
Bar in front of inlet to Delavan Lake. The lake is on the left side.
A cliff in gravelly drift, Delavan Lake. A strand of cobble stones at its foot.
LAKES GENEVA AND DELAVAN. gj
ever, to the weakness of the shore currents and the narrowness
of the bay, the current of the little stream was able to make it-
self felt, and as a consequence bar-building was directed
obliquely outward in a direction which was the resultant of the
two component currents. (Fig. 25.) As the shore currents
from the east and from the west were of about equal strength
this small bay has now such an obliquely directed spit on each
side. Their courses intersect at a right angle and at the vertex
of this angle the waters of the stream now reach the lake.
At Mettowee and Willow points (Plate XVIII) the shore cur-
rents have diverged somewhat unaccountably from the old shore-
line, building wide triangular areas of sand and gravel. It is
not in all cases possible to show the exact occasion for such
divergence of currents from the shore. They may be merely
incidental to a system of rebounds. These points now illus-
trate salients which are building instead of cutting, as it is cus-
tomary for salients to do.
FIG. 26. Cedar Point, Delavan Lake.
Cedar point is the prominent salient angle where the coast
after running south from the Assembly grounds changes to a
direction almost west. (Fig. 26.) Its construction in-
volves the same principle but it has special interest on
account of one peculiarity. It was not built to the height
of the bar by progressive widening, but is outlined by
a ridge whose position has changed little from the
beginning; this rim was built by shore currents, enclosing
a lagoon which was then converted into a swamp. The
32 LAKE 8 OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
point is a V-bar, the largest and finest found on any of the lakes
embraced in this report. Its south side is a heavy bar stretch-
ing for forty rods eastward from the cliff at St. Mary's. (Plate
XIX, Fig. 2.) Its east side, or rather northeast, for the angle
is acute, is twenty rods long and has been broadened by a re-
duplication of beach ridges. Independent of the point, the
shore here changes its direction from almost east to north. The
original salient coast whose base was once cut by the waves, now
appears as a fading cliff behind the swamp. The growth of this
Y-bar seems to have been chiefly by material brought from the
west. An actively cutting cliff lies next to it in that direction.
The coast to the north, with the exception of a faint cliff at
the Assembly grounds, is not seen to be cutting.
LAUDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES. 83
LAUDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES.
These lakes in the northern part of Walworth county are on
the east side of the Kettle moraine not far from the place where
the interlobate portion divides into the two terminal moraines,
that of the Green Bay glacier taking a westerly trend and that
of the Lake Michigan glacier bearing off toward the south*
Their location is therefore not only near to the edge of the Lake
Michigan glacier, hut near the actual limit of the Wisconsin
ice sheet. In this locality several lines of kames extend north-
eastward in the direction from which the ice came. Within this
kame area is a considerable number of lakes due to the pitting
of the surface by the melting out of ice remnants which were
buried by the gravels.
The location of one of these strips of kames is marked by
Beulah and Phantom lakes, the latter being near its northeast
extremity. The Lauderdale group lies in the southwest contin-
uation of the same line, a few miles from the axis of the Kettle
moraine. The zone of kames and pitted plains associated with
the interlobate Kettle moraine is here much widened on the side
toward the Lake Michigan glacial lobe as it is in the Oconomo-
woc district on the side toward the Green Bay lobe. The plains
are also terraced even more distinctly than in the latter locality
(see Chapter VI, p. 96), the lower and latter terraces in this
southern district being on the southeast, while in the more north-
ern district the descent is toward the west,
The depression containing the Lauderdale group is one of ex-
ceedingly irregular contour, as if a large number of ice rem-
nants, each of irregular shape, had been grouped together in
84: LAKE 8 OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
purely fortuitous arrangement, had then been buried by the
gravels and subsequently melted out. The sole suggestion of
order among the several parts is a rough parallelism of longer
dimensions in a northeast and southwest direction, that is, in a
direction approximately parallel to that of the Kettle moraine.
It will be observed that the same is notably true of the Oconomo-
Prom the soundings taken, the bottom, as it now exists, may
be divided into two parts, the larger area being nearly flat and
covered with less than ten feet of water. A somewhat smaller
area is subdivided into three pits of almost equal depth, fifty to
fifty-six feet being the extremes. If the water were drawn off
to a depth of six or seven feet these three pits would be separated
from one another, occupying the central portions of Mill, Mid-
dle and Green lakes. This was approximately the condition
before the mill dam was built some sixty years ago. The long,
shallow arms of the present lake were then for the most part
grassed or wooded. The portions formerly wooded are now
marked by stumps. The bottoms representing former meadows,
where not covered with a subsequent deposit of mire, may be
seen to be composed of the same tough mats of roots passing into
peat, which compose the body of the floating bogs. In the west
half of Middle lake, where this is best illustrated, the bottom is
marked by the same vertical walled holes which may generally
be found among floating bogs, or in swamps which rest upon a
Back of the time when these shallow extensions were swamps
or meadows, there was another time when they were parts of the
lake. Their depth at that time can only be known by piercing
the accumulated peat. The depth of the deposit might even be
comparable to that of the deeper central portions at the present
time, for there are evidences that the local conditions are favor-
able to vegetation. These conditions, while favoring swamps
along the shore and the accumulation of mire at the bottom, also
foster the water lilies which adorn so many picturesque corners
of these lakes. (See Plate XX.)
The southern extension of the lake presents a most instructive
LAUDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES. 85
example of the work of vegetation in the work of lake extinc-
tion. Over much of its area the apparent depth is but one or
two feet, yet the bottom may be pierced with an oar to a depth
of four or five feet before any great resistance is met. Mosses,
etc., grow on the bottom, each generation contributing its re-
mains to raise the base on which future generations may grow.
Leaves and flowers of pond lilies with lower forms of vegetation
float on the surface and, dying, contribute their remains to the
growing deposit below. Sedges and grasses advance from the
shore, sometimes preserving their attachment to the bottom,
sometimes floating as bogs. One deep hole south of Wilkinson's
point is thus surrounded by advancing bog, which is limited by
a perfectly definite front which goes down vertically into seven
or eight feet of water. The vegetation is using all possible
haste to accomplish once more what it had once carried almost
to completion before the level of the water was artificially
Mill lake. It is not to be inferred from these illustrations
of the spread of vegetation that the 1 shores and bottom
of this picturesque little group are all so affected. The
flooding of large areas which had once advanced to the
condition of swamps or meadows has indeed been followed
by a profusion of aquatic life, but the same elevation,
has also rejuvenated cliffs which began again to be cut
back with the vigor of youth and to yield abundant sup-
plies of gravel to the shore currents. Some freshly cut banks
are seen on both sides of the bay at the outlet. A broken and
indefinite bar lies in front of this bay, but it was probably built
in the former and lower stage of the lake.
While the channels connecting the several lakes are so broad
that the whole might be regarded as a single body of water, each
lake has its own system of shore currents and there is but little
circulation through the straits. This is shown by the well
formed bars which cross the passages and divide the lakes from
one another. Similar bar building must have gone on in the
86 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
early history of the lakes, but whether or not these present bars
were begun before the existing level was assumed, they are ac-
tively growing now.
The bar between Mill and Middle lakes is built by tKe circu-
lation of the former lake. Its curve and the curved shore of
Wolf's point are mutually tangent. It is built by currents from
the south which cross the passage from Wolf's point to Pleasant
island, instead of continuing northward into Middle lake. The
cliff from which it springs is at the southwest side of Wolf's
point. It appears at first sight remarkable that a bar of such
vigorous growth should have derived so much heavy gravel from
so short a cliff ; a closer examination shows that Dunham's bay,
south of the point is also spanned by a bar along which the waste
of the longer cliff south of the bay is transported northward and
contributed to the embankment which is heading toward Pleas-
ant island. (Fig. 27.) This so-called bar between the lakes
is more properly a spit reaching little more than one-half way
to the distal side.
FIG. 27. Bar forming between Mill and Middle Lakes, Lauderdale Group. Much
of its material comes from south of Dunham's Bay.
Wave cutting and beach action on the west side of Mill lake
are less vigorous. No bars are found across the two long, nar-
row bays shown on the map, either of which could be spanned
by a much shorter embankment than those referred to on the
east and north sides. Apparently their sheltered position, cs-
LAUDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES.
pecially from the more effective west winds, is the reason for
this youthful aspect of the shore.
Middle lake. Middle lake is comparatively small if the long,
shallow, westward extension he omitted. This shallow and com-
paratively isolated portion contributes but little to the size of
waves, and probably does not participate at all in the currents of
the deeper part of Middle lake. Cliff cutting in this lake is,
therefore, less marked. The south side of Stewart's bay shows
more vigorous cutting than any other shore of this lake. Green
island is also cutting a little on its south side. It is to be ex-
pected from this absence of pronounced erosion that structures
due to deposition should be correspondingly wanting. It has
already been pointed out that the passage between this lake and
Mill is being closed by the drift of the latter lake. The passage
FIG. 28. Bars' uniting Green Island with the mainland, Lauderdale Group.
to Green lake on the north has been similarly spanned by cur-
rents of that lake. The narrow passage which once existed east
of Green island has indeed been spanned by a poorly formed
bar on the side of Middle lake. The same passage has been
closed at the other end by a much stronger bar built by the cur-
rents of Green lake. (Fig. 28.) Here, theft, is the interest-
ing case of an island tied to the mainland by two bars between
which complete filling has converted the one-time lagoon into
Green lake owes comparatively little of its area to the artificial
raising of its level. Practically the whole surface of the lake
88 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
participates in the wind driven circulation which is, therefore,
stronger than that of either of the other lakes. Both its north-
west and its northeast sides show cliffs which have been cut so
rapidly as to be entirely bare of vegetation. Most of its shores
From the shape of the east shore it is to be expected that the
currents which follow it should move south instead of north.
This is exemplified in the spit which is growing from Tratt's
point, at first southward but gradually curving to the east.
Here again, as at the north end of Mill lake, the source of the
material is not at once apparent. The west shore at Tratt's
point, with which it is continuous, is artificially protected from
erosion and is not now supplying the gravel of which the grow-
ing spit is composed. Immediately north of Tratt's point is a
bay which is spanned by a good bar which places the beach on
the south in communication with the long and rapidly wasting
gravel cliff north of it. This cliff, then, is the source of the ma-
terial not only of the bar which spans the small bay, but of the
growing spit beyond Tratt's point.
The west side of this lake furnishes one small but very clear
example of deposition by currents at a salient angle. Such a
headland near Ewing's landing is too sharp to be turned by the
shore currents without some dissipation and consequent loss of
load. A flat foot or terrace has therefore been built which gives
to the shore line a curve in place of an abrupt angle. There
is no indication here of the co-operation of two sets of currents
as in the making of hooks and loops. (Compare Limekiln
point, Lake Geneva, Plate XVII; also Cedar point, Delavan
lake, p. 81.) West of this point the shore continues steep and
high, as at many other places in the group not mentioned in de-
tail. The topography is very hummocky and the woodlands are
BEULAH LAKE SHORES.
Beulah lake is similar in origin and history to the 1 Lauder-
dale group. It has the same extreme irregularity of shore
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. XXI.
Lake Holden, a lake nearing extinction.
Beulah Lake. The flat in the foreground was a part of the lake in its early history.
LAUDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES. gg
line. The banks of the basin rise abruptly to the plain above,
but are at many places separated from the 1 water by flats
built chiefly of vegetable remains. (See Plate XXI, Fig.
2.) The area now under water contains five basins from forty
to sixty-seven feet in depth, separated and surrounded by shal-
lows less than ten feet deep. In this case, however, the line along
which the basins are ranged is in the direction of the ice move-
ment northeast and southwest, and the entire depression has
rather more unity than that which contains the Lauderdale
basins. Mill lake is a separate and distinct basin at the north-
east end. The waters of Beulah lake pass into this basin and
out again by artificial channels. The drainage is northeast-
ward to Fox river. The outlet is now held by a dam ten feet
high but the actual elevation of the water above its former level
is somewhat less than that amount.
Previous to the changing of the outlet and the building of
the dam, the now single lake was subdivided into three separate
sheets of water, corresponding to the parts now bearing the
names of Upper, Round and Lower lakes. The intervening
flats were largely wooded, the same areas at present being
marked by stumps standing in shallow water. Back of- this
stage was another, when the water stood at a level not very dif-
ferent from the present; when the shallows and stump-covered
areas were deeper water with gravel bottoms ; when the present
headlands stood out farther into the water and the lake had many
bays which are now cut off by beach ridges and overgrown with
grass or tamarack. This older stage gave way to the conditions
just preceding the dam, by the down-cutting of the outlet, the
aggressive encroachment of vegetation and the normal beach
processes which are now at work simplifying the still highly ir-
regular shore line.
That the present level of the lake is not very different from
that at which it stood when it first began work on its shores is
indicated by several features. If it were lower now than the
level at which much work was accomplished the contours of the
shore line would show broad, smooth curves, because the smooth-
ing of the contours of the offshore bottom is begun very early in
90 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the cycle. (See Chapter II.) If it were much higher than
the level at which its former work was done the water should
now enter all the former hays, for their cutting off and extinc-
tion was a work requiring a much longer time than that which
has elapsed since the building of the dam.
The south shore line of Lower lake, opposite Buck island and
west of Broad bay, still affords the best illustration of the ex-
treme sinuosity of the line which water assumes when it rises
upon an area of kames and pits. (See Fig. 29.) The line of
the present water's edge is already much simplified from its
former still more sinuous form. If the line were followed be-
hind all the former minute indentations now filled and in front
of the former positions of headlands, now partly cut away, it
would be perhaps twice as long as that shown in the figure.
FIG. 29. Shore line against a kame area, Lake Beulah.
As in all lakes whose levels have been recently raised, cutting
of the more exposed shores has been renewed with vigor. The
controlling influence of exposure is well exemplified here in the
freshness of the cliffs on the east side of the Lower lake where
they face both the westerly winds and the largest expanse of
water. The cliffs south of Lake View hotel and on the west
side of Beulah island are kept fresh and bare of vegetation by
rapid cutting, while the reentrant curves on the east shore have
fine, sandy beaches. Below these cliffs are fine examples of the
LAVDERDALE AND BEULAH LAKES. 91
breaker terrace, the characteristic accompaniment of fresh cut-
ting in kame gravels. (See Chapter II.) The terrace at these
places is composed of clean and well assorted cohble stones, its
gently sloping top often carrying finer gravels and its steep front
resting on a sandy or gravelly bottom about six feet deep. The
east side of Twin island is also much exposed and shows the
same features. Even in Mill lake, which is small and protected
from winds, the effect of a considerable rise, against a steep bank
of uncompacted gravels is seen in a new terrace several yards in
width, resting with a steep front on the old bottom now six or
seven feet deep.
It is not in all cases possible to tell of the depositional forms
to what extent they are the work of the present stage of the lake's
history and to what extent they were built before the erosion of
the outlet lowered the lake's level. In the case of those features
which were built at the low water stage, they mav_be known, if
preserved, by their situation at a depth at which the water is DOW
powerless to work. Such, for example, is the old bar extend-
ing northwest from Wilmer's point. Not only has it lost the
clean-washed character of its gravel and been buried under eight
or ten feet of water, but the present outline of the shore does
not give rise to currents which could make a bar in this posi-
On the north side of Upper lake at the east end is a small
peninsula extending eastward in front of the area occupied by
stumps. This peninsula is an island connected by a bar with
the mainland on the west. The drift along both sides of the
lake at this point is eastward and must always have contributed
to the clogging of the passage to Eound lake. Twin islands at
the north end of Round lake are similarly connected with each
other and to the main land by bars now above the surface of
From the east-facing cliff of Twin island a spit is vigorously
growing toward the northwest. This, like the former one from
Wilmer's point, is growing directly toward the dominant winds.
This, in both cases, may be partly due to return currents of a
horizontal circulation which is originated by movement in an
92 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
easterly direction. This factor, however, does not seem to be
very important. The controlling conditions are, no doubt, the
protection from west winds by high wooded banks, and the un-
impeded sweep of winds from the opposite direction. A cor-
respondingly small fetch of the waves from the west and long
fetch from the east intensify the conditions favoring the growth
of spits toward the west and northwest.
At two places in the Lower lake the same conditions are ful-
filled and with like results. The one is on the west side of Beu-
lah island (peninsula) where the fine, gravel cliff gives rise to
a long bar directed northwest into Brook's bay. This cliff is
washed alternately by west-bound and east-bound currents. The
presence of the protected bay enables the west-bound currents to
stow away a part of their plunder at a place where the east-
bound currents are too feeble to recover it. The east-bound
currents carry the waste of the cliff beyond the point of the pen-
insula and are vigorously building a spit across the protected
bay on the east side. The other case of a northward pointing
bar is that of the one which springs from the beach in front of
the Lake View hotel and is directed into the protected bay east
of Beulah island.
The long, high bank extending north and south from the vicin-
ity of Buck island yields to the currents a limited amount of
drift, Midway between Buck island and Twin islands the cur-
rents run tangent to the shore and have built a bar connecting a
small island with the mainland. At the other end of this cliff
the drift is building a sandbar across the head of Brook's bay.
GaskePs bay at the southeast corner is spanned by a bar which
betrays by the coarser material at its west end that it has grown
chiefly from that direction.
Mill lake,, northeast of Beulah, is an almost simple pit one-
half mile long and half as wide* and more than fifty feet deep,
having steep, high banks of kame gravels. Booth lake is like-
wise a nearly simple pit without bays and twenty-five feet deep.
Its shores are of sand and gravel comparatively free from
swamp. East Troy lake is similar to Booth lake, but its shore
line is more scalloped with minor indentations.
THE OCOXOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 93
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT.
This district comprises a rectangle of fourteen miles east and
west, by nine miles north and south, having its center about
thirty miles we^t of Milwaukee. It contains twenty lakes
whose hydrography has been published and as many more not
without their beauty and interest but not systematically
studied. Those surveyed range in size from Pewaukee with
an area of three and two-thirds square miles to Garvin, with
an area of twenty acres. There are in all perhaps one hundred
miles of good lake front suitable for summer residences. Much
of this is now occupied for that purpose. The roads of the dis-
trict are uniformly good and the delights of driving from lake
to lake give an added advantage to the group. If among so
many lakes of similar origin there can be no great contrast in
the style of scenery, there is a beauty which is characteristic of
a landscape thus interspersed which does not spring from the
features of any one lake.
GEOLOGY OF THE DISTRICT.
The moraine. This lake district lies in and adjacent to a
break or sag in the Kettle moraine. The existence of this gap
or sag is emphasized by the fact that two parallel streams flow
through it across the course of the moraine ridge. North of
Beaver and North lakes the line of the moraine is marked by a
distinct ridge several miles wide, trending east of north. It
rises more than a hundred feet above the adjacent country and
two hundred above the level of the Oconomowoc district. South
of Nagawicka lake the ridge is seen again trending west of
south, though with less prominence than it has to the north.
94. LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Within this gap the kames and pitted plains which are charao-
teristic attendants of the interlohate phase of the Kettle moraine
have an extraordinary development, and the belt which they oc-
cupy is locally broadened.
The ground moraine on the east extends west to the west end of
Pewaukee lake. From that point the boundary between it and
the kame area extends south in a waving line and also in an ir-
regular line east of north. In this area the curves of the ground
moraine are broad and flowing. A tendency to linear arrange-
ment, giving a distinctly drumloidal aspect, is quite noticeable*
The hills have their greatest length in a direction which is ap-
proximately parallel with Pewaukee lake. This was substan-
tially the direction of glacier movement.
The underlying rocks. The drift in this belt is not very
deep. The underlying Niagara limestone appears at the sur-
face at various places east of the lake. It is quarried at Zion's
dell south of the west end of the lake and is reached by wells
near the surface. At Rocky point it occurs at the water's edge.
West of Rocky point the limestone does not occur at the level
of the lake, though it is seen at higher levels several hundred
feet back. Before the drift was deposited the Niagara stratum
was so eroded as to form a large Y-shaped indentation in its.
western border, which has in the main a north and south direc-
tion. The vertex of this V is near Waukesha beach; its one
arm reaches west to Delafield, the other northwest through
Hartland. Between these lines the drift rests directly on the
Erosion of strata in this form indicates plainly that a pre-
glacial stream or streams flowed across the outcrop; in this
case west or northwest, no doubt, to join what then corre-
sponded to the Rock river, following the base of the Niagara
escarpment, however, instead of turning west to Watertown.
The length of these tributaries from the east was probably not
great. The Niagara limestone dips to the east and its scarp
ridge doubtless formed a divide not far from its western edge.
Origin of Lake Pewaukee. The glacier moved down this
valley to the west and not only did not fill it with morainic de-
THE OCONOMOWOG LAKE DISTRICT. 95
posit, but may even have helped to deepen it. The glacial
deposits to the westward were built higher than the modified
watershed on the east. This portion of the river valley thus
became a lake basin with the direction of its drainage reversed.
The lower part of the old river valley was buried and com-
pletely obliterated. Pewaukee lake is the only lake in this area
of ground moraine and is thus distinguished by its origin from
all the other lakes of this district. The effects of this differ-
ence in origin will be noted later in a contrast of coast lines.
The area of Jcames and pitted plains. West of this ground
moraine of the Lake Michigan glacier lies a broad strip of
kames and pitted plains. The features which demand atten-
tion in order to interpret its origin are: (1) The materials, un-
derlying rock and drift; (2) the topography, terraces, pitted
plains, and lakes.
The underlying rock is rarely seen in this belt. The Niagara
limestone is quarried at Delafield on the very edge of the area
under discussion. Here the strong Niagara limestone no doubt
stood in a high cliff looking both west and north over valleys
cut in the easily eroded shales. A fourth of a mile from the
quarry a well was sunk one hundred and thirty feet without
reaching the rock. At no other place in the area was bed rock
found to lie less than one hundred feet below the surface. Even
much deeper wells commonly fail to pierce anything but glacial
deposits. If the drift could be removed there would appear an
eroded surface of Galena limestone and Cincinnati shales with,
a relief amounting to perhaps one hundred feet.
The drift of this region is characteristically gravelly. The
stones have all sizes up to small bowlders and are as a rule
fairly waterworn. Very few exposures fail to show the co-
operation of water at the time of deposit, though few show well
assorted strata. Foreign bowlders are not infrequent, but typi-
cal bowlder clay, such as is found in the bodies of the ridges
of the Kettle moraine, is seen at few places in this lake district
west of Lake Pewaukee.
Of equal significance with the nature of the materials of the
drift cover, is the topography of its surface. Of this topography
96 LAKE 8 OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the element which first arrests the attention is the prevalence
and striking abruptness of the so-called kettles or pits. They
may lie isolated below an otherwise plane surface, or crowded
in such confusion as to lose their individuality with the disap-
pearance of their normally even-topped rims. While no con-
siderable portion of the area is without them, they are most
abundant on the borders of the lakes, especially in narrow areas
between two or more lakes. The road from Oconomowoc to
Delafield traverses a sharply pitted area south of Oconomowoc
lake. North of the same lake to Okauchee lake and eastward
toward ISTashotah the kettles also abound. They have also a
striking development south of Lower Nemahbin lake. Al-
though these hollows are characteristically associated with
otherwise level areas which are then styled pitted plains, they
show in this region a special fondness for the margins of such
areas where the plain in question rises above a lower level.
This is the case around the borders of the lakes where the lake
bottom represents one level and the surrounding plain the other.
Similar off-sets of level attended in the same way by a pitted
margin of the higher level are noticeable features of the land
If to a close view the most striking feature of the landscape
is its pits, to a more general view the levels beneath which these
pits fall is no less an attraction. These levels are preserved
with notable continuity for considerable distances. The lower
ones often give way to the higher by a narrow slope, so that to
a general view the aspect of the topography is distinctly that of
The highest of these terraces are isolated patches and lie on
the east side of the belt. Some of the levels lying to the west
have escarpments on their east as well as their west sides ; being
entirely surrounded by lower levels ; but generally speaking the
descents to the west are greater than those to the east, giving a
resultant slope to the west. Measured by the surfaces of the
lakes, this slope is about fifty-seven feet from Beaver lake on
the east to Lac la Belle on the west, intermediate lakes show-
ing a regular descent.
THE OCOXOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 97
Glacial history of the area. The features of this lake dis-
trict may then be summed up in the following items : (1) One
or more transverse valleys carved in the underlying rock by pre-
glacial streams coming from the east. (2) A break or gap in
the ridge of the Kettle moraine now used by two streams which
flow in a southwestern direction across the trend of the range.
(3) A great abundance of water-washed drift. (4) A large
number of lake basins and countless pits which were prevented
from filling by the presence of large or small isolated and buried
ice blocks, while the water-laid deposits were being made. (5)
A terraced arrangement of plains whose total slope is toward
In interpretation of these facts it is inferred: (1) That upon
this low area adjacent to the junction of two or more pre-
glacial streams was a concentration of drainage from the melt-
ing glaciers. (2) The drainage, which was chiefly along the
line of the ice front, was relatively stagnant at this place ; hence
the abundance of water laid deposits. (3) The higher ter-
races on the east are along the line of the earlier drainage.
They were formed by the aggrading of stream courses while the
ice held the ground now occupied by the lower terraces. (4)
'This main drainage line shifted westward, following the re-
treating front of the Green bay glacier. As the ice retreated
it uncovered ground lower than the much aggraded stream chan-
nel, hence the stream found a lower channel farther west. The
repetition of this shifting gave rise to the glacial terraces now
seen.* (5) The lower part of the glacier which was heavily
charged with sediments, often failed to follow the retreat of
the upper layers of ice. This resulted in the burying of many
blocks whose melting gave rise to the basins of lakes and pits.
By this interpretation, the lake basins are seen to be simply
larger pits in the much pitted plain. Such hollows present all
sizes up to that of the largest lakes of the area. They all agree
*This conception of the making of these terraces was received from
Professor T. C. Chamberlin.
98 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
in three things: (1) Their sides are steep; (2) they are sunk
below an otherwise level surface; (3) the surrounding material
has heen last handled by water. Some of the larger ones, and
Okauchee to a remarkable degree, show a sub-division into
smaller basins or arms at the edge. This is due chiefly to
original irregularity of the ice mass or masses.
The glacial deposits on the western margin of this lake dis-
trict do not show the omnipresent agency of water, as do the de-
posits of the area farther east. The roads show the presence of a
stiffer soil. The slopes of the west coasts of Lac la Belle and
Silver lake are not, like those of the lakes farther east, the
abrupt slopes of hollows in a pitted plain. The upward slopes
from the shores of Lac la Belle, sometimes sixty feet in a quar-
ter of a mile, are gradual and rounded, with curves to which a
moving glacier might well have adjusted itself. The bottoms,
however, of this lake, as well as Fowler and Silver, are seen
to be pitted with the same narrow hollows which characterize
the lake basins farther east.
As indicated in the description of the topography of this area,
the basin of Pewaukee lake is in the main an erosion valley
passed over in the direction of its length by the Lake Michigan
glacier and blocked at its west end by the stratified drift asso-
ciated with the Kettle moraine. In harmony with this origin,
its banks, though at places high, have not the steepness which
marks the banks of kame lakes. The curves on its border are
everywhere such as could have been conformed to by a moving
sheet of ice. Along more than half of its north coast there is
a gradual rise, amounting to nearly one hundred and fifty feet
in the first half mile. Most of the south coast has a similar
topography, but the elevation is much less. Occasional portions
of the coast, especially in the valleys of the small streams, are
low and swampy.
The waters of the lake are derived partly from these streams
but a considerable supply is also furnished by springs, espe-
cially from the north side. The level of the lake is now main-
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 99
tained by a dam at the outlet. This dam raised the lake seven
feet and is accountable for the eastern half of the lake. Be-
fore the building of the dam, this half of the basin was a swamp,
and a wagon road is said to have been maintained across the
swamp, east of Kocky point
The two halves of the lake show scarcely less contrast in ap-
pearance than in history. Vegetation abounds on the bottom
of the entire eastern half. Away from the shore it is kept from
rising to the surface by annual mowing in the interests of the
ice crop. Near the shores the vegetation encounters no opposi-
tion except from the waves and currents, whose strength has
already been much reduced by friction on the bottom. Fields
of bog, consisting of matted grasses, cover large areas. They
rest loosely upon the bottom or are buoyed up by the water.
They enlarge their areas by the annual growth at their edges,
which appear as vertical faces going down to the bottom at a
depth of from six to ten feet, In strong winds portions are dis-
lodged from the field and become the so-called floating bogs.
The western half of the lake has comparatively little vegeta-
tion of its own, though often visited by floating bogs from the
other half. Waves and currents act with vigor upon its shores,
the deeper water permitting unimpeded movement, except upon
the marginal bottoms. The shores of the western half are es-
pecially desirable as summer resorts. The lake owes to the less
picturesque features of its eastern half its well deserved reputa-
tion as a fishing and hunting ground.
The comparatively recent raising of the level of Lake Pewau-
kee set its waters to work at a new horizon which had long been
above their reach, if indeed, the level had ever before been so
high. This recent change of shore line is the reason for the ac-
tivity of cliff-cutting observed at some places. (Compare
Geneva lake, p. 67.) A short distance east of Lakeside a con-
siderable bed of peat, had accumulated when the level was
lower. This is now being cut away on its lakeward side. In
windy weather fragments of this peat may sometimes be seen
floating far to leeward.
Most of the north coast of the west half is cutting a little.
100 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
At Lakeside the progress is very active and the cliff is corre-
spondingly steep and raw. A few rods to the east the waste of
this cliff is building a spit which indicates the eastward course
of its movement. A similar embankment lies just west of the
cliff. Its material is derived from cliffs still farther west.
Alternating currents have turned its point landward making a
hook. (Plate XXII, Fig. 2.) Shore drift does not pass by
such a growing embankment but is added to its end. This re-
quires that the next spit east be built entirely of detritus worn
from the intervening cliff.
The beach at Audley park is sandy, as is commonly the case
with beaches near the narrow end of a long lake. At this place
the currents from the west are too weak to transport anything
coarser than sand ; those from the east are checked by running
into the narrow end of the lake and are thereby forced to de-
posit their load.
Most of the south side as far east as Rocky point is faintly
cutting. That this process should extend well into the shallow
bays is due to the youth of the shore line in its present cycle.
When the small irregularities of the shore line and marginal
bottom have been smoothed out, the currents will be able to dis-
tinguish between the larger salients and reentrant curves. Cut-
ting will then be confined to the former, while the latter will
be the places of bar building or of broadening beach terraces.
Waukesha beach occupies a gentle landward curve of the coast
in which the latter form is already developing.
Two nearly parallel rivers, the Oconomowoc and the Bark,
flow southwestward to the Rock river, through the area of
kames and pitted plains and share about equally the drainage
of the lakes. It will be convenient to consider these lakes in
the order in which they occur upon the streams, beginning with
the course of the Bark river.
The basin of ISTagawicka lake is the mould of at least two ice
blocks, the northern end being a distinct pit, having a depth of
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT.
forty-five feet, connected with the larger lake by a strait only a
few feet deep. The larger basin has a depth of ninety-five f eet,
the deepest sounding in the Oconomowoc group, though Pine
and Okauchee have nearly the same. About half of the coast
shows the characteristically steep kame slope; this includes
stretches both east and west of the south end and east and west
of the north end. The shore on the east side for more than a
mile south of the inlet is against a plain but a few feet above
the lake level. Much of the border near the inlet and outlet is
of a marshy character, the vegetation pushing its way into the
shallow water. This is characteristic of the north end and
most of the west side. A similar swampy area at the south end
is cut off by the artificial embankment constructed for a road-
The Bark river following the devious trough in the newly
made glacial deposits found this basin in its course. The val-
ley of this stream after leaving Nagawicka is steep-sided,
twenty feet or more in depth and from an eighth to a fourth of
a mile wide between Delafield and the Nemahbin lakes. This
resemblance to a large stream cut valley is seen again along the
same stream after leaving the Nemahbin lakes. But streams
emerging from lakes are comparatively free from floods and
carve valleys slowly. There is no reason for thinking that the
present river under present drainage conditions has cut the
whole or even the larger part of this valley. A similar trough
connecting the Genesee lakes with Otis lake and extending
northeast from the latter does not contain a stream. These
and other similar valleys which are linear and too continuous
for long distances to be ascribed to ice blocks may be connected
with drainage during the presence of the glacier.
As shown by the presence of stumps in the water this lake
stood for a long time at a lower level. The change of level was
approximately equal to the height of the present mill dam,
where the fall of the water is never less than six feet. The
new level occasioned by the dam is of recent occurrence in the
life of the lake. Youth is written plainly upon its features,
especially on the profiles of its east side. The south half of
102 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
this side has high, steep coasts and a somewhat sudden descent
to deep water. It is probable that cutting and building never
succeeded in producing a bench at the foot of these cliffs, much
wider than was necessary for the exercise of beach functions.
When the horizon of cutting was raised the work had to be be-
gun anew, for the old shelf was drowned far below the reach
of the waves which could be produced on so small a lake.
The new cliff is steep and at intervals perfectly bare of vege-
tation. The new platform rests upon the old in the form of a
terrace about ten feet wide. In this width its fall is less than
one foot. Before going another ten feet from shore, it is found
to have fallen to a depth of four or five feet. This steep slope
or front is composed of clean cobble stones almost unmixed with
fine material. Its edge is usually clearly marked ; it is seen
to rest upon gravel, sand, or mud. The gently sloping top of
the terrace is covered with gravel of various grades.
This is a normal feature of a shore upon which the horizon
of cutting has recently been raised. (Compare Green lake,
page 147.) The gravel and sand under the edge of the water is
carried alongshore in milder weather but in storms it is dragged
out over the front ; it is soon replaced by the waste of the cliff.
Its steep sloping front, composed of clean cobbles, is the con-
clusive evidence that storm waves are strong enough to remove
all smaller stones and that heavy material is carried out by the
undertow and lodged beyond the reach of incoming breakers.
This is the essential feature of an unfinished beach profile on a
cutting shore. Beyond this front the finer products of the
present waste are spread out. If these strata were pierced, the
heavier stones of the former shore would doubtless be found.
Some of the east shore which is not actively cutting is pro-
tected by artificial bowlder walls, indicating that it is to be
classed as a cutting coast. The coast south of the outlet is in
part so protected. Here also are ice ramparts, partly cut away
in the improvement of private grounds.
A few depositional features on this lake are also suggestive
of its history. North of the peninsula which indents the mid-
dle of the east shore is a shallow bay. Bar building from the
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 103
south is going on actively in front of this bay. At present a
spit of coarse gravels reaches some hundreds of feet northward.
Farther east within the hay is another spit extending much
farther north. It is hroader than the first, covered with finer
material, and ends in an indefinite shoal. Plainly this spit is
not now growing ; the beach of which it was the continuation, is
not now in use. It was built when the lake was young and had
about the same level as at present, though the windings of its
coast were somewhat different. When the level fell, forests
covered the bay, as may be seen by the stumps which remain.
When the level was again raised the current flowed on a line
farther lakeward, building the present spit. The bay south of
Rogee's peninsula is being spanned by a spit growing southeast-
ward. (Plate XXII, Fig. 1.) The shallows which connect
the island with the mainland near the outlet are an original
feature of the bottom not produced by the agency of the water.
THE NASHOTAH-NEMAHBIN LINE.
These four lakes from Upper Nashotah on the north to
Lower Nemahbin on the south, form a connected line about
three miles long. Between the several lakes are low marshy
passages constricted by kames. Here was a line of ice blocks
whose direction, as also the longest dimensions of the several
blocks, is parallel to that of Nagawicka lake and to the position
of the front of the retreating Green bay glacier.
The Bark river enters Upper ^sTemahbin lake from the east
and leaves Lower Nemahbin at the west. These two lakes and
Lower Nashotah have the same level. Upper Nashotah lies
two feet higher. The Nashotahs are fed by springs and dis-
charge their waters southward into Upper ISTemahbin.
Upper Nasliotah. On the banks of this lake steep kame
slopes alternate with flats which occupy kettles of the ordinary
type. Rather, it may be said that the kame slope is continu-
ous around the whole but is more sinuous than the shoreline, so
that at some places the two lines agree ; at others they separate,
104; LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
leaving flats between. A characteristic steep kame slope may
be seen at the Mission. (See Plate XXIII.)
The amount of erosion has not been sufficient to supply ma-
terial for large beach structures. The largest is a sandy beach
ridge which lies on the flat coast within the largest bay on the
west side. It is built of detritus from the cliff on its north side
but before its completion the sinking of the lake level or the
shallowing of the bay so enfeebled the currents as to cause the
building along this line to cease.
Lower Nashotdh has a more uniformly steep coast, especially
on its west side. The north end of the east side has been suffi-
ciently cut to show a decidedly convex profile. At the foot of
most of its cliffs are gravelly slopes a few feet or a few yards
wide, so that the base of the cliff lies a foot or more above the
level of the water. Such dry strands are an indication of a
falling level. The cliffs of this lake do not, as a rule, show
Upper NemaJibin. The coasts of Upper Nemahbin were
originally of the same character as those of the two lakes north
of it. The extent of low or swampy ground on its border where
the steep kame bank leaves the shore is not great. A low strip
extends north from this lake to Upper JSTashotah and may once
have formed a direct connection between the lakes east of Lower
Nashotah. A similar flat area at the south end includes both
the inlet and the outlet and connects this lake basin with that of
The effect of the larger size of this lake, as compared with
the two Nashotahs, is at once evident in the amount of shore
work. The northern extension was first crossed by a bar. This
bar assumed the functions of a beach and has since been broad-
ened into a terrace by the addition of three successive ridges
upon its front. The position of this structure is seen to be
favorable to the wave built terrace. The forms of the several
ridges have been much disturbed by ice push. Similar current-
built and ice-pushed ridges cross several hollows on the east side.
ISTear the inlet a prominent headland is reached by a ridge of
unusual size from the north. The headland was once an island ;
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. XXIV.
A fresh ice-pushed terrace, east side of Pine Lake.
An old ice-pushed terrace, Oconomowoc Lake.
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 105
the ridge was at first a bar ; wave action and ice push raised it
nine or ten feet above the present water level. The falling of
the lake level and the accumulation of vegetation combined to
make a swamp of what was once a bay behind the island and
Lower Nemahbin has some good ridges on its southeast and
southwest coasts. These seem, however, to have been built
when the level stood a little higher. The bluffs show former
cutting but not much at the present time. Much of the lake is
shallow and vegetation interferes greatly with wave action.
The expansion of the ice on these lakes has not produced ram-
parts. It has already been referred to as deforming some of
the beach ridges. In addition to this it has quit generally
produced at the foot of cliffs the low bench or terrace described
in chapter II as the ice-pushed terrace. This form, as seen
here, is a level bench from two to ten feet wide, running along
the foot of a cliff and lying two or more feet above the lake.
(See Plate XXIV.) On Upper Nehmabin lake, between the
inlet and the north end, an addition to one of these features has
been made so recently as to show beyond question the manner of
its making. For a fourth of a mile the fresh gravels* have
been pushed up to an almost uniform height, varying little
from thirty inches above the water. At places this band of
gravel was laid up against the steep cliff itself as the first con-
tribution to the feature in question. At other places the new
contribution was added to the front of a previously existing
bench or terrace of the same height. This ice-pushed-terrace
is quite commonly associated with a band of freshly laid cob-
bles under the margin of the water. Such a band must always
result from the new beginning which the waves must make in
the adjustment of the beach profile after it is disturbed by the
pushing of the ice.
*This is reported to have occurred in the winter of 1898-1899.
106 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
These two lakes may be included among those drained by
the Bark river because of their situation within its basin, al-
though they have no stream connection. They are two simple
ice pits separated by a. ridge of sand and gravel. The massive-
ness and height of their beach ridges above the present level in-
dicates a higher level when these forms were constructed. The
most prominent ones lie east of the separating ridge, are con-
tinuous with it and are of the same height and material. The
top of the ridge itself, several hundred feet wide, is composed
of the same material. Other ridges of beach origin more or
less modified by ice push, lie along the west sides. The ridge
between the lakes must have been the gathering ground for
a part of the sand with which to build the dune ridge east of the
lower lake. This dune ridge is nearly twenty feet high, and
one or two hundred yards wide. Its dune character is seen in
its hummocky topography and in its pure sands exposed by the
cutting of a road through its northern end.
These lakes have neither stream inlet nor stream outlet and
it is therefore impossible to control their levels by a dam. The
water of the north lake is now one foot higher than that of the
other. That of both doubtless escapes by percolation to the
south. Such lakes are subject to great changes of level, which
implies a corresponding broad zone which is subjected to beach
processes. This is one of the reasons for the large beach feat-
ures of these lakes.
This is the highest lake to be described in the district, and
lies at the head of a drainage line which is tributary to the
Oconomowoc river. Its waters flow first into Pine lake and
thence through Mud lake into North lake.* Here they join
the waters of the Oconomowoc river. Beaver lake is fed by
The overflow from Beaver to Pine ceases after a period of dry
weather and Pine Lake has not been known to overflow for some years.
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 107
springs and in some seasons receives a supply of water sufficient
to make a considerable stream at the outlet. This outlet has in-
cised its channel hy at least a few feet, as will be seen from cer-
tain beach structures which could only have been built when
the water stood a few feet higher. If this lake should rise four
or five feet higher it would spread out into many small bays and
arms. At the heads of these it would reach the same steep kame
slopes which now characterize its salient curves. These scal-
lops are lateral pits bordering the two great pits, which together
constitute the lake basin. At a former time when the water
stood higher and the bottoms of these side pits had not been
filled with mud and vegetable remains, the lake occupied these
scallops and showed a much more sharply curved shoreline.
At present the coast is about equally divided between steep
bluffs on the salient curves and flat or gently sloping land be-
hind the reentrant curves. This land, where flat, often lies
two or three feet above the lake level. This exceeds the
amount which the level has fallen since it left its first records
of level on its shores, because these flat areas have been some-
what raised by the remains of many generations of vegetation.
Along almost all reentrant curves are high ridges which have
the graceful curves of bars. Some of them are such, unmodi-
fied. This class includes some which are exceptionally fine
along the south side. The long ridge at the east end is in the
main a beach ridge in the more restricted sense, though ice has
no doubt altered its form and added some heavier materials.
The larger part of these ridges owe their location to the pro-
cesses which determine beach lines, but many of them owe their
height to materials pushed inward from the bottom by the ice.
Along the north side some are seen to contain many bowlders,
others have a sharp irregular crest, and others still have both
these evidences of ice origin. One large ridge at the northwest
corner is composed at one place of bowlders and a few feet
away of marl, showing the entire impartiality with which the
ice uses the material of marginal bottoms and adjacent shores
to build ramparts.
A considerable amount of cliff cutting has been done and a
108 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
large part of the bluffs show a convex profile. (Chapter I,
p. 6.) Most of these bluffs are just at present protected
from further cutting by the presence of ice-pushed-terraees at
their bases (see Chapter II, p. 30 ; also compare the Nemah-
bin lakes, p. 104). The waves are unable to carry away dur-
ing the open season what the ice pushes in, in the winter. The
lake is thus kept busy working over its own shore drift and
since the fall of its level, is temporarily prevented from reach-
ing the base of its cliffs. The constantly renewed dragging out
of the gravels pushed shoreward by the ice keeps a belt of clean
cobbles under the edge of the water. These features are seen;
in their relations with exceptional clearness in Beaver lake.
The basin of this lake is chiefly one large pit, reaching a depth
of ninety feet, below the water level. The depth measured
from the surface of the adjacent country is from twenty to forty
feet more. Like the borders of other lakes of this district, the
slopes of Pine are deeply and minutely pitted. Some of these
pits lie low enough to form bays, a few of which are well shown
on the hydrographic map. Other similar bays have already
been cut off in the process of simplifying the coast line. Sev-
eral such at the south end are now filled with peat.
The water of this lake comes chiefly from small springs and
seepage from Beaver lake and that which is not evaporated
passes north or west in the same manner. In exceptional sea-
sons the lake may still overflow to North lake. The level is said
to be steadily falling and is plainly at present (September,
1901) two feet lower than the horizon at which its present cliffs
were cut. Between the base of the cliffs and the water's edge
there is a slope covered with gravel and cobbles formerly
washed by the water and belonging to the shore drift. As the
lake does not usually overflow, its height can not be maintained
by a dam. Its fall indicates a general sinking of the level of
ground water in the vicinity.
The records of cliff cutting during higher stages are distinct.
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. 109
Where cutting has simply nipped the base of the kame slope,
there is seen the characteristic convex profile, as on the east
side of the south end. At other places the waves have worn
back the bluffs for some yards, as in the case of a few headlands
on the west side. At such places the slope is due entirely to
undercutting and weathering and shows none of the original
features of the ice pit except its even top.
Some shoals lying forty rods or more from the shore at Pine
Lake park are covered with bowlders. These are former eleva-
tions cut down to their present level by the carrying off of the
materials which waves and currents were able to handle.
Whether these elevations ever stood out as islands must b"e a
matter of conjecture.
The quantity of material built into beach structures is small
in comparison with the amount carried away from the cliffs.
This is in entire accord with the form of the basin; its abrupt
descent from the shore line makes it necessary that much waste
from the headlands be first used in building the marginal shelf
and paving the way for beach transportation. But despite the
large consumption of gravel for this purpose, some of *the small
bays of the original basin have been cut off by bars now raised
above the water level ; others are being spanned by bars or spits
not yet so advanced in their development.
The directions of spit building near the ends of the lake show
the vigor with which surface currents may set toward the ends
of a narrow lake and their feebleness in the opposite direction.
The island at the east side of the south end is being extended
southward in a long submerged spit of coarse gravels. The
island at the east side, north of the middle, has a* similar point
at its north end, while erosion at its south end has produced a
steep cliff and a subaqueous shelf some rods in width. The
outlines of this shelf resemble those of the original island.
The fall of level, amounting to one or two feet, in a very few
years has brought about a feature in this lake which is^ not in
general associated with a falling level. This is the clearly de-
fined marginal band of clean cobbles, bounded on its front by a
bed of gravel, sand, or mud. It belongs to a recently inaugu-
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
rated nipping of a coast composed of kame materials; it is
therefore characteristic of rising lake level. When the water
surface falls, the margin is commonly located on a bottom whose
slope is low. The barrier is, therefore, much more frequent
than the new cut-and-built terrace. But where the lakeward
slope has been very steep and the beach profile incomplete, the
falling level may locate the new shoreline on the steep front of
the marginal shelf. In this case cutting is renewed and the
formation of a new shelf begun. (Fig. 30.) These condi-
tions are fulfilled along a considerable portion of the east side
and at the north end of the west side of this lake. Where the
offshore slope is very steep, as in the passage east of the island,
the band becomes a shelf with a steep front, the typical breaker
FIG. 30. Profile of a steep shore (Pine Lake), showing how a falling of the lake-
level may revive cutting. The dotted line represents the former terrace,
the solid line the new terrace.
Where the slopes of the coast are comparatively gentle, ice
ramparts stretch for long distances. In the improvement of
private grounds, they are often cut through, revealing the
heterogeneous nature of their material which distinguishes tftem
from beach ridges. At places the cobbles have been gathered by
the ice from the broad strand and pushed into terraces at the foot
of the cliff, which has been abandoned by the sinking lake.
(Plate XXIV, Fig. 1.)
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT.
The basin of North lake consists of two large pits. At the
present water level the rim between the two is but slightly sub-
merged and plainly visible from the shore. In addition to the
waters of the Oconomowoc river, this lake receives two small
streams from the tamarack swamps on the north and some strong
springs on the south. These springs represent the seepage
from Pine and Beaver lakes, whose levels are above that of
North lake. From the swamps at the north end, vegetation is
advancing into the lake, thereby interfering with currents, de-
taining silt and narrowing the water area. More than half of
the shore, however, including the entire east side, is against
steep bluffs, or the familiar kame slope. Even where the
ground around the west basin is low the lake is bordered by
beach and not by swamp.
Along the steep slopes mentioned, cutting has been quite gen-
eral. With a gradually sinking level, however, many of these
cliffs are now protected from the waves by the presence of ice-
pushed-terraces, notably on the east side. At the south end of
the west basin the old cliffs lie far back from the present shore
line. Southwest of the ice houses the former shoreline lies be-
hind a swamp and is marked by old ice ramparts many rods
from the present shore line.
Large ice ridges of the same kind occur at places along the
present shore of the east basin. At North Lake post office a
heavy ridge of this kind extends northward from the cliff on
the east side and reaches far into the swamp. Such a position
belongs to spits and bars rather than to ice ramparts. This is
one of many cases where the location of such a riage was deter-
mined by the convenience of currents. The material, which is
largely bowlders, could only have been pushed inward from the
bottom by the ice, probably after some sinking of the lake level.
At the outlet is a similar feature which owes its location and
horizontal form to waves and currents, while its height and
abundance of bowlders are due to ice. (Fig. 31.)
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The most distinguishing feature of !N"orth lake is the marl of
the west basin. It is the sole material of the heaches which sur-
round the basin. Its appearance on the beach is that of a white
gravel passing into sand of the same color. Across former bays
the currents have thrown bars of the same material. By a re-
duplication of the same process on the southwest side, there has
been constructed a terrace several hundred feet wide composed
of successive beach ridges of marl. The long slender points
and partly exposed ridge which nearly separate the two parts
of the lake are structures of the same material superposed upon
the ridge which separated two ice pits.
FIG. 31. Outlet of North Lake, showing ice-vampart of bowlders built on the
line of a bar.
Mouse lake occupies a narrow deep pit whose high banks are
unbroken by swamps and but little indented by bays. It is not
connected with any stream. It is fed by springs on its east side
where the bluffs are from forty to one hundred feet high. Be-
yond these highlands, one mile away, lies Pine lake, whose
water surface is seventeen feet higher than that of Mouse lake.
The movement of underground water in this area is toward the
west. In the few hundred feet between Mouse lake and Okau-
chee, the underground water has a further fall of four feet,
the level of Okauchee being that much lower than that of the
former lake. Accordingly no springs enter Mouse lake from
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. XXV.
Cliff in kame gravels, Okauchee Lake. Actively cutting.
An abandoned cliff, Silver Lake.
THE OCONOMOWOG LAKE DISTRICT. 113
the west, but on the opposite side of the separating ridge, many
springs discharge into Okauchee.
The cliffs of this lake show considerable cutting, but most of
the work has been done at a horizon two feet higher tha'n that at
which the water is now working (September, 1901). At the
higher level, the base of the former cliff is distinctly seen. The
waves are now cutting away the bench which lies at the foot of
those cliffs. At some places this has been accomplished and the
original cliff is again being driven backward. The abrupt
descents to deep water have not permitted much of the waste
of these cliffs to be used in constructing spits or bars even at
the few places where the curves of the shore line might favor
such structures. One small hollow at the north end is spanned
by a good ridge. Recent dredging of the two bays at the south
end may have destroyed the beginnings of embankments.
The basin of this lake presents the most irregular contours
to be found on any lake in the group. Its origin is not to be
explained by the incorporation of a single block of ice in the
water-laid deposits. The positions of two principal blocks may
be pointed out with some assurance, but around the edges of the
two main pits thus formed are arms, bays and attendant basins
of all sizes and all degrees of separation from the central basins.
The hydrographic map shows the larger irregularities which are
not above the surface of the water; but even the present jagged
shoreline has been somewhat smoothed by shore processes, from
a still more irregular form. A rise of the water above the
beach structures would give to the shoreline a new set of minute
curves similar to those which belonged to the first shoreline.
A dam in the Oconomowoc river at the outlet holds the level
of the lake about eleven feet higher than it would otherwise be.
The long continuance of the lower level has left its evidence in
the submerged stumps of trees which abound in the shallow arms
of the lake. The comparatively recent beginnings of shore
work at the higher horizon is also evinced by the shore profiles.
(Compare Nagawicka, p. 102.)
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Many of the cliffs of this lake are quite bare of vegetation.
(Plate XXV, Fig. 1.) On the east side this condition is unin-
terrupted for a long distance. Generally, however, the closely
crowded curves of the coast show an alternation of cutting head-
lands with small hays which are filling with swamp or beach
deposits. Under the water the marginal terrace of coarse gravel
and clean cobbles is present wherever the currents are at all
active. It widens at places to twenty or more feet and its limits
may then become less clearly defined. Its habitual narrowness
and distinctness, however, still indicate a youthful shore line,
whose beach profile is far from completed. Within the more
open bays finer gravels are widening the incipient beaches,
building lakeward as the salients are being pushed landward.
When once the beach profile has been well established and the
gravel worn from the cliffs can no longer be carried out to the
front of the marginal shelf, the many indentations will offer
abundant opportunities for bar building. A number of such
structures were partly or wholly completed while the water
stood at its former low level. The long bay extending south-
ward is partly crossed by an old spit from the east at its north
end. The building of this spit has been suspended since the
lake was raised and the system of currents changed. Between
the island west of Garvin lake and the adjacent headland is a
bar composed largely of heavy stones, showing that a part of its
height is due to the work of ice. It rises nearly to the surface
of the water, but it is not now in use, and the present currents
are destroying rather than building it, A more notable illus-
tration of the same kind is found in the long bar of heavy stones
which connects the smaller island farther north with the adja-
cent shore. It is now from two to five feet below the surface
of the water, and the entire shore with which it was connected
is actively cutting back, showing no suggestion of even a spit
at the place from which the former bar sprang. A spit was at
one time built to the northwest from the cliff in front of the two
hotels on the south side; this would in time have produced a bar
across the long arm leading to the outlet. This piece of work
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT.
is also abandoned for the present. The coarse materials of the
structure are seen four or five feet below the surface, where
wave action is powerless to affect them while the lake is at its
present level. Its relation to the present level is made clear by
the large tree stumps which it carries. It was constructed when
the water stood some inches above the embankment; was left
above water during the low level before the outlet was dammed.
During that time it was covered with large trees. Had the dam
raised the lake by a less amount, building might have been re-
newed at this point ; as it is, the currents passing in and out of
the bay are too strong to permit its being raised.
The prominent point seen on the map north of Garvin lake
is not a beach structure, but a ridge of kame materials, actively
cutting on its lakeward side. The shallows which approach
each other from the opposite shores and make a separate basin
of the northwest portion of the lake have a similar constructional
origin, though the passage may have been still further narrowed
by beach deposits when the lake was low.
This lake, like Okauchee, occupies a basin consisting in the
main of two large pits; their connection is over a ridge whose
crest is a few feet below the water level. While completely
surrounded by pitted plains, the slopes around the lake do not
all have the steepness of the typical pit. On the west side, be-
tween the lake and the plain above, is a hummocky slope; on
the south side the shoreline crosses swamps and kame ridges al-
ternately ; the outlet also is bordered by flats. But in spite of
adjacent low ground and the existence of considerable shallows
along the shores, vegetation is not much in evidence in this lake.
The marginal waters are comparatively free even from rushes,
and shore currents are unimpeded except by friction on the bot-
As in the case of Mouse and Okauchee lakes, the springs of
Oconomowoc lake are on its east side. Spring Bank is well
named on account of the large number of springs issuing there.
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
It lies on the side toward Okauchee lake which is less than a
mile away and whose surface is twenty feet higher than that of
The cutting of cliffs on this lake is not active as compared
with Okauchee and others whose levels have recently been raised
by dams. Where the salient curves both east and west of the
narrows face the west or southwest, there are small spots where
the cliffs are devoid of vegetation. At few other places are the
cliffs wasting fast enough to prevent the growth of grass and
Beach functions are for the most part active, and beach
structures are correspondingly prominent. High ridges extend
for long distances in front of the swampy areas on the south
side. These ridges were built as bars and imply a correspond-
ingly large amount of cliff-cutting to furnish the material for
building. They have since been much disturbed by ice push.
Ridges of a similar nature border much of the east end of the
lower basin. A massive one crosses the hollow east of Spring
Bank, and another crosses a similar hollow east of the inlet.
The last mentioned has grown lakeward by the deposit of shore
drift until it may more properly be called a wave-built terrace.
There is also a looped bar on the north side of the narrows. Be-
yond this passage in the smaller basin the currents have built
low triangular points, one on each side. There are no similar
points on the south side of the passage because currents issuing
from the smaller basin are relatively feeble.
The pushing of ice has already been mentioned as deforming
some of the beach ridges. It has also raised ramparts for most
of the distance along the west side. This feature has been
obliterated in many places in the improvement of private
grounds. On the north side, just west of the narrows, is an ice-
pushed terrace of exceptional beauty. (Plate XXIV, Fig. 2.)
LAC LA BELLE.
A look at the hydrographic map will show that the basin of
Lac La Belle consists essentially of three ice pits arranged in a
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII.. PL. XXVI
An old cliff on Lac La Belle. At its foot are found, first glass, farther out sedges, then water lilies, and
lastly rushes, which are now invading the lake at the extreme left.
-and added to the shore of Lac La Belle by vegetable accumulation. The original shore was against the kame at the left.
TIFE OCONOMOWOC LAKE DISTRICT. H7
line whose direction is northwest to southeast, A six foot fall
of the lake level would separate the northwestern pit from the
other two, just as Fowler lake on the southeast is now cut off.
The whole valley may have been used as a drainage line by gla-
The slopes south and west of the lake show the topography of
ground moraine. They rise gently from the water and their
broad curves give no suggestion of a plain. At the middle of
the northeast side are seen some kames which extend northwest
along what was doubtless a drainage line when the glacier cov-
ered the valley. (Plates V and XIV, Fig. 2.) Where these
form the coast the banks show characteristic steepness.
The peninsulas and salient curves shown on the map are for
the most part being cut at the base and show distinct cliffs.
Very few cliffs, however, are wasting so fast as to show facets
bare of vegetation. A few which are cut in the kames on the
northeast side show a convex profile where the kame slope above
merges into the steeper slope of the cliff below.
The peninsula which indents the south shore near the west
end is actively cutting away and stands with an almost vertical
face. Alternating currents have carried the detritus from this
headland both south and west. Both ridges have been subjected
to much pushing by the ice which has added bowlders from the
bottom to the gravels which were brought by currents. The cut-
ting back of the headland did not stop when the ridges were
formed, but its further cutting required that they should be
shifted in position. Two ridges are now visible on the east side.
The inner and older one has a sharper curvature. The place
where it once joined the cliff is now covered by the lake. As
the cliff retreated the proximal end of the ridge was cut away.
The present ridge with its broader curve intersects the line of the
older. (See Fig. 32.)
The south shore of the bay west of this peninsula was once a
vigorously cutting cliff. The old cliff is now well covered with
grass, which also covers a narrow flat band at its foot. Beyond
this belt of grass come other zones of sedges, cat tails, pond
lilies and rushes in the order named. (Plate XXYI, Fig. 1.)
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The last named are leading the advance into the clear waters of
The lowlands bordering the bay north of Buzzard point are
fronted by large beach ridges, which broaden at the north end
into a terrace. The marginal bottom is very gently shelving to
a distance of some hundreds of feet. At this distance it is not
more than four or five feet deep, but free from vegetation. The
presence of occasional cobbles in the sand suggests lower stages
when the shoreline was farther out.
FIG. 32. Bars from headland in Lac la Belle.
Ice ramparts are seen along the west and northwest shores.
At one place the ridge consists of marl. The effects of ice in
deforming beach ridges is quite generally observed on this lake.
Fowler lake is a single deep pit whose level is held by a dam,
at a height seven feet above Lac La Belle. Cutting would be
quite general around this lake if the artificial walls of stone and
piles were removed. The curves upon which these are built do
not always agree with those which the currents find it convenient
to follow. Accordingly the walls are washed vigorously in some
LAKES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY.
places, while an occasional beach of gravel is beginning to build
where the currents diverge from these artificial boundaries.
The channel of the Oconomowoc river between the lake of that
name and Fowler lake has been enlarged and made navigable
for the steamers in use on Oconomowoc lake. The river has a
fall of somewhat more than two feet in this interval. The level
of the latter lake is preserved by the two locks in the channel.
If a line were drawn limiting the ground moraine on the east
it would lie a little east of Fowler lake ; trending a little west
of south it would divide the basin of Silver lake giving the east-
ern part to the strip of kames and pitted plains and the western
part to the area of ground moraine. The eastern slopes of its
basin are steep and kame-like, both above and below the water
surface. Above the basin lies a pitted plain of the most pro-
nounced character. The topography on the west is like that
west of Lac La Belle, passing by swamps and rounded hills into
the typical drumlin area farther west.
The features of interest on this lake are connected with its
falling level. Between the road and the north shore a cliff two
and one-half feet above the water level may be distinctly seen.
For much of the distance, may be seen offshore, a typical wave-
built barrier (see Chapter II, page 29). This characteristic
feature of sinking levels is separated from the former shore of
this lake by lagoons which are analogous to those which separate
the inner from the outer shore line on much of the Atlantic
coast. The bases of other fading cliffs which lie nearer to the
water are seen on the east side. (Plate XXV, Fig. 2.) On
the east and south sides the hollows are crossed by gravel beach
ridges of large dimensions. One on the west side of the penin-
sula which indents the south side is especially typical in pro-
120 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
LAKES OP WASHINGTON COUNTY.
TOPOGRAPHY OF THE REGION.
The peculiar characteristics of the kettle moraine or nowhere
more strikingly displayed than in the vicinity of the lakes of
Washington county. A most impressive view may be had from
the hill one-half mile west of the Schleisingerville station. The
village to the east is seen against the background of a range so
abrupt and complex that it may well be described as a pile of
hills. To the west, more than a hundred feet below the observer,
stretches the gently rolling ground moraine. A band several
miles wide between the Kettle moraine on the east and the
ground moraine on the west is low and partly covered by
swamps, with an occasional group of kames. These same topo-
graphic types constitute the features of the landscape as viewed
from any exposed point on the margin of this portion of the
Kettle moraine. Its height, one hundred and fifty to two hun-
dred feet above the adjacent plains, its confusion of abrupt hills
and equally steep-sided iindrained basins, and its marked topo-
graphic contrast with the rolling plain, above which it rises, are
sources of interest and pleasure to the sightseer as well as to the
This so-called range is not a single ridge but an assemblage of
ridges, which may continue rudely parallel for some miles, but
meet and merge at low angles. Their heights also vary within
a short distance or a ridge may come to an end at a transverse
valley or at the border of the range. The number of constituent
ridges in a cross section in this vicinity varies from three to
five. There is the same lack of continuity in the valleys be-
LAKES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY.
tween the ridges, some uniting with transverse valleys, others
opening on the outer lowland and still others heing entirely en-
It will be remembered that this kettle range is the combina-
tion of terminal moraines of two glaciers. (See Chapter I.).
In this vicinity the ice movement was from the east on the one
hand and from the northwest on the other. Each ridge marks
the position of the front of a glacier while the ridge was being
formed. This front alternately advanced and retreated, but the
ever-changing sinuosities of its outline occasioned, upon each
new advance, a pushing of the old ridge at some points and an
interval between old ridge ajid ice at other points. Thus a new
ridge would be formed which at places appeared as an inde-
While these ridges were forming, the drainage from the con-
stantly melting ice was necessarily in courses along the ice
fronts, that is parallel with the ridges. As any one valley served
as a drainage line only while the ice stood at one or both of its
sides and there was thus a, constant supply of morainic material
upon its slopes, these valleys should not now be expected to pre-
sent the features of well developed river basins. The latest of
such drainage lines on the side of the Green Bay glacier was
along the low strip bordering the western base of the moraine.
It is now partly occupied by swamps and includes the basin of
Pike lake. At the east base of the moraine the last drainage
line for the Michigan glacier, is now occupied in part by Silver
creek with the series of lakes and swamps through which it flows.
The depression along the same line is also well marked south of
During each recession of the ice front, its wasting edge was
generally the seat of some kame building. These kames, some-
times few and small, sometimes in extraordinary development,
lie on the floors of all the valleys and on the flanks of the ridges.
The massive knob in Schleisingerville, partly consumed for
gravel for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, is of this
*Geology of Wisconsin, Vol. II, p. 207.
122 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
origin. A similar mass two miles north of the village is being
cut away hy the Wisconsin Central railroad. Kames lie at in-
tervals on the low strip west of the moraine, or appear as islands
in the swamps. They are similarly developed along the drain-
age line at the east base. A very prominent kame area reaches
southeast in a tongue between Little Cedar and Silver lakes,
abutting at the northwest against the high moraine ridge. The
plain which lies east of the Silver creek line is at places deeply
and beautifully pitted. Such a pitted area lies on the east side
of Little Silver lake. On the site of this plain the remnants of
the retreating glacier became isolated blocks of ice. The inter-
spaces were filled to a plane with sand and gravel from tEe gla-
cier to the east.
THE LAKE BASIN'S.
The trough which is partly filled by the waters of Big
Cedar lake is one of those already described as involved in the
structure of the moraine. Kame gravels partly filled it to a
plane above the level of the lake and it is probable that the whole
valley would have been filled to the same depth, had not the
present lake basin been occupied by a mass of ice. On the west
side lies a ridge whose crest is from one hundred and fifty to
two hundred feet above the lake. On the east side of the lake
the shoreline south of the outlet cuts diagonally (2sTE. to SW.)
across the trend, truncating a ridge and a valley east of the
ridge. North of the outlet a more easterly ridge with the same
trend slopes less abruptly to the water than does the one at the
If the depth of the water, about one hundred and five feet,
be added to the height of the enclosing ridges the bottom of the
trough will be seen to be two hundred and fifty or three hundred
feet below the rim on the west side and somewhat less than two
hundred and fifty feet below the rim on the east side. The
trough continues to the southwest beyond the limits of the lake,
but it is here filled with gravels to a height of thirty or forty feet
above the lake level. Farther to the southwest it descends to the
LAKES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY.
swamp which lies outside the limits of the moraine. The lowest
point in the rim of the lake is on the east side where a transverse
valley connects this trough with that which contains Little Cedar
lake. Through this opening the waters of the larger lake are
discharged into the smaller.
FIG. 33. Vicinity of the lakes of Washington County.
This accident of enclosure between the morainic ridges and
the partial occupation of the trough by an ice mass are the only
factors in the origin of this basin which can be known with cer-
tainty. The underlying rock surface is too deeply buried by
the drift to allow any satisfactory knowledge of the pre-glacial
topography. The Niagara limestone lies close to the surface of
324: LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the ground at Hartford six miles to the southwest and on both
sides of Little Cedar lake the same rock is found only ten
feet below the level of the water or about thirty feet below the
level of Big Cedar. The surface of the bed rock under the val-
ley of Big Cedar lake is therefore much lower than the surface
of bed rock at the sides of that valley. What the nature or shape
of that depression may be is uncertain and it does not appear to
have had anything to do with locating or causing the lake basin
except to make a greater depth possible.
The basin of Little Cedar lake is similar and had the same
origin. Its bottom lies below the level of the bed rock near its-
shores, but its immediate cause was the accident of an undrained
trough between the morainic ridges, the depth of the trough at
this place being preserved by a temporary filling of ice. Viewed
from the higher bluff to the north, its slopes, like those of Big
Cedar, are seen to be the characteristic slopes of ridges of ter-
The basin of Pike lake on the west of the range and that of
Silver lake on the east have already been referred to as the lower
places of former drainage lines w r hen the melting glaciers dis-
charged their water along lines between their fronts and the
ridges of their own building. These sags in drainage lines
present no difficulty if three circumstances are borne in mind.
The first is the shortness of the period during which these
courses were used and their consequent immaturity of profile as
drainage lines ; the second is the constant dumping of debris
from the front of the ice and by small tributary glacial streams ;
the third is the presence of isolated ice blocks whose subsequent
melting always impresses upon the topography a character which
is the opposite of that which running water tends to produce.
The basin of Silver lake presents a conjunction of features
which is highly instructive. Standing on the kame peninsula
at the south end and looking north the observer sees on the west
side the broken slope of the high morainic ridge rising one hun-
dred and twenty-five feet or more above the lake. On the east
side he sees a plain thirty or forty feet above the lake, pitted in
places and falling off to the lake with the steep slope, which is
LAKES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY. 125
characteristic of kames and of pits due to ice blocks. This basin
has, therefore, on its west side the distinctive feature of the
basin of Big and Little Cedar lakes, and on its east side the feat-
ures of ice pits or lakes of kame areas. While the plain to the
east was being built by the outwash from the Lake Michigan
glacier, whose front had retreated eastward, it may be conceived
as reaching to the foot of the high ridge on the west, but on the
site of Silver lake the deposit included some blocks of the basal
ice of the retreating glacier. The melting of these blocks caused
the basin of Silver lake and the other small lakes and swamps of
the same line. Essentially the same features, the plain on the
east, the longitudinal valley, constricted at places by kames, and
the high moraine on the west are maintained for some distance
both north and south of the Silver lakes. For nearly the entire
distance to West Bend, Silver creek is merely the overflow from
lake to lake or from swamp to swamp along this line.
All the lakes of this vicinity are fed by springs issuing from
the glacial deposits, Little Cedar receiving also the waters from
the springs, which discharge directly into Big Cedar. The
many undrained areas of this vicinity, of which the kettles are
often but the narrow and picturesque bottoms, divide the rain;
which they receive, giving the smaller part back to the atmos-
phere by evaporation, and the larger part to the earth, to supply
the needs of the soil or to issue again as springs.
DEVELOPMENT OF SHOEE LINES.
The shores of Big Cedar lake present many features of ero-
sion and construction by waves and currents. Since the shore-
line nowhere is on the solid rock, a large part of its extent passed
rapidly through its youthful stage and has now a completed
beach profile. Along this beach is a succession of slowly cut-
ting cliffs and wave-built features.
This is true in general of the west shore where the initial
slope from the water's edge to the deep basin was not steep.
Here, by a very little nipping of the coast, the waves carried out
enough material to build a beach upon which transportation
126 1 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
alongshore could proceed ; that is to say, the initial slope being
small, a small amount of detritus carried outward from the
coast, went a long way and the waves soon found themselves un-
able to drag to the front of the growing shelf any material ex-
cept that which was sufficiently fine to be handled by a much
enfeebled undertow. The larger pebbles which were thus sub-
jected to a continual alternation of dashing in and dragging out
were carried alongshore by the currents and used to fill the
The part of the shore showing the least development of beach
profile lies on the east side between Pebbly beach and the south
end, notwithstanding the fact that this is probably more exposed
to storm waves than is any other portion. The reason for this
youthful aspect lies chiefly in the abruptness of the initial slope.
Even now after some spreading of waste upon the bottom and
some cutting back of the land, a depth of more than eighty
feet is reached at little more than one hundred yards from the
shore. The slope of the land is still steeper. Such a slope
aids the waves greatly in dragging out stones, and a large
amount of filling must be done before the edge of the dump
grows out to quiet water and its growth is thereby checked.
This stage of growth has not yet been reached in the strip de-
scribed, hence large cobble stones are still carried out beyond
the depth from which they can be recovered by incoming
breakers. This lake, like many others, has had the youth of its
shores renewed in recent years by a low dam.
The small amour t of cutting which has already been done,
has loosened the supports of many bowlders which have fallen
down and now impede the work of the waves. The ice keeps
them pushed landward and they are sometimes seen to be pressed
deeply into the cliff of moraine. So effectual is this defense in
retarding the work of cliff-cutting that the present cliffs are no-
where bare. Everywhere the wasting of their faces is suffi-
ciently slow to allow grass and trees to grow. This vegetation
in turn contributes to the stability of the bluff.
Amon:^ the bowlders and the heavier cobbles, smaller stones
and gravel are carried alongshore by lighter waves and currents
LAKES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY.
which find the present width of the platform quite sufficient for
beach transportation. This material traveling southward is
building a small spit at the south end of the cliff, which is near
the extremity of the lake. That which travels north adds to the
width of the beach ridge already constructed across the former
swamp south of Echo point. The assortment which this ma-
terial has undergone has suggested the name of Pebbly beach.
Echo point, though now protected by an artificial bowlder
wall, has cliffs which have furnished shore drift both to Pebbly
beach on the south and to the bar which now borders the bay
east of the point. The ridge which borders this bay contains
some history. The part on the south side was built eastward
by material from Echo point. The part on the east was built
southward from the cliff south of the outlet. Each part has
coarse material near its cliff, becoming progressively finer until
sand alone is brought by the currents to the southeast corner.
The ridge on the east is five or six feet high and forty feet wide
near its extremity. It is older than the other and extends south
past the corner of the bay. The broader expanse of water neces-
sary to that building may even have passed over to Pebbly
beach, leaving Echo point as an island. At a later time the
other ridge advanced from the west, intersecting the first and
stopping the growth of its point.
Point Lookout is partly but not wholly a wave-built struc-
ture. The course of its growth embraces a former small island
or peninsula of bowlder clay from which a long ridge, which is
mainly the work of ice, extends southeastward to the mainland.
North of the nucleus of bowlder clay a spit makes the point
proper. (Fig. 34.) Currents setting toward the mainland
have made a hook of this spit. The hook itself once occupied a
position farther south, but the currents from the south built
too rapidlv for the currents from the northwest and the re-
versed point was obliged to take a new position farther north.
A third tooth still farther north is already outlined by an em-
bankment of gravel, not yet above the level of the water.
Linden Point is a perfect illustration of an island tied to the
128 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
mainland by a bar. (See hydrographic map, also Plate
XXVIII, Fig. 1.) The island is a glacial ridge thirty-five
feet high, whose base shows distinctly the effects of wave cut*
ting. The cutting on the west side was done when currents
from the south flowed freely through the channel more than
an eighth of a mile wide between the island and the mainland.
In the progress of shore development the north and south
currents were caused to use the larger channel east of the
island and the relatively quiet water behind the island received
the waste won by currents from the island and the cliffs
to the south. Beginning as spits from the mainland and
island, the embankment became continuous when the spits met.
It now swings in a beautiful curve adjusted to the currents on
its south side.* The edge of the water on its north side being
left stagnant has filled with rushes and swamp grasses.
FIG. 34. Point Lookout, Big Cedar Lake.
Bar building between islands has been done on a still larger
scale at the north end of the lake. Gilbert lake was once a part
of Big Cedar. At its south end was a small glacial island and
on its east side a larger island. Currents from Big Cedar con-
tinued their courses into Gilbert and did some work upon its
shores, but the currents which pursued a course outlined by the
*At the right, in Plate XXVIII, Fig. 1.
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIM.. PL. XXVIII.
Bar connecting island with mainland, Big Cedar Lake. Looking east to the island.
Rainbow Lake, Waupaca Chain. Trees undercut by waves. In their endeavor to maintain an upright
position, they have curved upward in process of growth.
ELKHART LAKE. 129
islands did more work and, against the opposition of cross cur-
rents, succeeded in building bars spanning the passages. These
bars are now broad and ^-/, covered for the most part with
This end of the lake, and especially Gilbert lake, show a
rapid advance toward extinction. The mud which is washed
in by rains from the surrounding hills, shallows the water.
The growth of rushes impedes the already feeble currents and
prevents disturbance of the silt. Grasses are closing in upon
the retreating lake and are followed by trees at no great dis-
Little Cedar lake shows one excellent example of shore work.
The point at the north end which separates the tw r o parts of the
lake was once an island.* The currents from the southeast
passed through the east channel to the north basin. The rec-
ord of this stage is a spit directed to the northwest through the
channel. Later the currents from the east found the channel
too small and passed to the south side of the island, building a
bar. The isthmus thus formed has been broadened by swamp
growth in the quiet water on the north side. Currents suffer a
check in the bay east of this peninsula and have built a gently
shelving sand beach upon which bathers may go out two or
three hundred feet.
*See map, Fig. 33.
130 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
GEOLOGIC AL, HISTORY.
This lake in Sheboygan county lies about half way between
Lake Michigan and the south end of Lake Winnebago. The
dominant topographical feature in the vicinity is the Kettle
moraine. Its crest is just east of Elkhart lake. North of this
place its trend is north-northeast, but just south of the lakes it
turns more to the westward and for some miles its course is
more west than south. It rises from one to two hundred feet
above the general level on its west side and nearly twice that
amount above the country on the east, Notwithstanding its
conspicuous height it does not constitute a water parting for
any but the smallest streams. The drainage is controlled by a
much older and more uniform ridge formed by the outcrop of
the gently dipping Niagara limestone. (See Chapter I, p. 1.)
This ridge runs along the east side of Lake Winnebago, its
steep, west-facing escarpment forming the east wall of that lake
basin. Its long and gentle east slope begins but a few miles
from the lake and it is down this slope of thirty miles that the
small streams flow into Lake Michigan across the course of the
Kettle moraine. This was also the course pursued for geolog-
ical periods before the glacial invasion. The slope had been
furrowed by valleys and its topography influenced the behavior
of the ice.
The course of one such valley included the locality of Elk-
hart lake. Well borings have not found bed rock at less than
ninety feet below the surface of the lake, and the fact that some
have gone much deeper without finding rock indicates that the
surface on which the drift was laid down was far from even.
On the other hand the rock crops out only a few miles to the
north. It is quite probable that the valley whose former exist-
ence is revealed by these borings, occupied a position similar to
that of Sheboygan swamp which lies west of Elkhart lake and
is much elongated in the direction north- of west. This direc-
tion has a rough agreement with that of the movement of the
ice of the Green bay glacier. The valley might have been still
further eroded by the glacier had the same conditions occurred
farther back from the limit of the glacial advance. As it was,
the glacier had no eroding power, neither was there any exit
for the waters of the melting glacier where they could escape
with sufficient power to carry away the load brought to this
basin. The result was a partial filling of the valley.
The filling of this valley was by two distinct processes and
with two kinds of material, resulting in different topographies.
The area subject to these two processes may be roughly sepa-
rated by a line drawn north and south just west of Elkhart lake.
Between this line and the steep slopes of the Kettle moraine on
the east the material appearing at the surface has been for the
most part handled and laid down by the water issuing from the
melting glacier. West of this line the material is that which
lodged below the ice. East of this line are kames ; on the west
side are the broad curves of the ground moraine, except where
swamp filling has since built the surface to a flat. There are
depressions east of this line and the largest one contains Elk-
hart lake; but all such depressions must inevitably have been
filled with the abundant gravels carried by the streams between
the two glaciers, had they not been filled for the time being with
remnants of the glacier. West of the line indicated, there was
left a wide and shallow basin in the ground moraine itself. On
the withdrawal of the ice the latter became a lake some miles
in extent. Its remnant is now Sheboygan swamp.
As the front of the Green bay glacier retreated westward
from the line of the Kettle moraine, the trough left between
the ice and the moraine was for the most part filled with gravels
to a height of thirty feet or more above the present level of the
132 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
lake. Some kames were built much higher than this ; a line of
such hills on the south and west sides of the lake rises from
one hundred to one hundred fifty feet above the water. They
are of very heavy gravels, the individual stones sometimes
reaching the size of small bowlders. They indicate a vigorous
drainage which deposited its load in the corners or recesses
of the ice front.
SHORES OF ELKITART LAKE.
As is common with lakes of this origin, Elkhart lake has
had steep banks from the beginning. (See Chapter I, p.
6.) A very large proportion of them are also being cut
at the present time, their steepness being thus preserved or
increased. Being high, a small amount of cutting at the base
furnishes a large amount of material to be disposed of by waves
and currents. This and the limited power of the waves on so
small a lake are conditions for a slow retreat of cliffs. The
steep slopes are, therefore, well wooded, a circumstance which
still further retards wasting while it conduces greatly to the
charm of the scenery.
The youth of the shore line is emphasized by the prevalence
of cutting, even in bays where a vigorous circulation may not be
supposed to reach. This is true of Turtle bay (Plate XXIX),
which would seem liable to be cut off by a bar, and to become
filled with sediment and vegetation in an early stage of the
lake's life. No such bar, however, appears; on the contrary
the west shore of this bay is not only not receiving sediment at
the water edge, but it is kept clean and fresh by a small amount
of cutting. An inspection of the map will show that the shore
west of this bay does not yet afford a sufficiently smooth path
for currents, to make bar building possible at the mouth of the
bay. There remain minor reentrant curves to be filled or head-
lands to be cut away before the shore currents can bring drift
from any great distance. At the present time, too, the current
from the west is dissipated and its load lost in shallowing a. con-
siderable area . in front of the bay. The shore conditions are
| UNIVERSITY )
ELK HART LAKE.
more favorable to the building of a bar from the east side, but
east winds in general lack the power of west winds, hence cur-
rents from the east bring less load. Notwithstanding this ad-
verse condition, there is much more shallowing at the mouth
of the bay on the east side than on the west. The currents fail,
however, to run tangent to the shore in one constant direction,
hence the sediment is spread out over a shoal instead of concen-
trating into a bar.
Currents have done more reconstructive work at the north-
east corner of the lake than at any other part of the shore. The
ground between the present roadway and the shore is for the
most part a beach deposit. Several ridges of this origin may
be distinguished. Some of the filling near the water's edge is
artificial. The sandy beach, however, and subaqueous terrace
of sand extending out nearly forty rods from shore, indicate
that the widening of this beach by artificial means is only an-
ticipating the work which the lake itself would do if allowed a
little more time.
West of this corner to Turtle bay and south to Echo bay are
cliffs from twenty to thirty feet high, well wooded and re-
treating very slowly. The east side of the lake, being most ex-
posed to the strongest wave action, should show the greatest ef-
fect of cutting, but the marginal shelf, most of whose width is
probably due to deposition, rarely exceeds five rods in width.
Near Echo bay, where the slope of the bank becomes less
steep, the ice has raised ramparts of the kame material to a
height of seven feet. It is significant of the durability of these
features that one of these ridges in which small bowlders are
involved, and which has still much of the ruggedness of youth,
lies entirely behind some gnarled spruce trees, the largest of
which are at least eighteen inches in diameter. These trees
have grown up in front of the ridge since it received its last
push. A smaller and lower ridge at the water's edge seems to
have been made at a lower stage of the water.
Echo bay, at the southeast corner of the lake, is in every way
similar to Northeast bay. The wave-built terrace at its head
is covered with a fine, dense growth of cedar and the area of
134 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
dry land is constantly growing lakeward by additions on the
front of the sandy beach. The situation of this bay is favorable
to the production of a wave-built terrace inasmuch as surface
currents driven by west and northwest winds are quite likely
to set toward the head of the bay along both sides. The escape
of the water is then entirely by undertow, and the load which
the currents carried is left on the beach in the bay.
From this place to beyond Talmage point, the shore is against
the high ridge of kames mentioned above. The three head-
lands represented on the map are outstanding masses of this
ridge. Talmage point is seventy feet above the water and parts
of the ridge farther southeast are nearly twice as high. Some
deep kettles in this kaine area border the lake and formerly
made scallops in its outline. To cut these off has been among
the first tasks of the currents, though the. large bays remain as
in the infancy of the lake, and even within the deep reentrant
curve south of Talmage point are evidences of cutting. A fine
kettle, having a history similar to that of those on the west side,
is found on the east side of Turtle bay. It is separated from
the lake in front by a single ridge, whose position and shape
might seem to be that of a wave-built point. Its resemblance
to the latter is purely fortuitous. Its character is that of an
original kame ridge ; within the bay on its east side it changes
to that of a beach ridge much disturbed by ice pushing.
Ice pushing on the west side of the lake has also been
general. For a considerable distance between Talmage point
and the Outlet bay, the combined action of beach processes and
ice pushing has raised a strong ridge which has been artificially
modified into a walk.
The outlet is at the west end at the extremity of a narrow
bay which has at one time been wider than it now is. It has
flat strips on both sides, behind which lie the steep bluffs whose
bases were at one time cut by the waves. This condition was
associated with a more youthful stage of the shore. It may
also have been associated with a higher stage of the water. No
doubt the most important condition of this wave action was
ELK HART LAKE.
the union of Elkhart lake with the large lake on the west which
was the predecessor of Sheboygan swamp.
Sheboygan swamp. A swamp, fifteen or twenty square miles
in area, is but one of many evidences of a former large lake west
of Elkhart, The location of its shores at one stage (probably
not that of its greatest extent) are found about forty rods west
of the outlet of Elkhart lake. Here are (or were until re-
cently) two broad gravel ridges several feet in height and trend-
ing north and south. About a quarter of a mile to the north,
the more easterly one of the two, indicating the greater extent of
Sheboygan lake, runs tangent to the western base of a hill
which formed the eastern shore of the now extinct lake. (Fig,
35.) The other ridge which lay west of the first, has
FIG. 35. East side of Sheboygan swamp: a, Outlet of Elkhart Lake; b, Beach
ridges of former Sheboygan Lake; c, Ice ramparts'.
been cut away for gravel. It merged with the contour of the
same high ground but farther to the west and north. Both
lines may be followed south beyond the stream but are there
lost in the wooded swamp. It is evident that the former She-
boygan lake once washed the base of the hill to the north and
130 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
that a bay reached eastward to the narrow passage into Elkhart
lake. The currents of the western lake were strong as might
be expected from its size. They ran tangent to the high bank
at the north, cut a cliff at its foot and with the material thus
gathered, built a bar in front of the bay. The second and
larger ridge (now cut away), is due to a repetition of the same
process when the shore lines had attained greater maturity.
About one-half mile south of this place, at the south side of
the swamp, are found good ice ramparts, built when the now
densely wooded swamp was an open lake. Two miles to the
north the same feature is seen just west of the road and at the
border of the swamp. Beach action may have helped to make
the ridge at this place as it certainly did at some places farther
west. The ridges are of large proportions and indicate vigor-
ous shore action.
The horizontal dimensions of this body of water were similar
to those of Lake Geneva or Green lake and its depth at places
was not less than forty-five feet, as shown by deposits of muck.
The power of its waves is best shown around the island owned
and farmed by Adolph Mais. This island is one mile directly
west from Elkhart lake and was exposed to the full power of the
waves raised by the westerly winds. (Fig. 35.) The island,
like the shore of this western lake, is of bowlder clay, a mere
rise in the ground moraine. On its west side is a cliff ten to fif-
teen feet high, parts of which are still almost bare of vegetation
and the whole of which has suffered little loss of steepness
since the lake gave way to swamp. At its foot is a bowlder line
similar to those found along the cliffs of Green lake or Lake
Mendota. At the south end of the island is a long hook (fifty
rods or more) built partly of bowlders which the ice pushed up
from the shallow bottom and partly (especially near its point)
of the waste carried south from the cliff described above. The
east and north sides of the island were less exposed to waves, but
their more gentle slopes were less able to withstand the pushing
of the ice which here made ridges of unusual magnitude. The
large proportion of heavy bowlders g;ave them a framework
which has suffered little change since their making.
Cedar lake. A mile south of Elkhart lake is Cedar lake
(Plate XXX), whose origin was similar to that of its northern
neighbor. It is surrounded by a higher level beneath which it
is deeply sunk. The two beautiful islands are of the same
nature as isolated kames and indicate that the ice remnant
which preserved the basin from filling with kame gravel was
not continuous. The level of this lake is said to be twenty-
two feet above that of Elkhart lake, a mile away. Apparently
it is slowly falling and is now several feet lower than the level
at which the main cliff cutting was done. The lake is there-
fore surrounded by a considerable strand of gravel and cobbles.
Both the islands are connected with the adjacent mainland by
bars which at ordinary stages of the water are submerged.
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Green lake is an imposing body of water. It has an area of
eleven and a half square miles and is much the deepest of all
the Wisconsin lakes surveyed. The appearance of its clear,
cold water two hundred and thirty-seven feet deep suggests the
name which it bears. This dark hue is intensified in the
shadows of its rock walls and by the reflection of high forested
slopes. The coast presents a succession of cliffs cut in rock,
cliffs cut in glacial till, long wooded slopes, sandy beaches, and
gently rising farm lands, with relatively few swamp areas.
Its margin shows all gradations from rock benches floored with
large angular fragments and plunging into deep water at a
few feet from land, to sandy beach where bathers may go out
one or two hundred yards. The lake is small enough to make
rowing safe and pleasant, and large enough to exhibit the power
of waves and currents in rough weather.
SURROUNDING TOPOGRAPHY AND ITS HISTORY.
The surface of the adjacent country is fluted with great
ridges, sufficiently continuous to be a most noticeable feature
of the topography. They are roughly parallel, having an east-
northeast direction and rising one hundred to two hundred feet
above the level of the lake. These ridges have broad, gently
rolling tops occupied by farms. Their sides are often quite
steep, exposing occasional ledges of sandstone and limestone*
The intervening troughs are sometimes occupied by streams,
occasionally by swamps or by flat meadows which have once
been swamps; frequently, however, by the rolling topography
of a ground moraine.
ORE EN LAKE.
These ridges are not in the main of glacial origin. The
drift is generally thin, often revealing the rock core which con-
stitutes the mass of the ridge. The larger features of the topog-
raphy were carved by running water before the ice came on.
The streams occupied valleys corresponding in a general way
with those now seen between the ridges. There can be little
doubt that the direction of this drainage was westerly, the
smaller, nearly parallel streams discharging into a larger, which
followed the base of the Lower Magnesian escarpment. The
glacier found here an area in which the streams had cut steep-
sided valleys in a moderately flat upland, the area of the re-
sidual uplands being at least as great as that of the valley bot-
The effect of an ice sheet, moving nearly in the direction of
former drainage lines, was still further to emphasize their paral-
lelism. The tendency was to preserve the larger longitudinal
valleys, to fill the smaller transverse valleys and to abrade
transverse ridges and jutting crags.
A large part of the glacial deposit in the vicinity is of sand,
worn from the local sandstones. It was easily rubbed off, and
was often deposited in great confusion. Such a deposit is seen
northeast of the lake in a ridge trending east-southeast, which
is composed mainly of sand, and which has the hummocky
topography of a terminal moraine. At the opposite end of the
lake the deposit is similar in material and in the manner of its
deposition. At some places foreign material predominates,
producing a more typical bowlder clay.
The largest one of the troughs mentioned is occupied by
Green lake and the valley of Silver creek. Except for the drift
deposit west of the lake, the valley is continuous with that in
which Lake Puckaway lies. Similar valleys of less depth are
occupied by Twin lakes and their outlet, Spring lake and its
outlet, Dartford bay with the swamp northeast of it, and Nor-
wegian bay. The axes of all these valleys would intersect at
small angles. Between them lie the long ridges whose axes have
140 LAKES GF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
Stratified roclts. The bed rock of this region, as has been
said, is more or less covered by drift, but outcrops are common
and the areas occupied by the several formations below the drift
are known with some degree of precision. In general the dip
of all strata in this region is south of east, so that the outcrops
of the rocks of successive epochs form stripes with ragged
edges, trending north-northeast and south-southwest, with the
older rocks to the west dipping under the younger strata to the
The belt of Lower Magnesian limestone is somewhat wider
than the length of Green lake and, in a large way, includes its
area, extending beyond it both to east and west, but the western
margin of this belt is indented by a large reentrant angle cor-
responding to the Green-Puckaway valley, and Green lake
should rather be conceived of as lying within this angle or oc-
cupying a depression which is the cause of the reentrant.
This region was once overlaid with the Lower Magnesian
limestone and its remnants still dominate the topography.
Many of the long ridges owe their existence to plates of this
strong rock which have shielded them from the attacks of water
and ice. At other places its remnants form typical monadnocks
such as Sugar loaf. (Plate XXXII, Fig. 1.) This penin-
sula is a residual mass rising one hundred and forty feet above
the lake and one hundred feet above the plain to the west. Of
the same nature but less conspicuous is the highland back of
Lone Tree point. At Lucas bluff the Lower Magnesian is fall-
ing in huge blocks from the top of a cliff nearly one hundred
feet high. (Plate XXXI.) The nearly level surface of this
hard plate of limestone was once, no doubt, at least as high as
the top of Sugar loaf is now. At present it not only caps the
high levels mentioned, but may be found as the bed rock over
much of the area around the east end of the lake, where the land
rises gently from the shore.
The next higher formation, the St. Peters sandstone, out-
crops in a narrow winding line between the Lower Magnesian
belt and the belt of Trenton limestone still farther east. The
features caused by this St. Peters band are due to its extreme
weakness. It is shoveled out for building sand at many places.
Xature has done much similar shoveling under the edge of the
strong Trenton limestone, sapping the latter and causing its
uplands to terminate abruptly with steep hillsides. This pro-
cess may be seen at work in Mitchell's glen, a beautiful gorge,
through which the formative stream takes a short cut from
Trenton limestone to the Lower Magnesian. It was the St.
Peters sandstone which gave the very sandy character to the
till west of its outcrop.
Below the Lower Magnesian limestone lie the Madison sand-
stone and the Mendota limestone, the topmost stages of the Pots-
dam. The Madison is best seen on the west side of Lucas bluff
where its full thickness of about twenty-five feet is exposed at the
base of the cliff. The great fragments lying at the foot of the
cliff are from the Lower Magnesian limestone on top. The
style of weathering of this sandstone base is initiated by jointing
cracks. It suggests a colonnade of low stout pillars. (Plate
The Mendota consists of alternating layers of sandstone and
limestone. The sandstone is calcareous and the limestone are-
naceous and each lacks uniformity both vertically and laterally.
The sandstone often contains a green layer several feet thick
and very friable ; or it may be a rich brown, or speckled with
green and brown. Frequently thin-bedded, calcareous layers
are purplish or mottled with purplish brown. When not of this
color a crystalline structure is often shown by the play of light
upon a fresh surface. The whole wears a distinct appearance
easily recognized when once learned, as characteristic of the
closing stages of th Cambrian. The van-colored rocks are per-
haps the best shown in the fine cliff extending a mile east from
Dickinson's bay. For some distance along this cliff a former
undercutting and a peculiar slump have propped great rock slabs
against the cliff in a position which the waves find it most diffi-
cult to attack. These rocks are also seen in their colors on the
south and east side of Sugar loaf and west of Lone Tree point.
They appear in ravines and small cliffs at various places west of
142 LAKE 8 OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
The depth of this lake places its bottom much below the level
of the Mendota limestone, and several hundred feet in the Pots-
dam sandstone, but the latter does not appear along the shores.
Its outcrops are all west of the lake.
Origin of the basin. The history of this lake basin is to a
great extent the history of the surrounding topography. Its
rock walls and slopes, its length, its anus and tributaries, occu-
pying nearly parallel valleys, all indicate that it is one, al-
though the largest one, of many similar troughs. It is a
stream-cut valley, modified by the ice and dammed by glacial
The direction of glacial movement over this valley was some-
what south of west in a line not differing much from the axis
of the valley. Before the ice invasion the sides of the rock val-
ley were scalloped by tributary valleys and pointed with pro-
jecting headlands. The heavy grinding of the ice smoothed off
the crags and filled the smaller side valleys, leaving the main
valley with broadly curved contours not very different from its
FIG. 36. Ideal longitudinal section of Green Lake, supposing
been eroded by the ice: a, Bedrock; b, Drift.
a basin to hare
No doubt another effect of the ice was the ploughing out or
scooping of the bottom of the valley. Like the smoothing of
rock hills into lenticular form this process is known qualita-
tively rather than quantitatively ; that is, it is inferred from the
forms which are found in glaciated countries. Deep wells west
of the lake may some day determine whether there is a basin in
the rock itself independent of the morainic dam, and if so, how
high the rock rim on the west rises above the bottom of the lake.
(Fig. 36.) This would determine the minimum amount of
scooping, for on the one hand it is not to be supposed that there
were pre-glacial lake basins in this region, and on the other hand
GREEN LAKE. 143
the rim itself may have been lowered by the ice. This trough of-
fered conditions most favorable to scooping. (1) The ice
movement was about parallel with the axis of the valley; (2)
The side ridges were protected by their hard tops; (3) The bot-
tom even before the invasion of the ice, was upon the easily
abraded Potsdam sandstone.
Lastly, the capacity of the basin is mainly due to a dam of
moraine thrown across the valley and added to the height of
whatever rock sill may have been left after the scooping.
The basin thus formed receives the drainage of a considerable
area, the largest tributary basin being that of Silver creek to
the east. The waters of many springs reach the lake in this
way. Others discharge their waters directly into the lake.
These springs belong chiefly to the group!* whose geological
horizon is the junction of the Potsdam sandstone and the Lower
The outlet of the lake is a considerable stream passing out
from Dartford bay, flowing for a mile to the northeast in one
of the characteristic furrows of the region, then turning north-
west though a transverse valley and joining Fox river. Some
years ago it was dammed for mill purposes at Dartford. The
fall at this dam is from five to six feet according to the stage of
the water in the lake. This change of level has had important
effects on the shore features to be noted later. The topography
about the outlet indicates that the present level at which the
water is held by the artificial dam is very close to the level at
which it was held by its natural dam when the basin was new ;
that in the course of the lake's history its outflowing waters
had succeeded in cutting a small notch in its rim, and that the
present dam restores the rim to its former completeness.
DEVELOPMENT OF SHORE FEATURES.
The beach profile. When the waters of Green lake first filled
its basin they rose to about their present height, spreading out
*For horizons of springs of Eastern Wisconsin, see Geology of Wis-
consin, Vol. II, p. 142.
144 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
over a topography having the aspect of ground moraine, or lap-
ping the sides of thinly veneered hills. The appearance of the
shorelines was much the same as would now be produced by
partly inundating the valley of Silver creek. On the character-
istic broad slopes the shoreline would mark a contour in broad
curves. Here and there headlands would be formed by the
bolder or more isolated hills. Occasional bare ledges of rock
would be partly submerged, and at places the supposed lake
would form bays in wide spoon-shaped valleys but slightly
drowned, whose slopes above water would be gentle and marshy.
The etching of the waves soon discovered rock, if not already
bare, where it has been mentioned as outcropping at the water's
edge. Since then the waves have been diligently sawing their
way inward at the base of the cliffs. Generally at the foot of
these cliffs the outrush of water after the heaviest breakers is
still carrying large stones out to the edge of the beach, dropping
them beyond the limits of beach action. The stones now seen
upon the rock benches are angular. They have not traveled far
and will probably be carried out to the steep front of the shelf
on which they lie. The rock cliffs of Green lake are in that
stage where the beach has sufficient width to support fragments
at the water's edge, thus permitting them to be used as tools
against the base of the cliff, but not sufficient width to prevent
coarse materials from being dragged out to its front in heavy
storms. That is to say, the beach profile is not yet perfected.
(See below, the effects of the dam on shore profiles.)
But while most stones do not travel far alongshore, as shown
by their angularity, and the presence of large stones on the front
of the shelf shows that waves are able to drag them out, there is
still some transportation alongshore even at the foot of the steep
cliffs. The waves and currents in lighter weather are able to
move some stones which they are not able to drag out to deeper
water. Finer material may thus travel some distance among
the coarser material. In this way some beach transportation
is going on on the south side of Sugar Loaf, where heavy storm
waves are still engaged in broadening the shelf. The products
of eastward transportation have been built into a gravel flat at
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIII., PL. XXXII
;en Lake, looking east from Quimby's Bay. Sugar Loaf in the distance is a monadnock cf lower Magnesian limestone.
Cliff on Green Lake. A youthful shore.
WISCONSIN GEOL. AND NAT. HIST. SURVEY.
BULLETIN NO. VIM., PL. XXXIII.
Gravel point now growing on the east end of Sugar Loaf. Green Lake.
Lone Tree Point, Green Lake. A small ridge of boulder clay which is being wasted by the waves.
GREEN LAKE. 14 5
the southeast corner. (Plate XXXIII, Fig. 1.) These have
been much distorted by ice push but the material shows plainly
its beach origin. On the north side of Lucas bluff, where the
waves have succeeded in driving back the cliff but very few feet,
and the narrow rock bench is very steep and covered with heavy
fragments, some finer drift accumulates on the west side of large
bowlders, piers and other obstructions. Along the fine cliff east
of Dickinson's bay, and the similar one west of Lone Tree point,
a little such beach action is in progress in the same manner.
Before the mill dam restored the level of the lake, a more ad-
vanced beach profile must have existed below these rock cliffs.
The slope of the rock shelf was doubtless more gentle and the
energy of the waves was more largely expended upon the shore
drift and less upon the solid wall. When the water surface was
raised, the line of attack was carried upward and shoreward, and
the first duty of the waves was to raise the level of the platform.
This it is now doing by building outward with the material won
from the cliff. This process temporarily restores the youthful
steepness of the shelf and the size of the fragments which cover
Recession of different rock cliffs compared. The width
of the terrace offers some instructive suggestions. A comparison
of the sudden descent into deep water on the north side of Lucas
bluff and the relatively broad shelf on the west side calls for ex-
planation. Perhaps the waves beat a little harder upon the
west side and no doubt the bottom of Wood's bay has been shal-
lowed by waste brought from the long till cliff to the south-
west. The undertow is more powerful in a reentrant curve,
carrying out more detritus to be added to the front of the shelf.
Probably, too, there was an original gentler slope which occa-
sioned a reentrant curve at that place. But it must not be
overlooked that the waves have a good hard limestone to beat
against on the north side, with sandstone in its place on the west
side. This is due to the local southerly dip. The resistant
layer of Mendota limestone which is seen at the water's edge on
the north is carried by the dip below the zone of attack on the
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
west Above it is the Madison sandstone which is wasting rap-
idly and allowing the Lower Magnesian limestone above to fall
into the water.
The bench on the south side of Sugar Loaf, cut out of a poorer
limestone than that at Lucas bluff, is nevertheless narrower than
the corresponding feature east of Dickinson's bay, where the
rock io a friable sandstone, and therefore more easily eroded
and narrower than the same feature cut in the sandstone west
of Lone Tree point, despite the fact that the latter is more pro-
tected from west and southwest storms.
The shoal at the east end of Sugar Loaf is partly a cut bench,
the necessary correlative of the east facing cliff, but it is too
broad to allow it to be ascribed to this process exclusively. The
lake, no doubt, found an initial shoal there. This is consistent
also with the slopes of the hill which has on its east side a low
foot which might well be expected to extend lakeward as a shoal.
In all these examples the variation of initial slopes is recognized
as an unknown quantity but with good reason supposed not to be
large enough to obviate their use as illustrations.
Cliff-cutting in the till. Where cliff-cutting in glacial depos-
its has been in progress there is, generally speaking, a more ad-
vanced beach profile, with correspondingly more transportation
alongshore. The one element which prevents a more marked
contrast is the protection afforded by bowlders. As cutting
proceeds, bowlders fall from the cliff and the pushing of the ice
keeps them lined up for resistance at the water's edge. (See
Plates XXXIV and VII, Fig. 1. ) This resistance may be very
effective, preventing erosion to a large extent, while the bowl-
ders on the beach interfere seriously with transportation.
The coast line of glacial drift east of Lucas bluff is thus pro-
tected from erosion and while its beach profile is well developed,
the form of the coast and the narrowness of the subaqueous shelf
show that comparatively little cutting has been effected. The
same is true of the high till cliff extending for a mile south-
west from Tuleta hills. This coast is exposed to the heavy
waves raised by westerly winds. The materials of the shore
show that coarse gravel and finer materials are being carried
alongshore among the larger stones ; hut the retreat of the cliff
seems to have been little greater than that of the sandstone cliffs
to the west.
At the west end for a half mile on each side of Quimby's bay
high cliffs are cut in very sandy till and have sand beaches of
perfect profile. This coast is not exposed to the most violent
storms, but the shelf at the foot of the cliff east of the bay ia
much wider than the rock shelf to the east at Sugar Loaf and
wider than that along the very exposed till cliff west of Tuleta
hills. This is due to the easily erodable character of the sandy
drift. The fine cliff itself is expressive of the rapidity with
which the waves are cutting at its base. (Plate XXXII, Fig.
2.) South of Quimby's bay the shallow margin is probably
more dependent upon initial slope and deposition to be men-
Steep cliffs are cutting on the north side for a mile or more at
Sherwood forest and from Oakwood hotel to Pleasant point.
At the foot of each of these cliffs there is a belt forty rods wide
on which the water is less than twenty feet deep. This, how-
ever, is not to be ascribed to the cutting back of the shore, for
the same belt is still wider at other points where no cutting haa
been done. The hill slopes on this north side of the valley are
comparatively gentle, and the descent to deep water is rather
uniform, agreeing well with the supposition that these larger
features of the bottom are due to the agencies which formed the
basin and not to wave action.
For a mile east of Dartford bay, may be seen in typical de>*
velopment a characteristic feature accompanying the till cliffs
of this lake. In front of the bare cliff is a cordon of bowlders ;
beyond these, a beach of cobble stones with gravel in their inter-
spaces. The upper edge of this beach mingles with the bowlders
several feet above water. (Compare Plate XXXIV.) At fif-
teen or twenty feet out from the water's edge, it falls off with
a steep slope, having a front built of large cobbles free from
gravel. The angle of this shelf, where its steep descent be^ns,
is under one or two feet of water. Its steep front of cobbles
148 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
goes down to a sand (or sometimes gravel) bottom three and a
half or four feet deep. A gently falling sand bottom forms a
second belt of about equal width. Between this belt and deep
water is a third and wider belt of cobble stones and bowlders.
Going east toward Pleasant point, the bottom becomes more
shelving and the belts, except the first, widen greatly.
The explanation of these bands lies in the former lower hori-
zon of shore action. The heavy stones of the outer belt lay upon
the former lower beach ; the belt of sand outside the present
breaker line is the normal result of the undertow at work now ;
the steep front of heavy cobbles shows that the outrush follow-
ing the heaviest breakers of the present cycle is still able to
carry them out, letting them fall outside the grasp of incoming
waves. The admixture of lighter gravels on the top of this
beach is due to continuous supply from the cliff, and these
gravels form the shore drift among the larger stones.
Structures built by waves and currents. Having now
sketched the progress of erosion and the production of the pro-
file necessary for the transportation of shore drift, it is pertinent
to inquire what the currents and waves have done with the large
amount of material carried away in carving the cliffs or what
they are now doing with the constantly discarded faces of these
cliffs. That part which falls into deep water at the front of a
widening platform has already been noticed. It would consti-
tute a large part of all that has been eroded from the shores of
this lake. Another part, chiefly sand, has been carried away
by the undertow beyond this youthful shelf. The silt which
settles slowly over the whole lake bottom forms a third part.
But the large part that remains is built into shore structures
which are readily identified and are often striking features.
Beginning with Dartford bay, a massive bar now spans, or
nearly spans, its entrance. The top of this bar is thirty feet
wide and its base much wider. It rests upon a bottom which is
at places nearly ten feet deep and its top is six inches to a foot
below the surface of the water. It is divided into two part by
a natural channel east of the middle. (Fig. 37.) The western
two-thirds is built of gravel and cobbles brought by shore cur-
rents from the long cliff which stretches west and north from
Sherwood forest. At first there was a reentrant curve west of
Maplewood hotel, which received the shore drift from the south-
west. The accumulation of drift in a beach ridge spanned this
reentrant and serves now to convey the shore drift from the cliff
to the growing spit. This has developed in a graceful curve
which leaves the mainland at Techura spring. The other third
of the so-called bar is a spit which has derived its material from
the east. It is interesting to note that these spits, if extended,
would pass each other by fifty or seventy-five feet, instead of
FIG. 37. Dartford Bay, Green Lake, showing bars and the cliffs from which
forming one continuous curve. The currents which have built
the western spit, acting with different wind directions and at
different times from those which have built the eastern one,
have swung farther into the bay. The continued growth of the
spit from the east has begun to interfere with the currents en-
gaged in building the one from the west and the point of the
latter is less well defined and contains finer material. The
landward ends of both spits for many rods are already raised
above water and have become the regular beaches. The heavier
waves already break over the submerged bar; if let alone ]N"a-
150 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
ture will span this bay, with a beacli of graceful curve, leaving
only a sufficient channel for the outlet. The process, already
begun, of filling the bay with vegetable remains, will proceed
at an increased rate as the bar is perfected.
The cliff between Oakland and Pleasant point is not always
washed by a westward current as it is during the building of
the bar to the west. The alternating eastward current is doing
more work, for shore drift is seen to accumulate mainly on the
west side of piers and other obstructions. Beyond Pleasant
point cliff-cutting ceases and fo-r more than half a mile the well
formed beach lies against land of its own making. This land
is a ridge of sand and coarse gravel, three feet above water,
twenty feet wide, and bearing a few trees. A long marsh one
hundred and fifty to two hundred feet wide lies between this
ridge and the steep sandy bluff behind. This bluff was once
the shore of the lake and the ridge in front was built as a spit,
in every way similar to either one of the spits in front of Dart-
ford bay. The material of this spit came from the west and
the structure is still growing southward, being traceable for a
number of rods as a subaqueous embankment beyond that point
where it ceases to appear above water. (Fig. 38.) The older,
northern end of this spit is wider and composed of heavier ma*
terial. Cobblestones and coarse gravels are being handled on the
beach and mingle in the ridge with the finer gravels and sand,
thrown by dashing waves beyond the limits of beach action.
Near the point of the spit, only finer gravels are traveling, and
the exposed ridge shows little beside sand. The growing point,
not yet raised above water, is composed of gravels alone, without
the admixture of sand which enters so largely into the ridge
above water. The process of sorting upon the beach causes the
finer materials to undergo a division, a part being dashed in-
ward beyond the reach of the waves, the other part being carried
out by the undertow. Heavier pieces are not subject to either
mode of removal. Thus it happens that the larger stones which
are seen under the water within the breaker line are the ones
which continue their onward journey and are added to the
growing point of the spit.
The presence of an old cliff behind the swamp points to a time
when the currents brought less shore drift to this corner of the
lake. They were therefore able to pick up more by cutting into
the bank of sandy moraine. This was when the north shore wna
in its infancy. Its beach profile was not sufficiently advanced
FIG. 38. Terrace Beach, Green Lake: a, Abandoned cliff; b, Spit which sprang
from the former cliff, turning Silver Creek southward; c, New spit.
for the transportation of much drift. It was cutting actively
but the waste was carried outward and dropped over the front
of the narrow shelf, and beyond the reach of incoming breakers.
The perfecting of a beach profile along the sandy bluff behind
the present Terrace beach occupied a comparatively short time.
When this was done the waste of the cliff was built into a broad
152 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
sandy spit, running south in front of the mouth of Silver creek.
The once active beach on the front of this spit lost its functions
when the bar in front stopped the cutting of the cliff and
thereby the supply of shore drift.
South of Silver creek the more active currents again come
from the west. Westerly winds with a long fetch bring vigor-
ous eastward currents along both north and south shores. The
shorter fetch of easterly winds and the protection of the bluff
give but little efficiency to westward currents. Several small
ill-formed spits have been built by currents from the west, and
one at Forest glen may be traced for twenty rods to the north-
east, but there is no mass of shore drift here to compare with
the large features north of Silver creek. The reason for this
lack of building lies partly in the nature of the cliff from
which the supply is derived. The low cliff between Forest
glen and Spring grove, is cut for much of its length in lime-
stone. Limestone fragments lie upon the beach both in and
out of the water and the amount of shore drift is compara-
A second reason for the small amount of beach deposition in
the northeast corner, lies in the presence of the broad hollow west
of Spring grove. The broad reentrant curve here once in-
dented the coast more deeply. In spanning this bay with a bar
the currents have used up a large amount of shore drift brought
from the cliff to the west. The beach along this ridge is about
half a mile long. The eastern half lies in front of a swamp be-
hind which, about fifty feet from the front ridge, is a second
ridge similar to the first. This second ridge, which was first
in point of time, was built when the shore currents were follow-
ing shorter curves, having done less to smooth over the inequali-
ties of their beds and walls. The front ridge is deformed by the
pushing of ice, which is well braced on the opposite side of the
lake by the steep cliff.
Between Dickinson's bay and Blackbird point, the beach is
well developed. At the latter place was once a long island of
morainic material three to ten feet high. But the shore cur-
rents found the passage behind too small and therefore followed
a course leading in front of the island and back to the mainland
at the east end. Along this line, eastward currents deposited
the waste of the island and westward currents the waste of the
mainland, building a bar of sand and gravel, which now forms
a causeway sixty feet wide between mainland and island. The
passage behind the island being thus cut off entirely from the
action of currents, became first a swamp, and is now rapidly be-
coming a meadow. Meantime the front of the island continues
to be cut back. The currents, which are carrying its detritus
to the west, are obliged to alternate with currents setting toward
the mainland, and thus the spit which should normally extend
westward is turned at right angles into a hook.
West of Blackbird point the currents are attempting on a
grand scale the work of simplifying the shore line by cutting off
a wide bay. They had, no doubt, fairly succeeded before the
youth of the lake was artificially restored by damming the out-
let. At about the point where the wagon road from the east
reaches the lake, a submerged embankment leaves the shore,
and taking a westerly course curves broadly for more than
half a mile. If the curve were continued for an equal distance
it would intersect the west shore of the lake. This bar would
in time be built above the surface of the water and usurp the
functions of the beach, leaving several hundred acres of stag-
nant water to become swamp. This stage must have already
been reached when the lake was low, before the dam at Dartford
was built. At present the course of the bar is marked by
patches of rushes and stumps of trees which grew in the pro-
tected swamp before the lake level was raised. This bar is built
by currents flowing west, just as similar structures at the east
end owe their origin to eastward currents.
West of the bridge, where the wagon road again leaves the
lake, the effects of currents from the east along the south
shore is lost. The dominant currents along the west shore are
from the north. Both these currents and those from the east
suffer much dispersion and check or are entirely lost at the
southwestern corner of the lake, the return of the water being
largely by undertow. The necessary deposition of shore drift
154 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
which accompanies this dispersion and checking, together with
the sand and mud brought in by the stream entering here, has
so decreased the small initial depth as to make it difficult to
bring even a small rowboat to shore. The widening beach a,t
this corner illustrates the principle of the wave-built terrace.
Farther north at the west end, occur the largest and finest
beach ridges on the lake. The present shore line is against a
wave-built terrace which reaches a width of one hundred feet
at the middle of the west side of the lake. It is here composed
of three parallel ridges of pure beach sand, the inner and oldest
being the largest. Back of this triple ridge is a belt which has
once been a swamp, separating the one hundred foot terrace in
front from a higher and broader structure, also built by the
waves. This inner and older terrace has a maximum width
of two hundred feet and height of five feet. It carries oak for-
est and its otherwise pure beach sand has received a darker
color from some centuries of decaying vegetation. Following
the inner massive ridge to the north, it is seen to join on to an
abandoned cliff, three hundred feet back from the present shore-
line. Fully one-fourth mile farther north, the outer ridge leads
to the foot of a still actively cutting cliff. If the topographical
relations of cliffs and beach ridges were not sufficient to estab-
lish the fact that the latter were built from the waste of the cliffs
to the north, the testimony of the materials themselves would be
conclusive. The cliffs are cut in a glacial deposit, whose trans-
portable constituents are sand and gravel. The materials of the
outer ridge show a uniform gradation from the coarsest gravels
near the source of supply to the finest beach sands at the remote
end. The profile of this ridge is beautifully typical in that
portion which lies in front of the fading cliff. (Fig. 16.)
The conditions which have favored these large ridges are, (1)
the long stretch of easily eroded cliff to the northeast; (2) a
former shallow embavment behind the present beach ridges,
and (3) the gradual retardation of southward currents.
Lone Tree point (Plate XXXIII, Fig. 2) is a small prom-
ontory built of moraine containing many bowlders. Its con-
nection with the mainland is by a narrow neck having the height
GREEN LAKE. 155
and form of a wave-built bar. The bowlders, however, which
the ice keeps in line along this isthmus, indicate that if the
point was once an island the depth of water in the strait was
not sufficient to enable these bowlders to escape the grasp of the
Between this point and the headland at the middle of Pigeon
Cove, was once a much sharper reentrant curve. Currents from
the east have added ridge after ridge, irregularly enclosing la-
goons, while their dispersion and consequent loss of velocity
have occasioned deposition which has greatly shallowed the
water offshore. Behind the lagoons and sand ridges lies the
first ridge, built partly of bowlders, pushed up by the ice, and
now covered with oaks.
Ice ramparts are shown best in Malcolm bay. This bay is a
wide curve consisting of three reentrant scallops, with two low
headlands intervening. Between these headlands are large
ramparts. For a few rods back the ground surface is low and
even swampy, but this association of ridges and low ground be-
hind is not to be confused with the phenomenon of bar building
and bay filling. The narrow flats are strewn with bowlders,
showing that their surface has not been raised by swamp filling.
The ridges in front, six feet high and having steep sides, are
composed largely of heavy bowlders showing that they were
pushed up by the ice and not built by currents. Other ram-
parts appear at the salient curve east of Sherwood forest and in
front of the more gentle slopes east of Lucas bluff.
The life of Green lake is still largely in the future. Even
before the damming of the outlet, the lake had not advanced
very far toward its own extinction. The dam, if kept up, will
greatly prolong the life of the lake by interrupting one of the
processes leading to extinction. (See p. 11.) But the various
modes of filling cannot be interrupted. The swamps, where
the small creeks enter, testify to the mud brought in by these
streams. Other swamps and meadows behind wave-built bars
occupy ground once covered by the lake. It is true that some
area has been won from the land by the cutting back of cliffs,
but in the end the lake pays dearly for such victories, since all
156 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the material of these cliffs, when not used to narrow the lake at
some other point, is spread out upon its bottom, displacing the
water, causing it to escape at the outlet. Such shallowing en-
courages vegetation even where no bars exist to restrict the
waves and currents, as at the head of Norwegian bay and con-
siderable areas at both east and west ends. Such areas are rela-
tively small on Green lake, and as man counts years it will be
a long time before the present expanse of water will be an ex-
panse of meadows or farms. Admirers of Green lake may
find satisfaction in the thought that this will be among the last
survivors of the Wisconsin lakes.
THE WAUPACA CHAIN-0 '-LAKES.
THE WAUPACA CHAIN-O'-LAKES.
This beautiful group is situated about forty miles northwest
of Lake Winnebago. The principal chain comprises nine lakes,
none of which has an area less than ten acres. Rainbow lake,
the largest, contains one hundred and forty-six acres ; it is sep-
arated from Hicks lake only in name, the two having an area of
two hundred forty-three acres. The greatest depth, ninety-five
feet, is also reached in Rainbow lake. All the lakes of this
chain lie at at the same level and are connected by channels
which are passable to rowboats. A smaller chain of four lakes,
west of Long lake, is connected with the larger chain through
Beasley's brook. East of the main chain lie Dake and Miner's
lakes which are united with each other by a passage but are un-
connected with other lakes.
The peculiar attraction of these lakes is the ever changing
and quickly changing field of view. In rowing the half dozen
miles necessary to traverse the main chain alone, the shores in
possible view at any one time change entirely at intervals vary-
ing from one-fourth of a mile to a mile. In the autumn the
colors of the steep banks are variegated with the deep red of
oaks, the bright red of maples, the yellow leaves and white stems
of birch trees and the green of the conspicuous, overtowering
pines. Hotels and teachers' rests have already followed these
attractions and small parts of the lake front are occupied by
summer residences. The Wisconsin Veterans' Home, in itself
a village of some six hundred people, occupies a beautiful site
on Rainbow lake. It is connected by electric railway with the
city of Waupaca, four miles distant.
The lakes north and east of Indian Crossing (an historic ford
between Round and Columbian lakes) are fed wholly by
158 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
springs. The supply is barely sufficient to maintain a feeble
current from Round lake to Columbian. Below Indian Crosa-
ing the lakes receive Beasley's brook which flows with consid-
erable current, deep enough to accommodate a canoe if well
managed. This brook, coming from the smaller chain, carries
the waters of many springs which issue near the small lakes or
not far to the west. Long lake also receives Emmons creek and
various springs which enter it directly. The waters of all the
lakes pass out through Arbor creek, a stream of considerable
strength and ample for milling purposes. Its course is east*
ward, joining the Waupaca river.
GEOLOGY OF THE DISTRICT.
The underlying rock in the vicinity of these lakes is the Pots-
dam sandstone. The nearest known rock of any other age is at
the city of Waupaca where the pre-Cambrian rock appears.
Some ten miles farther east the Wolf river flows south along the
edge of the Lower Magnesian limestone which lies east of it in
a narrow strip running north northeast and south southwest.
(Plate I.) Before the deposit of glacial drift this limestone
presented a more distinct escarpment to the west. The trough
at its foot was no doubt a prominent drainage line in pre-*
glacial times as it is now.
The vicinity of the Waupaca chain has a generally level sur-
face below which appear abrupt basins varying in size from that
of the larger lakes to that of the familiar kettles. Above thia
same plane- rise large isolated hills a hundred feet or more in
height and a considerable fraction of a mile in extent. Ceme-
tery and Fox ridges, Rural hill, Parfreyville hill, Ben Lomond
and Summit hill are conspicuous examples. Their tops rise to
approximately the same height, and when viewed from one of
the summits, all are seen to be comparatively flat topped and
steep sided. North of the north branch of the Waupaca river,
and south of the south branch, these hills are less isolated and
strongly suggest that they are remnants of a former continuous-
upland surface, at or above the present level of their tops.
THE WAUPACA CHAIN-O'-LAKES. 159
All these hills are now well covered with drift, often carry-
ing great bowlders. Rock centers are not discovered and well
borings are infrequent. Their topography, however, leaves lit-
tle doubt that they are remnants of a former upland which was
dissected by the tributaries of a considerable stream which, in
pre-glacial times, followed the approximate course of the present
Waupaca valley. If the erosive and depositional work of the
glacier could be undone these hills might now be very similar
to the sandstone buttes which rise above the plain in the vicinity
of Camp Douglas. (See Salisbury and Atwood; Bulletin V,
this series, p. 71.)
The ice invaded this region from the east, rounded the corners
of the friable sandstone hills and covered them with a thick
sheet of drift. The last or Wisconsin ice sheet extended some
fifteen miles west of the lakes, where the limit of its advance is
marked by a terminal moraine. Its disappearance was not
effected by one uniform retreat, but was interrupted at intervals
when the ice front remained stationary for a time and smaller
terminal or recessional moraines were built. A record is thus
left of a halt made by the retreating front when it stood in a
north and south line east of Rainbow and Hicks lakes. Here
is a line of hills differing from the type before described. The
Loyola ridge with its northward continuation is a terminal
moraine whose irregular crest and hummocky surface contrast
strongly with the more gentle curves and flat tops of Cemetery
ridge and others of its type. The line of terminal moraine is
continued southward in Maple island whose surface is typically
and beautifully morainic. Continuing the line in the same di-
rection, the characteristic topography is found on the mainland
as far south as the car line.
While the glacier lay in the valley of the Wolf river the drain-
age from the front of the ice found no exit by following the
trough of former valleys leading eastward. It was obliged to
follow the front of the ice or to escape by the lowest available
col among the hills, flowing rapidly where the valley was narrow
and sluggishly through ponds or lakes where the valley was
wide. Such sluggish drainage characterized the old Waupaca
1(30 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
valley. The overloaded streams from the glacier dropped their
sediments here, often covering basal portions of the glacier.
(See The Oconomowoc District, p. 97.) The subsequent melt-
ing of these ice remnants resulted in the lakes and pits. The
materials both of the terminal moraine at Loyola ridge and of
the pitted plain for many miles is extremely sandy. This
would le expected from the fact that the glacier for twenty
miles to the eastward was gathering drift from the friable Pots-
The shores of all the lakes are characteristically steep as is
to be expected from the origin of the basins. (See Chapter I,
p. 4.) In some cases the steep bank is separated from the
water by an intervening belt of grass or tamarack swamp. This
condition is striking in Otter lake which is being steadily
hemmed in to narrow limits by the eager advance of grass and
trees, the former leading the way by invading the water's edge,
and the trees following at a short interval. Beasley's, Bass and
Young's lakes are similarly environed and a part of the shore
of Long lake and most of those of the smaller chain are of the
same character. Such surroundings are naturally attended by
an accumulation of vegetable mire on the bottom. This, with
the shadows of the closely surrounding tamaracks, gives to the
water of Otter and Beasley's and some of the smaller chain a
peculiarly black appearance. This darkness of the water, the
isolation by a wall of forest from the outside world, and the deep
silence which reigns among the tamarack trees, give to the lakes
so surrounded a beauty which is either enchanting or weird
according to the mood of the visitor.
The modification of shores by waves and currents has been
somewhat large despite the smallness of the lakes and the lim-
ited sweep of the winds, for the exceptionally sandy character
of the plain makes cutting at their bases easy and a large load
of material, readily transported, is thus supplied to currents. It
is on this account, no doubt, that there is, generally speaking,
THE WAV PAG A CHAIN-O'-LAKES.
around all these lakes, a distinct marginal terrace which is
plainly the work of shore agencies. In the larger lakes, such
as Rainbow, this terrace slopes gradually to a depth of four or
five feet before the steeper slope to deeper water appears. Its
outer and lower portion is often of marl mud so fine that it could
not come to rest above the level at which wave agitation ceases.
It may be said, therefore, that, for the larger lakes of the chain,
wave-base is not more than five feet below the surface. The
inner and upper part of these same shelves is commonly covered
with, or composed of, sand and gravel.
The limit of downward extension of wave action is also indi-
cated by shoals not connected with shores. The hydrographic
map shows no less than five of these in the larger chain. All
are paved with heavier gravels at a depth of from two to three
feet below the surface. All have been cut down as may be seen
from the assorted character of the gravels, from which fine mate-
rials have all been washed out. All may have been islands in
the infancy of the lake. The uniformity of their present type
indicates that at a depth of less than three feet the waves of the
larger lake are unable to move the gravels which cover these
Rainbow and Hicks lakes. The cutting back of cliffs is no-
where sufficiently rapid to expose any surfaces which are bare
of vegetation. Club island shows definite evidences of awsting ;
a comparison of its south side (at the left in Plate XXXV)
with its north side furnishes excellent reasons for inferring that
its south side, which faces the larger expanse of water, has been
cut back by waves and that the material thus acquired has been
carried by currents to its north side and there deposited as spits,
giving the island a crescent shape. (Only one of these spits
appears in Plate XXXV.) This inference is verified by an ex-
amination of materials. The cusps of the crescent are growing
northward by the addition of heavy gravels which can have no
other source than the island itself. At the foot of the steep
south-facing cliff is a shelf thirty or forty rods wide. Near the
island this shelf is floored with cobble stones which dropped
162 LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
from the cliff as it receded northward and which the waves were
unable to remove. . While it is certain that the island has been
wasting on its south side, it is equally certain that its area was
never more than a small part of that of shoal, for all of the ma-
terial, except mud, won from its south side, has been built into
spits and shallows on its north side. The amount of this is
probably not larger than the volume of the original island now
The west side of Maple island has been similarly cut. The
shelf reaches a width of twenty rods at its broadest place. Most
of this is built of mud, marl and sand, but its inner edge shows
heavy stones which remain to mark the site of former land which
has been cut away by the waves. A bowlder line at the water's
edge fringes the west side of this island and of the headland
occupied by the Loyola Rest school where it has been artificially
changed. Both of these cliffs are convex in vertical cross sec-
tion as the result of recent cutting below. The other cliffs,
which for the most part surround Rainbow and Hicks lakes are
cut in a sand and gravel plain and have, therefore, fewer bowl-
ders at their bases. Otherwise their appearance is much the
same, as of those described.
Deposition has also played some part in the production of the
present shoreline. The northward extension of Club island has
already been mentioned. Juniper (or Cypress) island is being
similarly extended at the north end by the deposition of material
cut from its south side. But the main result of deposition has
been, not the making of points, but the cutting off of small bays.
The bays which have thus far been spanned by bars are merely
kettles which chanced to connect with the lake basins. Such a
one is seen in the bay. north of the Jesuits 7 rest. Others are
seen at the northwest corner and southwest corner of Hicks lake.
The work of ice on these lakes is everywhere in evidence. It
is seen in the closely appressed bowlder lines at the foot of mor-
ainic cliffs ; all sides of the lakes also show ridges wherever the
form of the shore is favorable to their raising. At many places
where the material of the shore could not be pushed up into a
ridge, that of the bottom has been built by successive pushes into
THE WAUPACA CHAIN-O'-LAKES.
ice-pushed terraces. (Compare Nemahbin lakes, Chapter VI,
Taylor lake, except at its west end, is surrounded by lower
plains than those which border the lakes farther west. This, in
part, accounts for the exceptionally broad marginal terrace.
The sandy plain on the south side averages not much more than
five feet above the water. It is cut away with ease, even by so
small a lake. On the northeast side the lake's original bottom
shelves gradually into the swamp. At the front of this swamp
is now a strong ridge of sand with a little gravel, the same ma-
terial, no doubt, which has been won from the low, sandy cliff
on the south side. Ice has helped to raise this ridge but the
material is distinctly that brought by shore currents. The con-
trast with that of the purely ice-made ridge in front of the
swamp on the northwest side is significant. The latter is com-
posed largely of muck, the material of the shore. The broad
shelf under the water's edge has sand to a depth of little more
than one foot beyond which the waves seem too weak to agitate
it, and the undisturbed, marly mud covers the bottom. The
drop from this shelf to the central pit, fifty-five feet deep, begins
at a depth of two to three feet.
McCrossens lake has just enough low shore to furnish oppor-
tunity for a beach ridge whose form is diagrammatically per-
fect, (See Fig. 16.) The span is one of two hundred feet on
the south side. The ridge is thirty feet wide and four feet high,
its steeper side facing a small tamarack swamp. This, and a
few similar ridges whose symmetry of form and assortment of
material show that they are the work of water and not of ice,
suggest that the water level was once slightly above the present
stage. The largest waves generated on these lakes are not able
to build a sand structure four' feet above the level of still water.
There is nothing, however, either on the shores or along the out-
let to indicate that the water has ever been retained at a height
greater than three feet above its present level since the disap-
pearance of the glacier.
The passages at both ends of this lake are narrowed by wave-
built points which approach each other from opposite sides of
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
the straits. Such points are characteristic of the passages
throughout the chain. (See Plate XXXVI.) They indicate
a large degree of independence in the circulation of the several
lakes so that the currents flow by, rather than through, the pas-
sages. If there were no current from lake to lake these points
might be expected to grow into completed bars.
Round lalce is one of the larger lakes of the chain and its
shores indicate waves and currents of about the same power as
those of Rainbow lake. Its marginal shelf has much the same
dimensions and has material of similar coarseness. It is sig-
nificant that the passage between this lake and McCrossen's lake
is more than ten rods southeastward (toward McCrossen's)
from the shoal ridge which separates the deep basins of the two
lakes. (See hydrographic map.) This anomaly may be in part
due to the original form of the basin, but it is also favored by
the more vigorous circulation of the larger lake. The forelands
whose points narrow the passage could not grow out into the agi-
tated water of the larger lake, where exposed to the dominant
westerly winds, but their accretions on the other side are rela-
tively protected, not only because the lake is smaller, but be-
cause they are sheltered from the stronger winds. The south-
west arm of Round lake was formerly known as Lime Kiln lake
because marl was taken from its bed and burned for lime.
Columbian lake is connected with Round lake by a narrow
channel through which it receives the small overflow of the lakes
mentioned above, in a current not sufficient in itself to keep
open a channel of the present size. The feeble current through
this passage is the most significant measure of the slow change
of water through this chain as contrasted with the rapid change
in the lakes south and west of Columbian. The old ford of this
passage is known as Indian crossing. Looking from the bridge
at this crossing to Columbian lake, one sees the same type of
wave-built point or forelands which characterize the other pass-
ages in the chain. (Plate XXXVI.) On the northwest side
of the lake, cliffs have been slowly cut into the deeply pitted
plain. The waste has been carried eastward, shallowing the
northeast corner of the lake and forming the beach ridge which
THE WAUPACA CHAIN-O'-LAKES.
supports the point seen on the right in the plate. South of
Indian crossing the margin of the lake is stonier than that of
the other lakes. This is due to the wasting of Perch point and
of the shoal reaching southward from the point.
Long lake has on its west side and at Ben Hewdo the highest
banks on the chain, excepting those formed by the moraine of
Loyola ridge and Maple island. In the rapid passage of water
through this basin the conditions here are similar to those in the
lakes of the small chain to the west. Almost all of the water
which passes out of the vigorous Arbor creek enters this lake
from the west, most of it coming through Beasley's creek, whose
headwaters traverse the small chain, with the exception of Marl
lake. In the character of its shore, much of which is tamarack
forest, and the abundance of its vegetation and the dark colored
mire of its bottom, Long lake has also a closer resemblance to
the lakes drained by Beasley's brook than to those of the large
chain to the northeast. It is possible that the more rapid
change of water and the character of the vegetation, with the re-
sulting bottom deposition, may be found to be related as cause
and effect. It is probable also that a minute study of bottom
deposits would reveal a close relation with the character and life
of the shores.
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
SITUATION, AREA AND DEPTH OP LAKES.
T. 7 & 8 N., R. XVII & XVIII W.
N . E. bay.
N. E. basin.
S. W. basin.
Lac La Belle
N. W. basin.
S. E. basin.
Silver . .
i Above Lake Michigan, which is 579 feet above the sea-level.
WAUPACA CHAIN O' LAKES.
T. 21, 22 N., R. XI W.
Rainbow and Hicks
1 QK 1
Hicks, E. Juniper Id.
Rainbow, bet. Maple
and Club Island.
Hicks, W. Juniper Id.
Rainbow, S. W. bay.
Bay S. Maple Id
S. W. bay.
N. Ben Hewdo.
Bay E. Ben Hewdo.
Pope . .
Dake . .
LAKES OF SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN.
3 75 2
}- 2 65
-j 55 5
S. E. basin.
S W basic
N. E. basin.
1 7.70 mi. measured along axis of lake. Elevation 282 feet above Lake Michigan.
2 3.90 mi. measured along axis of lake.
3 Including large marshy extension.
4 3.90 mi. measured along axis of lake.
8 7.65 mi. measured along axis of lake.
Age of lakes 2
Alden, Wm. C., reference to 65
Assembly Grounds, Delavan lake 79
Monona lake 61
Atwood, Salisbury and, reference to 13, 159
Bank River 100, 101
Barrier, defined 29
From falling of level 34
Silver lake 119
Bar, defined. See also hooks amd spits 27
Beulah lake 91
Big Cedar lake 127
Delavan lake 78
Geneva lake 70
Buttons bay 71
West of Camp Collie 71
Williams bay 70
Green Lake 148
Dartford ,. 148
Pigeon Cove 155
West end 153
West of Spring grove 152
Lac la Belle 117
Lauderdaile lakes 85, 87
Little Cedar lake 128
Looped, Geneva lake 75
IMendota lake, East bay 51
Catfish bay 47
East bay 51
Northeast bay 48
University bay 49
West end 50
West of Picinc Point . 49
Bar continued. ' PAGE
Nagawicka lake 102
Ocomomowoc lake 116
Okauchee lake 114
'Sheboygan swamp 135
Upper Nemahbin lake 105
Waupaca lakes 162 , 163
Basins, origin and classification 3
Related to geology 1
Bass lake 160
Bay-head beaches 46
Beach, Defined 25
Form of 26
Materials of 26
Beach ridges Ill
Beasley lake 160
Beaver lake 106
Beckwith, reference to 68
Beulah lake 83
Shores of 88
Big Oedar lake, origin of basin 122
Shores of 125
Birge, E. A., 'reference to 56
Blackbird Point, Green lake 152
Blocks of ice buried 5
Bog, floating 99
Booth lake 92
Bottom deposits, Lake Mendota 53
Bowlder line 126 , 146
Breakers 16, 17, 23
Breaker terrace 39, 90, 102, 110, 114, 147
Buckley, E. R., reference to 30, 52
Catfish bay and bar 47
Catfish river 35
Ce'dar lake, Sheboygan county 137
Ghamberlm, T. C., reference to 5 , 97
Cincinnati shale 94, 95
Classification of lake basins 4
Abandoned 117, 118, 136, 151
Recession of 25 , 68 , 145
Club island, Rainbow lake 161
Collie, Camp 68
Columbian lake 164
Como lake 65
Currents 21, 22
Cusps, Lake Geneva 74
Cut-and-built terrace 23
Cycles of shore lines 13 , 32
Cycloid, form of waves 16
Dams 39, 66, 84, 89, 99, 113, 114, 136, 142, 145, 155
Of Moraine 6, 38, 95, 142
Dartford 'bar 147
De Lapparent, reference to 9
Belavan lake 76
Assembly Grounds 79
Cedar Point 81
Origin of 64
Vegetable accumulations 77
Willow Point 81
Deposition by waves and currents 25
Differential movement of water particles 15
Drainage of glaciers 3, 101, 121, 124, 159
Drainage pre-glacial 97, 130, 139
Drift, consolidation of 64
Eagle Heights 44
East Troy lake 92
Elkhart lake 130
Shores of 132
Embankments 27, 28
Equilibrium, profile of 22
Erosion by glaciers Y, 8, 38, 142
Ethelwyn Park 60
Extinction of lakes 9, 61, 62
Down-cutting of outlet 10
Vegetable accumulation 11
Fowler lafre . 118
Genesee lakes ................................................. 106
Geneva lake ................................................... 63
Bars ..................................................... 79
Cliffs ..................................................... 67
Cusps ..................................................... 74
Geological relations of ..................................... 63
Hooks .................................................... 72
Ice, work of ............................................... 76
Origin of * .................................................. 64
Sources and outlet ........................................ 66
Wave-built terraces ....................................... 74
Geology of southeastern Wisconsin ............................ 1
Geological relations of the lakes ........ 36, 63, 83, 93, 120, 130, 138, 158
Gilbert, G. C., reference to ................................... 23, 30, 75
Glacial drift ................................................... 2
Glacial history of Oconomowoc area ........................ 97
Glacial lobes .............................................. 2, 8
Glacial terraces ............................................... 83
Glaciatlon, effects of ........................................ 37, 139
Direction of movement ................................... 142
Green bay ................................................. 2
Retreat of ................................................ 4
Governor's Island ............................................. 44
Green Lake ................................................... 138
Bars .................... .................................. 148
Cliffs ..................................................... 145
Levels, former ............................................ 143, 147
Origin ................................................... 142
Wave-built terraces ....................................... 154
Bas'ins in ................................................. 6 , 9
Various localities ............................... 94, 98, 117, 119, 120
Ground water, movement of ................................ 112, 115
Gulliver, F. P., reference to .................................... 28, 75
Gullying, Lake iMendota .......................................
'Hicks lake .................................................... 161
Big Cedar lake ............................................ 127
Geneva lake ...............................................
Green lake ............................................ 153
Hooks continued. PAGE
Mendota lake 51
Pewaukee lake 100
ISheboygan swamp 136
Hudson River Shales 64
Ice, bowlder lines 31
Pushed terrace 30
Of Beaver lake 107
Of North lake Ill
Of Ocoaiomowoc lake 116
Of Pine lake 100
Of Upper Nemahbin 105
Of Waupaca lakes 162 , 163
Of Elkhart lake 133
Of Green lake 155
Of Lac la Defile 118
Of Mendota lake 52
Of Pine lake 110
Of 'Sheboygan swamp 136
Infancy of shores 46
Juday, Chancey, reference to 54
Kames 65, 83, 95, 117, 121, 131
Gravel 3 , 6
Shore line against 90
Kegonsa lake 35
Kettles 4, 125
Kettle moraine, origin of 3
Mention 83, 93, 120
Lac la Belle 116
"Lauderdale lakes 83
Bars 85, 87
Green Island 87
"Level, falling 119
Levels, former 39, 89, 91, 107, 108, 114, 145, 146
Lines of like phase 17
Little Cedar lake 124
Lobes of the glacier 2
Lobes, small glacial 9 65
Lone Tree 'Boitnt 140 ' 154
Long lake 164
Looped bars 51> ?6> 116
Lower Magnesian limestone 2 , 37 , 140
Lucas Bluff, Green lake 140
Lymam, C. S., reference to 18
Madison, Lakes at 35
Madison sandstone 37 141
Mais Island, Sheboygan swamp 136
Maple Island, Rainbow lake 162
Marl, (North lake 112
Waupaca lakes 161
Maturity of shore limes 33
McOrossen's lake 163
Mendota lake 35
Geological relations 37
Ice, work of 52
Levels, former 39
Origin of 35
Outlet cutting 11
Mendota limestone 37 , 141
Mill lake, Lauderdale group 85
Mill lake (Beulah) 92
Mitchell's glen 141
Momona lake 35, 56
Cliffs 57, 59
Ice, work of 59, 60, 61
Moraine, see Ground, Terminal.
Mouse lake 112
Nagaiwicka lake 100
Narrows, Lake Geneva 73
Nashotah lakes 103
Nemahbki lakes 104
Niagara limestone 2, 63, 94, 95, 123, 130
North lake . Ill
Oconomo woe : Lake district 93
River 100, 119
Okauchee lake 113
Orbits of particles in wave motion 14
'Diminution with depth 17
Origin and classification of basins 4
Otter lake 160
Peat: Extinct lakes 12
Pewaukee lake 99
Pebbly beach, Cedar lake 127
Pewaukee lake 98
History of 94, 99
Shores of 99
Phase of particles in wave motion 16
Lines of like 17
Picnic point, Lake Mendota 41
Pike lake 121, 124
Pine lake 108
Pits 4, 83
Pitted plains 5, 95, 122
Potsdam sandstone 37 , 142
Preglacial stream valleys 6, 35, 36, 64, 94, 97, 124, 139
Topography 139, 158
'Profile, beach 27, 143, 154
Of equilibrium 22
Puckaway valley 140
Rainbow lake 161
Rock River, Pre-glacial 36 , 94
Round lake 164
Russell, J. Scott, reference to 19
Salisbury and Atwood, reference to 14, 159
Sheboygan swamp 131, 135
Shoals 28, 109
Cycles of 32
See also Bar, Cliff, Hook, Ice, Terrace.
Shore continued. PAGB
Infancy of 32
Line, against kames 90
Line, chamge of level 34
Maturity of 33
Youth of 4$
Silver lake 119
Silver Lake, Washington County 124
Spit, denned 27
(Beulah lake 91
Delavam lake 78
Green lake 149, 150
Lauderdale lakes 86, 88
Nagawicka lake 103
Pewaukee lake 100
(Pine lake 109
Sheboygan swamp 136
Waupaca lakes 161, 163
Springs 115, 142, 157
Stokes, G. G., reference to 15
St. Peter's sandstone 140
Sugar Loaf, Green lake 140
Taylor lake 163
Terminal Moraine 3
Basins In 7
Geneva lake 64
Green lake 139
Oconomowoc 'district 93
iSheboygan county 130
Washington county 120
Waupaca county 159
Terrace 'Beach, Green lake 150
Terraces, Breaker 33
'Examples 91, 102, 110, 114, 147
Mendota lake 41-44
Cut-and-built 23, 24
Examples 42, 43, 133, 144, 161
Glacial 83, 96, 97
Ice-pusne'd 31, 105
Examples 105, 107, 116, 110, 116
Peat . 66
Terraces, Breaker continued.
Examples 74, 112, 133, 154
Tombolo, defined 28
Big Cedar Lake 128
Translation, waves of 19 , 21
Beyond wave-base, Lake Mendota 53
Forms due to 25
Trenton limestone 2 , 36 , 37
Trochoid curves 17
Turtle Bay, Elkhart lake 132
Turville Point, 'Monona lake 61
University bay and bar, Lake Mendota 49
Vegetable accumulation 61, 62, 77, 84, 89, 99, 128
Vegetation, order of, in lake filling 117
Waubesa lake 35
Waupaca Chain-o'-lakes 157
Bars 162, 163
Cut-and-built terraces 161
Geology oif the district 158
History of basins 159
Ice, work of 162
Mendota lake 40
Waupaca lakes 161
Wave-built terrace, defined 29
Elkhart lake 133
Geneva lake 74
Green lake 154
Lauderdale lakes 88
North lake 112
Length of 15
Of oscillation 13
Of translation 19, 21
Refraction of 19
Velocity of 15
Washington county, Lakes of 120
Willow Walk, Mendota lake 52
Winds, dominant 86, 90, 92
Winnequah, Mooiona lake 59
Wisconsin river, pre-glacial 36
Yahara river 35
Young's lake 160
Youth of shore lines 23
Renewed . ..67, 99, 101, 132
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