60th Annual

Institute on Lake Superior Geology

May 14-17, 2014
Hibbing, Minnesota

On-Line Registration Website Now Open

Preliminary Technical Program

Poster Presentations

Organized by

PRC Logo

Precambrian Research Center
at the University of Minnesota Duluth and
Minnesota Geological Survey
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Jim Miller and Mark Jirsa
Co-Chairs, 60th Annual Meeting

Meeting Co-Sponsors


Meeting Information

General Information

Important Dates

Call for Papers

Meeting Co-Sponors

Field Trips

Meeting and Field Trip Registration

Student Travel Support

Best Student Paper Award

Meeting Schedule

Travel to Hibbing



The 60th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology will be held from Wednesday, May 14 to Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Hibbing Park Hotel in Hibbing, Minnesota. The meeting will consist of a two-day technical session (May 15 & 16), seven full-day field trips, and five half-day trips.  The technical sessions will include a single series of oral presentations and full-time access to poster presentations.

Again this year, all correspondence from the organizers will be conducted by email and through this website. Participants are also encouraged to communicate and register by email, though correspondence by regular mail or fax is also acceptable.   Send all communications to Jim Miller at the following addresses:

              Email:         mille066@umn.edu
            Phone:          218-726-6582
                Fax:          218-720-4329
   Regular Mail:        2014 ILSG
                                 Precambrian Research Center, NRRI-UMD,
                                5013 Miller Trunk Hwy, Duluth, MN  55811


February 10, 2014 -
Registration Opens

March 31, 2014 – Abstract submission deadline

April 11, 2014 –
Early registration deadline; Student financial award application deadline; Hibbing Park Hotel room release date

April 28, 2014 –
Notification of field trip participants, student award recipients, and technical session presenters


Abstract Submission Deadline: March 31, 2014

Participant interested in giving an oral or poster presentations will be required to submit an abstract by the deadline.  All abstracts will be reviewed for content.

Abstract specifications and submission instructions:
A. Limit of two pages (8½" x 11") including illustrations and references
B. Use 10-12 point type; left, top, bottom, and right margins of 1"
C. Use GSA or GAC-MAC-SEG style for the abstract, title, author(s)' name, affiliation and cited references (refer to previous ILSG abstracts for guidance)
D. Abstracts must be submitted by email as attached computer files in either MS Word or Adobe pdf format; all figures and tables should be embedded in the document; abstracts will be returned to the authors if revisions are necessary
E. Indicate in the email transmittal letter:
     a. Whether an oral or poster presentation is preferred
     b. The author who will be giving the oral presentation
     c. Whether the abstract is being submitted for consideration as a best student talk or poster (in this case, the student should be listed as first author; see below for more information)

Send abstract files by the March 31st deadline to:
Jim Miller  - mille066@umn.edu
Any questions, email or call Jim Miller at 218-726-6582


We are soliciting sponsorships from local companies and individuals to keep meeting costs down, especially for students.  With one of longstanding goals of the ILSG being to attract students to the geology and mineral resources of the Lake Superior region, we want to make it as attractive as possible for students to attend both the meeting and the field trips.   We have identified several sponsorship options that we hope you will consider:

1) Sponsor travel and meeting support for students 

2) Sponsor part of the welcoming reception scheduled for Wednesday evening, May 14 

3) Sponsor the extra cost of printing the guidebooks in color

See the SPONSOR REQUEST for more details

The current co-sponsors are:
Midwest Institute of Geosciences and Engineering
Lundin Mining
GEI Consultants

If you would like to be a sponsor of the 60th ILSG, contact Jim Miller (mille066@umn.edu / 218-726-6582) by April 3rd.


Field trip registrations will be accepted on a first come-first served basis, based on the date that the registration was mailed (postmarked) or faxed.   All field trips depart from and return to the Hibbing Park Hotel. Participants must arrive at least 20 minutes prior to departure time (coffee will be provided). 

Lunches and beverages will be provided on all field trips.   Rock (and till) sampling will be allowed at most stops, however, sample bags will not be provided. Trips will run, rain or shine, so be prepared for all weather conditions. 


1) Biwabik Iron Formation: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Structure, and Mineralization
Trip Leaders: Peter K. Jongewaard (Cliffs Natural Resources, ret.), Philip C. Larson (Duluth Metals), Marsha Patelke (NRRI), Steven Losh (Minnesota State University-Mankato), Michael Totenhagen (Arcelor Mittal), and Jakob Wartman (Cliffs Natural Resources)

The Central Mesabi district hosts the most complete visible section of the Biwabik Iron Formation across the Mesabi Range, and has been home to mining operations since 1892. This trip will visit United Taconite’s Thunderbird North and South mines in Eveleth, and the Mary Ellen mine near Biwabik. Stratigraphic, depositional, and textural details within current magnetite mining ore horizons will be examined at Thunderbird North, along with structural features and oxidation related to direct shipping hematite ores in Thunderbird South. Participants will lunch at the T-Bird core shack, where a full-section core will be available for examination. This will be followed by a visit to the Mary Ellen Mine, a past-producer with famous exposures of Mary Ellen stromatolitic jasper. Sample collection is encouraged at all locations. Steel-toed boots, hardhats, safety glasses required, bring your own if possible (limited supply). Safety orientation required at entry to Cliffs operations.

2) A Walk in the Park: Neoarchean Geology of Lake Vermilion State Park
Trip Leaders: George Hudak (Natural Resources Research Institute/Precambrian Research Center, UMD), Amy Radakovich (Minnesota Geological Survey), Geoff Pignotta and Kelly Schwierske (University of Wisconsin Eau Claire).

Since 2010, researchers from the Precambrian Research Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth, the Geology Department at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and the Department of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University have conducted geologic studies in Lake Vermilion State Park—Minnesota’s newest. The results provide a better understanding of the geological, volcanological, geochemical, tectonic, and mineralization processes, as well as age relationships, associated with the development of Neoarchean rocks in the Vermilion District and western Wawa-Abitibi Terrane. This field trip will literally be a walk in the park – it will include an easy to moderately difficult (a few hills) ~5 kilometer-long traverse using well-developed trails to investigate the variety of volcanic, sedimentary, and intrusive rocks. Sampling will be permitted at a couple of stops outside of the park. Field boots and a day pack are recommended.

3) Western Mesabi Range Mining Operations
Trip Leaders: Dan Cervin, Julie Varichak, and Julie Lucas (Cliffs Natural Resources - HibTac), William Everett and Kevin Kangas (Essar Steel); and Joey Nielsen (Magnetation).

This trip will visit three distinct iron mining operations in the Western Mesabi Range.  The morning will be spent at the Hibbing Taconite operation managed by Cliffs Natural Resources.  There, participants will get a pit tour of the mining and reclamation operations (and maybe a view of a blast!) followed by a tour of the processing facility.  The afternoon will include a tour through the new construction of Essar Steel’s  taconite processing facility near Naswauk (the old Bulter Taconite).  This will be followed by a tour of Magnetation’s two-year old, 1.2 million mt per year facility located near Bovey, where they are reprocessing old natural ore tailings.


4) Laurentian Vision Partnership: Iron Range Mine Reclamation Sites
Trip Leader: Jim Plummer, (IRRRB and Laurentian Vision Partnership Coordinator) 


5) South Kawishiwi Intrusion: Geology and Cu-Ni-PGE Deposits 
Trip Leader: Dean Peterson (Duluth Metals)

Coming Soon


6) The St. Louis Sublobe and Glacial Lake Upham: The Dynamic Last Gasp of the Ice Age
Trip Leaders: Phil Larson (Duluth Metals) and Howard Mooers (University of Minnesota-Duluth)

Perhaps the most remarkable event of the last ice age in the Hibbing area was the last – the rapid advance of the St. Louis Sublobe from western Minnesota into a shallow proglacial lake formed by retreat of the Rainy Lobe to the north. Although short-lived, this advance left a record of distinct glacial, glaciofluvial, glaciolacustrine, and eolian sediment and landforms. These sediments and landforms are a direct reflection of the short-lived but dynamic nature of the advance, and stand in stark contrast to other glaciogenic deposits in the Minnesota Arrowhead. This trip will explore the history of, and visit sites preserving landforms and sediments associated with, the St. Louis Sublobe advance.

7) Virginia Horn: Geology and Au-mineralization
Trip Leaders: Mark Jirsa (Minnesota Geological Survey), Bill Rowell and Rick Sandri (Vermillion Gold), and Jason Richter (MN Department of Transportation)

The term “Virginia Horn” refers to an area near the city of Virginia where the generally east-trending Biwabik Iron Formation makes an abrupt bend to the southwest, creating a marked fold-like anomaly in the map pattern.  The Paleoproterozoic iron-formation unconformably overlies well-exposed Neoarchean bedrock within an uplifted, wedge-shaped block.  This trip visits exposures that provide an overview of Archean metavolcanic, meta-igneous, and metasedimentary rocks—including a Timiskaming-type successor basin sequence—and Paleoproterozoic iron-formation and associated strata.  Archean quartz-feldspar porphyry intrusions are the locus of deformation and alteration features, and associated gold mineralization that is currently under investigation by the Vermilion Gold Company.  Drill core representing that exploration will be viewed.  Some of this core is a product of highway relocation work underway to accommodate proposed new iron mining. 


A) Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Drill Core Library
Trip Leaders: Dave Dahl (MN DNR) and Dean Rossell (Rio Tinto-Kennecott Minerals)

The library archives core that represents more than 400 miles of drilling in Minnesota by exploration and mining companies and various public entities.  Cores from several mineral deposits and prospects will be displayed, including classic Biwabik iron formation, Cu-Ni-PGE mineralized core from the basal Duluth Complex, sheared Archean greenstone prospective for gold, and some recently acquired core by Rio Tinto from the Tamarack Ni-Cu-PGE deposit.

B) Hibbing's Iron Mining and Cultural History
Trip Leaders: Henry Djerlev, Bob Kearney, and Hibbing Historical Society Staff
Hibbing, MN is home to what was often called "The Grand Canyon of the North" or "The Largest Open Pit Iron Mine in the World."  Mining began in 1895 with underground methods that quickly shifted to open-pit.  More than 30 mines were operating within a 2.5 mile length of the Biwabik Iron Formation.  This historic area was the birthplace of Oliver Iron Mining, later United States Steel, and Greyhound Bus Lines.  From squalid mining locations settled by squatters, often called “Chicken Towns,” the area moved forward to scattered “Company Towns” with Hibbing at the hub.  Open-pit mining forced the relocation of the original Hibbing town site in the early 1920's, coining the phrase "The Town that Moved."  Mining taxes provided $3.9 million dollars to build Hibbing High School in 1923, the architectural jewel in Hibbing's crown.  This bus tour of historic sites includes stops at the Hull-Rust Mahoning mine view, Hibbing High School, and theHibbing Historical Society Museum.

C) Minnesota Discovery Center (the museum formerly known as Ironworld)
Trip Leaders: MDC staff

The Minnesota Discovery Center museum and research library in Chisholm (a few miles north of Hibbing) houses artifacts, examines mining methods, explores regional geology, and hosts traveling exhibits that highlight the story of the predominantly European immigrants who migrated to this region at the turn of the 20th century to find work in the burgeoning iron ore industry.  Their stories document the development of the Mesabi Iron Range, a region that became the nation’s largest producer of iron ore.  The museum is perched at the edge of a lake-filled gorge that represents the collective footprint of many open-pit and underground mine properties.

D) UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute - Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory
Trip leaders: Dick Kiesel, Dave Hendrickson, Matt Mlinar, and Basak Anameric (NRRI)

The Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory (CMRL) has a consistent track record of conducting applied research that has supported technology-based economic development for iron ore mining, non-ferrous minerals, industrial minerals, environmental remediation, alternative iron making, and the use of taconite mining products for various value-added aggregate applications.  The facility consists of an analytical laboratory, mineral processing and pyrometallurgical processing capabilities from bench to pilot scale for applied research and development projects.  Geographic proximity to the nation’s largest iron mining district (the Mesabi Iron Range) has historically positioned the CMRL to conduct minerals development research, and contribute to the training and development of a substantial number of iron mining and minerals industry professionals.  Demand varies from solving short-term problems, to identifying unique market niches, to providing medium- to long-range technical innovations and developing products and processes for the future.

E) Mine View from a Canoe
Trip leader: Mark Jirsa (Minnesota Geological Survey)

This trip offers a unique duck’s-eye view of the geology at “Ironworld pit lake” in Chisholm, a few miles north of Hibbing.  The lake occupies the abandoned footprints of 15 separate natural (hematite) ore mine properties.  One wall of the pit exposes a 30-foot thick slab of Cretaceous iron-rich conglomerate that was glaciotectonically dislodged from its original position immediately atop iron-formation and thrust over younger glacial sediments.  In the early days of mining (1892-1950’s), these hematite-pebble conglomerates were prized as extremely high-grade ore.  Another wall portrays structures that likely were genetically related to the formation of hematite ores by oxidation and leaching of magnetite-bearing Biwabik Iron Formation.  All canoe gear is provided; some paddling experience might be helpful, but not essential.  Participants may be asked to sign liability documents.

For Questions about field trips, contact Mark Jirsa - jirsa001@umn.edu / 612-627-4780 x208


Registration will be handled by Eventbrite. Payment will be handled by credit card only.
Registration Options and Costs are as follows:

Professional Meeting Registration* (before April 11th)...................... $145
Professional Meeting Registration* (after April 11th) ....................... $160
Student Meeting Registration* ...................................................... $75
Banquet (Thursday, May 15) ......................................................... $25
* registration includes program/abstact and guidebook volumes,
entry to welcoming reception (5/14), 2 reception drink tickets,
lunch buffets on Thursday (5/15) and Friday (5/16), and
morning and afternoon breaks on Thursday and morning break on Friday.

Pre-Meeting Field Trips (Wednesday, May 14)
Biwabik Iron Formation: Sed-Strat, Structure, and Mineralization ......... $60
Geology of Lake Vermilion State Park  .............................................. $60
Western Mesabi Range Mining Operations (HibTac, Essar, Magnetation). $60

Post-Meeting Field Trips (Saturday, May 17)       
Laurentian Vision–Mesabi Range Reclamation Projects  ..................... $60  
Geology and Cu-Ni-PGE Deposits of the South Kawishiwi Intrusion ..... $60
The St. Louis Sublobe and Glacial Lake Upham..................................$60
Virginia Horn: Geology and Au-mineralization....................................$60

Friday Afternoon Field Trips (May 16)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Drill Core Library ........... $40
Hibbing's Iron Mining and Cultural History ....................................... $40
Minnesota Discovery Center .......................................................... $40
UMD-NRRI's Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory......................... $40
Mine View from a Canoe ............................................................... $40

Student Scholarship Fund (donations of $25 or more are welcome)

Click <Here> to Register


Thanks to contributions from the ILSG Eisenbrey Fund, donations to an ILSG Student Scholarship Fund by registrants, and co-sponsor donations to this year’s meeting (see above), travel subsidies and meeting registration waivers are available for graduate and undergraduate students who attend the 60th annual meeting. Recipients of ILSG research grants are guaranteed support and students giving oral or poster presentations at the meeting will be given favored consideration. Interested students should complete an application form from the ILSG Eisenbrey Student Travel Award webpage by April 11, 2014.  


Each year, the Institute selects the best of the student presentations and honors presenters with a monetary award. Funding for the award comes from registration at the annual meeting. The meeting chairs will appoint a Student Paper Committee who will be charged with selecting the best oral presentation and best poster presentations.  Students must notify the meeting chairs that they would like to be considered for a BSP award when submitting their abstracts.  Moreover, the student should be listed as primary author on their abstract.  Students submitting posters, will need to make arrangements for a 5 minute interview with the Student Paper Committee at the meeting.   For more information, see the ILSG Student Paper Award webpage.


All activities associated with the 60th ILSG will be based from the Hibbing Park Hotel.
Preliminary Technical Program

Wednesday, May 14
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.    Pre-Meeting Field Trips
4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  On-site Registration
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  Welcoming Reception, Poster Session

Thursday, May 15 (Hibbing Park Hotel)
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   On-site Registration
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   Technical Session I w/break
12:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.   Lunch Buffet/ ILSG Board Meeting
1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.     Technical Session II w/break
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.     Cash Bar Mixer, Poster Session
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.   Annual Banquet and Presentations

2014 Goldich Award Medalist: Laurel Woodruff (USGS)

Banquet Talk: "A Line in the Trees: History of the US-Canadian Boundary from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods" by Dr. Francis M. Carroll (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg and St. Johns University)                     

Friday, May 16
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   Technical Session III w/break
12:00 a.m. - 1:20 p.m.    Lunch Buffet
1:20 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.     Special presentation and student awards
2:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.     Half-day Field Trips

Saturday, May 17
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Post-meeting Field Trips

All field trips leave and return to Hibbing Park Hotel


Hibbing is situated in midway along Minnesota’s Mesabi Range. It is the largest city in Minnesota (by area). It has a population of about 16,000 people and was established in 1893 by Frank Hibbing. It is variably known as: The Town That Moved, The Grand Canyon of the North, and the Iron Capital of the World. It is home of the Greyhound Bus Museum, Hull Rust Mine View, Historic Hibbing High School, Sunrise Bakery, and Zimmy's restaurant and is former home of Bob Dylan, Kevin McHale, Vincent Bugliosi, Roger Maris, Jeno Paulucci, Rudy Perpich, and Gary Puckett.

Hibbing is situated at the junction of US Highway 169 and MN Highway 73

Estimated driving distances to Hibbing are:  

Thunder Bay, ON

295 km

180 mi

Fargo, ND

300 km

185 mi

Marquette, MI

430 km

270 mi

Madison, WI

560 km

350 mi

Minneapolis, MN

275 km

170 mi

Duluth, MN

95 km

60 mi


All events for the 60th Annual ILSG Meeting will take place at the Hibbing Park Hotel.  A limited number of rooms are reserved for ILSG registrants. To make a reservation, call (218) 262-3481 and request the ILSG rates ($59/night-standard room).  Rooms will go fast, so act quickly if you want to stay at the meeting site. These rates apply until April 11th when the reserved rooms will be released. Participants are responsible for making their own reservations and for any penalties due to late cancellations. 

Other nearby accommodations include:




Phone #


Hibbing Park Hotel

1402 E Howard St, Hibbing, MN

$59 + tx



Chisholm Inn & Suites

501 Iron Drive, Chisholm, MN 55719

$65+tx room
$79+tx suite



Super 8 Motel

1411 E 40th ST (Hwy 37 and Hwy 169), Hibbing, MN

$65+tx 2p $59+tx 1p



Mitchell-Tappan House B&B 2125 4th Ave E, Hibbing, MN $75-100+tx 218-262-3862 http://mitchell-tappanhouse.com/



McCarthy Beach State Park 218-262-1350 7622 McCarthy Beach Road , Side Lake, MN 55781

Mesaba Co-op Park (Campground)


3827 Mesaba Park Road, Hibbing, MN