62nd Annual

Institute on Lake Superior Geology

May 4-8, 2016

Duluth, Minnesota

On-Line Registration


Oral Presentation Schedule

Poster Presentations

Organized by

PRC Logo

Precambrian Research Center
UMD-Natural Resources Research Inst.
Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Minnesota Duluth
Jim Miller, Christian Schardt,
and Dean Peterson
Co-Chairs, 62nd Annual Meeting

Meeting Co-Sponsors




AM logo

Student Scholarship Donors

William Everett
Gordon Medaris
Henry Djerlev
John Berkley
Steve Hoaglund
Harvey Thorliefson
Ryan Dayton
Dan Costello
Al MacTavish
Mary Arthur
Daniel Romanelli


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


More Information


The 62nd Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology will be held from Wednesday, May 4 to Sunday, May 8, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) in Duluth, Minnesota. The meeting will consist of a two-day technical session (May 5 & 6), seven full-day field trips, and two half-day trips.  The technical sessions will include a single series of oral presentations and full-time access to poster presentations. The technical session will include talks and posters celebrating the 10th year anniversary of UMD's Precambrian Research Center. In addition, several post-meeting field trips will be offered in May highlighting the geology of "capstone" areas mapped during the PRC Precambrian Field Camp.

We use the Eventbrite on-line registration site as a convenient and cost-effective way to registering people for the various components of the ILSG meeting.  Purchasing "tickets" by credit card or PayPal is Eventbrite's way of registering you and provide a receipt of what you signed up for.

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 and Christian Schardt at the following addresses:

              Email:         mille066@umn.edu /cschardt@d.umn.edu
            Phone:          218-726-6582 / 218-726-7899
                Fax:          218-726-8275
   Regular Mail:          2016 ILSG
                                 Deparment of Earth and Enviornmental Sciences
                                 University of Minnesota Duluth
                                 229 Heller Hall
                                 Duluth, MN  55812


February 15, 2016 -
Registration Opens

April 1, 2016    - Abstract submission deadline

                         - Early registration deadline (costs increase after 4/1)

                         - Student travel award application deadline

                         - Lodging room block release date
                                (Holiday Inn, Radisson, Suites Hotel)

April 20, 2016  -
Field trip participants notified

                         - Student Travel Awards announced

                         - Technical Session schedule posted


The ILSG welcomes oral and poster presentations on various topics related to the geology of the Lake Superior region. Oral presentations will be allowed a total of 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the number of talks submitted. Poster presentation with maximum dimensions of 6' wide and 4' tall, will be displayed throughout the meeting. Abstract for both oral and poster presentation are required.

Abstract Submission Deadline: April 1, 2016

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 recent ILSG abstracts for guidance)
D. Abstracts must be submitted by email in MS Word 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 April 1st deadline to:
Christian Schardtcschardt@d.umn.edu
Any questions, email or call Christian (218-726-7899) or Jim Miller at (218-726-6582; mille066@umn.edu)


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 4th 

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

See the SPONSOR REQUEST for more details

If you would like to be a sponsor of the 62nd ILSG, contact Christian Schardt (cschardt@d.umn.edu /218-726-7899) by April 15th.


Field trip registrations will be accepted on a first come-first served basis. The number of registration slots remaining will be given on Eventbrite registration site.  Based on the Indication of Interest forms recieved, most of the field trips are likely to fill, so register early to guarantee your spot.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you sign up just for field trips, and do not also register for the meeting, you will be put you on a wait list until April 20.  We give preference on the field trips to those also registering for the meeting.   If field trip slots are available as of April 20th, wait-listed registrants will be added to the remaining slots on a first-come, first-served basis.   If there are no slots available, you will be refunded the full field trip registration amount.  So if you want to guarantee a slot on a field trip, you should also register for the meeting.

All field trips depart from and return to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. Participants must arrive at least 20 minutes prior to departure time (coffee will be provided). 

Lunches and beverages will be provided on all full-day 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) Glacial Geology of the Laurentian Uplands
Trip Leaders: Phil Larsen (Vesterheim Geoscience PLC) and Howard Mooers (UMD)

This field trip will explore the glacial geology of the highlands north of Lake Superior, an area straddling the transition from the thick drift characteristic of the southern margins of the Laurentide Ice Sheet to the scoured bedrock of the Canadian Shield. Recent high resolution lidar-derived topographic mapping has revealed a variety of small-scale landforms that have refined and expanded understanding of the timing of glacial retreat and sub- and pro-glacial processes acting on this landscape during ice sheet retreat. This trip will visit ice-walled lake plains, relict thermokarst features, ice-contact outwash, and Rogen moraine, as well as evidence for the extensive pre-glacial saprolite mantling shield rocks.
Attendance Limit – 24
Cost - $40

2) Neoarchean Geology of the Western Vermilion District
Trip Leaders: Mark Jirsa, Terry Boerboom, and Amy Radakovich (Minnesota Geological Survey)

This field trip includes both classic and newly mapped exposures of the Ely Greenstone, Soudan Iron Formation, Giants Range Batholith, and Lake Vermilion Formation.  It takes a preliminary look at stratigraphic relationships between the older rocks (~2720 Ma) and the apparently 30 Ma younger, locally conglomeratic sedimentary strata.  New mapping and recently acquired geochronologic data indicate the sediments of the Lake Vermilion Formation were deposited unconformably on the older, deep-water volcanic rocks, and imply that the formation represents deposition in a Timiskaming-type successor basin.
Attendance Limit – 40
Cost - $55

3) Cu-Ni-PGE Deposits of the Duluth Complex
Trip Leaders: Mark Severson (Teck American), Andrew Ware (PolyMet Mining), and Kevin Boerst (Twin Metals Minnesota), Steve Geerts (UMD-NRRI)

This field trip will focus mainly on drill core from the NorthMet, Mesaba, and Maturi Cu-Ni+PGE deposits that are hosted by the Partridge River, Bathtub, and South Kawishiwi intrusions of the Keweenawan Duluth Complex. These deposits are controlled by PolyMet, Teck, and Antofagasta; respectively. PolyMet is in the permitting process with state and federal agencies. Specific items to be displayed in the core will focus on mineralization styles as related to respective intrusive stratigraphies and footwall-related controls.
Attendance Limit- 76
Cost - $55


4) Duluth Stream Geomorphology and the June 2012 Flood - CANCELLED
Trip Leader: Karen Gran (University of Minnesota Duluth)

5) Geology of the Endion Sill, Duluth
Trip Leader: Jim Miller (University of Minnesota Duluth)

Just a 30-minute walk north of the Canal Park area along Duluth’s Lakewalk are the “Endion Ledges”.  The next mile of wave-washed shoreline outcrops traverse a cross section through the Mesoproterozoic Endion Sill, first studied by Ernst (1960).  Exposures reveal a complex history of multiple magma emplacement and varying degrees of country rock contamination between an andesitic lava flow footwall and a thick rhyolite hanging wall. 
Attendance Limit – 20
Cost -$10


6) Geology and Trout Fishing along Amity Creek, Duluth
Trip Leader: Dean Peterson (Peterson Geoscience, LLC) and George Hudak (UMD Natural Resources Research Inst.)

Join us for a late afternoon/early evening trip up Amity Creek as we explore the varied geology and lore of stream trout fishing up Seven Bridges Road.  This field trip explores Mesoproterozoic lavas (Lakeside lavas and a series of icelandite flows) and diabasic intrusions (Northland sill and unnamed diabase dikes) in almost continuous exposure along Amity Creek. True stories and trout fishing lure recommendations will be discussed for those interested in hooking both rainbow and brook trout. The trip will culminate in a backyard barbeque at the Hudak’s Lakeside neighborhood home where additional geological discussions and fishing tales/lies may be told. Vans will pick up registrants from the DECC at 4:30PM and will return them around 9PM.
Attendance Limit - 32
Cost - $25


7) Archean and Proterozoic Geology of the Western Gunflint Trail (Two-Day Trip)
Trip Leader: Mark Jirsa (Minnesota Geological Survey)

This field trip along the western end of the Gunflint Trail explores Neoarchean, Paleoproterozoic, and Mesoproterozoic rocks, and a diversity of well displayed unconformable and intrusive contact relationships.  The trip and this field guide are modified from the ill-fated 2007 ILSG trip that was canceled due to outbreak of forest fire. In this area, the Neoarchean greenstone-granite terrane of the Wawa subprovince of Superior Province is represented by a succession of metavolcanic rocks (~2720 Ma), intruded by the Saganaga Tonalite (~2690 Ma) and Proterozoic diabasic dikes. The Neoarchean and diabasic rocks are unconformably overlain by Paleoproterozoic sedimentary strata of the Animikie Group (~1870-1830 Ma), which includes the Gunflint Iron Formation.  The stratigraphic top of the iron-formation is marked by seismically deformed and brecciated strata and ejecta—known collectively as the Sudbury Impact Layer—that resulted from a meteorite impact near Sudbury Ontario (~1850 Ma).  A disconformity separates the impact layer from overlying siltstone and graywacke of the Paleoproterozoic Rove Formation (~1835 Ma).  Mesoproterozoic rifting is manifest in hypabyssal dikes and sills of the Logan intrusions (~1115 Ma), and several phases of the Duluth Complex (~1100 Ma), emplaced into both Archean and Paleoproterozoic rocks.
This 2-day trip departs Duluth on Friday late-afternoon, and returns to Duluth on Sunday evening. Two night lodging (double occupancy) with a continental breakfast and bag lunch on Saturday and Sunday is provided.   Those wishing to continue north after the trip on Sunday may drive to Grand Marais Friday afternoon.  Expect considerable hiking on trails and dress for variable weather conditions.
Attendance Limit – 38
Cost - $210

8) Keweenawan Geology of the Hovland Area
Trip Leader: Terry Boerboom (Minnesota Geological Survey) and John Green (University of Minnesota Duluth)

This trip will focus mainly on the upper, normally-polarized, northeast sequence of the North Shore Volcanic Group in northeastern Minnesota, but will also include some stops in the lower (reversely-polarized) part of the sequence, as well as examine some intrusions of the Beaver Bay Complex.  The trip will depart on Friday after the technical sessions have ended (~4PM) and we will overnight in Grand Marais, which is about a two-hour drive from Duluth.  Friday night lodging (double occupancy) and a continental breakfast and  bag lunch on Saturday will be provided.  The first stop on Saturday will be about 25 miles northeast of Grand Marais, near Hovland, and the trip will end up back in Grand Marais Saturday afternoon.  Those wishing to continue north after the field trip instead of returning to Duluth may drive their vehicles to Grand Marais the evening before the trip.
Attendance Limit – 38
Cost - $120

9) Duluth Harbor Geologic History Boat Cruise:  Quaternary to Anthropocene
Trip Leaders: Irv Mossberger, Mehgan Blair, Eric Dott (Barr Engineering), Andy Breckenridge (UW-Superior), Todd Kremmin (UMD)

Join us for a tour of Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor via excursion boat.  Your guides will review the geologic history of Lake Superior and the St. Louis River estuary, and the context in which modern industrial environmental issues occur. View sediment cores on the boat, with side trips via land to Park Point beach dunes, and a tour of the Blue Heron research vessel.  
Attendance Limit – 40
Cost - $30

Questions about field trips, contact Dean Peterson (dpeterson1000@gmail.com) or Jim Miller (mille066@umn.edu)

Post- Post-meeting PRC Field Trips (details coming soon)

To celebrate the past nine years of the Precambrian Field Camp sponsored by UMD's Precambrian Research Center, several weekend canoe-based field trips will be offered throughout May that will highlight the geology mapped during various capstone projects. Capstone mapping projects, conducted during the fifth week of camp, were the highlight of the Precambrian field camp. The projects involved 2-5 students and an instructor conducting detailed bedrock mapping in poorly mapped locations within or near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in northeastern Minnesota.

Most field trips will involve travel through the BWCAW. Because a maxiumum of 9 people in 4 canoes can travel together in the BWCAW, these trips will have limiited availability. The tentative list of possible field trips to be offered include:

Sawbill Lake Intrusion of the Eastern Duluth Complex - Jim Miller, Adam Leu, Ben Brooker

Wilder Lake Intrusion of the Central Duluth Complex - Adam Leu, Jim Miller

Bald Eagle Intrusion of the Central Duluth Complex - Dean Peterson

Archean Knife Lake Group in the Disappointment Lake Area - George Hudak


Registration Now Open!

Registration will be handled by Eventbrite with payment by credit card only.
Registration options and costs are as follows:

Professional Meeting Registration* (before April 1st)...................... $140
Professional Meeting Registration* (after April 1st) ....................... $160
Student Meeting Registration* (before April 1st)............................. $75
Student Meeting Registration* (after April 1st)................................$85
Banquet (Thursday, May 5) ......................................................... $42
* registration includes program/abstact and guidebook volumes,
entry to welcoming reception (5/4), 2 reception drink tickets,
and morning and afternoon breaks on Thursday and morning break on Friday.

Field Trips costs given with the trip descriptions

As noted above, preference on the field trips will be given to those also registering for the meeting.   If you register for a field trip only, you will be put on a waiting list. If field trip slots are available as of April 20th, wait-listed registrants will be added to the remaining slots on a first-come, first-served basis.   If there are no slots available, you will be refunded the full field trip registration amount.  So to guarantee a slot on a field trip, you should also register for the meeting.



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 1st.  


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 62nd ILSG will be based from the Harbor Side area of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (map).

Wednesday, May 4
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.    Pre-meeting Full-Day Field Trips (Harbor Side Entrance)
1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.    Pre-meeting Half-Day Field Trips (Harbor Side Entrance)
4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  On-site Registration (Horizon Foyer)
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  Welcoming Reception, Poster Session (Horizon Foyer)

Thursday, May 5
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   On-site Registration (Horizon Foyer)
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   Technical Session I w/break (Horizon Room)
12:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.   Lunch Break / ILSG Board Meeting
1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.     Technical Session II w/break (Horizon Room)
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.     Cash Bar Mixer, Poster Session (Horizon Foyer)
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.   Annual Banquet and Presentations (Harbor Side Ballroom)

2016 Goldich Award Medalist: MARK JIRSA (Minnesota Geological Survey)

Banquet Talk: Managing Minnesota's Mineral Resources and the DNR’s Conservation Agenda
                     By Peter Clevenstine, Assistant Director of Minerals, MN Dept. of Natural Resources

Friday, May 6
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   Technical Session III w/break (Horizon Room)
12:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.   Lunch Break
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.    Technical Session IV/Student Awards (Horizon Room)
4:00 p.m.                      Early departure for Field Trips 7 & 8 (Harbor Side Entrance)

Saturday, May 7
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Post-meeting Field Trips 8 & 9 (Harbor Side Entrance)

Sunday, May 8
5:00 p.m.                    Field Trip 7 returns

All field trips leave and return to the Harbor Side Entrance of the DECC (map)


Several other conventions are in town this week, so accommodations will fill up quickly. Therefore, we encourage you to


As shown on the map below, nine lodging accommodations can be found within walking distance of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. 

Canal Pk Lodgings

A limited number of rooms at three area hotels have been blocked out for the meeting at a special rate. When making a reservation, request the "ILSG rate". These rates apply until April 3rd when the reserved rooms will be released. Participants are responsible for making their own reservations and for any penalties due to late cancellations. 




Phone #


Holiday Inn-Downtown Duluth

200 West First St.

Std Rm- $109
Executive Suite- $149



Radisson Hotel Duluth-Harborview

505 West Superior St.

Hillside Rm- $119
Tower Rm- $129



Suites Hotel

325 Lake Ave. S.

$111 - $152 218-727-4663


In addition to these accommodations, other lodgings in the Canal Park/Downton Duluth area are within walking distance of the DECC, but were not available for special rates. Given below are website addresses and phone numbers to inquire about rates and availability.

Lodging Phone Website
Canal Park Lodge 218-279-6000 www.canalparklodge.com/
Comfort Suites 218-727-1378 www.choicehotels.com/minnesota/duluth/comfort-suites-hotels/mn031
Downtown Duluth Motel 218-727-6851 www.downtownduluthmotel.com/
Hampton Inn 218-720-3000 hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/minnesota/hampton-inn-duluth-DULMNHX/index.html
Inn on Lake Superior 218-726-1111 www.theinnonlakesuperior.com/
Sheraton Hotel





For more information, please contact the co-chairs:

Jim Miller - General Meeting Chair (mille066@umn.edu; 218-726-6582)

Christian Schardt - Technical Session Chair (cschardt@d.umn.edu; 218-726-7899)

Dean Peterson - Field Trip Chair (dpeterson1000@gmail.com; 218‐290‐8398)