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GLIN==> Lake Erie Geomorphology - New Online Publication

A new peer-reviewed research paper on the geomorphology of Lake Ere has been published electronically as part of the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center’s Research Publication (RP) series. This publication is a product of the NOAA Great Lakes Bathymetry Project (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/greatlakes/greatlakes.html), a joint effort involving the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/Task_rpts/1998/ppreid01-1.html), the National Geophysical Data Center, and the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

The complete publication, including plates, figures and tables, in pdf format is available at

Note: due to extensive use of color plates and images, there are ten files totaling ~29 Mb associated with the entire document. Some of the images are best viewed at high magnification due to complexity of colors.

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Holcombe, T.L., L. A. Taylor, J. S. Warren, P. A. Vincent D. F. Reid, and C. E. Herdendorf. 2005. Lake-Floor Geomorphology of Lake Erie. Research Publication RP-3, NOAA, NESDIS/NGDC, WDC/MG&G, January, incl. color plates, 26 pp.


Lake floor physiographic features of Lake Erie, many seen in detail for the first time, are described with the aid of new bathymetry. Geomorphology of these features is discussed utilizing the bathymetry, existing data, and previous interpretations. The nearshore zone surrounding the main basins of Lake Erie deepens to 5-15 m within the first 1-3 km of the shore, exposing bedrock, glacial drift, and glaciolacustrine clay. Glacial erosion interacting with bedrock of varying resistance to erosion has accounted, directly or indirectly, for certain Lake Erie escarpments and other features, such as those occurring within the islands area and in the eastern Basin. Long Point Escarpment is apparently the surface expression of a bedrock escarpment formed on the edges of erosion-resistant southward-dipping strata. Clear Creek Ridge resembles an offshore bar built from accumulations of sand moving along the former shore at lower lake levels, though it may have a morainic foundation. The Pelee-Lorain, Long Point-Erie, and Point Pelee Ridges, are interpreted as morainic ridges on which sands were later concentrated by longshore transport at lower than present lake levels. Conneaut Bank, Fairport Ridge, and Point Pelee Fan are interpreted as deltas formed at lower lake levels. Pennsylvania Ridge flanks Pennsylvania Channel and resembles a natural levee extending westward from the southern end of the Long-Point Erie Ridge. Strong westward currents at depth through Pennsylvania Channel have apparently kept the channel open.

For more information, contact:

Cathy Darnell
Publications Office
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
2205 Commonwealth Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2945 USA
Phone: 734-741-2262

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