James D. Ross

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)



First Advisor

Dr. Frank Karner


The Agassiz sediments have been difficult to study because of their complex stratigraphy and homogeneous lithology. The mineral particle size distribution and the petrography of these sediments were the basis of a preliminary study which allowed a columnar section at Grand Forks to be divided into nine stratigraphic units. These are, proceeding from the bottom to the top: Unit 1, gravelly clay loam; Unit 2, gray clay with gravel; Unit 3, dark gray silty clay loam; Unit 4, grayish brown sand; Unit 5, dark gray clay; Unit 6, gray clay with gravel; Unit 7, dark gray clay; Unit 8, gray clay with silt; Unit 9, brown silty loam. The merits of X-ray mineralogical analysis, particle size distribution and also engineering techniques are evaluated concerning their usefulness in geologic work in glacial Lake Agassiz sediment. The X-ray analysis and particle size distribution were particularly good in determining minor lithologic variations in the sediment. The engineering and paleontological techniques were not as good because of the lack of application and development in studying glacial Lake Agassiz sediments. Future work in these areas may remedy this problem and give a clearer picture of the history of glacial Lake Agassiz.