Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

L. Clayton


Fourteen lithostratigraphic units composed of windblown, glacial, lake, slopewash, and stream sediment were distinguished in McKenzie County, The units were mapped using aerial photographs, topographic maps, and soil maps combi11ed with field e:xaminations of sediment outcrops. Eight of the units have been formally named and described in earlier studies. Four of them, however, have not been a"~ previously named and formally described assigned names in this study. Two other units are described, but because of their limited exposure, are not assigned a formal lithostratlgraphic name. The oldest sediment exposed in the county was deposited during the Paleocene and the youngest during the late Holocene.

The sediment of at least seven of the units was deposited as a result of four separate glacial advances in McKenzie County. The ice of these advances entered the county from the north or northeast. The most extensive advance extended as far as the Little Missouri River in the southern part of the county.

The glaciers caused several major temporary and permanent changes in the drainage of the county, mostly by the damming action of the ice in stream valleys. The most significant change was the diversion of Little Missouri River eastward through the present site of the north unit of Roosevelt National Park. This diversion caused changes in most of the drainage system of the Little Missouri 'River downstream from the point of diversion.

The most recent glacial advance in the county was restricted mostly to the valley of Tobacco Garden Creek. The ice of this advance deposited the thick glacial sediment that makes up what is now referred to as the Charlson End Moraine.

Postglacial geological activity in McKenzie County consisted mostly of windblown, stream, and slopewash deposition and erosion controlled largely by climatic conditions. The greatest deposition and erosion probably occurred during warm and dry periods when the protective cover of vegetation was sparse or absent.

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