Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

W.M. Laird


Northern Logan County, in south-central North Dakota, is included in two physiogeographic divisions: the southwest fifth is part of the glaciated Missouri Plateau that has integrated drainage and thin drift, and the rest is part of the Missouri Coteau, which has thick drift and nonintegrated drainage. Logan County is underlain by the Cretaceous Pierre Shale, undifferentiated Cretaceous sand, sandstone, and mudstone, and by three surface drifts, the Napoleon (lower part of the Wisconsin Stage), the Long Lake, and the Burnstad (upper part of the Wisconsin Stage) Drifts.

Landforms of the area southwest of the Coteau include ground moraine, outwash plains, outwash topography of high relief, small kames, saltwater channels, and glacial Lake Napoleon strandlines and clay plain. Landforms in the Missouri Coteau part of northern Logan County are dead-ice moraine, Long Lake, Burnstad, and Streeter and moraines, outwash plains, ice-walled lake plains, collapsed outwash topography, disintegration ridges, and several other minor features.

The thin glacier that deposited the Burnstad Drift stagnated in a zone that was at least 6 miles and possibly over 20 miles wide. Radiocarbon dates indicate that it might have taken over 2000 years to melt. The presence of numerous fossil mollusk shells in ice-contact lake sediments indicates that superglacial till was present in large enough amounts to insulate the lakes from the ice and was probably abundant enough to be an important factor in the formation of dead-ice moraine.

Clayton (245317 kB)

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