Geologist's Retreat 03
Geologist's Retreat 03

Geologist's Retreat 02
Geologist's Retreat 02

Masthead Photo_2 Pubs
Masthead Photo_2 Pubs

Geologist's Retreat 03
Geologist's Retreat 03

Next Meeting


  Michigan Basin Geological Society

Please join us for the first Michigan Basin Geological Society’s membership meeting for the 2020-2021 year.

MBGS Joint Meeting with AIPG, Wednesday April 14, 2021

Welcome/Introduction 6:00 to 6:15, Social Networking 6:15 to 6:45,
Trivia/Auction 6:45 to 7:15, Main Presentation 7:15 to 8:15, Wrap up 8:15 to 8:30

LOCATION: his will be a virtual Zoom meeting. Please RSVP to Jennifer Trout at:

Join Zoom Meeting


SPEAKER: Adam Wygant, Director of EGLE-Oil, Gas, and Mineral Division




Coal mining in Michigan was big business at one time, spanning from the late 1870’s to 1952. This
presentation will take an informative look at the geology and distribution of Pennsylvanian age coal deposits in Michigan and the history of Michigan’s coal mining industry and related legacy issues. Abandoned coal mines in Michigan represent an ongoing geologic hazard which requires mitigation and planning. A case study of the impact of a Jackson County abandoned coal mine on a recent highway project illustrates the challenges of these anthropogenic geologic hazards. This retrospective look at a historic mining industry, now extinct in Michigan for 70 years, can give us insightful clues which are valuable to how we think about modern day mining and reclamation.


Adam Wygant is currently the Director of the Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lak es, and Energy and State Geologist. His current duties as a state policy executive, is the administration of regulatory programs involving several extractive industries and to work alongside of the Michigan Geological Survey. He is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and is an avid outdoor enthusiast.

Passing of Dr. Paul A. Catacosinos

Dr. Paul A. Catacosinos passed away on April 10 of this year at age 86. Paul was a significant contributor to our understanding of Michigan geology through his work during the 1970’s through 1990’s. Paul was a dynamic educator and researcher that impacted a generation of students and many of us who are interested in Michigan Geology.


Paul did his Ph.D work under Dr. James H. Fisher at Michigan State and completed the dissertation in 1972 on the Cambrian Stratigraphy of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Paul taught at Delta College for 26 years, inspiring students about geology.


He also contributed his energy and enthusiasm to help the Michigan Basin Geological Society, serving as Newsletter Editor (1972-74), Vice President (1977-78) and President (1978-79).


Paul was honored by the Eastern Section of AAPG with the Distinguished Service Award (1989) and Honorary Membership (1991). He also served ESAAPG as an officer, Treasurer (1985). Secretary (1986) and President(1987)


His professional/technical contributions which we often still use today include:

“Cambrian Lithostratigraphy of the Michigan Basin”, 1973, AAPG Bulletin

“Origin and Stratigraphic Assessment of Pre-Mt. Simon Clastics (PreCambrian) of Michigan Basin”, 1981, AAPG Bulletin

Co-editor (with Paul Daniels) of the book “Early Sedimentary Evolution of the Michigan Basin”, 1991, GSA Special Paper 256 containing 11 peer reviewed papers on Michigan basin geology

“Stratigraphy of Middle Proterozoic to Middle Ordovician Formations of the Michigan Basin”, 1991 a paper in GSA Special Paper 256

Co-editor (with Ben van der Pluijm) of the book “Basement and Basins of Eastern North America”, 1996, GSA Special Paper 308 containing 14 peer reviewed papers


Lead author with 4 co-authors of  “Stratigraphic Lexicon for Michigan” and Stratigraphic Nomenclature Chart for Michigan”, 2001, published by the Michigan Geological Survey and the Michigan Basin Geological Society


There is a brief obituary on the legacy. com site at


Paul’s lasting contributions to the understanding of Geology in the Michigan Basin are notable.     

Geology in the News

New Survey Publication – An Updated Bibliography of Michigan Geology

John Yellich and Peter Voice, Western Michigan University Department of Geological Sciences and Michigan Geological Survey

The Michigan Geological Survey is proud to announce a new publication: Michigan Geology: A Bibliography, the second volume in the Michigan Geological Survey Data Compilation Series. This updated compilation lists over 7,700 references from all known Michigan sources, including industry, professional associations and universities and includes publications from 1818 to present. This report documents 200 years of Geological Research in Michigan. The Bibliography is sorted into four general categories – Precambrian, Basin, Quaternary, and Other.
This updated version of the bibliography also includes a short section on Michigan Stratigraphic Nomenclature, as well as brief discussion of historical trends in publication frequency in Michigan.

The report is free to download at the Michigan Geological Survey’s webpage:


Douglass Houghton, Michigan’s first State Geologist, was honored on September 10, 2016 by
the placement of a State of Michigan Historical Marker commemorating his accomplishments. The
effort was led by Arlene Anderson‐Vincent, members of the Michigan Basin Geological Society,
Keweenaw County Historical Society and faculty at Western Michigan University and Michigan
Technological University. The dedication was incorporated into a MBGS field excursion led by
Professor Ted Bornhorst of Michigan Technological University and Lawrence Molloy, President of the Keweenaw County Historical Society. The two led a field excursion that covered the geology and history of sites from Houghton to Copper Harbor and wove a tale of the rise and fall of mining in the copper range. The field excursion included the dedication of the marker, which is located in Eagle River, Michigan at the Keweenaw County Historical Museum. The dedication had many speakers and a special appearance from Kyle Bagnall, who portrayed Bela Hubbard who told the story of Douglass Houghton’s 1840 expedition along Lake Superior. Douglass Houghton died in 1845 when the boat carrying himself and his crew capsized during a storm on Lake Superior near Eagle River.

The Michigan Basin Geological Society (MBGS) was founded in 1936 as an affiliated non-profit organization of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas relating to the field of petroleum geology through field excursions and meetings.

Throughout the years, the role of the society has changed, and both meetings and field excursions now address a wide range of topics pertaining to the study of geology of Michigan and the great lakes area, and is open to anyone interested in geology.

MBGS has monthly meetings typically on the second Wednesday of each month from September through May. These meeting consist of a lecture on a wide variety of Michigan geology related topics. The meetings are open to all. The Executive Committee Officers meet prior to the meeting to discuss Society issues and is open to anyone interested in attending. The society has 1-3 geological field trips per year.

MBGS members are geologists, work in a geology related field, or are a geology student or hobbyist. The Society is dedicated to the advancement of the science of geology and related fields, disseminating knowledge of geology or related fields for the benefit of its members, and promoting the education of geology in Michigan. Annual dues are $25 per person and $10 per student.

Upcoming Events

April  14, 2021: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

April 18-20, 2021, GSA North-Central Section Annual Meeting, Springfield, Missouri

May  12, 2021: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

June 14-16, 2021: Annual Environmental Risk Management Workshop: “The Data Tell the Story” at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center, Roscommon, Michigan.

August 6-9, 2022: AIPG Annual Meeting, Marquette, Mi.

EGLE Calendar of Training and Workshops,9429,7-135-3308_3333---,00.html

Michigan State University, College of Natural Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Science,

Michigan Tech – Geoseminars ‐

University of Michigan Earth and Environmental Science

Western Michigan University, Geological and Environmental Sciences