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Next Meeting

Please join us for the Michigan Basin Geological Society’s membership meetings for the 2022-2023 

Due to Zoom technical issues, were to unable to host the April 12th meeting. It is rescheduled for May 9th. 

MBGS Membership Meeting Tuesday, May 9th, 2023, 7:00PM

Zoom Meeting

Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Freymueller and Dr. Anthony Kendall, Michigan State University

Topic: Developing a Groundwater Model for the Great Lakes Basin Using Multi-disciplinary Observations

Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID:

843 7259 2765




Abstract: Developing a Groundwater Model for the Great Lakes Basin Using Multi-disciplinary Observations

The Great Lakes are perhaps the world’s single most evident store of freshwater, including five of its largest lakes and over 20% of total surface freshwater. Yet, below the land surface of the Great Lakes Basin lies a sixth, mostly unknown store of water. Hidden from view, groundwater flows through a complex collection of groundwater aquifers containing more water than Lake Huron. Scientists and engineers struggle to understand the dynamic nature of Great Lakes
groundwater due to factors including complex glacial terrain and a lack of long-term 

monitoring data across the Basin. Yet this vast flow and store of water is not completely invisible; scientists from MSU’s Earth and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with five universities across the US, are bringing together traditionally isolated practices, tools, and data, to form a new understanding of Great Lakes groundwater. The tremendous mass of all of the Great Lakes Basin flowing waters deforms the land’s surface, which geodesists can measure using millimeter-accurate measurements of hundreds of points across the basin from GPS, similarly-precise maps of surface deflections from satellite radar, and orbital
instruments that map Earth’s gravity field. Water, seeping up from below, saturates hundreds of thousands of wetlands across the Basin–a seasonal transformation visible to remote sensing scientists using both optical and radar satellites. Hydrologic modelers can then build synthetic versions of the Great Lakes aquifer systems, simulating how weather, climate, and human land and water use control the movement of groundwater. Through this interdisciplinary effort,
we will develop a deeper understanding of this critical groundwater resource, and create for the first time complete, dynamic maps of groundwater levels and movement across the Basin. Researchers, policymakers, engineers, and the general public across the US and Canada will directly benefit from this new view of one of the Earth’s most important– yet invisible–water resources.


Dr. Jeffrey Freymueller 

Dr. Freymueller is a geodesist who works to understand the structure and movements of Earth’s crust, either through the deep forces that drive plate tectonics, or the near-surface movements of water. He employs an ever expanding network of global positioning satellites to measure the vertical and horizontal movements of the surface over years to
decades. These often slow, but sometimes startlingly abrupt, motions reveal the processes otherwise hidden underneath. Dr. Freymueller holds an endowed Chair for Geology of the Solid Earth in MSU’s Earth and Environmental Sciences, and also serves at that department’s chair.

Dr. Anthony Kendall

Dr. Kendall is a hydrogeologist who studies human and climate interactions with the terrestrial water cycle, focusing on water resource quantity and quality. He uses computational models of groundwater and surface water systems, along with machine learning and remote sensing, to answer questions that data and experiments alone cannot. He is an Assistant Professor in MSU’s Earth and Environmental Sciences, but is a long-time Spartan, holding three degrees from MSU and working there as a full-time researcher for over a decade.

Go to Presentations page for recent MBGS presentations as PDF file

Below are links to recordings of the past (3) MBGS meetings

A 3-D Bedrock Geologic and Hydrostratigraphic Model of Southern Ontario

Date: April 13th, 2022

Meeting Recording:

Below are the 2 original presentations that Terry presented:


A Revised 3-D Geologic Model of the Bedrock of Southern Ontario and Progress on Development of a 3-D Hydrostratigraphic Model

A 3-D Bedrock Hydrostratigraphic Model of Southern Ontario

Articles referenced in the presentation:

A Hydrostratigraphic Framework for the Paleozoic Bedrock of Southern Ontario

A Three-Dimensional Geological Model of the Paleozoic Bedrock of Southern Ontario,  Groundwater Resources Study 19 Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8618

Lake Michigan Shorelines, Catastrophic Failure or Stable, That is the Question, Date: Jan 12, 2022
Meeting Recording:

Grand Canyon MBGS Field Excursions, Date: Feb 9, 2022 
Meeting Recording:


Madeleline Tan, Undergrad Student, University of Michigan, Advisor: Jeroen Ritsema Title: Seismic Receiver function analysis of the Michigan Basin

The Michigan basin is an intracratonic basin approximately 400 km wide (Howell and Van der Pluijm, 1999). It is nearly circular, reaching the largest depth to the cratonic basin sequence in present day Saginaw Bay region. Previous receiver function analysis indicates Moho depth beneath the Michigan basin reaches 53 km, thinning out beneath its flanks (Moidaki et al., 2013; Shen et al., 2013). Stein et al., 2015 posit the Moho depth is on average 45 km beneath the Michigan basin, owing to the combined result of crustal thinning, post-rift volcanism, sediment loading, and basin inversion (Watts et al., 2018). My project focuses on new seismological constraints of the crustal structure beneath Michigan and the broader Great Lakes region using P-to-s receiver functions calculated from the recordings of distant (> 4,000 km) earthquakes at seismometers in Michigan. We will use USGS seismometers in the central US and U-M seismometers near Lake Erie (courtesy of Professor Yihe Huang) to measure variations of the thickness of the crust and sediments within and outside the Michigan Basin. New seismic analyses of the structure of the crust beneath Michigan and surrounding states will help place the Michigan Basin in a broader tectonic context and to constrain dynamic scenarios of its origin. 

Mathew Bell, Graduate Student, Western Michigan University, Advisor: Dr. Peter Voice Title: Dam Failure – Hydrogeologic Consequences and Effects on the Tittabawassee and Tobacco Rivers and the groundwater systems in Southern Gladwin County, Michigan

In May 2020, a reservoir dam at the intersection of the Tittabawassee and the Tobacco Rivers collapsed resulting in a cascade of hydrogeologic and hydrologic changes in southern Gladwin County, Michigan. Along the two rivers, replacement water wells drilled since the event have shown that the water table has dropped up to 6 meters. Recent LiDAR imagery shows the water surface along the two rivers and the reservoir lake also exhibit a 6-meter drop compared to records prior to the event. A combination of water well records (Wellogic Database and more recent drillers reports) and integrating validated oil and gas well records were used to construct sections and maps of the bedrock and glacial surface and water table elevations (prior to- and post-event), for bedrock, and glacial geologic units. In order to better define the county bedrock surface, Horizontal-to-Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) passive seismic data was collected across the county study area to develop a regional contact. Well records and HVSR data better defines the bedrock surface in this region and will allow a better understanding of hydrogeologic connections between the glacial sediment cover and the underlying Paleozoic bedrock. Using calibrated passive seismic measurements, the bedrock surface is analyzed to determine the complexity of the bedrock surface and interaction with the glacial drift, which can determine if there are
separate glacial and bedrock aquifer systems. The bedrock surface mapping and cross sections can provide a context for how the groundwater from the glacial material interacts with the bedrock material below.
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.


  Michigan Basin Geological Society

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 $35 per person and $10 per student.

Upcoming Events

May 9th, 2023: MBGS Meeting 

May 4-5th, 2023, GSA 2023 North-Central Section 57th Annual Meeting  Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA,

May 19-21, 2023, 58th Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene field conference :The Glacial and Geomorphic Evolution of the Houghton Lake Basin Roscommon, Mi.

June 13-14, 2023, AIPG Environmental Risk Management Workshop, Roscommon, Mi

June 21-22, 2023: Michigan Environmental Justice Conference Michigan Environmental Justice Conference - Michigan
Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (

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

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