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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 September 8th, 7:00 PM, 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:

Meeting ID: 826 8255 7674
Passcode: YQ4ZtD


SPEAKER: Sara Hayes, Graduate Student, Western Michigan University

TOPIC: Using Mercury to Evaluate the Niagara-Salina Transition, Silurian Michigan Basin, USA


This study evaluates the Michigan Basin (MB) during the Niagara-Salina transition with sedimentary mercury (Hg) as a possible proxy for volcanism and biogeochemical perturbations. The Niagara-Salina transition is marked by an environmental change from a carbonate reef to an evaporitic environment, though currently the cause is unknown. Previous research has suggested the change was due to local
conditions cutting off water access to the basin. Research into the carbon isotope record found several global CIEs, suggesting the cause maybe global. Mercury as a proxy is equally contested as a sign of global volcanism, and though the present interpretation of high mercury concentrations [Hg] is often volcanism, other sources such as terrestrial input, can also create a high [Hg]. Our research presents evidence Hg is possible to measure in evaporites, and is not a reliable proxy for paleovolcanism, as well new isotopic data that supports the possibility of plants in the Silurian


Sara Hayes is currently a graduate student at Western Michigan University working in the
Carbonate Petrology and Characterization Laboratory under Dr. Steve Kaczmarek. She is
conducting research on mercury in Silurian paleoenvironments from the St. Kalkaska Core #2-
15 at the Michigan Geology Repository for Research and Education. Sara is also a Research
Assistant at the Michigan Geological Survey as part of the Triage Project. Before Western, she
studied at Oakland University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. At Oakland
University, she worked in the Water Quality lab under Dr. Linda Schweitzer studying silica
content in ash water.

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

Sept. 17-19: HOLLAND, MI Tulip City Gem & Mineral Club Annual Show. Fri 10-8; Sat 10-7; Sun 11-5. Soccer Stop Sportsplex, 5 River Hills Dr., Holland. Contact: Sue Goedert, (616) 337-1162;

Sept. 18-19: HOWELL, MI Livingston Gem & Mineral Society Annual Show. Sat 10-6; Sun 10-4. Hartland Education Support, 9525 E. Highland Rd., Howell. Contact: Edward Oler, (810) 241-8801

Oct. 2-3: TRAVERSE CITY, MI Grand Traverse Area Rock & Mineral Club Annual Show. Sat 10-5; Sun 11-4. Cherryland VFW Hall, 3400 Veterans Dr., Traverse City. Contact: Jared Bowen, (269)303-5732;

Oct. 2-3: BELLEVILLE, MI Midwest Mineralogical Lapidary Society Rock Swap. Sat 10-5; Sun 10-4. Wayne County Fairgrounds, 10871 Quirk Rd., Belleville. Contact: Bill Barr, (505) 803-4888;

Oct. 8-10: WARREN, MI Michigan Mineralogical Society Annual Show. Fri 9-6; Sat 10-7; Sun 11-5. Macomb Sports & Expo Center-Bldg P, 14500 E. 12 Mile Rd, Warren. Contact: John Peters, (313) 255-7774;

October 13, 2021: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

Oct. 15-17: FORT WAYNE, IN Three Rivers Gem & Mineral Society Annual Show. Fri/Sat 10-6; Sun 10-5. Allen County Fairgrounds, 2726 Carroll Rd., Fort Wayne. Contact: Bev Jenkins, (260) 639-0727;

Oct. 16-17: CLIO, MI Flint Rockland Gem Club Anual Show. 10-5 both days. Carter Middle School, Rogers Lane Dr., Clio. Contact: Bill Wendling, (810) 638-5796;

November 10, 2021: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

December 8, 2021: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

January 12, 2022: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

February 9, 2022: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

March 9, 2022: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

April 13, 2022: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

May 11, 2022: Michigan Basin Geological Society Membership Meeting: MBGS Monthly Membership meeting (virtual)

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