Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sagawau Canyon

World Co-ordinates  41.68806° N -87.92528 W
Cook County, IL

Welcome to a secluded blast from the past....

Located deep in the woods off Rt 83 and Archer Avenue is a hidden place rocked by time.  Designed by Nature - the forces of wind, water, ice, and the shifting of the earth's plate sculpted and created this magnificent canyon. It is the only canyon existing in Cook County, IL. Geologically - it is dolomite limestone, a rare crystalline mineral composite of calcium magnesium carbonate.  

These stunning 40 ft rock canyons were exposed after glaciers retreated from the area. Yes, Chicago was once covered by ice, and yes, something happened to melt those miles of ice. But what?  Estimates on age of this canyon range from 100,000 years old to 400 million. 

Looking into the formation of dolomite not only reveals a clue as to the forces of Nature, but also dramatically illustrates and confirms a warming trend of climate change. 

According to info sourced from Wikipedia: "Dolomite was first described in 1791 as a rock by French Naturalist and Geologist Deodat Gratet de Dolomieu (1750–1801) from exposures in what are now known as the Dolomite Alps of northern Italy. Vast (dolomite) deposits are present in the geological record, but the mineral is relatively rare in modern environments. Laboratory synthesis of stoichiometric dolomite has been carried out only at temperatures of greater than 100 °C (conditions typical of burial in sedimentary basins), even though much dolomite in the rock record appears to have formed in low-temperature conditions"

On this land is now the Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve and Environmental Learning Center.   

Sagawau Canyon
Cook County Forest Preserve, IL 
April 2012
copyright Traci Elizabeth 

Wild Bluebells
Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve
April 2012
copyright Traci Elizabeth

Snakes Come Out to Party
in the Spring!