Pound Esker

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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A prominent esker parallels State Highway 64 near its intersection with US 141. East of US 141 the esker is easily traced as a chain of sand and gravel pits. On the map below the esker is highlighted by coloring in closed contours.

Walking into the Pound Esker. The entire access road was once occupied by a gravel ridge that has been dug away.

The hill shown here is the southeast end of the third hill from the left on the map above.

Coarse gravel fills the center of the esker, where the water was moving fastest, and finer sands (mostly left behind) were deposited on the sides. Most students estimate the slope as being much steeper than it really is.
The pit was dug mostly to get gravel for concrete, and the sand was left behind. It's a popular place for dirt bikers. Students usually estimate the steep face of the pit as having a slope of 45 to 70 degrees, but this photo shows that slopes in unconsolidated materials are actually pretty moderate, typically about 30 degrees.
A view from the top of the esker, looking back at the excavated area.

The Hip Bone Connected to ...

In 1997, a sharp-eyed student spotted a buried bone in the embankment along the southwest side of the pit.
The bone appeared to be located in a charcoal-lined pit. Because of the chance the remains might be human, we did not disturb the site. There are strict laws governing disturbance of Native American burials and disposition of human remains. The State Archaeologist was notified, and after viewing the site, judged that the bones were probably not human.
A close-up of the bone. The bones have since been excavated. No radiocarbon dates are yet available on the bones, but they have been confirmed not to be human.

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Created 19 May 1999, Last Update 26 Mar 2013

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