McDill Pond, Now and Then

Mcdill Pond (Plover River) as it appeared in June, 2012.

These images  appear in the August/September issue of Neighbors Magazine. If you have found your way to my blog via Neighbors, keep checking back as I will be posting additional images from the current issue with a bit more background information than is contained in the publication.

McDill Pond has its origin with European settlement of central Wisconsin. It was originally impounded in Whiting to provide waterpower for industry.  Now a days it provides primarily recreation and beautiful home sites.  Last year, the dam began to leak and the pond was drained.  The dam will be repaired but in the meantime, the Plover River is running free through the area.

Earlier this summer, while driving across Business 51 as it passes McDill Pond, I noticed that the river had a braided appearance and an approaching weather front reminded me of what the great ice sheet may have looked like 15,000 years ago.

Wisconsin’s last glacier advanced to within a few miles of McDill Pond.  The height of the glacier must have been enormous since it left a terminal moraine that is currently at least 75 feet high. The moraine is a rubble pile of rock transported to the end of the glacier.  The glacier must have been very thick to leave such a large pile.

In my mind’s eye, I began to imagine what the McDill Pond area could have looked like during the glaciation. I took the above image and added features that might have been.

McDill Pond (Plover River) as it might have looked 15,000 years ago when the Green Bay Lobe reached to within a few miles of Stevens Point, WI.

Melt water flowed from the glacier both from surface streams and tunnels deep inside. At times, water accumulated in large internal lakes that explosively discharged as ice dams disintegrated.  These large periodic outflows would carry large size rubble down stream and cut valleys through the moraine.

Streams would have been very cold carrying large amount of sediment.  Large particles would settle first with fine sand particles settling further from the glacier forming what is now known as the Golden Sands area.  As the sediment settled in the stream bed, the course of the stream would become fragmented developing multiple small channels that are often referred to as a braided stream.

As the glacier retreated, the Plover River carried vast amounts of melt water that formed a wide stream bed and over time cut through some of the accumulated sediment. Today’s rivers and streams only fill a portion of the bed they once occupied during glacial times.

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2 Responses to “McDill Pond, Now and Then”

  1. PARAMUS Says:

    Reblogged this on paramus.

  2. sandersonp Says:

    Thanks so much for your interest and support. I appreciate it.

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