Ancient Ripples

Ancient Ripples (HMANA)

Location: Wausau, WI 54401 Marathon County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 55.236', W 89° 41.664'

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Imagine this area over two billion years ago, covered by the waters of an ancient Precambrian sea. This ocean deposited sand on the sea floor, and these ripple marks on the rocks in front of you formed by wave action in the sand.

Over time, the sand grains cemented and transformed into sandstone, and eventually, with more heat and pressure, into quartzite, a very hard rock. This process preserved these ripple marks.

For the next several hundred years, extensive weathering and erosion reduced the surrounding region to a flat "peneplain." However, Rib Mountain, with its hard, resistant quartzite, projected high above this surface.

Then, about 600 million years ago, expanding oceans covered Wisconsin, depositing thousands of feet of sediment. Slowly, these layers of sediment wore away, once again revealing Rib Mountain and its ancient ripple marks.

[caption] Pictured above are algal stromatolites composed of blue-green algae, bacteria, and silt on the bottom of the Pre-Cambrian Sea. They are believed to be the first life-forms to colonize the earth.
Placed ByThe Wausau Area Jaycees and the Friends of Rib Mountain
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 7:26am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 287346 N 4977662
Decimal Degrees44.92060000, -89.69440000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 55.236', W 89° 41.664'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 55' 14.16" N, 89° 41' 39.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)715
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4500 Park Rd, Wausau WI 54401, US
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