When the Ancient Wisconsin River Flowed East

It’s a miracle. It’s like a heat wave. Wednesday will be the warmest day all week. Projected temperature at 7 pm: 19 Degrees. Fahrenheit. Above Zero.

I’m gonna have to shift my imbibable WN@TL bait from hot chocolate to pina coladas.

Speaking of that which goes & flows with rum:   on January 29 Eric Carson of the Wisconsin Geologic & Natural History Survey will introduce us to Pirates.  River pirates, that is.  Or rather river piracy.  In his talk entitled “Did the Ancient Wisconsin River Once Flow East?” he’ll pour out his recent astonishing analysis that concludes that the Mississippi River once upon a time flowed south from LaCrosse but then turned left at Prairie du Chien and headed east up through what today we call the Wisconsin River valley and continued northeast from Portage and flowed into Green Bay.  It’s one thing when A River Runs Through It.  It’s a whole ‘nother thing when one river steals the streambed of another river.  That’s called stream piracy or river piracy.  So Eric gives the east-flowing river a whole ‘nother name:  the Ancient Wyalusing River.  Amazing to think of western and southwestern Wisconsin as being in the Laurentian watershed.

Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.  Bermudas optional.

Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Cooperative Extension