Using lake superior parks to explain the midcontinent rift

Seth Stein, Carol A. Stein, Eunice Blavascunas, Jonas Kley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few areas give interpreters and educators the opportunity to illustrate geoheritage—the role of geology in shaping an area's culture and growth— as well as the Lake Superior region. Lake Superior itself, and the spectacular scenery around it in national, state, and provincial parks, result from a huge geologic structure. Known as the Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS), this structure is a 1.1 billion-year-old, about 1,800-mile (3,000 km) long scar along which the North American continent started to tear apart, but for some reason failed to form a new ocean. The rift gave rise to Lake Superior, which is the basis of the area's water-based history and economy, the copper and building stone deposits that shaped the region's settlement and growth, and today's tourist industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalPark Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Lake superior parks
  • Midcontinent rift system
  • Mineral deposits
  • Plate tectonics
  • Regional history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Using lake superior parks to explain the midcontinent rift'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this