Urban Geology and Soils of Detroit


Welcome! This website describes an ongoing series of inter-related projects with the prime objectives of:

1) Producing 1:24,000 scale Quaternary geologic maps of the metropolitan Detroit, Michigan area, and

2) Developing methods for mapping, classifying and revitalizating urban soils.



Figure 1. Abandoned, derelict Fisher Body factory near the intersection of I-75 and I-94.  At one time, every car body in North America was produced here.

Quaternary Geology Projects

The geologic  mapping project was initiated in 1999, with funding from the U. S. Geological Survey's EDMAP program, as part of the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition.  The mapping initially focused on outlying areas in the Northville, Redford, and Royal Oak 7.5 minute topographic quarangles, and then was expanded to include the Salem, Walled Lake, and Pontiac South quadrangles.  The focus currently is on the urban geology of the Detroit quadrangle and surrounding areas near downtown Detroit City.






                  Figure 2. Urban geomorphic provinces of Detroit, MI.


Urban Soils Projects

The urban soils revitalization project was initiated in 1995 to study the genesis, mapping and classification of urban soils, and to develop methods for reclamation and revitalization.  Past studies have examined various aspects of Pb contamination and artifact weathering.  The focus currently is on developing cost-effective, methods to remotely sense and map urban soils underlying vacant land.




Figure 3. Profile of urban soil at former demolition site.



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