David M MickelsonSenior Scientist and Emeritus Quaternary and Glacial Geology
Modern glacial processes, Pleistocene stratigraphy and various aspects of applied geomorphology are my primary interests. My students and I have worked on the genesis of glacial deposits in Scandinavia, New England, Alaska, and the Midwest, in particular, on the origin of drumlins and other glacial landforms. Paleoglaciology is a major field of interest. In particular, we have been trying to reconstruct the nature of the southern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and the Scandinavian Ice Sheet during the last glaciation. I am also interested in applied aspects of Quaternary geology. Several Geological Engineering and Geology students have worked on shoreline erosion and slope stability problems along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Much of this work is in cooperation with other faculty and students in Geological Engineering. In recent years we have been developing ideas of lake bluff evolution and ways of predicting bluff instability by incorporating geologic studies into a slope stability model. Other students have completed theses on hydrogeologic and geotechnical properties of glacial deposits in Wisconsin. In particular, we have been interested in what characteristics of glacial deposits are most important in controlling the movement of groundwater and contaminants. We have an on-going projects in the Uinta Mountains in Utah studying glacial, fluvial, and landscape history, in Tibet, Argentina, and Wisconsin. Although I have retired from classroom teaching I continue to work with graduate students and have an active research program. For a complete listing of research publications, a detailed description of the Quaternary and geomorphology program check out the Quaternary group's home page at http://www.geology.wisc.edu/~qlab.