Geologic Quilt Map of Minnesota

See the quilt in person!

By Ryan Mattke

The quilt is on display on the stairway landing between the basement and sub basement levels in Wilson Library

The Quilt

Created by Aileen Lively

Minnesota Bedrock Geology Quilt – 2011

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Photo courtesy UMN Libraries Instagram

The quilt design is based on the most recent 2011 Minnesota bedrock geology map produced by the Minnesota Geologic Survey.

Using machine appliqué of batik fabrics, the quilter used 80 separate colors and stitched in the borders of all 87 counties. The smaller map on the right side of the quilt shows the distribution of Cretaceous-aged bedrock in light green.

The quilt is 84 inches wide and 108 inches long.

The Geology

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Minnesota Bedrock Geology – 2011

Bedrock is the solid rock that makes up the earth’s crust. In Minnesota, people can see bedrock exposed at a few places like Duluth, St. Cloud, and Winona.

However, most of the state is buried by sediments deposited by glaciers – up to 450 feet of sediment! Thick glacial sediment can provide a challenge for geologists interested in understanding the bedrock geology.

Other information, like water well descriptions, measurements of the earth’s magnetic field, and cores from drilling are needed to interpret the buried portions of bedrock.

The quilt was also on display in the Department of Natural Resources Building at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair!

—Ryan Mattke is the Head of the John R. Borchert Map Library.

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