Farm Creek Section, Farmdale Recreational Area - East Peoria, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 40° 40.544 W 089° 30.077
16T E 288600 N 4505769
Quick Description: The escarpment of this seemingly ordinary creek valley was studied by noted geologist Frank Leverett, and helped lead to understanding the glacial forces that formed the midwest.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/23/2013 3:02:03 PM
Waymark Code: WMJJ7T
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 2

Long Description:
In the Farmdale section of East Peoria is an Army Corps of Engineers owned area along Farm Creek where an escarpment contributed to the understanding of glacial forces that formed the midwest.

The location is in the Farmdale Recreational Area. The parking lot and access is located along Bittersweet Road. From Washington, at Route 8, the road is Summit Road. Go south until you see the parking lot on the left.

There is a kiosk there with a map showing an aerial image with paths traced. No where on the map is marked the specific site(s) where the study was made. On the kiosk is a plaque stating that the Farmdale Creek Section is on the National Register of Historic Places. The specific text is as follows:

"Farm Creek Section
has been designated a
National Historic Landmark
This site possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America for its association with geologist Frank Leverett and his development of theories of Pleistocene continental glaciation.
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior"

This is where the waymark is located.

The actual location where Frank Leverett studied is not marked on the map, nor is it exactly specified in the application shown in an online pdf. The application states that the section is along a 100 ft hill on the southern side of the creek, which has since moved north of it. I was unable to reach that specific location, partially because I didn't know exactly where to go, and partially because the path to that area does not have a crossing over the creek. Also, there does not seem to be direct paths to a good length of the south side of the creek. It is possible that the exact location is not specified to preserve the location for future study. Though the creek at the crossing was fairly shallow and still, I decided to take a northerly path instead where I found a way to return to the creek and the present ravine it has carved.

What I found is interesting and an example of the erosion processes that take place. The place I found was on the northern edge of the creek. I followed Alt Creekside on the map, which traversed along the bluff, which goes up to the general plain. Then, I walked onto a path into a field and headed toward the creek to the embankment. The embankment was about 25 feet high. Different strata could be detected as horizontal lines. I have no idea how old these layers are.

A portion of the text in the application is as follows:

"The Farm Creek Section exposes sediments deposited about 75,000 to 9,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period of Earth history. The exposure, which is approximately 100 feet high and 225 feet long, is located in a stream bank cut into a hill on the south side of Farm Creek, near East Peoria in Tazewell County, Illinois. Trees cover the top and sloping sides of the hill, whereas the stream bank is mostly nonvegetated. A modern soil has developed on top of the irregular surface of the exposure. Below this the succession of Pleistocene sediments is as follows: 1 The late Wisconsinan Richland Loess forms a continuous bed from three to seven feet thick beneath the modern soil. This is underlain by the Henry Formation composed of ourwash gravels derived from the Bloomington Morainic System to the east. The 25-foot-thick Delavan Till Member of the Wedron Formation, which forms the terminal Wisconsinan (basal Woodfordian) moraine south of Peoria, lies below this. It overlies the early Woodfordian Morton Loess, which is underlain by the windblown Roxana Silt belonging to the early Wisconsinan Altonian Substage and containing the Farmdale Silt. Fossil pine and spruce pollen in this soil indicate it developed during a cool interstadial climate. Lenses of resedimented Robein Silt derived from the Roxana are present. The Roxana overlies the Sangamon Soil, which is developed on the surface of the Illinoian till."

Frank Leverett first discovered the Farm Creek Section in 1897, around which time Samuel Calvin photographed the east end of the exposure. Comparison of his photograph and the present exposure shows that the Section has changed very little in nearly 100 years. Farm Creek has moved northward slightly, and stream erosion of the exposure has ceased temporarily. Instead, sediment washed down from the top of the hill has accumulated near the center of the exposure. This minor sediment accumulation has no negative effect on the integrity of the exposure or its scientific value.

The Farm Creek Section is now located in the Farmdale Recreation Area."

This area is about 15 acres in area and is part of a flood control system for Farm Creek, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There is walking, biking and even horse riding allowed. Automobiles are restricted to the parking lot.
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Parking Coordinates: N 40° 40.544 W 089° 30.077

Access fee (In local currency): .00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: no

Website reference: [Web Link]

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