Jay Strahan

  • M.S. in Geography

  • Email: strahan3@msu.edu
  • Geography Building
    673 Auditorium Rd, Room 116
    East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Areas of interest: Physical geography, Geomorphology
M.S. in Geography
Research Title: Geomorphology

Research Synopsis:

grad_research_StrahanI am currently interested in the influence of proglacial wind regimes on the landscape around glacial lakes and the margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the late Pleistocene. One particular site location in the Central Upper Peninsula intrigues me. A 20 km long spit extending to the southwest of a former island is a depositional feature of glacial Lake Algonquin. The lake was a high stage of the current Great Lakes beginning around 13.1 ka and lasting until around 12.5 ka bordered to the north by receding glacial ice. Now subaerially exposed, this spit is an important record in the depositional history of the Great Lakes basin. Using texture analysis, I will attempt to detect trends in particle size from the headland toward the end of the spit. The orientation of the spit directly corresponds to the dominant wind direction at the time of deposition. It is clear from preliminary observation that dominant winds were out of the North – Northeast, which correspond to both modeled climates at the ice margin and research of Algonquin-aged spits to the south. Additionally, there is a group of transverse dunes to the west of the spit that have NW-SE orientations consistent with that same wind direction. Since the dunes must post-date the formation of the spit, I am curious to discover the timing of these winds and how they relate to the broader climate of the region. I plan to compare optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates to known timing of glacial Lake Algonquin stages to tell a narrative of eolian and coastal activity.