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Learn about geology in Michigan

Mineral Crusher Facility
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Learn about geology in Michigan

Michigan’s two peninsulas are shaped at the surface by glaciers and within the sub surface geology there are a many unique and valuable natural resources.

For more information about Michigan geology and how EGLE regulates these natural resources, explore the resources on this page.

Michigan geology in 60 seconds

Got a minute? This MI EnviroMinute short will teach you about the land beneath every Michigander's feet - and what makes our geology so unique.

Michigan geology in 60 seconds Video

Dig into these educational resources

An old outline of limestone and dolomite locations throughout Michigan; mostly around the Straits of Mackinac

Searchable geologic catalog

A listing of publications about Michigan geology, including minerals, mining, hydrogeology, and more. This catalog is an excellent resource for students, teachers, and anyone else interested in understanding Michigan geology.

The U.P. Geological Repository’s vast collection of drill core samples from around the U.P. is a boon to researchers.

Upper Peninsula Geological Repository

Like other state and federal collections, our repository is essentially a "rock library," in which samples are organized and made available upon request to researchers to conduct geologic studies.

A stack of rocks on a lakeshore at sunset; the stones have glowing yellow flecks

Rock and mineral identification with our geologists

Our geologists have helped identify several interesting Michigan finds over the years, and have provided some rockhounding tips to help you find treasures of your own.

GeoWebFace

This is a free set of tools that provides a wide array of geologic information for natural resource management, educational and general interests. Additional programs are not needed but can be added to suit individual needs.

This is one of the largest publicly accessible record sets in Michigan. When you access the application, the next step may not be obvious. We recommend reviewing the user guide before diving in.

Get the user guide, other guides, and link to open GeoWebFace

Fast facts about Michigan geology

  • The metamorphic and igneous rocks in Michigan’s upper peninsula are among the oldest in the world and have a long history of mining, which includes production of both ferrous minerals (Iron Ore) and non-ferrous metallic minerals (Copper, Nickel, Silver and Gold).
  • Sedimentary rocks (LimestoneDolomite, and Sandstone) within the Michigan Basin are quarried for use as dimension stone, aggregates, and within the cement manufacturing industry.
  • Gypsum deposits are mined in Michigan for use as a fertilizer and as the main constituent of drywall and plaster.
  • Rock salt  is mined under the city of Detroit and Brines are produced from wells throughout Michigan’s lower peninsula for use as dust and ice control on roads and within a variety of chemical, manufacturing, and fertilizer industries.
  • Oil and natural gas deposits are found throughout Michigan’s lower peninsula and have been produced commercially since 1925. Depleted oil and gas fields and solution mined salt caverns are used extensively in Michigan as natural gas and liquified petroleum gas storage reservoirs.
  • Michigan glacial deposits contain significant sand and gravel which is quarried and mined for use in construction, roads, and manufacturing.

EGLE’s Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD) regulates many extractive industries to assure that development is done in manner that conserves natural resources and protects public health, safety, and the environment.

Michigan Geologic Survey

The Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD), formerly known as the Office of Geological Survey (OGS), had responsibilities including regulatory duties, geological mapping, and applied research.

In October 2011, the Legislature renamed the OGS and created the Michigan Geological Survey at Western Michigan University. The mapping and research tasks were transferred to this new entity, while the regulatory duties remain with the OGMD division within EGLE.

As part of this transition, the Michigan Geological Survey now submits an annual report to EGLE. These reports are available on their website.

Learn more about the Michigan Geological Survey