Marker Monday: Giant Glacial Boulder

Our Historical Markers across Nebraska highlight fascinating moments and places in our state’s past. Today we focus on a relic of the Ice Age, a boulder originally from South Dakota that hitched a ride to Lincoln on a glacier.

Location


14th and Manatt Sts., Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska

View this marker’s location 40.848166, -96.701394

Marker Text


This boulder is one of the largest “erratics” ever recovered in the Belmont area, and was found in excavations one-quarter mile east of this point. It was carried to this area thousands of years ago by the ice of a continental glacier and then dropped as the ice melted. The boulder was moved by the ice from the basement (Precambrian) rocks exposed in the vicinity of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is composed of Sioux sandstone and quartzite. The harder areas of quartzite are well defined. There are numerous smaller boulders along the ridge just east of Belmont Park, together with prominent frost cracks in the glacial-melt clay and silt (till). It appears that the Belmont (beautiful hill) ridge resulted from a standing glacier which melted and left a terminal moraine, composed of clay, silt, and erratics. Glaciers entered eastern Nebraska many times during the great “Ice Age” coming from the north and east. On occasion, the glacial ice sheet must have been at least several hundred feet thick in this location.

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