April 2013 Science Under the Dome

Friday, April 5th at 7:00 PMJohn Zawiskie, Geologist, Cranbrook Institute of Science &  Department of Geology, Wayne State University presented:


Snowball Earth in Your Backyard

Early Proterozoic Evolution of the Earth System

An RSVP is required for this free lecture. 

Below left: John Zawiskie at the Geographic South Pole and below right, on an interlobate moraine at Pontiac Lake Recreation area in Oakland County, Michigan.




Join geologist John Zawiskie and explore the current state of the evidence for major changes in the climate system, atmosphere and biosphere of the Earth that occurred during a crucial 300 million year period of the Early Proterozoic Eon (2.5 – 1.5 billion years ago); including the beginning of near global glaciations “Snowball Earth,” the spread of free oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere, and the proliferation and evolution of microbial life.    

This history is recorded in the strata of the Huronian and Marquette Range Supergroups in Ontario and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, respectively. I will provide an overview of the geologic setting and evidence through field photographs and video clips of the bedrock exposures and link them to the local surface rocks of southeast Michigan, that were derived from the northern bedrock and transported south during the recent glaciation. Some key rock and fossil specimens will be available at the program for visitors to examine. - John Zawiskie  


Above left to right: Early Proterozoic Banded Iron, Negaunee FM., Jasper Knob, UP; Early Proterozoic dropstones in glacial metavarvite, Gowganda Fm., Huronian Supergroup, Ontario, Canada; Early Proterozoic Grypania - oldest known eukaryotic organism (multicellular algae) and one of the rarest fossils on Earth – Marquette Supergroup UP.; Early Proterozoic Lorraine Quartzite, Jasper Metaconglomerate Member, Huronian Supergroup, Ontario, Canada
A copy of the event poster is available here.



The Wayne State Planetarium is dedicated to the promotion of science. We are proud to feature a series of free public lectures covering modern topics in science.