Evidence for Ancient Catastrophe Found At Devils Lake, Wisconsin
Far Shores News, August 1, 2000
A small boulder, sitting high atop the cliffs at Devils Lake State Park, is unlike any other boulder on the planet according to professional geologist Paul Herr. Herr and his guides conduct nature tours at Devils Lake under the title "Devils Lake Nature Safaris.'' Herr often explores the park during his free-time. He recently discovered something astonishing on the East Bluff at Devils Lake - evidence for an ancient catastrophe. Scientists, according to Herr, have determined that the quartzite hills near Baraboo, Wisconsin were islands in a tropical ocean 450 million years ago. At Devils Lake you can see scars left by hurricane waves that once pummeled these islands, such as grooves cut into the quartzite by boulders rolling back-and-forth in the surf.
Herr discovered a small, reddish, quartzite boulder, about the size of basketball, that was crushed like a "nut'' when a larger boulder slammed on top of it. The shattered pieces are still sitting there, though now they are encased in sandstone. Quartzite is the hardest, common, rock-type in the world. According to Herr, it took a violent impact to smash the quartzite boulder. Herr theorizes that one, giant wave lifted huge quartzite boulders and slammed them down on the hard quartzite beach. This wave created such a thick pile of debris that subsequent waves couldn't get to the shattered boulder at the bottom. Herr thinks that it must have been one, giant wave because a second wave, of the same magnitude, would have scattered the shattered pieces - but they are not scattered. Herr thinks a tsunami, or a giant wave created by a meteor impact, could explain the shattered boulder. Herr showed this boulder to a group of visiting international scientists. One of them stated, "We expected dairy cattle in Southern Wisconsin, not stunning, world-class geology.''