Glaciers are strong geologic forces that scrape and sculpt the earth. They leave behind various landforms, such as moraines and kettle lakes, boulders of various sizes, and other clues to how they shaped a landscape.
The Ohio landscape has experienced several glaciations during the past Ice Age. These periods were relatively short when compared to the state’s larger natural history. But they played a major role in revealing the Ohio we see today, and they left a powerful legacy on our economic and cultural development. Glaciers deposited materials that help fulfill basic societal needs, such as sand-and-gravel water aquifers and clay materials for industrial and artistic applications.
Glacial geology is the study of how glaciers affect a terrain. Glacial geologists study sediments left behind by glaciers to understand fundamental questions about past ice ages. Since its inception in 1837, the ODNR Division of Geological Survey has researched and mapped the state’s glacial and surficial geology. Today, highly detailed mapping and meticulous studies continue to inform and broaden our knowledge of Ohio’s glacial past. Answering questions about when, where, and how glaciers advanced helps us understand the landscapes around us and how best to protect and conserve our state’s natural resources.