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Editor's Notes



Editor's Notes

The Physical Geography of Wisconsin, by Lawrence Martin

Wisconsin is blessed with a landscape of great variety and subtle beauty. For the most part, the casual traveler will note a gently rolling landscape of cropland, lakes and forest. Yet within this bucolic scene are hidden clues — significant to those who know to recognize them — of mountain-building upheavals, cataclysms, floods, the erosional forces of water and wind, and the creative and destructive forces of the great glaciers which advanced and retreated across this land and which finally receded just before the arrival of the first human inhabitants.

At Wisconsin Online we were delighted to discover Professor Lawrence Martin's classic work, "The Physical Geography of Wisconsin." Professor Martin describes and explains in detail the familiar features of the Wisconsin landscape. He does so with careful attention to history, a lyrical appreciation of natural beauty, and a practical sense of significant implications for human occupation, agriculture and industry.

We have attempted to excerpt from this extensive work the most salient points which, we feel, will be of interest to residents of the areas described as well as to visitors who may be seeing these features for the first time. Wisconsin residents, as well as the alert traveler, will be pleased with Professor Martin's practice of citing specific local examples of the features he is describing.

The words are those of Professor Martin, and where we have found it necessary to paraphrase, we have enclosed our contributions in brackets.

The reader of these excerpts should be aware, however, that Professor Martin's book contains a great deal more detail and explanation than we are able to include in these web pages. Where we have a paragraph or a sentence, he may have five or a dozen that further explain, describe and provide examples of the same point. Many sections of his book we were forced to skip completely for the sake of brevity.

We hope you enjoy these pages as an introduction to the landscape of Wisconsin. If you find yourself intrigued, as we did, please show your appreciation to the University of Wisconsin Press by buying your own copy of this wonderful book. It can be ordered through your local bookstore, or by visiting the University of Wisconsin Press web site.

Best wishes,

The Geographical Provinces of Wisconsin

Western Upland | Eastern Ridges and Lowlands | Central Plain | Northern Highland | Lake Superior Lowland
Editor's Notes | Glossary
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