Missouri River Breaks: Geological Observations
"The Citadel-Rock on the Upper Missouri"
Engraved by Charles Vogel after Karl Bodmer c. 1837 (altered)
How did they describe the geology of the Upper Missouri River Breaks?
Assume for a moment that you are a mid-19th-century geologist planning to survey north central Montana between the Missouri Breaks and the White Cliffs. The Corps of Discovery made its way up this stretch of the Missouri River during the last week of May, 1805, and you would find the journals a good start for understanding its geology . . . . As a professional geologist and a Lewis and Clark enthusiast I have come to know this country well and am impressed by what the captains had to say about it, as suggested by the following journal excerpts and commentary.
John W. Jengo
John Jengo is a professional geologist and licensed Site Remediation Professional who works for an environmental consulting firm in Pennsylvania, specializing in hydrocarbon remediation and dam removals to restore migratory fish passage. He has published numerous articles in We Proceed On since 2002 on the subject of Lewis and Clark's mineral collection and the significance of scientific influence of their geological discoveries.
Articles on this site by John W. Jengo:
- 1. John W. Jengo, "high broken and rocky:" Lewis and Clark as geological observers, We Proceeded On, Volume 28, No. 2 (May 2002), the quarterly journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. Page titles, subheadings, and graphics have been added. The original printed format is provided at http://lewisandclark.org/wpo/pdf/vol28no2.pdf#page=25.