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Silica sand in Wisconsin

Close-up of silica sand showing uniform grain size. Photo by M.J. Parsen.

Wisconsin’s sandstones, especially the Cambrian- and Ordovician-age formations, are prized for their uniform grain size and high silica content. These formations are excellent sources of the raw material needed for many industrial products and processes, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for petroleum recovery.

This 2-page fact sheet shows where frac sand is being mined and how it's being used.

The following maps, GIS data, and publications by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey may be useful in locating and understanding Wisconsin’s silica sand resources. In addition, well constructor's reports and USGS topographic maps are available for all Wisconsin counties.

Downloadable files

Region Geology Depth to bedrock Water table Potential well yields
Northwest Map | GIS
[11.8MB]|[7.4MB]
     
West-Central Map | GIS
[12MB]|[9.6MB]
     
Industrial Sand Potential Map
[1.5MB]
     
Molding Sands Text
[7.4MB]
     
County
Adams     Map
[6MB]
 
Barron Map
[10MB]
Map
[11MB]
Map
[ MB]
 
Buffalo     Map
[1MB]
 
Burnett     Map
[1.4MB]
 
Chippewa   Map
[7.7MB]
Map
[14MB]
Map
[12MB]
Clark     Map
[12.5MB]
 
Dunn   Map
[7MB]
Map
[12MB]
Map
[4.5MB]
Eau Claire   Map
[8.5MB]
Map
[10MB]
 
Jackson     Map
[9MB]
 
Juneau Map | GIS | Text
[8MB]|[15MB]|[1MB]
  Map
[6MB]
 
Marathon Map | GIS | Text
[10MB]|[44MB]|[22MB]
  Map
[10MB]
 
Marquette     Map
[4.6MB]
 
Monroe     Map
[7MB]
 
Pepin   Map
[5.6MB]
Map
[6.4MB]
 
Pierce   Map
[10MB]
Map
[8MB]
 
Polk     Map
[1.5MB]
 
Portage Map
[5MB]
  Map
[6MB]
 
Trempealeau     Map | GIS
[2MB]|[2.5MB]
 
Waupaca     Map
[5MB]
 
Waushara     Map
[4MB]
 
Wood Map
[10MB]
  Map
[5MB]
 

Publications may be purchased by mail, telephone, or over the counter from the Map Sales office. If you have any questions about publications, please contact the Map Sales office at 608/263.7389 or email mapsales@uwex.edu.

Geology

Bedrock geology of Portage County, Wisconsin, B.A. Brown and J.K. Greenberg, 1986, IC-53DI, 1:100,000 map, $20.00 paper, $25.00 CD-ROM.

Bedrock geology of Wisconsin, northwest sheet, M.G. Mudrey, Jr., G.L. LaBerge, P.E. Myers, and W.S. Cordua, 1987, 2 sheets, 1:250,000 map, $30.00. 

Bedrock geology of Wisconsin, west-central sheet, B.A. Brown, 1988, 1:250,000 map, $20.00. 

Bedrock geology of Wood County, Wisconsin, B.A. Brown and J.K. Greenberg, 1986, 1:100,000 map, $20.00 paper, $25.00 CD-ROM.

Hydrogeology of Wood County, Wisconsin, W.G. Batten, 1988, Information Circular 60, 31 p., $25.00.

Industrial sand potential of Wisconsin: Sandstone at or near the surface, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, 2013, M503, 1:1,000,000 map, $20.00.

Molding Sands of Wisconsin, D.W. Trainer Jr., 1928, Bulletin 69, 103 p., print on demand, $15.00. 

Preliminary geology of the buried bedrock surface, Pierce County, Wisconsin, T.J. Evans, W.S. Cordua, and D.L. LePain, 2007, Open-File Report 2007-08, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00.

Preliminary report on results of physical and chemical tests of Wisconsin silica sandstones, M.E. Ostrom, 1971, Information Circular 18, 61 p., print on demand, $15.00.  

Depth-to-bedrock maps

Depth to bedrock of Chippewa County, Wisconsin, I.D. Lippelt, 1988, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00. 

Depth to bedrock of Dunn County, Wisconsin, I.D. Lippelt and T.E. Fekete, 1988, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00. 

Depth to bedrock of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, D.M. Johnson, 1993, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Depth to bedrock of Pepin County, Wisconsin, D.M. Johnson, 1994, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Depth to bedrock of Pierce County, Wisconsin, B.A. Brown, 1991, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Water-table maps

Atlas of groundwater resources and geology of Barron County, Wisconsin. Compiled by A. Zaporozec, 1987, 9 plates, 1:100,000 maps, complete set $50.00. 

Bedrock geology Groundwater levels Potential sources of groundwater pollution
Depth to bedrock Hydrogeology Soils and their ability to attenuate pollutants
Groundwater pollution potential Physical setting Water quality

Irrigable lands inventory—phase I groundwater and related information, R.G. Hennings and I.D. Lippelt, 1981, 13 p. with 11-page appendix (county aquifer potential maps) and 11 plates (a regional aquifer potential map and 10 county water-table maps), complete set $100.00.
The plates in this report are also sold separately:

Adams
$40.00
Marquette
$20.00
Waushara
$20.00
Jackson
$40.00
Monroe
$20.00
Wood
$20.00
Juneau
$40.00
Portage
$20.00
 
Marathon
$20.00
Waupaca
$20.00
Regional aquifer potential
$20.00

Generalized water-table elevation of Buffalo County, Wisconsin, W.A. Batten, 1999, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Burnett County, Wisconsin, M.A. Muldoon, 1998, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Chippewa County, Wisconsin, I.D. Lippelt, 1988, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Clark County, Wisconsin, I.D. Lippelt, 1990, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Dunn County, Wisconsin. I.D. Lippelt, 1988, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, M.A. Muldoon, 1992, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Pepin County, Wisconsin, M.A. Muldoon and D.M. Johnson, 1993, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Pierce County, Wisconsin, I.D. Lippelt, 1990,  1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Polk County, Wisconsin, M.A. Muldoon and J. Craven, 2000, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00. 

Generalized water-table elevation of Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, M.A. Muldoon and J. Craven, 1998, 1:100,000 map, $20.00. 

Potential well yields

Irrigable lands inventory—phase I groundwater and related information, R.G. Hennings, I.D. Lippelt, 1981, 13 p. with 11-page appendix (county aquifer potential maps) and 11 plates (a regional aquifer potential map and 10 county water-table maps), complete set $100.00.
The plates in this report are also sold separately:

Adams
$40.00
Marquette
$20.00
Waushara
$20.00
Jackson
$40.00
Monroe
$20.00
Wood
$20.00
Juneau
$40.00
Portage
$20.00
 
Marathon
$20.00
Waupaca
$20.00
Regional aquifer potential
$20.00

Potential yields of wells in the bedrock aquifers of Chippewa County, Wisconsin. I.D. Lippelt, 1988, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00. 

Potential yields of wells in the sandstone aquifer of Dunn County, Wisconsin. I.D. Lippelt, 1988, 1:100,000 map, print on demand, $40.00.


Also see: IRON MINING IN WISCONSIN

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