3DEM

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3D visualization of Wisconsin's Devil's Lake State Park, made with Manifold System 5. The image combines a USGS DEM, colored for height, with a transparent digital orthophoto overlay. Manifold can add sky, elevation-based water, fog and other effects as shown here. Realistic as the image seems, keep in mind it is not a photograph but a 3D computer-generated elevation map!

This southeast facing view helps illustrate how Devil's Lake was formed during the last Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. Vast ice sheets up to two miles in height advanced across Wisconsin. One lobe of the glacier reached its furthest extent here, wrapping around the 500-foot bluff on the left side of the present-day lake. The terminal moraine of rock and gravel dumped by the glacier plugged what was once the channel of an ancient river. A railroad corridor has been cut through an arm of the moraine in the foreground. A similar moraine ridge occurs on the other side of the bluff. Devil's Lake formed in the depression between the two arms of the glacial moraine.

You can see the path of the ancient river channel as the gray elevation running through the image. The present-day Wisconsin River ― about 200 feet lower than Devil's Lake ― can be seen as light blue in the distance. Were it not for glacial dams, the Wisconsin River would flow through this gorge today. In addition to the end moraines, the old channel is filled in with over 100 feet of glacial deposits.

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