The work of John Bluemle PhD

Welcome to the website of geologist John Bluemle

North Dakota Geology

This website focuses on ND geology, especially landform features you see while traveling around the state. The website deals with the present-day appearance, the origins, and the formation of landform features you can easily access.


Learn about North Dakota geology by clicking the Discover link in the menu.  Here articles can be found according to region, county, geologic material, geologic process, geologic feature, and geologic history.  The sidebar on this page provides access to the articles and most recent comments.


  • Geologic processes
  • Geologic time
  • Climate changes over the millennia
  • North Dakota’s unique landforms
  • and many more topics of current interest


Are you a geology buff? Do you have an interest in North Dakota? Take part in the conversation by leaving comments and asking questions!

Highlights surface and near-surface geology

This website deals with the landscape. I will generally avoid topics relating to oil and gas-oriented geology because 1) a wealth of information already exists on that topic, and 2) in North Dakota oil and gas production involves the geology many thousands of feet below the surface of the ground. This website deals with surface and near-surface features.

About John Bluemle

John Bluemle was employed by the North Dakota Geological Survey from 1962 until he retired in 2004. John’s main interest has always been surface geology, the geology of the landforms that can be seen while traveling around the state. Beginning in 2009 John and his wife Mary visited each of the counties in North Dakota and took over eight thousand landform photos. We have selected from among these photos to illustrate current and future articles for this website.

John’s book on North Dakota surface geology, “North Dakota’s Geologic Legacy: Our Land and How it Formed,” was published in 2016 by the North Dakota State University Press. “Geologic Legacy” is far more comprehensive than any of John’s previous publications. It includes many new insights into our state’s geology. Now available at, the ND Heritage Center Bookshop and a growing number of regional bookstores. Visit the Book Page for complete listing.

Now Available
North Dakota’s Geologic Legacy Our Land and How It Formed
North Dakota's Geologic Legacy 12-10-15-412
Purchase from Amazon Purchase from NDSU Press
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