Illinois State Museum

Lake Michigan Dunes Diorama
Illinois State Museum
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Lake County, 1673

This beach-ridge plain is one of the youngest land surfaces in Illinois. It began forming about 4,000 years ago from the sand of glacial deposits to the north. This land surface is temporary. The sand, transported by wave action, continues to move south. Eventually, this beach will erode and disappear as the sand is spread to the southern end of the lake. This habitat is in the Northeastern Morainal Division.

In this scene, black bears scavenge for food along the lake. The reconstruction is based on historical documents and studies of the geology and ecology of Illinois Beach State Park.