Cannon Township, Michigan

Cannon Township is a great place to live, work and do business.

319 Project

Bear CreekThe surface features of the watershed resulted from periods of glaciation some twelve to twenty thousand years ago. Landforms created by glacial action include terminal moraineswhich make up the steepest hills in the watershed; the gently rolling "swell and swale" topography associated with the agricultural lands in the eastern part of the watershed; Bear Creek and the surrounding valley along Cannonsburg Road which began as an outwash channelfor glacial meltwater; and kettle lakesformed in the depressions where huge blocks of ice melted.

As with most of Kent County, the watershed is located on the boundaries of two of Michigan's principal bedrockformations: the Saginaw and Michigan formations. These are the first to be encountered beneath the area's glacial deposits. The Michigan formation underlies about half of the watershed, primarily to the northeast. The Saginaw formation underlies most of the remainder. Thickness of glacial deposits overlaying sandstone and shale bedrock ranges from approximately 50 to more than 300 feet in the area, increasing generally from southwest to northeast, with no known outcropping of bedrock in the watershed itself (Cannon Township Comprehensive Plan, 1993, p. C-1).

The geomorphology of the area has been strongly influenced by the confluence of the Michigan and Saginaw glacial lobes, resulting in a rather chaotic and visually interesting topography. The glacial tilland outwash plains that dominate the surface were deposited during the Wisconsin stage of the Pleistocene period. Drift depositsvary considerably, depending of their mode of deposition, and consist mainly of unconsolidated sand, gravel and clay. These are hydrogeologically important constituents of glacial drift aquifers (Lacey, 1991, p. 5).

Bear Creek is the major watercourse in Cannon Township. As it runs east to west for some 17 miles, the creek and its tributaries are surrounded by wooded upland areas, which slope abruptly downward toward the narrow floodplain of the creek's main channel. The result is a long and picturesque valley that is most evident when traveling along Cannonsburg Road, a major thoroughfare of the area (Cannon Township Comprehensive Plan, 1993, 2-3).

More information can be found on GVSU's Bear Creek Watershed Project website at