Patrick M Colgan

Professor of Geology

Patrick Colgan

Prof. Colgan at a buddhist temple and monastery in Qinghi Province, China.

The Seymour K. & Esther R. Padnos Hall of Science # 132
One Campus Drive
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Office Telephone: (616)-331-3201
Office Fax: (616)-331-3740
Electronic Mail: [email protected]


University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. Geology, 1996
University of Kansas, M.S. Geology 1992
University of Missouri-Kansas City, B.S. Geology 1990


GEO100 - Environmental Geology
GEO111 - Exploring Earth
GEO112 - Earth History
GEO320 - Geomorphology
GEO380 - Special Topics: Engineering Geology
GEO420 - Glacial Geology
GEO470 - Geophysics

Research Interests

Glacial geology and glaciology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, dating methods, Quaternary history, glacier changes, and paleoclimatology in the Great Lakes, Tibetan Plateau, and New England regions.

Professional Experience

Grand Valley State University - Professor 2014-present
Grand Valley State University - Associate Professor 2006-2014
Grand Valley State University - Assistant Professor 2003-2006
Northeastern University - Assistant Professor 1996-2003
University of Wisconsin-Madison - Research Assistant Professor 1998-1999
University of Wisconsin-Madison - Research Assistant 1994-1996
University of Wisconsin-Madison - Teaching Assistant 1992-1994
University of Kansas - Teaching Assistant 1990-1992
Alpha-Omega Geotech - Kansas City 1988-1992


*GVSU student co-authors of the paper at the time of publication. 

Colgan, P.M., in press, Evidence of glacier recession. In Elias, S. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences. Elsevier 3nd edition.

Malone, D.H., Gifford, J., Grimley, D.A., Colgan, P.M., Craddock, J.P, Meister, P.A. and Rickels, E.S., 2022, Provenance of Middle to Late Pleistocene tills in Illinois, USA: Evidence for Long Distance (~2000 km) Ice Transport During Two Successive Glaciations: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 92, no. 11, p. 1044-1052, doi: 10.2110/jsr.2022.048.

Schaetzl, R.J., Baish, C., Colgan, P.M., Knauff, J., Bilintoh, T., Wanyama, D., Church, M., McKeehan, K., Fulton, A. and Arbogast, A.F., 2020, A Sediment-Mixing Process-Model of Till Genesis from Till Texture and Clay Mineralogy of the Saginaw Lobe (Michigan, USA): Quaternary Research, v. 94, p. 174-194, doi:10.1017/qua.2019.82.

Schaetzl, R.J., Sauck, W., Heinrich, P., Colgan, P.M., Holiday, V.T., 2019, Commentary: The Putative Saginaw impact structure, Michigan, Lake Huron, in the light of gravity aspects derived from recent EIGEN 6C4 gravity field model: Journal of Great Lakes Research, v. 45, p. 12-20,

Colgan, P.M., Amidon, W.H., and Thurkettle*, S.A., 2017, Inland dunes on the abandoned bed of Glacial Lake Chicago indicate eolian activity during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, southwestern Michigan, USA. Quaternary Research, v. 87, no. 1, p. 66-81, doi:10.1017/qua.2016.13.

Colgan, P.M., Vanderlip*, C.A. and Braunschneider*, K., 2015, Athens Subepisode (Wisconsin Episode) non-glacial, and older glacial sediments in the subsurface of southwestern Michigan, U.S.A. Quaternary Research, v. 84, no. 3, p. 382-397,

Syverson, K.M. & Colgan, P.M., 2011, The Quaternary of Wisconsin: An Updated Review of Stratigraphy, Glacial History and Landforms. In J. Ehlers, P.L. Gibbard and P.D. Hughes, editors: Developments in Quaternary Science, Vol. 15, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2011, pp. 537-552.

Zhou, S., Wang, J., Xu, L., Wang, X., Colgan, P.M. & Mickelson, D.M., 2010, Glacial advances in southeastern Tibet during late Quaternary and their implications for climatic changes, Quaternary International, v. 218, p. 58-66, doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2009.11.026.

Zhou, S., Xu L., Colgan, P.M., Mickelson, D.M., & Wang, X., Wang J. & Zhong, W., 2007, Cosmogenic 10Be dating of Guixing and Baiyu Glaciations. Chinese Science Bulletin, v. 52(10), p. 1387-1393, doi:10.1007/s11434-007-0208-y. PDF of Abstract

Wang, J., Zhou, S., Tang, S., Colgan, P.M. & Munroe, J.S., 2007. The Sequence of Quaternary Glaciations Around Tanggula Pass. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, v. 29, no. 1, p. 149-155 (in Chinese).

Colgan, P.M., Munroe, J.S. & Zhou, S. 2006, Cosmogenic radionuclide evidence for the limited extent of last glacial maximum glaciers in the Tanggula Shan of the central Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Research, v. 65 (1), p. 336-339, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2005.08.026. PDF of Abstract

Colgan, P.M. 2006, Evidence of glacier recession. In Elias, S. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences. Elsevier, p. 798-808.

Colgan, P.M. & Tort*, C. 2006, Quaternary Geology of the Sullivan 7.5 minute Quadrangle, Michigan. Open File Report, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Map scale 1:24,000.

Colgan, P.M. & Stark*, J.M. 2005, Quaternary Geology of the Muskegon East and Muskegon West 7.5 minute Quadrangle. Open File Report, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Map Scale 1:24,000.

Syverson, K.M. & Colgan, P.M. 2004, The Quaternary of Wisconsin: A review of stratigraphy and glaciation history, in Ehlers, J. (ed.), The Glacial Stratigraphy of the northern U.S., Elsevier, p. 289-305.

Winguth, C., Mickelson, D.M., Colgan, P.M. & Laabs, B.J.C. 2004, Modeling the deglaciation of the Green Bay Lobe of the southern Laurentide Ice Sheet: Boreas, v. 33, p. 34-47. PDF

Colgan, P.M., Mickelson, D.M. & Cutler, P.M. 2003, Ice-Marginal Terrestrial Landsystems: Southern Laurentide Ice Sheet, in Evans, D.A. and Rea, B.R., (eds.), Glacial Landsystems, Edwin Arnold, London, p. 111-142. PDF

Mickelson, D.M., & Colgan, P.M. 2003, The southern Laurentide Ice Sheet in the United States, in Gillespie, A.R., and Porter, S., eds., Quaternary History of the United States, International Quaternary Association (INQUA) Special Volume for 2003 International Meeting in Reno, Nevada, p. 1-16. PDF

Bierman, P.R., Caffee, M.W., Davis, P.T., Marsella, K., Pavich, M., Colgan, P.M., Mickelson, D.M. & Larsen, J. 2002, Rates and Timing of Earth Surface Processes from In-Situ-Produced cosmogenic Be-10, in Grew, E.S., (ed.), Beryllium: Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemistry: Reviews in Mineralogy, v. 50, p. 147-196.

Colgan, P.M., Bierman, P.R., Mickelson, D.M. & Caffee, M. 2002, Variation in glacial erosion near the southern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, south-central Wisconsin, USA: implications for cosmogenic dating of glacial terrains: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 114, p. 1581-1591. PDF

Cutler, P.M., Colgan, P.M. & Mickelson, D.M. 2002, Sedimentologic evidence for outburst floods from the Laurentide ice sheet margin in Wisconsin, U.S.A: implications for tunnel-channel formation, in Fisher, T., Clague, J., and Teller, J. (eds.), The role of outburst floods and glacial meltwater in subglacial and proglacial landform genesis: Quaternary International, v. 90, p. 23-40.

Colgan, P.M. 2002, Glacial Landforms of the Southern Green Bay Lobe Region, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Miscellaneous Map Series, scale 1:250,000.

Cutler, P.M., Mickelson, D.M., Colgan, P.M., MacAyeal, D.R. & Parizek, B. 2001, Influence of the Great Lakes on the dynamics of the Laurentide ice sheet: numerical experiments: Geology, v. 29, no. 11, p. 1039-1042. PDF

Cutler, P.M., MacAyeal, D.R., Mickelson, D.M., Parizek, B. & Colgan, P.M. 2000, A numerical investigation of ice-flow permafrost interaction around the southern Laurentide ice sheet: Journal of Glaciology, v. 46(153), p. 311-325. PDF

Colgan, P.M. 1999, Early middle Pleistocene Glaciation (780,000 to 610,000 B.P.) of the Kansas City area, northwestern Missouri, USA: Boreas, v. 28(4), p. 477-489. PDF of Abstract

Colgan, P.M. 1999, A reconstruction of the Green Bay Lobe, Wisconsin, USA from 26,000 to 13,000 radiocarbon years B.P., in Mickelson, D.M. and Attig, J.A., eds., Glacial Processes Past and Present: Geological Society of America Special Paper 337, p. 137-150.

Socha*, B.J., Colgan, P.M. & Mickelson, D. M. 1999, Estimates of ice surface slopes of the Green Bay Lobe 13,000-11,000 radiocarbon years B.P., in Mickelson, D.M. and Attig, J.A., eds., Glacial Processes Past and Present: Geological Society of America Special Paper 337, p. 151-158.

Colgan, P.M. 1998, Paleomagnetism of pre-Illinoian till near Kansas City, Kansas: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 101(1-2), p. 25-34. PDF

Colgan, P.M. & Mickelson, D.M. 1997, Genesis of Streamlined Landforms of the Green Bay Lobe, Wisconsin USA: Sedimentary Geology, v. 111, p.14-25. PDF of Abstract

Page last modified November 25, 2022