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USD prof leads Spirit Mound hike

VERMILLION (AP) -- The University of South Dakota earth sciences department led a leisurely spring hike up Spirit Mound on Saturday.

Associate professor Mark Sweeney led the 10 a.m. walk, teaching about local geology, how the mound was formed and the geological processes influencing it today.

Former USD student Cody Miller and Sweeney surveyed the mound in 2010 and compared their measurements with Lewis and Clark's measurements in 1804. Sweeney talked about erosion since Lewis and Clark's time and how land-use changes influenced erosion in the area within the last century.