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TillaMurphs

MRC (Mississippi River Commission) Marks

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We found our first one of these critters a few weeks ago. RN0090

 


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  • Anyone know of a database for Mississippi River Commission (MRC) marks?
     
  • Anyone know what the missing circumferential text on this disk would be?

87ed5b9b-6922-43ee-8d9b-a0b1b47b41f3.jpg

 

Thanks.

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I did some looking around and while the MRC is part of the US Army Corps of Engineers the MRC benchmarks I've found online info on are all NGS database marks, they're not in the ACOE's U-Smart database separately. So the NGS database, and GSAK, would probably be your best bet for finding more. (I've seen both MRC and MORC used as monumentation codes, the other thing to look for is CAP in the designation.) Also note that the benchmark you did find apparently has an underground mark with a separate PID:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=RN0091

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=RN0091

(Not all seem to have a separate PID for the Bolt and Cap, but as I recall at least one other one does.)

 

Not sure if you submitted your pictures to the NGS or not, but some of them seem to already be up on the NGS datasheet for RN0090. :)

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=RN0090

 

Edit: Did a little Beocaching.com search for MN marks with:

CAP

in the designation (with the space before CAP) and found a found benchmark with a pic that answers the other question. It should say Commission on the bottom.

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=RN0449

Edited by EdrickV

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I did some looking around...

 

Hi Edrick,

 

Thanks for the information!

 

Note that MRC and MORC are two different agencies (that originally confused me also). MRC is the Mississippi River Commission and MORC is the Missouri River Commission.

 

Thanks for the photo! That fills in the circumferential text at the bottom. I assume that the missing text on the top side is probably MINNESOTA RIVER but it would be nice to find a photo of a full cap.

 

Thanks Edrick

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I did some looking around...

 

Hi Edrick,

 

Thanks for the information!

 

Note that MRC and MORC are two different agencies (that originally confused me also). MRC is the Mississippi River Commission and MORC is the Missouri River Commission.

 

Thanks for the photo! That fills in the circumferential text at the bottom. I assume that the missing text on the top side is probably MINNESOTA RIVER but it would be nice to find a photo of a full cap.

 

Thanks Edrick

 

The MORC monumented marks I've seen online all say they are Mississippi River Commission caps, not Missouri, so that is what I was going by. (And some disc images show the stamping as M.R.C. rather then M.O.R.C.) Though apparently Missouri caps do exist: http://www.penryfamily.com/surveying/ward.html

Edited by EdrickV

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kayakbird is the MORC master! He can clarify those marks.

 

I did some digging around a found a few pieces of MRC info but nothing significant.

 

Here is an 1881 MRC cap: HB1737

2f629cd1-cb5b-4663-bb24-d6d4b59246bc.jpg

 

 

Here is an 1891 MRC cap that looks different than the one we found: MG0664

587927f0-0ebf-4fb0-88a5-dae8f493581a.jpg

 

 

And here is yet another style found by CallawayMT and mentioned in a recent thread: NJ0888

b094a9e9-fa9c-410c-9213-e586bb510d0c.jpg

 

 

I guess I might as well add RN0090 in here so all the cap styles are in one post:

a6718e3a-0d94-4ac5-844a-f43a792f40a7.jpg

 

[editied to add the fourth photo]

Edited by TillaMurphs

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DEFINE MRC or MORC

 

On a mostly birding road trip and don't have all my reference materials with me.

 

GENERALITIES:

 

MORC (Missouri River Commission) placed two different caps along the Missouri River in the 1880's

and early 90's. These were a heavy cast iron cap that would slide over a 4 1/2 inch outside diameter

iron pipe, both drilled to accept a 3/8 inch securing bolt. One type used for bench marks had a raised

round button in the center, and the other had a raised triangle. Both were to be plumbed over an finished,

machine etched, underground stone.

 

MRC (Mississippi River Commission) apparently used caps with more than three different designs which were riveted to a standpipe,

and also centered over an underground station or mark.

 

These are described in the notes section of Special Publication 18.

 

MORC would use leaded bolts if they could not dig down the required three feet to set the stone.

 

Both commissions used materials and methods for permanent marks that were well ahead of the times.

 

I believe that a lot of the points along the Mississippi that are listed as placed by 'DOD' or 'COE' or 'USE' will turn out to be MRC caps.

 

PROBLEMS:

 

Having double PID's for the same point is confusing, especially if the underground 'bolt' has one, but the easily seen pipe cap

does not. Do you rip out and throw away the pipe to dig down to verify the bolt? I think that at least one MRC standpipe

& cap is offset from the bolt:

 

SJ1180'IS 1.2 FEET NORTHEAST OF A MRC CAP ON AN IRON PIPE. IT IS BURIED 18

SJ1180'INCHES UNDERGROUND WITH A 6 INCH STEEL SPRING COIL (MAGNETIC) SET OVER

 

SJ1179'1.2 FEET SOUTHWEST OF MRC PBM BLACKBERRY BOLT. IT IS A STANDARD MRC

SJ1179'CAP ON TOP OF A 4 INCH IRON PIPE THAT PROJECTS 26 INCHES ABOVE THE

 

Iowa has quite a few "Placed By MORC" points that peg on the Mississippi (easy to sort by Longitude and build

separate DSWorld/GE files); but maybe these were placed by a MORC crew that needed a summer job - like THE GEODETIC SURVEY OF CANADA

placing the CGS disk DOOLEY in Montana in 1923.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

Absolutely my favorite set of targets in Montana - old, distinctive, generally there if I can figure out the road

or river approach. I have even spent quite a bit going after a lot of NONPID BM's - most of which are on the USGS Quads.

 

Would be glad to share information off forum of the ones that I know about. kayakbird

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The thing that is confusing is why there would be Missouri River Commission monumented marks with Mississippi River Commission stamping placed along the Mississippi river in Minnesota. But in retrospect maybe MORC didn't actually place the marks and were just the ones to first describe them/blue book them?

 

Of the 12 MORC "monumented" marks in Minnesota only two of them have been reported as found on this site, one without pictures and one that apparently shows where the mark should be but is seemingly covered by pavement. I would have logged that last one as destroyed since there is apparently nothing there that would be useful in actual surveying, and it's also not all that clear if the actual mark was a stone post or survey disk, the original description says a stone post marked USGS but the Marker/Setting/Logo data all indicate a survey disk, stamped MRC and not MORC.

 

Carlson Cap found in 2003, no pic:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=RN0816

 

Prospect Park, the USGS stone post/MRC survey disk:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=PP2586

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Of the 12 MORC "monumented" marks in Minnesota only two of them have been reported as found on this site, one without pictures and one that apparently shows where the mark should be but is seemingly covered by pavement. I would have logged that last one as destroyed since there is apparently nothing there that would be useful in actual surveying, and it's also not all that clear if the actual mark was a stone post or survey disk, the original description says a stone post marked USGS but the Marker/Setting/Logo data all indicate a survey disk, stamped MRC and not MORC.

 

Prospect Park, the USGS stone post/MRC survey disk:

http://www.geocachin...aspx?PID=PP2586

 

I looked closely at the picture on the log for that mark and looked at the datasheet. I would suggest that, that is the actual mark - MARKED BY SQUARE STONE POST, MARKED U.S.G.S. (UNITED PP2586''STATES GEODETIC SURVEY) ON TOP, SET FLUSH WITH SURFACE OF GROUND.

 

Judging from the surrounding pavement, I would say that the parking area has been sealed several times and that would have filled in the lettering on the top of the post. I have yet to see one of those post with a disk set in it, concrete post, yes - stone post, no disk. Without cleaning off the top of that square, there is no way to make a firm decision on whether or not the station is destroyed. Clean off the top and you may well find the letters USBM cut into the stone post and a mark at the center that was the actual survey point.

 

Anyone care to go and clean off the top of that post to see what is under the sealant? It is Way out of our range for benchmarking.

 

John

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While the age is totally different, there is at least one stone post with a USGS disk in it:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=KY0445

 

That said, my impression from the image is that what I was seeing was pavement rather then stone, and I'm thinking that if the stone post still exists it would be underneath that square of pavement. But I don't know for sure. There did not seem to be anything to indicate a datum point from the pictures, or even to indicate if it actually was the right spot. Way too far away for me to have any chance at finding out though.

 

The other thing that is strange is the monumentation info. The stone post is USGS but the datasheet says MORC, which makes me wonder if MORC used an existing USGS stone post as a place to put a mark. (Kind of like how the Michigan Department of Transportation has placed a Height Modernization disk in the base of an MDOT run CORS station. (Curiously enough it has scaled coordinates that seem to be quite a bit off despite basically being attached to a GPS.) I've also seen an ACOE disk on an apparently USGS run river gaging station. (Said disk/station doesn't show up in ACOE's U-Smart database and may actually not be in use anymore, I don't know for sure.)

 

And I still have no clue why the Missouri River Commission would be placing marks in Minnesota along the Mississippi river, so there are plenty of mysteries here. :)

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And I still have no clue why the Missouri River Commission would be placing marks in Minnesota along the Mississippi river, so there are plenty of mysteries here. :)

 

 

This is a good example of interesting intrigue in these old marks. I think that the 1887 MORC crew got to Minneapolis and was told that the trains were snowed in out in Dakota Territory and that they should practice their triangulation technique while they waited so they found an existing USGS bench mark and went to practicing - note the large 'Box Score'. (see reference to GSC in my post above) Need to filter MORC's for the initials (WRH).

 

Since it is somewhat close to the Mississippi River a clerical error made it a MRC; or maybe it was occupied during a MRC project, but never documented - a somewhat common occurrence.

 

Current NGS DATASHEET history does not jive with GEO logs.

 

PP2586 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

PP2586 HISTORY - 1887 MONUMENTED MORC

PP2586 HISTORY - 20010331 MARK NOT FOUND NGS

PP2586 HISTORY - 20070820 MARK NOT FOUND MNDT

PP2586

PP2586 STATION DESCRIPTION

PP2586

PP2586'DESCRIBED BY MISSOURI RIVER COMMISSION 1887 (WRH)

 

I guess that survey grade GPS would quickly determine it the logged object is at the adjusted L/L; and it should be within the foot+/- scaled elevation.

 

PP2586* NAD 83(1996)- 44 58 07.14634(N) 093 12 45.84589(W) ADJUSTED

PP2586* NAVD 88 - 294. (meters) 965. (feet) SCALED

 

kayakbird

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A filter search for (WRH) only shows 5 marks. 1 is the Prospect Park MORC one above, the others are USGS or CGS marks. The other MORC marks I've looked at didn't have initials. Aside from Prospect Park, all the other MORC marks in MN are caps (listed either as P or C marker codes) and later recovery reports (usually CGS or NGS) are where the cap is stated to be a Mississippi River Commission cap while the initial description says it was described by the Missouri River Commission. Prospect Park does predate the other MORC marks in the state, so the idea of it being a training/bluebooking exercise is interesting.

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I am much more familiar with the MORC's and have discovered that you have to 'read between the lines' a lot. Most accurate

DS that I have seen is LF0664 but even it has the pipe diameter wrong.

 

Just made a few edits to the below summary which I posted in this forum a couple of years ago:

 

SUMMARY OF 200+ MORC PID's IN MONTANA - 27 BM's - 182 TRI'S, OUT OF A TOTAL OF OVER 500 THAT WERE SET

 

MARKER,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,SETTING,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,DESCRIPTION,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,PIPE OD,

134 TRI DISK,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,131 PIPE DRIVEN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,110 CAP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,72 NOT LISTED,

54 PIPE CAP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,44 UNSPECIFIED,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,32 TABLET,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,3 3 INCH,

8 OTHER AGENCY ?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,23 ROCK OUTCROP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,27 TABLET,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,25 4 INCH

4 CAP of CAP & BOLT PR,,,,,,,,,,,6 CONCRETE POSTS,,,,,,,,,,,,,21 COPPER BOLT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,6 4.5 (CORRECT),

4 BOLT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,1 BOULDER,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,2 MARK,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,71 5 INCH

1 CROSS CHISELED,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,1 LIMESTONE LEDGE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,11 PIPE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,2 6 INCH

1 PIPE & CONCRETE SURROUND,,5 DISK

 

COLUMNS WILL NOT TOTAL DUE TO WEIRD ONES.

 

ONLY SIX UNDERGROUND STONES ARE NOTED. JUST SIX GIVE THE CORRECT PIPE SIZE! DON'T BELIEVE THAT ANY OF THE PIPES WERE 'DRIVEN'.

 

THERE SHOULD IN FACT BE OVER 20 COPPER BOLTS LEADED INTO NATIVE STONE ON THE UPSTREAM END BUT THE MARKER CODE SHOWS

ONLY FOUR. I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL MORE THAT ARE NONPID.

 

I'M PRETTY SURE THAT THE 8 OTHER AGENCY WERE MONUMENTED BY MORC, BUT WITH A NONSTANDARD (AND LIKELY INCORRECT) DATE.

SEVERAL WERE 'RENEWED', TO USE AN IBC TERM, IN THE LATE FORTIES WITH A CONCRETE POST AND DISK. MOST OF THE DS's FOR THESE

ARE UNCLEAR ON WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PIPE CAP AND STONE. SQ0516 FIVE PINES RESET WAS RECOVERED, BUT APPEARS TO BE THE

ORIGINAL CAP & STANDPIPE. MAYBE THE PIPE WAS RE-PLUMBED OVER THE STONE, BUT WHY CHANGE THE DATE?

 

kayakbird

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My guess is that these were mis-quoted as being Missouri River Commission versus Mississippi. They even call the stone as being US Geodetic Survey versus what should have been Geological Survey.

 

Kurt

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Another style of Mississippi River Commission cap, in Minnesota: QP0094 294/2 CAP.

 

msrubble,

 

Thanks so much for adding yet another style to the list!

They really had quite a variety over a relatively short span of time.

 

Thanks

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They really had quite a variety over a relatively short span of time.

 

Thanks

 

At least three different castings in 1898:

 

msrubble's 294/2, but photo from leopold22

 

f7cdcfa9-3531-4763-8a6a-e45292c5d06b.jpg

 

MRC NORWAY GROVE

 

4d4c0cda-e90a-461a-bebd-d7bf68fa9386.jpg

 

MRC BLACKBERRY CAP

 

defc589b-a00c-49c0-a546-95ee45ae27df.jpg

 

This one is supposed to be offset from it's underground tile and copper bolt. Any diggers up there? kayakbird

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