Fossil Soils – #Paleontology Field Work 2018 – Days 7 and 8

The past two days have been all about soils Paleosols. Fossil soils.

Soils, as they develop, often concentrate calcium carbonate (calcite) nodules as they mature. These paleosol carbonates preserve geochemical evidence for ancient climate and vegetation, so when I find these little nodules, I collect them for analysis.

So, while my friends dig for bones, I walk about and find nodules wherever I can.

Paleosols can be lovely…

Looking up at the bottom of the Duchesne River Formation. The maroon rocks are an ancient soil.

A maroon paleosol in the Uinta Formation. It sits on top of the white rock and contains lots of vertical root traces.

And can be in places hard to get to, but with outstanding views.

The vista from a paleosol in the Duchesne River Formation.

While wondering about, I saw a few other worthwhile things, like this horned lizard…

Sometimes called a horned toad, but totally not an amphibian.

And this fossilized turtle…

A small turtle, too buggered up to collect.

And this adorable mammal jaw…

A broken lower jaw of a big herbivorous mammal.

And a cool sea fossil embedded in a conglomerate rock after being transported and deposited by a river.

It kinda looks like an eye, but it’s the impression of a crinoid (sea lily) stem segment.

Tomorrow will be more paleosols. I expect to have a lot of fun looking around!




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