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Friday, August 5, 2011

Fossil communities of the Trenton formation

 Hello all,

My name is John Lohan, I'm an incoming Junior at SUNY Oswego studying geochemistry.  Currently I am working with Dr. Diana Boyer on the different fossil communities seen throughout the Trenton formation.  The Trenton formation represents a 4-5 million year range during the late Ordovician when New York state was covered by a epeiric sea.  The Trenton formation is broken up into into six member which, starting from the oldest, are the Selby, Napanee, Kings Falls, Sugar River, Deny, which is broken up into the sub-members Poland and Russia, Rust, and the Stueben.  Each of these members are exposed via multiple outcrops all throughout Trenton area in upstate New York, of which almost all are sections exposed by rivers such as the Deer and Black river.

Most of what I have been doing up until this point has been finding and evaluating various exposures of the Trenton formation in order to create a final list of localities to work on.  CJ and I would take a day and go through a list of 4-6 different potential sites.  Our directions were based on road logs from various field trip guides.  They were good directions but CJ and I defiantly got lost on more than one occasion and one or two localities seemed to have eluded us.  At the better localities we visited CJ and I collect 1-2 one gallon bags worth of samples, to be looked at and assessed back in Oswego.  The most common fossils seen were brachiopods and cephalopods, as well as crinoids and some rugose corals.  From the initial sites we visited a list of about 5 final localities has been made from which CJ and I shall sample heavily this upcoming weekend.  More about how that will go, and more, soon.

These are some photos taken at several different localities that CJ and I visited in search of fossils.  The lower two pictures are from the lower section of the roaring brooks, the left photo shows a rather large cephalopod orthocone in which you can see several of the cone's inner body chambers, and the right showcases CJ standing under one of the many different deformation structures observed at the site.

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