Northeastern Section - 47th Annual Meeting (1820 March 2012)
Paper No. 22-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

UNCOVERING THE MAIN TRACKWAY AT DINOSAUR STATE PARK (ROCKY HILL, CT) IN PREPARATION FOR THE 50thANNIVERSARY REDEDICATION

THOMAS, Hugo1, ENKLER, Margaret2, THOMAS, Margaret A.3, STEINEN, Randolph P.3, WIZEVICH, Michael C.4, LAFONTE, Christopher4, and GAGNON, Teresa K.5, (1) Emeritus State Geologist, 27 Lakewood Circle South, Manchester, CT 06040, hpthomas@cox.net, (2) Dinosaur State Park, 400 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067, (3) Connecticut Geological Survey, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106, (4) Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050, (5) Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Connecticut Geological Survey / Dinosaur State Park, 79 Elm St, Hartford, CT 06106

Recently, the main trackway at Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, CT, was partially uncovered to examine its condition after being buried for 35 years. The purpose of this assessment was to help revive plans for construction of a permanent structure over the trackway for public view. The small area uncovered was found to have experienced no noticeable degradation due to weathering during its burial. In August 2016, the Park will celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the trackway discovery. The goal is to celebrate this milestone with an unveiling of the original discovery and dedication of the larger trackway for educational viewing and scientific study.

The main trackway was discovered during excavation for a new state building in 1966. It was carefully exposed by ripping up large slabs of gray sandstone along bedding planes, bounded by natural fractures in the rock. The trackway sandstone dips about 11o to the south which allowed the excavation to expose a continuous surface of about 1350 sq. meters. The original surface contains more than 1500 tracks made by at least 80 individual passages across the depositional surface. This is one of the largest concentrations of dinosaur tracks in the world, and has been designated a National Natural Landmark.

At the time of the discovery, economic conditions prohibited the public display of the entire trackway. Greater than 872 sq. meters of the trackway, including an estimated 60% of the number of tracks, was covered for preservation. The protective cover consists of a layer of plastic, covered by 5 cm of polystyrene foam; buried with ~1 m of fine-to medium-grained sand with a surface veneer of soil. Over the years, numerous scientists and other park visitors expressed interest in the buried trackway, and disappointment in its burial.

Northeastern Section - 47th Annual Meeting (1820 March 2012)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 22--Booth# 45
News from the Newark Supergroup (Posters)
Hartford Marriott Downtown: Ballrooms A & C and Ballroom Pre-function Area
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Sunday, 18 March 2012

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 70

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