2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 98-7
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM

THE MARINE PALEOZOIC FOSSIL RECORD OF GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK, NEVADA


KELKAR, Kaytan, High Alpine and Arctic Research Program, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 and JONES, AnnMarie, Geosciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, kaytank@tamu.edu

Great Basin National Park contains a previously undocumented wealth of paleontological resources. The eastern Great Basin is comprised of an Early Paleozoic continental shelf that was intermittently covered by a shallow sea. This low energy depositional setting led to well preserved diverse fossil marine organisms. The objective of the project is to update the paleontological inventory by prospecting known fossil localities for additional specimens and scouting potentially fossiliferous sites to establish presence or absence of paleontological resources. Fossil documentation was conducted through the collection of GPS coordinates on a Trimble GPS device and macrophotography. Rare well preserved specimens were collected for further study. GPS data were transferred in Trimble Pathfinder to topographic maps to accurately identify fossiliferous areas. Digital macro-photographs were supplemented with metadata added in the properties tab for each individual specimen photographed. A paleontology locality form was completed for each new locality recorded, noting features such as exact location and fossil taxonomy.

We conducted fossil documentation from May 19th, 2014 to July 31st, 2014. Fossil prospecting concentrated on the Ordovician units of the Pogonip Group. The park geology map was used as a basis to identify potential fossiliferous areas. A total of 255 new GPS points representing fossil locations were recorded. Over the course of the 2014 inventory we documented 14 new fossil localities. The Lehman Formation was determined as the most fossiliferous stratigraphic unit with 102 specimen GPS points. Rare specimens such as corals (Eofletcheria, Lichenaria, Saffordophyllum), stylophorans, and a stelleroid require further scientific study.

The fossils within the Great Basin serve as significant indicators to better understand biostratigraphy in relation to other neighboring fossil sites in the western United States. Further scientific analysis of specimens will establish additional information about ancient marine environments and contribute to a better understanding of the paleontological record of the region.

Handouts
  • Kelkar_Kaytan_GRBA_GSA Presentation.pptx (13.1 MB)
  • Kelkar_Kaytan_GRBA_Presentation.pptx (13.1 MB)