Paper No. 11-12
Presentation Time: 11:20 AM
WESTERN INTERIOR SEAWAY SHORELINES
During his career with the U.S. Geological Survey, William Aubrey "Bill" Cobban collected tens of thousands of fossils primarily to determine index fossils that can be used to subdivide time within substages of Cretaceous time in deposits of the Western Interior Seaway. He created over 80 maps to estimate the locations of strandlines of the western shore of the Western Interior Seaway. The shoreline estimates he produced rely on the distribution of index fossils; ammonites and bivalves with relatively wide distribution and abundance, easy to identify characteristics, and most importantly a relatively short interval of existence.The shorelines have been scanned, geo-referenced, and converted to vectors of coordinates. These vectors are displayed on an interactive map using open source map technologies available to the public in the cloud. The index fossils from which each shoreline is derived are selectable, and localities from which they were collected can be displayed. The information related to the index fossils include photographs, links to publications, and scans of the maps themselves. This tool serves information from the U.S. Geological Survey database for each location including the formation, member, age, stage, and approximate date range. The website will be served by the Smithsonian Institution in commemoration of the contributions by Bill Cobban to understanding the rocks and fossils of the Western Interior Seaway.