A NORTHERN PALEOLATITUDE ECHINODERM FAUNA FROM THE MISSISSIPPIAN LISBURNE GROUP OF ARCTIC ALASKA: PRELIMINARY PALEONTOLOGIC AND STRATIGRAPHIC CHARACTERIZATION
We conducted a reconnaissance field investigation of the stratigraphy and faunal components of the Lisburne Group (Mississippian) in the vicinity of Galbraith Lake (northcentral Brooks Range, Alaska). The primary goals of this investigation were to (1) locate previously described fossiliferous horizons, (2) construct detailed stratigraphic sections for the region, (3) constrain the ages of fossiliferous horizons, and (4) collect echinoderm specimens for taxonomic evaluation. Here, we summarize preliminary findings and interpretations of the stratigraphic context, age, and faunal constituents of fossiliferous horizons in the study area. This work has broader implications for better understanding Mississippian echinoderm assemblages, particularly those from northern paleolatitudes. It will also facilitate comparison of paleoenvironmental conditions, community structure, and evolutionary patterns between echinoderm faunas from northern paleolatitudes and those from southern or equatorial paleogeographic regions (e.g., the midcontinent of North America).