More Ordovician rocks

In our continuing effort to collect enough Ordovician rocks for our upcoming exhibit, on Thursday I drove to Richmond, Indiana. There I met up with Earlham College professor and VMNH Research Associate Andy Moore for two days of collecting in the late Ordovician Liberty and Whitewater Formations. One thing we plan to emphasize in the exhibit was visible at the first stop:

The light-colored layer that starts about level with my knees is a volcanic ash bed. Late Ordovician rocks in the midwest have fairly large numbers of these beds, which are derived from subduction zones volcanoes in the east, including Virginia.

Our collecting was hampered a bit when I stepped awkwardly on a rock and fell, bruising and pulling muscles down most of the right side of my body; the perils of paleontology! Even so, we were able to visit four more outcrops on Friday and Saturday, and collected a full truck load of fossils. We did particularly well at a stop just south of Richmond, where Tim found this enrolled trilobite:

At the same stop, Andy found a bivalve and several cephalopods:

We were also able to find a locality with huge slabs of limestone, too large to fit in my truck in one piece:

We’ll be returning to Indiana, probably this spring, to pick up some of these large slabs for the exhibit.

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