Thursday, July 30, 2015

Geology of the National Parks in Pictures - Fossil Butte

You can find more Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures as well as my Geological State Symbols Across America series at my website


We visited Fossil Butte about 2 years ago, so I'm happy to finally get these pictures posted. 

 The obligatory entrance sign.

Since the park is a fossil based park, and most fossils you can't see in their "natural habitat", the best places to see the local fossils are in the visitor centers of these parks. Here we have a fossil wall of some of the spectacular fish fossils found. 

Many of the fossil plants found in the park. 

 A crocodilian skeleton.

 Some local turtle fossils.

 Vertebrate fossils like lizards, bats, and a tiny early horse.

 Panoramic view of the park from one of the highest points along the main drive.

 First view of the Historic Quarry as we hiked up to it.

Up close view of the Historic Quarry as you come up on it from the main trail. The Historic Quarry is located within the Green River Formation of the Eocene. The Green River Formation is a prehistoric lake deposit from a lake known as Fossil Lake. In these deposits each layer of sediment within the rocks represents sediment that was slowly deposited over time, likely with one layer representing one year of deposition, with winter time freezing over the lake and halting deposition.

Me in front of the quarry. 

 View of the further side of the Historic Quarry where the trail switchbacks up to the upper layers.

 View of some of the main fossil bearing units in the upper portion of the Historic Quarry. You can see the individual laminae pretty well from here.

 Panoramic view of the valley standing at the Historic Quarry

 A highlight of where to find some fossils among the many laminae of the prehistoric lake bed.

Entering the old fossil hunter's home.