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Mary

Newbie Needs Help With Ordovician Id's

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Mary

I'm trying not to overload you guys with requests, but I have been spending hours upon hours on the internet and in books trying to figure this stuff out. I just want to know that it all lines up with Ordovician and Kope or Fairview so I know what I have. I am in Northern Kentucky and we are finding this stuff in our backyard.

At first, all I was saying was that I was finding coral and shells, but it seems that there are different varieties, and depending on where we look, we found different shapes and sizes.

So, have a gander and let me know what you think...

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I have different angles of some of them in my photobucket album.

http://photobucket.com/doodlebugger

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tracer

it may be that someone has researched the formation you're looking at enough to have identified some of the species present, but "shell hash" in matrix normally doesn't get a lot of definitive identification info when posted here. a lot of the time, the shells are pretty broken up and smashed together and it's difficult to see their specific shapes and textures.

you could try to approach the puzzle from the opposite end by researching the geology of your area. if you could find a friendly local geologist to come look at the area and give a definite thought on the formation(s), that would be optimal. but what i've done for the places i go is look up geological maps, figure out the exposed formation names for the area, and then try to look up photos of the formations, stratigraphic column diagrams of the formations, and narrative descriptions of the formations. if i find some specific information that a specific formation is in a specific place, then i try to go look at it. even if there are no fossils there, i want to know what it looks like. some exposed formations look very different "fresh" than after they've been exposed a while. dark blueish-blackish fissile shale for instance may turn to crumbly yellow oxidized "dirt" that looks nothing like it previously did. there's a lot of fun in doing the research, and absolutely no need to cram too much of it in all at once.

there is some shell hash that sort of has whole shells of the same species in it and the species happens to be one that wasn't around too terribly long and therefore constitutes a "marker" species to tell you what age and formation you're looking at. but a lot of shell hash is far less specific and is just shell hash.

p.s. - in your first picture, the thing at about 5 o'clock from where your thumb is kinda looks like a cross section through an orthocone cephalopod to me. and the fourth picture down sort of looks like a crystallized mineral infilled area, like a vug that got filled with either calcite or quartz. i couldn't tell what the mineral was from just glancing at it.

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Uncle Siphuncle

at one point i contacted the dry dredgers in search of good geo maps of there cincinnati tristate area. in short what they could suggest was not consolidated into one clean, definitive area map like the atlas of texas maps that spoil us texans.

basically i was pointed to several field guides ea with a few old, spent type localities for me to visit then piece together faunal and lithologic trends across this and adjacent counties for myself.... not exactly a smash and grab weekend trip.

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Uncle Siphuncle

also, the cinci ordovician doesnt exhibit the degree of lithologic variation that spoils me in tx. their layers look quite similar to many of us. basically geologists have defined formations by ratio of shale to limestone, and that variation isnt always slap-yo-face obvious. throw in a few brachiopod marker beds and you have the basics.... which seemed to me not quite as cut and dry as i would have liked...but still through lots of field time i found some cool stuff

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