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firefish68

Roanoke Valley Sites.......?

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firefish68

Does anyone have any experience with any sites in the Roanoke Valley? I live in the lovely hamlet of Boones Mill....yes, it literally consists of one traffic light, a Shell station, and a Subway....and we are just about 15 minutes from Roanoke or Rocky Mount. I have found some things along a creek in Salem, but I don't have any other ideas as far as where to look in this area. I am VERY new to all of this but i am very excited and ready to get out there and get dirty and learn! Any suggestions?

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firefish68

Just realized I left out a little info on the last post. For those unfamiliar, i am indeed referring to locations within the great commonwealth of Virginia.

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Jyonts12

I will get back to you a little later. But I real quick I can say you will have to go to the east coast of VA or towards West VA.

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Jyonts12

Here is some info about the area. Most of the rock around Boones Mill, VA schist, gneiss, and other igneous and metamorphic rocks. You will have to travel more to the northwest, a while to the southeast or to the coast. I hope this helps.

If you are eager to get out before you learn about the history and fossils than you should go here. Most of the places for collecting fossils are located here. Before you visit some of the locations I would check them out either by asking or checking on GoogleEarth street view. Several locations are now on busy highways that are not for good roadside stops.

http://www.fossilsites.com/STATES/VA.HTM

You can also go to West Virginia and look at locations.

http://www.fossilsites.com/STATES/WV.HTM

Most locations for collecting are along roadsides in your area.

I would also check out this website. It has less places but gives a better explanation of fossil description and locations, not all are close though.

http://web.wm.edu/geology/virginia/vafossils/index.php?svr=www

Also the best places for fossils is going to be closer to West Virginia where all of the coal mining is located. There you can find more stuff around 360 to 300 Mya. It is mostly plant life but I have seen very few shark teeth come from this area. I'm not sure the exact area or species.

Here is another website you could check out.

http://www.radford.edu/jtso/GeologyofVirginia/Fossils/GeologyOfVAFossils3.html

I have been to a lot of places around your area and over in West VA and have found mostly brachiopods, some cephalopods, trilobite butts, bryozoans, gastropods, and plants.

There are abundant brachiopods found thought southwestern VA. The others are less common until you get into "coal country" which is where you can find the plants such as ferns, trees, seeds, ex... Here is another link to some of the fossil found in West VA.

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/TableOfCont.html

Now I've noticed I have thrown out all these names, ages and locations. The best way to search for these would be to look at a geologic map of VA and West VA to find rocks younger than the 560 Mya age. For the plants look for the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian age formations. These can be found in the Valley and Ridge Province and the Appalachian Plateau. There is where you will find fossils. 

I personally don't have a hot spot that I like to collect great fossils. It is kind of hit or miss. I guess that why it is called fossil hunting. Each formation varies with location, some places are great while others not so much even if you are in the same formation.

I would start by stopping at road outcrops toward the West VA direction. If you travel in the opposite you will be in rocks the do not contain fossils for a while.

I know the is a little long and kind of all over the place so feel free to ask questions.

Good luck!

P.S. Here is a link to download GoogleEarth.

http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

Edited by Jyonts12

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firefish68

Thank you very much Jyonts! I really do appreciate all the info. I have a busy week coming up, but you've given me some really great starting points. I just had shoulder surgery and still have about 4 weeks before i'm back in the firehouse so this will give me plenty to do! Thanks again for taking the time to send me all the info. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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