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Tangier Island Potential for Fossils


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I will be visiting relatives in Williamsburg who want to take us out to Tangiers Island. I read that it is known as an excellent site to find arrowheads on the beaches, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience or knowledge of finding fossils there too? If so, what part of the island and what should I look for? I think the ferry time span is only 2 hours, and hmmm, I will be with 3 non-fossil people so I can't dig about for very long...


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Here is a link and some information I found about the geological activity of the barrier islands in that area. I hope this helps.



In some cases, such as Tangier Island (balanced on the buried watershed divide of the Nanticoke and Choptank Rivers), wind blows across the Chesapeake Bay with equal fetch in two directions. The waves have created east- and west-facing barrier systems with lagoons and rapidly-changing ebb/flood tide deltas. Such islands are typically sand starved, and likely to disappear into underwater shoals once their saltmarsh anchors are drowned by rising seas.

Current barrier islands are only about 6,000 years old, but Virginia's first barrier islands formed as much as 200 million years ago after the Atlantic Ocean opened and sediments were deposited on the coastline. The source of the sand particles on modern barrier islands is ultimately the Appalachian Mountains and even Canada.





Best regards,


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Fabulous information, many thanks! I will be back to post should I find anything of interest in my visit to the island!


Susan B. 

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