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RickNC

NC during the Pleistocene

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RickNC

I'm curious as to what North Carolina was like during the Pleistocene. Does anyone know if there are any references specifically addressing this time period for NC or the Southeast? 

 

It is my understanding NC was not covered by glaciers. Is there any reason why Pleistocene aged fossils could not be found in most areas of the state? 

 

Any information or resources would be appreciated. 

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Fruitbat

There may be a couple of articles of interest in the North Carolina (Link) section of my Pdf Library here on The Fossil Forum.  Just click on the previous link and scroll down to the section on North Carolina.

 

-Joe

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Plax

A lot of it is offshore. Sinkholes in limestone outcrop areas are a good source but not often exposed in NC. When we are fortunate enough to collect in a quarry the pleistocene overburden is already under the older overburden so we don't see it. A good portion of SE NC is covered by the early Pleistocene Waccamaw formation. It is exposed in river exposures usually above the cretaceous and also in pits where the shell marl is mined. The sloth skeleton from Wilmington is Pleistocene of course. Pleistocen Neuse formation and Canepatch produce land mammals occasionally but are mostly shell beds. The Soccastee just across the border in SC has produced mastodon and other late pleistocene vertebrate fossils. It is also found in SE NC (map attached)

MooresCreekGeo.pdf

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Al Dente
23 hours ago, RickNC said:

I'm curious as to what North Carolina was like during the Pleistocene.

Worldwide the Pleistocene was a time of wild temperature fluctuations. Most of the time was cooler than today but there were brief periods when it was warmer. Those warm periods might be when the marine transgressions occurred and deposited the Waccamaw and James City Formations over part of the state but there might be other factors involved. Here's a temperature chart that I found online that shows global temperatures. Not sure how accurate this is.

pleisttemp.JPG

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MikeR
On 10/26/2017 at 10:17 AM, Al Dente said:

Worldwide the Pleistocene was a time of wild temperature fluctuations. Most of the time was cooler than today but there were brief periods when it was warmer. Those warm periods might be when the marine transgressions occurred and deposited the Waccamaw and James City Formations over part of the state but there might be other factors involved. Here's a temperature chart that I found online that shows global temperatures. Not sure how accurate this is.

 

The x-axis of the chart is not to scale so a general glance makes it look like we are in a period of stabilized temperature when in fact we are in an interglacial period which would correspond to one of the spikes that we see in the Pleistocene.

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RickNC

Thank you for the replies and information. 

 

Regretfully, I did not study much geology when I had the chance. 

 

I find this topic interesting but confusing. I asked this question because I am spending most of my time in extreme eastern Wake County (Piedmont) and have access to a nice stream. I of course am not finding any fossils in this stream but was under the impression that Pleistocene aged material may be present. The state geologic map indicates this area is Permian/Pennsylvanian aged. That was a long time ago. I know there will be no marine deposits this far inland but what was the area like since then? There had to have been something here, and if so, why is there no evidence? I figure geologic events have erased most evidence of time periods following the Permian. I was thinking much younger material from the Pleistocene may be found though but it seems that is not the case. 

 

Fascinating really!

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ynot

When You look at a geologic map You have to look at the type of rock also. It maybe Permian/Pennsylvanian aged, but that does not meen they are sedimentary. Also not all sedimentary rock has fossils.

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Plax

What ynot said. That rock is all metamorphic. The Paleozoic Valley and Ridge province which produces nice fossils from Alabama to New York takes a jog around the state of North Carolina. There are good Triassic sites in the Piedmont though as well as some Castle Hayne outliers. Richards documented early? biozone Castle Hayne echinoids from one of those outliers.

  Streams in the piedmont are mostly erosional instead of depositional due to the topography. Excavation of a bog in the area could possibly produce Pleistocene fossils though.

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RickNC
On 10/29/2017 at 9:23 PM, ynot said:

When You look at a geologic map You have to look at the type of rock also. It maybe Permian/Pennsylvanian aged, but that does not meen they are sedimentary. Also not all sedimentary rock has fossils.

 

 

Yes. I knew that. There is a unit near to me here that lists some sedimentary types. 

 

 

On 10/30/2017 at 10:40 AM, Plax said:

What ynot said. That rock is all metamorphic. The Paleozoic Valley and Ridge province which produces nice fossils from Alabama to New York takes a jog around the state of North Carolina. There are good Triassic sites in the Piedmont though as well as some Castle Hayne outliers. Richards documented early? biozone Castle Hayne echinoids from one of those outliers.

  Streams in the piedmont are mostly erosional instead of depositional due to the topography. Excavation of a bog in the area could possibly produce Pleistocene fossils though.

 

Thanks for that explanation on the streams in the Piedmont being erosional. That helps further my understanding a great deal. That is something I should have considered due to my job requiring so much stream work. 

 

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