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markmg

Savannah land based question

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markmg

I'm fortunate to have gained access to a friend's large, private sand/clay pit here in the Savannah area. I spent a couple of hours last weekend exploring one of them after some rains we had late in the week. I walked a lot of the place, looking for any clues in the strata about where to start - honestly, the size is a bit overwhelming. Looking for megalodon teeth.

 

Found one small piece of a meg tooth buried in the dirt on the main ramp, but that was all. It's about 75ft deep in the bottom so the bone layers I'd probably want to search might be on the sides. Looking at the pics does anyone have any suggestions? Hoping to go back with a better effort soon.

Thanks guys!

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

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caldigger

Not knowing the site, I think your best bet is to scan the cliff face and hope you can spot any stuff protruding out. 

This will at least give you an indication as to where the layer may be to start your search.

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-AnThOnY-

Reminds me of this video, might be helpful.

 

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SailingAlongToo

I would talk to the equipment operators who do the excavating. They know where they see anomalies and where they see things like bones and teeth.

 

For the last 10 years a very experienced Paleontologist that Mrs.SA2 and I have volunteered with has told me, "look for the black phosphate pebbles and nodules in the strata. Teeth and bone will be in and at the base of the layer where the phosphate is coming from."

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

That's cool ... is there any indication that this pit runs deep enough ? (Edit: well, other than the bit of a meg you found ... haha)

 

Usually I'd be on the lookout for phosphatic deposits since that is where most of these fossils originate. Those deposits run from Florida all the way up to North Carolina. 

 

The large black phosphate nodules .. even the tiny bits of sand and gravel mixed in should be visible... and show up as black specs ... especially if you get a nice wash .. or a spot where the rain has sorted the gravel. The fossils will be heavier than the clay and stay up higher in the wash. 

 

Good luck !

 

PS. The river dredge spoils have always been kind when I find larger quartz cobbles ... black phosphatized whale bone chunks .. and phosphatic sand with black small pebbles mixed throughout. But again .. that is pulling up from a mixed environment. 

 

 

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markmg

Thanks for all the suggestions. I started by walking and looking for anything obvious like Caldigger suggested. I'm going to go back and try to locate any of the black phosphate chunks, they've got to be there somewhere.

 

Brett - I didn't think about the pit being deep enough - Assuming it was too deep may have been premature. There is a very dark layer of dirt in the deepest parts of the pit, but it seems to be very uniform, nothing course or chunky. There's a lot of water down there too.

 

Couple more pics below. In one you can see a large excavator and the dark dirt in the bottom to give it scale. The other is just a shot of some pebbles with the sand eroded under them at the rim of the pit, thought it was cool.

IMG_1954.jpg

IMG_1958.jpg

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sixgill pete

At many pits, the fossil bearing layer(s) are not what they are quarrying and are usually put in piles around the rim of the quarry. It is also possible they are not deep enough or there are no fossil bearing layers there.

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Past Hunter

The first pictures look a lot like the prestrip area at PCS or what ever the new name is. That was just the beginning, the material you will probably want to look in is that lower or deeper area you showed in the last pictures. Down near the water below the excavator that looks to be where the overburden was cast. At PCS the first thirty feet got you to the sand then shale layer. The draglines sat on the shale then they dug another ninety feet to mine the phosphate. Don could be right they might not be mining to the fossil layers. Stay away from the toe of the high walls and beware of MSHA. Ha ha

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Mark Kmiecik
8 hours ago, markmg said:

IMG_1958.jpg

Ok, I give up -- what is it?

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Al Dente
5 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

Ok, I give up -- what is it?

Pedestaled pebbles. Rain has eroded away the loose sand around the pebbles while the material underneath has been protected.

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markmg

Great info, thanks guys. I hoped the fossil layer was going to be shallow(ish) like it is around west charleston since this area sets up similar to Summerville. I'm going to do a bit of research on the area, maybe there is some geological survey info that could be helpful.

 

"Pedestaled pebbles" - very cool. Didn't realize it had a name.

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Mark Kmiecik
8 hours ago, Al Dente said:

Pedestaled pebbles. Rain has eroded away the loose sand around the pebbles while the material underneath has been protected.

Is it just sand or is it cemented? I mean is it just loose sand grains with nothing holding them? Really cool! 

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markmg

Loose grains. They collapse with the slightest touch.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
13 hours ago, markmg said:

I hoped the fossil layer was going to be shallow(ish) like it is around west charleston

Yeah, that's why Summerville/Charleston is so nice.  Those formations .. Wando/Chandler Bridge/Ashley are just a few meters down .. right under the surface.  You find a deep ditch, most of the time you are in business.

 

Not quite the same here in Savannah .... you've got a good solid layer of overburden I suspect.  The river is dredged to a depth of almost 50feet.  Like the others said it might be the right depth in the wrong place. 

 

Do you have an image of the meg tooth chunk ? .. is it re-worked or crisp ?

 

~GEORGIA STATE DIVISION OF CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT OF MINES, MINING AND GEOLOGY

STRATIGRAPHY AND ECONOMIC GEOLOGY OF THE EASTERN CHATHAM COUNTY PHOSPHATE DEPOSIT

https://epd.georgia.gov/sites/epd.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/B-82.pdf

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SailingAlongToo

@markmg

 

If you are still having trouble finding the fossiliferous layer(s), I'm sure I can pick up @sixgill pete (Don) on my way south and the 2 of us would be more than happy to help you scout around in that tasty looking environment. :thumbsu:

 

Oh, did I mention I'm a long time MSHA Safety Instructor and equipment operator? I can give your buddy and his crew free MSHA certified training (including First Aid / CPR / AED) in exchange for helping you scout around. :tiphat:

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sixgill pete
On 4/19/2019 at 8:36 AM, SailingAlongToo said:

@markmg

 

If you are still having trouble finding the fossiliferous layer(s), I'm sure I can pick up @sixgill pete (Don) on my way south and the 2 of us would be more than happy to help you scout around in that tasty looking environment. :thumbsu:

 

Oh, did I mention I'm a long time MSHA Safety Instructor and equipment operator? I can give your buddy and his crew free MSHA certified training (including First Aid / CPR / AED) in exchange for helping you scout around. :tiphat:

Sounds good Jack. 

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markmg
On 4/19/2019 at 8:36 AM, SailingAlongToo said:

@markmg

 

If you are still having trouble finding the fossiliferous layer(s), I'm sure I can pick up @sixgill pete (Don) on my way south and the 2 of us would be more than happy to help you scout around in that tasty looking environment. :thumbsu:

 

Oh, did I mention I'm a long time MSHA Safety Instructor and equipment operator? I can give your buddy and his crew free MSHA certified training (including First Aid / CPR / AED) in exchange for helping you scout around. :tiphat:

I would really love to have some help exploring the place but the guys are pretty strict and were already a bit tentative about letting me in. I'll certainly speak with them and see what can be done. I don't know near enough about this stuff so I'd welcome some education in exchange for access!

 

@Brett Breakin' Rocks Here's the meg piece I found. Super crisp and looks like it was just recently broken. It's about 1.5"

 

Meg.jpg

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
7 hours ago, markmg said:

@Brett Breakin' Rocks Here's the meg piece I found. Super crisp and looks like it was just recently broken. It's about 1.5"

Whooo weee !!! .. that is exciting.  Definitely .. at some point in time they were moving through the right exposure.  And a good one too, very little wear or reworking with some nice color !

 

Good Luck,

Brett

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