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Ordovician fossils in PA


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Hi everyone,

I recently remembered the location of swatara Gap in Pennsylvania, I remember reading about it but the problem is that the site was covered up way before I was even in the United States, there is the swatara state park nearby but that has younger Devonian rocks of the mahantango.

My question is are there any similar sites with Ordovician rocks anywhere in PA? I am especially interested in the Cryptolithus trilobites and if those can be found anywhere else around here as that would be a wonderful fossil to add to the collection and have the experience of uncovering.

Thank you,

Misha.

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I know that Cryptolithus can be found in New York. 

Check out the Fossil Sites NY web page, and do a search for Cryptolithus

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I'd do some googling on Martinsburg formation. Professional papers show up in google searches. Also, as I've recommended many times, get a copy of "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania". Back in the 70s I collected cryptoilithus, triarthrus and others in PA. A couple of the sites were serendipitous finds. The big valleys in the valley and ridge province are often underlain by Ordovician rocks.

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cngodles
On 1/16/2020 at 10:02 PM, Misha said:

swatara state park

This was one of my earliest fossil hunting experiences back in 2008. I still didn't know what I was finding, but I found a number of shells at the site.

 

There are usual warnings about places being picked through. I remember it being a reddish block-like shale / clay stone. Attaching a couple photos of the area. The park was really under-developed back then. I'm not exactly sure where the fossil fit was or if it's still accessible. Drove right up to it back then.

 

 

dutch_state_parks 742.jpg

dutch_state_parks 740.jpg

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cngodles
On 1/23/2020 at 10:01 AM, Plax said:

I'd do some googling on Martinsburg formation. Professional papers show up in google searches. Also, as I've recommended many times, get a copy of "Fossil Collecting in Pennsylvania". Back in the 70s I collected cryptoilithus, triarthrus and others in PA. A couple of the sites were serendipitous finds. The big valleys in the valley and ridge province are often underlain by Ordovician rocks.

 

Copy of that right here: https://archive.org/details/fossilcollecting00hosk_1

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 10:02 PM, Misha said:

Hi everyone,

I recently remembered the location of swatara Gap in Pennsylvania, I remember reading about it but the problem is that the site was covered up way before I was even in the United States, there is the swatara state park nearby but that has younger Devonian rocks of the mahantango.

My question is are there any similar sites with Ordovician rocks anywhere in PA? I am especially interested in the Cryptolithus trilobites and if those can be found anywhere else around here as that would be a wonderful fossil to add to the collection and have the experience of uncovering.

Thank you,

Misha.

 

I remember collecting in a dark Ordovician shale around Bedford. It was on private property, but if you look at a geologic map of Pennsylvania there's plenty of areas to go searching in besides Swatara. I don't remember finding much else besides some worm burrows, a crinoid fragment, and some brachiopod pieces though, but I didn't stay much more than 15 minutes. 

 

Other than that I know there are exposures west of Chambersburg. I never went because they were a bit out of the way from me, but the Beekmantown Group through the Martinsburg crops out along Conococheague Creek west to North Mountain. Blair Valley (I think that's the name) is underlain by the Martinsburg and has some stuff IIRC. Don't know how fossiliferous it is, because in Maryland the Martinsburg is only partially exposed and most of the fossiliferous upper layers are missing, so I wouldn't be surprised if that holds true for PA. 

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