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Trilobites: Millard County, Utah- Source Book


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For those of you who have dreamed about Middle and Upper Cambrian trilobites in western Utah, this is the publication that will open the door to exploring.

The Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey has printed many well done booklets and books on Millard County, Utah. The intent was to draw in Petroleum Geologists to explore the general areas, but also provide a wealth of information to those interested in Paleontology and Cambrian Stratigraphy.

To the west side you can even be directed to Triassic Ammonites, with Pennsylvanian and later outcrops also in the vicinity.

The camping possibilities are everywhere. Some box canyons are wonderful... but trying to find a flat spot can be challenging. When I say flat... everything is either up hill... or down hill.

You have the Topaz Mountains to the north, Dugway Geodes (good luck finding one...) and Pioche, Nevada mining areas further to the west. Excellent cheeseburgers in Pioche, by the way.

The area is... wide open and lacks facilities. So gas up, water up, block ICE and get groceries in Delta. It might be 45 miles to this area... you can check it on the road map... but you cannot miss it. But... finding the right road(s) can be tricky as they split and take a different course quickly. My recommendation... look for the 100 foot power lines strung over the flat country and once you intersect them near shale outcrops... you have arrived. To the north is the U Dig site which is marked along the way as well, and cuts off to the right from some popular Middle Cambrian exposures.

Geology of the Canyon, House and Confusion Ranges, Millard County, Utah by F. W. Christiansen & others, 1951.

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Hi Ray,

Thanks for posting this great topic! To assist everyone further, there is an updated bulletin from the Utah Geological Survey:

 

Hintze, L.F., & Davis, F.D. (2003)
Geology of Millard County, Utah.

Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey, Bulletin 133:1-306

OPEN ACCESS PDF

 

There are also a lot of great Utah trilobite bulletins available for free download at the BYU Geology website: LINK

For extra convenience, the following references will make it easier to quickly navigate through all of the bulletins.

Volume 28 by Lloyd and Val Gunther has long been considered the ultimate guide to Utah Cambrian trilobites.

If anyone has difficulty with broken links, just let me know via PM and I'll be happy to assist further. Enjoy! :fistbump:

Powell, K.D. (1958)
The Geology of Southern House Range, Millard County, Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 6(1):1-48

 

Robison, R.A. (1960)
Some Dresbachian and Franconian Trilobites of Western Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 7(3):1-59

 

Hanks, K.L. (1962)
Geology of the Central House Range Area, Millard County, Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 9(2):115-136

 

Rigo, R.J. (1968)
Middle and Upper Cambrian stratigraphy in the autochthon and allochthon of northern Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 15(1):31-66

 

Robison, R.A., & Hintze, L.F. (1972)
An Early Cambrian Trilobite Faunule from Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 19(1):3-14

 

Hintze, L.F. (1973)

Lower and Middle Ordovician Stratigraphic sections in the Ibex Area, Millard County, Utah

Brigham Young University Geology Studies 20(4):3-36

 

Demeter, E.J. (1973)
Lower Ordovician Pliomerid Trilobites from Western Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 20(4):37-66

 

Terrell, F.M. (1973)
Silicified Trilobite Zonation in the Lower Fillmore Formation in Western Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 20(4):67-90

 

Young, G.E. (1973)
An Ordovician (Arenigian) Trilobite Faunule of Great Diversity from the Ibex Area, Western Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 20(4):91-115

 

Taylor, M. E., & Robison, R. A. (1976).

Trilobites in Utah folklore.

Brigham Young University Geology Studies, 23(2), 1-5

 

Fritz, W.H. (1976)
Lower Cambrian Stratigraphy, Mackenzie Mountains, Northwestern Canada.
In: R.A. Robison & A.J. Rowell (eds.) Paleontology and Depositional Environments: Cambrian of Western North America.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):7-22

 

Moore, J.N. (1976)

Depositional environments of the Lower Cambrian Poleta Formation and its stratigraphic equivalents.

Brigham Young University Geology Studies, 23(2):23-28

 

Palmer, A.R., & Campbell, D.P. (1976)
Biostratigraphic implications of trilobite biofacies: Albertella zone, Middle Cambrian, western United States.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):39-50

 

Kepper, J.C. (1976)
Stratigraphic Relationships and Depositional Facies in a Portion of the Middle Cambrian of the Basin and Range Province.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):75-91

 

Robison, R.A. (1976)
Middle Cambrian trilobite biostratigraphy of the Great Basin. 
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):93-109

 

Lohman, K.C. (1976)
Lower Dresbachian (Upper Cambrian) Platform to Deep-Shelf Transition in Eastern Nevada and Western Utah: An Evaluation through
Lithologic Cycle Correlation. Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):111-122

 

Koepnick, R.B. (1976)
Depositional history of the upper Dresbachian-lower Franconian (upper Cambrian) pterocephaliid biomere from West central Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):123-138

 

McBride, D.J. (1976)
Outer shelf communities and trophic groups in the upper Cambrian of the Great Basin.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):139-152

 

Brady, M.J. & Rowell, A.J. (1976)
Upper Cambrian Subtidal Blanket Carbonate of the Miogeocline, Eastern Great Basin.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):153-163

 

Rowell, A.J. & Brady, M.J. (1976)
Brachiopods and biomeres.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):165-180

 

Taylor, M.E.; Cook, H.E. (1976)
Continental shelf and slope facies in the upper Cambrian and lowest Ordovician of Nevada.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):181-214

 

Kurtz, V.E. (1976)
Biostratigraphy of the Cambrian and lowest Ordovician, Bighorn Mountains and associated uplifts in Wyoming and Montana.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 23(2):215-227

 

Hintze, L.F. (1979)
Preliminary Zonations of Lower Ordovician of Western Utah by Various Taxa.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 26(2):13-19

 

Gunther, L.F., & V.G. (1981)
Some Middle Cambrian Fossils of Utah.
Brigham Young University Geology Studies 28(1):1-87

 

Miller, J.F., Evans, K.R., Loch, J.D., Ethington, R.L., & Stitt, J.H. (2001)
New Lithostratigraphic Units in the Notch Peak and House Formations (Cambrian-Ordovician), Ibex Area, Western Millard County, Utah.

Brigham Young University, Geology Studies, Volume 46:35-70

 

Miller, J.F., Evans, K.R., Loch, J.D., Ethington, R.L., Stitt, J.H., Holmer, L.E., & Popov, L.E. (2003)
Stratigraphy of the Sauk III interval (Cambrian-Ordovician), Ibex area, western Millard County, Utah and central Texas.

Brigham Young University, Geology Studies 47:23-118

 

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Ray, Kim and I will be spending two full weeks this September in Delta exploring the house and confusion ranges. If you get out feel welcome to join us. We are even thinking of relocating to Delta from Cincinnati.

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Wow! Great gobs of information! I've been out there once and reeeeeaaaallllllyyy want to get back. So much area to cover with lots of possibilities.

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Kim... thank you for running down the list! With your list of references AND the maps in Geology of the Canyon, House and Confusion Ranges, Millard County, Utah , you will need a week just to check out just some of the massive outcrops available to explore! From Delta you will pass Hinckley on 50/6 heading SouthWest. Keep going to mile marker...56.5 and look for the U Dig sign and head WEST. Roads are not marked well, so keep passenger busy with the road map.

Photo 4 has Wheeler Shale exposures for Elrathia specimens. While coming to Marjum Pass the Power Lines will cross the road... YOU ARE THERE! Look to the south. There are also, possibly lower Ordovician talus slopes mid mountains that large nasty looking trilobites parts and pieces can be found by flipping over debris! Camping on either side of the road in the flat grassy turnouts.

Hintze, L.F., & Davis, F.D. (2003)
Geology of Millard County, Utah.

Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey, Bulletin 133:1-306

I read this copy when it first came out and no one would expect this much in one County! But it does.

Photo 1: Pioche, Nevada Lower Cambrian

Photo 2: Millard County, Middle Cambrian- U Dig Site

Photo 3: Millard County, Middle Cambrian- U Dig Site

Photo 4: Millard County, Middle Cambrian- Marjum Canyon (great camping spots, too!)

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For the person who wants to KNOW EVERY CAMBRIAN TRILOBITE LOCATION IN Utah, Nevada, Idaho AND includes Canadian and many other USA locations where Cambrian faunas had been discovered.*

Charles D. Walcott

Cambrian Geology and Paleontology (Volume 1, 1910 to Volume 5, 1928)

Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections Volume 53 to Volume 75)

Almost 12 inches of early Cambrian field research! If a Pdf file exists, or one you can put onto a computer... you can extract the trilobite information and plates... and BETTER... get the brachiopods and other Cambrian fauna. (KIM might have the tech knowledge to know if this exists in digital form.) When you begin to plan a trip... this is one that will contain an entire lifetime "bucket list" of places to visit, take a deep breath and take in the beautiful scenery.

The U Dig site has a care taker staying at the Quarry. They will also provide any digging tools. If nobody is there... they will be arriving shortly. During high season... he will be in a trailer near the quarry.

* Well... not really all, but many of these locations were by horse, horse and wagon, and horse and buggy. These were exposures when geologists actually walked the formations and knew what they were looking for, as well.

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Edited by Ray Eklund
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For the person who wants to KNOW EVERY CAMBRIAN TRILOBITE LOCATION IN Utah, Nevada, Idaho AND includes Canadian and many other USA locations where Cambrian faunas had been discovered.*

Charles D. Walcott

Cambrian Geology and Paleontology (Volume 1, 1910 to Volume 5, 1928)

Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections Volume 53 to Volume 75)

Almost 12 inches of early Cambrian field research! If a Pdf file exists, or one you can put onto a computer... you can extract the trilobite information and plates... and BETTER... get the brachiopods and other Cambrian fauna. (KIM might have the tech knowledge to know if this exists in digital form.) When you begin to plan a trip... this is one that will contain an entire lifetime "bucket list" of places to visit, take a deep breath and take in the beautiful scenery.

The U Dig site has a care taker staying at the Quarry. They will also provide any digging tools. If nobody is there... they will be arriving shortly. During high season... he will be in a trailer near the quarry.

* Well... not really all, but many of these locations were by horse, horse and wagon, and horse and buggy. These were exposures when geologists actually walked the formations and knew what they were looking for, as well.

The whole set is available at archive.org and biodiversitylibrary.org for free PDF download. The only problem is the photo plates that are generated in these PDFs are extremely poor quality and absolutely unusable for any serious research purposes. If anyone is interested please contact me via PM as I have all of them with high-quality photo plates.

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Piranha, thank you again!

The plates would be at least some visual information to work with. The text provides FIRST HAND excellent information about specimens, locations and describing new specimens, down to minute details that makes this series so desirable.

I am going to have to dig deeper into my books to find... something... that is not already accessible!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey all,

I hate to steer this great thread in a slightly different direction, but I was wondering if anyone had any concrete information on the Fillmore Formation trilobites. I've been collecting trilos in the Millard area for 5 years or so and have had great luck in the House, Wellsville and Weeks formations (feel free to PM me for any tips on locations). I've taken several trips to the southern confusion range and I'm yet to find a single lower/middle Ordovician trilobite in Utah. I'm taking a trip out to the confusion range on Wednesday for another round and, despite days of going over Wallcott and Hintze's work, am not too confident where to start digging. If anyone has any articles specific to this location, I will try to take in as much as I can these few days before I go. If any of you have had any luck out in the Confusion/WahWah/Ibex area, a PM would be great!! Thanks a ton in advance. School has prevented me from getting on for the last few years, but you guys have been fantastic!

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