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Geological deposits

Posted by Heath Barnes  
Re: Geological deposits
May 13, 2012 03:19PM
Norman the last retreat of ice has now been re dated here it was thought to be around 12.000 ya but now is believed to be more like 21.000ya, my own ides on what i might have found are that the gravel bed and related clay deposit above it could belong to an interglacial period, were plant and animal life returned only to be devestated by some sharp climate change? But i have only been teaching myself in this subject for about a year and a half, so please forgive any obviose mistakes i may be making, and please all feel free to correct me.

PS these images are a follow on from my qoute to your earlier post Norman.
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avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 13, 2012 06:55PM
    
Well, I don't see any obvious mistakes. A more subtle thing is to just consider what you have evidence for. And that is a critical part of the discipline that makes someone a scientist.

As I suggested, there have been no more recent glaciations to remove the deposits you are digging. So don't try to make them part of an older interglacial. As we discussed, if so, those deposits would problably have been removed. The first thing somene will ask (and rightly so) is, "What evidence do you have for such a more recent glaciation?"

Then, you have only a few groups of bones, so talking about devastating the fauna and flora by climate change is going too far at this time. There is evidence for debris flows, some possibly catastrophic, adequate to explain the death of those animals and their transportation and burial at this site. I would stop there. Only after you have information from all over, concerning the whole fauna, and its characteristics over time, can you start talking about climate changes wiping out the fauna. And you would need to know from independent evidence that there were indeed climate changes, and what those were (e.g., colder, dryer, how quick, etc.).

There is a principle we talk about in geology--that of "Simplicity." It means that if you have evidence for a mechanism that can account for what you have found, don't offer some other speculative explanation that you favor for a reason not directly tied to what you have seen right there in your own data and observations, or in data and observations reported by other workers in verified ("peer reviewed") reports. The latter might include sedimentologic studies, published faunal lists, and taphonomic analysis of bone beds. (Taphonomy is the study of how the fossilized creatures died, how they got to where they were buried, and the processes of burial.)

You don't become a scientist by how much you know. You become a scientist by how you approach problems.
Re: Geological deposits
May 13, 2012 08:31PM
Norman your help i hope will keep coming i am very greatfull for it, the sticking point for me at the moment and proberbly my comunication thats caused it is that ime to believe all pleictocene fauna was abliterated by the devension ice advance only the south of England was left untoutched, so after the ice last retreated there is not meant to be any traces of pliectocene fauna north of Londons location now? Sorry apart from bedrock ie cave locations?
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 13, 2012 10:01PM
If the ice retreated, the surviving life from south of the ice sheet would be very quick to recolonize the newly-exposed land as the ice rolled back.

Jolyon
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 13, 2012 11:30PM
Norman King Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is a principle we talk about in
> geology--that of "Simplicity." It means that if
> you have evidence for a mechanism that can account
> for what you have found, don't offer some other
> speculative explanation that you favor for a
> reason not directly tied to what you have seen
> right there in your own data and observations, or
> in data and observations reported by other workers
> in verified ("peer reviewed") reports.

Sounds to me like you're following Occam's Razor there Norman!!! smileys with beer

But just as Norman is saying Heath, don't make things harder on yourself by coming up with wild hypothesis' or speculations on what you are seeing in the field. Go with what your instinct is telling you and follow it until it can be proven incorrect otherwise. It will make understanding geologic principles so much easier to comprehend.
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 14, 2012 12:33AM
    
Heath (and others--glad to hear from you, Jolyon and Paul!),

Jolyon is right. As the glacial ice withdraws, it deposits end moraines and ground moraines, and the stream run-off deposits the outwash plain with its ponds and lakes, and the deposits formed in such places may contain Pleistocene fauna. If the ice really did withdraw from your area at about 12,000 or even 21,000 years ago, the fauna would indeed be Pleistocene. It is also true that some "pockets" of sediment from earlier glaciations may have survived here and there in sinkholes and other odd places, as you suggested, but that is probably not what you are dealing with. Also, not all glaciers cover the same areas, and somewhere there is left-over morainal or other sediment from a previous ice advance that escaped removal, so some Pleistocene faunas date from glaciations that are several hundred thousand years old (or older, but that does not seem to be your situation, either).

Paul: I try to stay clean-shaven. grinning smiley
Re: Geological deposits
May 14, 2012 08:25PM
Thanks everyone and keep it coming as ive said the more ideas on this the better! would it be a problem if i posted other related stuff with explanations of what i think i have found in the gravel beds with images i would keep it all on this thread?
Re: Geological deposits
May 16, 2012 09:58PM
These pieces where dug from the same packed gravel beds, any ideas ? i have thought that the black piece maybee fossill burnt wood?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2012 10:11PM by Heath Barnes.
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Re: Geological deposits
May 19, 2012 09:38PM
From what i have viewed so far on the forum these pieces are nothing special but can anyone tell me would you expect to find this selection of minerals- rocks along with several large carboniferous- jurassic- triassic large slabs containing well preserved fossils, and very well preserved mineralized bone, in a excavated part of a long burried gravel bed of around 3 metres x 300mm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2012 12:35PM by Heath Barnes.
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open | download - DSCF1233-001.JPG (103.8 KB)
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 19, 2012 11:13PM
    
Heath,

I don’t know the origin of that assemblage of things you show, but you have left some things out–namely the slabs of fossiliferous Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks. Also, it seems to me that the items you show were selected to display. Any deposit may contain some noteworthy items, but if you have a pile of only the noteworthy items, then I can’t really say what you are dealing with. You need to show the routine items. But, yes, all of that material could have been carried there by ice, streams, and mass movement (such as debris flows). There is nothing in the deposits as a whole that is out of the ordinary.
Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 12:26AM
HEATH I am not a paleontologist or fossil expert, but a couple of pointers based on what I see and what little info you give in your last picture. The bone fragments may be bone or fossil, if highly mineralized. If found in a gravel type environment/matrix, they are most probably relatively recent......possibly really, really recent or pleistocene; from the ice ages in glacial till. They certainly do not look like dinosaur stuff from Jurassic or Triassic etc. As I see a jaw bone, vertebra and possibly limb bones, these are most probably a mixture of small mammal, and possibly large bird or reptile bones. The animals may be extinct ice age animals or still have living ancestors. You should take all these to your local university or museum paleontology department as they may be interested and then excavate the whole site in an orderly manner, which you may not be currently doing. Here in Indiana there is an ongoing gravel pit excavation north of Indianapolis which is currently a treasure trove of 30,000 year old bones from several extinct ice age animals. If you are unearthing interesting material, the state may have regulations limiting what you are able to do. In addition, IF ANY OF THESE BONES ARE HUMAN, AND FROM NATIVE AMERICANS (doesn't really look like it from you pix), YOU MAY BE IN BIG TROUBLE AS THERE ARE VERY STRICT REGULATIONS AS TO WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T DO, EVEN ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. A WORD TO THE WISE HEATH !!!!!!!!
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 03:11AM
    
Heath,

Bob reminded me about the bones. I can see portions of these kinds of bones (they are nearly all incomplete):

a deer or antelope mandible
a carpal or tarsal of a small grazing mammal (such as deer or antelope)
lumbar vertebra of a large grazing mammal (bison maybe)
atlas vertebra of a large mammal (it’s got a big hole in it--I think it's horse or cow/bison size)
a few femoral heads of heavy mammals (such as horse or rhino)
other femora
upper part of tibia of a heavy mammal (rhino or small elephant?)

The bones all have the characteristic patina of bones that aren’t very old. I can't see in the photo, but I'd bet they are quite porous. Dinosaur bones and other ancient reptiles, as well as very old mammalian bones, are usually more heavily mineralized, and white or cream colored. Sixty-five plus million years will do that (or even 20 or so million years).
Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 06:57AM
Hello Heath (and Norman and Bob),

I am not an expert in paleontology either...but you are right, these are mineralized bones (sub-fossils) from the pleistocene. During the last glacial period, a huge land bridge connected Britain and Europe (perhaps as recently as 8000 years ago) - it was savanna-like, and the species that Heath has found were common there. Identical sub-fossils are being dredged from the North Sea ("Doggerland" area) in large numbers by fishing trawlers,and they are commonly seen for sale (cheaply) at mineral/fossil shows. Earlier fossils are almost certainly those scraped away by the glaciers, and I don't see anything unusual in the pebbles.

Like Bob, I feel that Heath should be seeking the help and advice of local paleontologists, because his site is obviously one of scientific value and should be excavated properly. There are people in Newcastle (the Hancock Museum) or Durham University who would be interested.

Heath, the fossils from the North Sea are not stable, and need preservation - apparently, they begin to crumble over time. You have made a most excellent find, and should get full credit for your curiosity and work, but your site really should be reported to professionals.
Best wishes, Becky
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 09:13AM
Bob, I suspect that Heath's deposit, on the eastern coast of England, is unlikely to contain Native American bones.
Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 10:41AM
THANKS JOLYON !! I was not sure where Heath was blogging about as I did not go thru all his voluminous posts, never-the-less, there are various regulations about excavating vertebrate fossils (draconian in some areas!!) and human remains in the USA and, I am sure, many other countries as well. As I stated he should bring his find to the attention of local "official" experts. CHEERS..........BOB
Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 12:13PM
Well thanks for all the input from all firstly Norman i will post some pics of the fossil slabs, but believe me i ain't trying to put them all on my kitchen table, some ive only been able to move a foot or so away from the excavation! winking smiley( there big)

Bob ime in North east England and do indeed have permision from the land owners infact they are very keen to find out about the gravel beds ive descovered, i am in contact with Archaeologists and geologists both local and further afield, also if you view my blog at historyofabeck.blogspot.com you i hope will see i am conducting my excavations in as correct a manor as possible considering my limited resources ie i was unemployed for the first year of my work sometimes having to use half a spade and a screw driver to excavate, and a kids camera.

Norman sorry your right not enough info with the images! the mineralized bone ive managed to educate myself to what ide call a more than decent level ie they when dug directly from the gravel bed mostly caremel in colour and all heavy with the same greasy shine as the minerals rocks and fossils found, not one bone dug from the gravel beds shows signes of attention from human nore scavengers. the bones look to date late devensian - early holocene.

The large raidius u refered to ime quite sure is cervidae, i also have pieces curently being viewed by proffesionals, including a carved artifact, stone tool, and unknown mandible, they can all be viewed on the blog but as is the nature of blogs its a bit of a pain trawling through. i am more than happy to post any of my finds but do not whant to apeare rude ie overposting ! winking smiley



Becky ive been there and had the t shirt as far as Durham university and local museums are concerned they are and i quote monertering the excavations via my blog, the county geology group are involved and we have augered parts of the area surrounding the excavations, so far finding that the layers that cover the gravel beds and there are at least 3 seperate levels are aluvial in nature.

Jolyon yes i think ime unlikly to find any Elephants ! winking smileyAgain thanks to all for there interest and input sorry for the lack of info sometimes but theres a lot of it and only so much space.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2012 12:41PM by Heath Barnes.
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Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 12:27PM
The first image in the previouse post shows variouse slabs containing fosssils ( all well preserved) the second what ime quite sure is Carboniferouse limestone, the next shows my daughter pointing out a mandible piece excavated from the gravel bed, and the image on this post shows the same piece after a wash and it had dried so far all we know is it looks to have belonged to some kind of bovidae.
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open | download - IMG_0017-001.JPG (155 KB)
Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 12:33PM
BOB HARMAN Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> THANKS JOLYON !! I was not sure where Heath
> was blogging about as I did not go thru all his
> voluminous posts, never-the-less, there are
> various regulations about excavating vertebrate
> fossils (draconian in some areas!!) and human
> remains in the USA and, I am sure, many other
> countries as well. As I stated he should bring
> his find to the attention of local "official"
> experts. CHEERS..........BOB

Bob thanks for your input all is most welcome but if you viewed the begining of my blog it clearly states that i am studying the geology and fossils and mineralised bone found in it in the south west area of cleveland north east england ime sorry if you missed it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2012 12:45PM by Heath Barnes.
Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 01:57PM
HEATH I agree with you that I should have read the beginning of your posts stating that you were doing your work in Northeast England. And I will take it at face value that all the folks with legal, property and paleontological interests in your work have been notified and are aware of all your diggings and excavations etc. I guess it is just that the trained amateurs and professionals that I know and have worked with just do some of their blogs, postings and pictures a bit differently than you have. I note that Becky C above seemed to agree with me. I will now step back and just observe this thread as it further develops; no more posts on this topic from me. Good luck. CHEERS.............BOB
avatar Re: Geological deposits
May 20, 2012 03:38PM
    
Heath,

Do I understand correctly that you collected those slabs as loose clasts in the gavelly layer such as your daughter was digging, and in which the bones are?
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