November 20, 2004 - Mississippian Fossils, St. Clair Co, AL

Donning orange and blue, red and white, or...mud and well, a little more mud, the BPS explored a new site in St. Clair County, Alabama. The weather was just a tad misty after our outing but cool and comfortable during our adventure. Our fearless leader led us to a Mississippian age roadcut yeilding some of the largest horn coral that I have seen, with a perfect geologic example of "uplift". Several varieties of coral were found, and a number of whole brachiopods were collected from the layers around the Tuscumbia Limestone. There were also hollowed out molds in the Ft. Payne chert where archimedes or crinoids had once been.

We scoured an unused chert quarry and spotted another possible collecting site which we plan to survey once permission has been obtained. Our day also included a tour of sites important to the history of Alabama and the United States. Some good camping sites were also noted.

None of our members minded that our actual collecting time was shorter than on many of our trips, as most members were eager to put their orange and blue or red and white clothing to use as they "collected some radio and television time", because there was some important football game being played....tiny mumble...mumble...#* did we manage to vote on this weekend for the field trip in the first place????????

MY TEAM WON!!! How 'bout yours?

--Edited by Vicki Lais


(Photos courtesy Steve Corvin and Vicki Lais.)

BPS members in front of strata
The group before playing in the red clay!

hunting fossils
Leisa and Nancy checking for fossils weathered out of the matrix.

fossil coral
Coral pieces covering the ground in this area.

examining geologic layers
Getting a closer look at the geologic layers.

fossil horn coral
Lee with her finds.

fossil horn coral
A closer look at the nice coral specimens found by Lee.

collecting fossils
Steve is determined to get that fossil!

hunting fossils
One of the better collecting spots.

tilted rock layers
Layers of limestone, shale, and mud tilted upward by geologic forces, and exposed at a roadcut. "Newer" rock is to the right, "older" rock is to the left. Rock layers were horizontal when they were initially formed.

hunting fossils
One of the muddier collecting spots!