Title

Preliminary Palynology of the Hell Creek Formation in Garfield County, Montana

Presenter Information

Christopher Zacher

Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Major

Geology and Geophysics

Research Advisor

Oboh-Ikuenobe, Francisca

Advisor's Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Abstract

The Hell Creek Formation straddles the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, which recorded the mass extinctions that affected dinosaurs and other organisms. An excavation expedition consisting of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Community College – Meramec, and St. Louis Science Center extracted samples from the Hell Creek Formation in Garfield County, Montana in 2008 recovered fossil bones of the dinosaur Triceratops and sampled the sedimentary sequence for further study. Twenty-six samples are being studied for their dispersed organic matter components (palynofacies) and palynomorphs. Palynofacies results indicate that comminuted and degraded phytoclasts dominate the sediments, suggesting that the sediments were deposited in continental paleoenvironment. Additionally, preliminary assessment of palynomorphs shows an overwhelming abundance of terrestrially derived forms (mostly pollen), and support the palynofacies result. Integration of palynology with other techniques (sedimentology, vertebrate paleontology, etc.) will help further constrain the depositional environment.

Biography

Christopher Zacher is a senior majoring in Geology and Geophysics, with a minor in Biology. He is a member of The Missouri Academy of Science, and The Eastern Missouri Society for Paleontology. Chris has also done volunteer work for The St. Louis Science Center.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

08 Apr 2009, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

Comments

Joint project with Ashley Shockley

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Apr 8th, 9:00 AM Apr 8th, 11:45 AM

Preliminary Palynology of the Hell Creek Formation in Garfield County, Montana

Upper Atrium/Hallway

The Hell Creek Formation straddles the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, which recorded the mass extinctions that affected dinosaurs and other organisms. An excavation expedition consisting of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Community College – Meramec, and St. Louis Science Center extracted samples from the Hell Creek Formation in Garfield County, Montana in 2008 recovered fossil bones of the dinosaur Triceratops and sampled the sedimentary sequence for further study. Twenty-six samples are being studied for their dispersed organic matter components (palynofacies) and palynomorphs. Palynofacies results indicate that comminuted and degraded phytoclasts dominate the sediments, suggesting that the sediments were deposited in continental paleoenvironment. Additionally, preliminary assessment of palynomorphs shows an overwhelming abundance of terrestrially derived forms (mostly pollen), and support the palynofacies result. Integration of palynology with other techniques (sedimentology, vertebrate paleontology, etc.) will help further constrain the depositional environment.