Tagged: What is it?
November 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm #3036Terrill Ridgell (ilovemysnake)Participant
Is this alien?
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.November 23, 2015 at 9:48 am #3040Eleanor GardnerModerator
Nope, not alien! This is a fossilized tabulate coral. From your picture, it appears to be one of the branching structures of some tabulate coral colonies. We can probably give you more detail if you know where you found it (?).November 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm #3041Kent CrippenKeymaster
This came from the matrix that @vperez collected from Aurora, NC.November 24, 2015 at 11:43 am #3043Eleanor GardnerModerator
Given that this piece of coral came from the Aurora mine matrix, it means that the stratigraphic context is difficult to discern (sediments get jumbled during the overburden removal process). Therefore, it could be Miocene to Early Pleistocene in age. As to identification, it looks like the coral genus Solenastrea, which is found fairly frequently at Aurora.
@lcone – What do you think? Am I in the right ball park?November 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm #3045Lee ConeParticipant
There are a number of different formations that make up the Aurora overburden. The formation that I have seen the greatest amount of coral is the James City. It would not be the layer that you want for pristine Megs, but it is rich in shells and coral and occasionally a great white. Most of the coral is bright white after it washes and long branches and branched pieces can be found. This material is Pleistocene in age. There are other formations that can have coral as well. This coral is more like what is pictured. It is from the Pungo River Formation, which is Miocene. If the pictured piece came from the piles of reject material in front of the museum, then as Eleanor said, it could be anything from miocene to pleistocene. My guess, though, would be Pungo (miocene)January 6, 2016 at 10:16 am #3200Lee ConeParticipant
Kent @kcrippen just a little more information about your find. The Pungo material is by far the predominant material in the AFM “pit” where Victor @vperez filled the bucket for you. The James City Formation (Pleistocene) is at the top level of dragline overburden. They then remove another 30 feet of overburden to get to the top of the Pungo layer, and the layer of Pungo that they mine is lower still. That material contains an economically large enough quantity of phosphate to lift out of the mine and wash (blast with water) to “float” off the phosphate. The rest of the material falls through and is termed reject material. That is the material that is trucked to the “pits” at the museum and around town. Though it is conceivably possible for any specimen from a higher stratigraphic layer to be mixed in, I feel that you could be very confident that it is miocene in age. The good news that I have heard is that the reject that is being trucked into the “pit” has not been washed at all or is only washed once instead of twice. That has resulted in much better finds recently by collectors at the museum piles.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.