Fascinating and Fossil-Rich Limestones and Dolomites of the Teton Range

March 16th (Tuesday), 6 p.m., via Zoom (online) – Open to Public. Presentation: “Fascinating and Fossil-Rich Limestones and Dolomites of the Teton Range”; Presented by Cynthia Blankenship, Mike Scher, Geologists of Jackson Hole.

Carbonate rocks (primarily Limestones and Dolomites) make up about 10% of the exposed rocks on earth; however, they are the most abundant sedimentary rocks of the Teton Range (and the northern Rockies in general). Carbonates of the Tetons span hundreds of millions of years of the geologic rock record. In this talk we will focus on the Paleozoic Carbonates (Middle Cambrian through Mississippian in age, 510-354 MYA). 

In general, Carbonates consist primarily of biologically sourced sediment deposited in shallow seas. In our case, they record the history of periodic submergence of the Western U.S. by ancient seas. This talk will cover how Carbonate rocks form, their chemistry, their fossils, and their most accessible local outcrops. Photos of fossils are courtesy of Mike Scher, who, along with his wife Barbara, has hiked every square mile of the Tetons and who has a passion for collecting rocks and fossils (where permitted, of course).