The Bruneau Woodpile: A Miocene Phosphatized Fossil Wood Locality in Southwestern Idaho, USA
AbstractThe Bruneau Woodpile site has long been popular among fossil collectors; however, the deposit has received scant attention from scientists. Our research reveals that the fossilized wood was deposited ca. 6.85 Ma, within the Chalk Hills Formation, and was mineralized with carbonate-fluorapatite. The diverse assemblage of conifers and hardwoods is representative of the warm temperate forests that flourished in southwest Idaho, USA during the late Miocene. Limb and trunk fragments preserved in a single thin sandstone bed appear to represent woody debris that was transported by streams. One possible explanation is that wood, pumice, and sandy volcaniclastic sediment arrived separately as a result of ordinary stream action, and later were combined into a single assemblage during a subsequent high-energy sedimentation event. We favor an alternate hypothesis: a catastrophic event (e.g., a windstorm) damaged trees on slopes bordering the ancient lake. Branches and small trunk fragments were carried by wind and rain into local streams and ponds where they became waterlogged. After a delay that allowed pumice and wood to become saturated, storm water transported these materials, along with finer volcaniclastic sediment, into a lake. The resulting density current produced a fining-upward sedimentary cycle where wood was preserved in the lowest, coarsest stratum. View Full-Text
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Viney, M.; Mustoe, G.E.; Dillhoff, T.A.; Link, P.K. The Bruneau Woodpile: A Miocene Phosphatized Fossil Wood Locality in Southwestern Idaho, USA. Geosciences 2017, 7, 82.
Viney M, Mustoe GE, Dillhoff TA, Link PK. The Bruneau Woodpile: A Miocene Phosphatized Fossil Wood Locality in Southwestern Idaho, USA. Geosciences. 2017; 7(3):82.Chicago/Turabian Style
Viney, Mike; Mustoe, George E.; Dillhoff, Thomas A.; Link, Paul K. 2017. "The Bruneau Woodpile: A Miocene Phosphatized Fossil Wood Locality in Southwestern Idaho, USA." Geosciences 7, no. 3: 82.