Paleontology 101 – Class 4/6

15 Jun

Class Notes

Sedimentary Rocks tonight

  • weathering ~= tearing the rock apart
  • erosion ~= transport the rock
  • grain size classification chart
  • alls classify according to their makeup (very well sorted to very poorly sorted)
  • carbonate classification
  • micrite vs biosparite
  • mudstone vs wakestone vs packstone vs grainstone (see Carbinate Classification – Dunham (1962), Embry and Glovan (1971))
  • mudstone => lower energy environment
  • grainstone => higher energy environment
  • clay is both a size and a mineral

International Stratigraphic Guide

formation naming “rule” => you can name a formation after a specific geographic place

Types of Stratigraphy

Bed < Member < Formation < Group




  • assemblage-zones – biostratigraphic sections of the rock that contain the same group of organisms (e.g. near shore organisms)
  • range-zones – range of time during which that animal lived
  • acme-zones – zones that show the number of that type of organism that exist (the greatest number of them during that exist)
  • Interval-zones – a time within the rock, where if it had fossils, these are the type it would have (if we found them)


  • Concerned with the organization of strata into units based on their age of origin.
  • Time = Geochronological units
  • Rock = Chronostratigraphic units


  • concerned with organization of strata into sequential units based on their magnetic polarity. We can measure the ancient magnetism of the rocks to help determine age.
  • Magneto zones



Principles of Stratigraphy

  • Superposition
  • original horizontality
  • lateral continuity

James Hutton

Geological Principles

  • uniformitarianism
  • cross-cutting relationships
  • components
  • conformities

Correlation – picture examples

Notes to myself

  • Would voxels be good for geologic modeling?

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