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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Fossil's in mines
carnkie

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Joined: 07/09/2007
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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 29/11/2009 23:38:05
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I was wondering about fossil's being found in mines. Came across this photo of a sandstone block containing a large fossil palm leaf, found at the Coryell Coal mines in Colorado. The mine is in New Castle, Colorado, named after the English coal mining town Newcastle upon Tyne, was incorporated in 1888. The mountains rich with coal surrounding the Town were the impetus for New Castle’s development into the bustling mining community it became in the late 1880s. (might be of some interest)


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Given the vast experience of mine exploring by many on AN I'm interested if anyone has come across any fossils. ( I resisted the temptation of a joke). I also appreciate the coal mining is pretty high up the list regarding particular fossils and not a great priority.

Of course if found would they be considered artifacts and left. Innocent

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 80.47.194.65 Edited: 29/11/2009 23:44:02 by carnkie
christwigg

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 07:48:41
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Yes, in certain seams of the Cleveland Ironstone formation you find the whole floor or ceiling absolutely coated with them.

The seams are named Pecten and Avicula after the types of scallop shell you see in them.

Although it appears i've failed to ever get a decent photograph of any.
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AR

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 08:30:21
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There are several fossil beds met in the Derbyshire limestones, you get various sorts of bivalves and crinoids. The bivalve fossils can be a bit of a sod if you get some erosion in a passage, the matrix goes first leaving the fossils stuck out and you get a "cheesegrater" effect when squeezing past! The crinoidal limestones look quite good when cut and polished (birds-eye marble), and are still quarried for this purpose near me.

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RJV

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 09:17:41
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Coral fossils are abundant in some of the more cavey lead mines in Yorkshire as well.

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Rich
IP: 80.254.146.20 Edited: 30/11/2009 09:22:54 by RJV
Mr Mike

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 10:04:04
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Around Nenthead, there are a number of fossil's that I have seen, in limestone, coral in shaley rock and ferns on some of the coal mine dumps.

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Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 10:27:28
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The Cretaceous upper greensand workings of Surrey have few fossils, but very occasionally fish/sharks' teeth have been found, and also the remains of one huge marine reptile in the roof of one location.


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carnkie

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 10:49:08
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christwigg wrote:

Yes, in certain seams of the Cleveland Ironstone formation you find the whole floor or ceiling absolutely coated with them.

The seams are named Pecten and Avicula after the types of scallop shell you see in them.

Although it appears i've failed to ever get a decent photograph of any.


Chris, one of the reasons I asked is I couldn't remember seeing any photos of fossils. Mind that doesn't necessarily mean much as given the thousands of photos on here there are great number I've missed. That's why the random photo slot slot is very handy. Thanks for the replies everyone, very interesting.

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Peter Burgess

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 10:55:18
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At the risk of re-igniting the arguments about mineral collecting in old mines, maybe people are reluctant to post up specifics of good fossils and locations for fear of encouraging collectors finding them and ripping them out.

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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
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carnkie

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 12:01:51
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Fair point.

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Wyn

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 12:07:50
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Carnkie wroteI also appreciate the coal mining is pretty high up the list regarding particular fossils and not a great priority.

Not always the case, there's a location in Somerset where some fossils "include elements usually regarded as more typical of North American flora". There used to be supervised collecting allowed, but unusual examples were kept by the (then) Nature Conservency Council.

Peter makes a good point, a few years back a coach load of 'tourists' with hammer drills removed a classic location in Scotland.

I like to see them in situ (above ground usually), but every so often tthey seem to disappear

Sad
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Peter Burgess

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 12:18:57
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Fossils, perhaps even more so than minerals, lose much of their significance if removed from their stratigraphical context. Unless their location in the strata is accurately recorded by someone who properly understands the stratigraphy of the location, then once removed thay are just trinkets or curios. William Smith was the first to appreciate this but had a struggle to get others to appreciate the point.

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Dean Allison

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 18:04:49
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I think corals are the only things I have seen around Weardale. What would be the best kind of rock in which to find fossils? Dont really know mush about geology really but I have always been surprised at the lack of fossils when exploring and wondered if its just that the type of rock in the mines I visit is not the right kind?

Talking of coal though Carnkie, my dad tells me about when working the mines, they would often see a huge fossilised tree trunks in the drivages above their heads and they would break free and drop. Must have been quite a sight I reckon.
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christwigg

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 18:05:06
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carnkie wrote:


Chris, one of the reasons I asked is I couldn't remember seeing any photos of fossils. Mind that doesn't necessarily mean much as given the thousands of photos on here there are great number I've missed. That's why the random photo slot slot is very handy. Thanks for the replies everyone, very interesting.


Dug a couple out, only taken with a camera phone so the quality is low. Also taken where the seam outcrops on the coast rather than underground.



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(click image to open full size image in new window)
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carnkie

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 18:58:31
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Thanks for that. Thumb Up

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rikj

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 19:10:04
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And here's one in situ. Well, not quite, as it's in a bit of roof that's now on the floor. I don't imagine that these would be rare enough to attract collectors.



Dean, a good link to how fossils are formed here:

[web link]



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sanitas per evolo
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RJV

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 19:13:03
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Jet, a fossilised wood, was mined in North Yorkshire.


(click image to open full size image in new window)

The alum shales, again in North Yorks are another rich source.
[web link]

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Rich
IP: 82.5.181.65 Edited: 30/11/2009 19:19:05 by RJV
carnkie

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 19:37:50
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A posted this originally as a separate topic but it's relevant to this thread.[web link]

The Ballards mine mentioned.


(click image to open full size image in new window)


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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 80.47.245.75 Edited: 30/11/2009 19:39:09 by carnkie
minerat

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 21:19:06
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I have seen shells up to 5" in the Derbyshire limestone nr Matlock, got a foto somewhere try and put it up. There are criniod stems in a certain part of Lancshire too, nice to see till a uni group took a huge amount "for study purposes"

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Mr.C

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 21:54:48
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AR wrote:

There are several fossil beds met in the Derbyshire limestones, you get various sorts of bivalves and crinoids. The bivalve fossils can be a bit of a sod if you get some erosion in a passage, the matrix goes first leaving the fossils stuck out and you get a "cheesegrater" effect when squeezing past! The crinoidal limestones look quite good when cut and polished (birds-eye marble), and are still quarried for this purpose near me.

This was found in the spoil from the Titan dig & is the only time I've ever seen Peak district crinoids proud of the rock surface like this. I can only guess that they were protected from erosion by the glacial fill in the previously open pot hole?


(click image to open full size image in new window)

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Ty Gwyn

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Fossil's in mines
Posted: 30/11/2009 22:24:18
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Dean,
Ask your Father ,if these Tree`s when they fell out of the roof,were round like a Basin above,with a very thin layer of coal around them?
We called them Pan`s or Basin`s in the Mines in South Wales,
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