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Part 1 of Exemplar: Morrison, CO

Rocks Layers and Dating
by

Issac NG

on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of Part 1 of Exemplar: Morrison, CO

Task: Using a cross-section diagram of your location create a timeline of the age of rocks and events that give your location its rock layers and features.
Rock Layers, Cross-Cutting, & Unconformities
Basic:
· Rock Layers are listed in chronological order relative to each other

Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
Rock Layers, Cross-Cutting, & Unconformities
Partially Proficient:
Basic plus...
· Cross-cutting events are included in to timeline in order
· Unconformities are included in to timeline in order

Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Angular Unconformity
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Rock Layers, Cross-Cutting, & Unconformities
Proficient:
Partially Proficient plus...
· Explain how you used each one of the principles to determine the relative dates (order) of the layers in your cross-section.

original horizontality, superposition, cross-cutting relationships, unconformities
I used original horizontality when I assumed that all the layers were laid down flat and moved into their current positions.

Superposition helped me figure out the age of the layers compared to each other. For example the Lyons formation is older than the Lykins formation, assuming the layers where deposited flat and uplift moved both layers up from west to east, then oldest layers would be to the west or left in the picture.

My understanding of cross-cutting relationships helped me to place the Golden Fault in the correct place on the time line. Even though the Golden Fault is physically between the Benton and the Pierre, in time it happened sometime after the Denver Formation.

Cross-Cutting also explains why the angular unconformity happened before the Golden Fault because the unconformity can be seen in layers both older and younger than the fault.

I know the Great Unconformity happened in when it did because it is an unconformity caused by missing layers.
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Teacher Hint:
This is the most important the writing process not only lets you know the student's thought process but the act of writing causes the student to evaluate, justify, and possibly correct their earlier work.
Rock Layers, Cross-Cutting, & Unconformities
Mastery:
Proficient plus...
Possible explanations for crosscutting and unconformities are included
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
I used original horizontality when I assumed that all the layers were laid down flat and moved into their current positions.

Superposition helped me figure out the age of the layers compared to each other. For example the Lyons formation is older than the Lykins formation, assuming the layers where deposited flat and uplift moved both layers up from west to east, then oldest layers would be to the west or left in the picture.

My understanding of cross-cutting relationships helped me to place the Golden Fault in the correct place on the time line. Even though the Golden Fault is physically between the Benton and the Pierre, in time it happened sometime after the Denver Formation.

Cross-Cutting also explains why the angular unconformity happened before the Golden Fault because the unconformity can be seen in layers both older and younger than the fault.

I know the Great Unconformity happened in when it did because it is an unconformity caused by missing layers.
I think both the angular unconformity and the Golden Fault where caused by the up lift of the Rocky Mountains to the west of Morrison (the left side of the cross section diagram). I think this because the mountains are just on one side of the area and the website "Colorado Geology Photojournals" used this explanation.

Source (http://www.cliffshade.com/colorado/dakota%5Fhogback/).
Rock Layers, Cross-Cutting, & Unconformities
Rubric
Exemplar
Index Fossils
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Index Fossils Basic:
List at least 2 fossils species found in your location.
AND
The 2 fossils are included in the correct rock layers.
Eolambia
Apatosaurus
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Index Fossils Partially Proficient:
Basic Plus...
Give approximate dates or time period, for the 2 fossils species.
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Index Fossils Proficient:
Partially Proficient Plus...
Determine if the fossils species in your location are index fossils or not.
AND
Explain your reasoning.
Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Index Fossils Mastery:
Proficient Plus...
Determine if the fossils species in your location are index fossils or not.
AND
Explain your reasoning, using data, and cited quotes.
Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Rock Dating Basic
At least 1 rock layer is dated correctly.
Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
Teacher Hint:
Note a student does not have to well on one section to be successful on another.
Rock Dating
1,700-1,400 mya
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Rock Dating Partially Proficient:
Basic plus...
At least 2 rocks layers are dated correctly.
Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
1,700-1,400 mya
~300 mya
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Rock Dating Proficient:
Partially Proficient plus...
Compare your timeline to the timeline of the History of the Earth by…explaining what was happening on a global scale at the same time the rock layers where forming in your location?

Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
1,700-1,400 mya
~300 mya
Teacher Hint:
This descriptor refers to an assignment we suggest opening the unit with.
The Fountain formed around the same time "Pangaea" was forming.
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Rock Dating Proficient:
Partially Proficient plus...
Compare your timeline to the timeline of the History of the Earth by…explaining what was happening on a global scale at the same time the rock layers where forming in your location?

Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
1,700-1,400 mya
~300 mya
The Fountain formed around the same time "Pangaea" was forming.

The dinosaur fossils found in the Morrison and Dakota formations give evidence that dinosaurs lived in the area during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. ~170-65 mya

Teacher Hint:
The rubric discriptors for Proficient and Mastery are "higher level" questions, not easily googled.

Part 1: Rock Layers and Dating
Idaho Springs
Fountain
Lyons
Lykins
Ralston Creek
Morrison
Dakota
Benton
Pierre
Fox Hills
Laramie
Arapaho
Denver
Tertiary Volcanics
The Great Unconformity
Golden Fault
Igneous Intrusion "peg"
Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
Same Reason
1,700-1,400 mya
~300 mya
What was happening globally
The Fountain formed around the same time "Pangaea" was forming.

Local Evidence
The dinosaur fossils found in the Morrison and Dakota formations give evidence that dinosaurs lived in the area during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. ~170-65 mya

Principals Used-
I used original horizontality when I assumed that all the layers were laid down flat and moved into their current positions.

Superposition helped me figure out the age of the layers compared to each other. For example the Lyons formation is older than the Lykins formation, assuming the layers where deposited flat and uplift moved both layers up from west to east, then oldest layers would be to the west or left in the picture.

My understanding of cross-cutting relationships helped me to place the Golden Fault in the correct place on the time line. Even though the Golden Fault is physically between the Benton and the Pierre, in time it happened sometime after the Denver Formation.

Cross-Cutting also explains why the angular unconformity happened before the Golden Fault because the unconformity can be seen in layers both older and younger than the fault.

I know the Great Unconformity happened in when it did because it is an unconformity caused by missing layers.
Possible Causes for Unconformities
I think both the angular unconformity and the Golden Fault where caused by the up lift of the Rocky Mountains to the west of Morrison (the left side of the cross section diagram). I think this because the mountains are just on one side of the area and the website "Colorado Geology Photojournals" used this explanation.

Source (http://www.cliffshade.com/colorado/dakota%5Fhogback/).
Complete Exemplar Part 1
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Angular Unconformity
Apatosaurus
Jurassic Period
~150 mya
Eolambia or a Duckbilled
Creatatous
~98 mya
No, these are not Index fossils.
Index fossils have to be
1. Widespread
2. Have distinguishing features
3. Lived over a short period of time
4. Reproduced prolifically

While the Apatosaurus may have been short lived I do not think it is an index fossil. Apatosaurus is not very wide-spread, nor did I find evidence that they were prolific. The most important thing about these fossils that keeps them from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.
No, these are not Index fossils.
Index fossils have to be
1. Widespread
2. Have distinguishing features
3. Lived over a short period of time
4. Reproduced prolifically

While the Apatosaurus may have been short lived I do not think it is an index fossil. Apatosaurus is not very wide-spread, nor did I find evidence that they were prolific. The most important thing about these fossils that keeps them from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.

"Some paleontologists now believe the tracks to belong to an early hadrosaurid such as Eolambia instead, but the debate is far from settled. Some of the size variations are thought to record the presence of both adult and juvenile duckbills."
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.
These fossils are also not index fossils for the same reasons. Most importantly what keeps these fossils from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.

It is so hard to tell any distinguishing features from these imprint fossils that there is disagreement among experts about exactly what kind of animal left these foot pints behind.
No, these are not Index fossils.
Index fossils have to be
1. Widespread
2. Have distinguishing features
3. Lived over a short period of time
4. Reproduced prolifically

While the Apatosaurus may have been short lived I do not think it is an index fossil. Apatosaurus is not very wide-spread, nor did I find evidence that they were prolific. The most important thing about these fossils that keeps them from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.
No, these are not Index fossils.
Index fossils have to be
1. Widespread
2. Have distinguishing features
3. Lived over a short period of time
4. Reproduced prolifically

While the Apatosaurus may have been short lived I do not think it is an index fossil. Apatosaurus is not very wide-spread, nor did I find evidence that they were prolific. The most important thing about these fossils that keeps them from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.
No, these are not Index fossils.
Index fossils have to be
1. Widespread
2. Have distinguishing features
3. Lived over a short period of time
4. Reproduced prolifically

While the Apatosaurus may have been short lived I do not think it is an index fossil. Apatosaurus is not very wide-spread, nor did I find evidence that they were prolific. The most important thing about these fossils that keeps them from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.
No, these are not Index fossils.
Index fossils have to be
1. Widespread
2. Have distinguishing features
3. Lived over a short period of time
4. Reproduced prolifically

While the Apatosaurus may have been short lived I do not think it is an index fossil. Apatosaurus is not very wide-spread, nor did I find evidence that they were prolific. The most important thing about these fossils that keeps them from being index fossils is that the fossils are trace fossils. It is extremely difficult to record distinguishing features of animals in imprints left in sediment.
Sources:
http://geology.about.com/od/geology_co/ig/dinoridge/dinoridge1.htm

http://www.cliffshade.com/colorado/dakota_hogback/
Full transcript