Totally missed the reporting on some amazing fossil discoveries recently, so was looking into them. The one I was most interested in is still-secret. Why? I’m betting it’s simple: thieves. This mystery site in Wyoming with perhaps 100 full dinosaur skeletons was only just discovered (2019) and is likely unsecured. It will be a while before info comes out on it of course, but a search on the same fossil-bearing unit (Hell Creek formation) led me to what’s called The Tanis site up in North Dakota. It has been well studied and so I quickly found this free paper (A seismically induced onshore surge deposit at the K-Pg boundary, North Dakota) online and read through it casually. Who wouldn’t be interested in fossils apparently wiped out in “ND” minutes-to-hours after the giant Chicxulub asteroid hit “Mexico?”
Articles in the mainstream press on Tanis yielded a few field-photos and I was quite intrigued by some of them. The particular “Event Deposit” under study (#1, hot pink, in “Fig. 1” above) is supposed to have been deposited 66 MILLION years ago. In the field photos the pale grey layer looks like barely compressed dirt to me. I wondered how in the world it could have “lasted”/resisted erosion for 1 million years, much less 66 million? Below is a terrific picture of the main researcher and one of his assistants from USA Today’s coverage:
When you’re a “former geologist” and you start thinking about big erosion-events there is one that immediately floods into your mind. 😉 Curiosity now had me wondering how long Actual Geologists had estimated the mile-deep Grand Canyon took to form…and the History Channel sez…a paltry 5-to-6 million years.
So, tell me again how that crumbly grey material literally stood the Test of Time – on a slope – for not 5-6 million years, or 10, or 20, but for
66 million years.
How I heard about that Wyoming find
One of my absolute favorite Christian ministries is Living Waters, out in California. I like to support them by buying their downloads, rather than waiting for their longer videos for free on YouTube. Here is a link to the one in question. (It’s free starting November 1st.)