Document Type

Fossil Butte National Monument

First Page


Last Page



Investigations begun in 1981 of the paleoenvironments and paleoecology of ancient Fossil Lake in Fosil Basin (Fossil Butte National Monument) were continued in 1982. The principle 1982 objectives of this continuing study were to: 1. Study and sample the paleontology of stratigraphic sections within Fossil Basin at locations representing the center and margins of the lake. Data collected from this study will provide insights into paleoecologic changes through time; 2. Continue detailed investigations of one time-synchronoas stratigraphic unit by excavating additional "miniquarries." The "Lower Oil Shale" unit was quarried in 1981 and several additional quarries were excavated in 1982. The data from this part of the study will provide a picture of the paleoecology and environments during one period of the lake's history; and 3. Continue field mappjng and reconnaissance to determine the maximum size of Fossil Lake, inflow areas (delta locations), lake bottom gradients, and maximum extent of the Lower Oil Shale. This data will provide a paleogeographic context for evaluating the paleoecology and paleoenvironments.