Sunday, September 14, 2014

Digging the Past! Event at Falls of the Ohio State Park

Saturday was Digging the Past! A Celebration of Archaeology and Fossils Day at the Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana. It is an event that focuses on educational activities for public. I am not sure how many years I have been volunteering at this event but it is always a fun and educational event to attend. This year I got a lot of new scientific questions about minerals that I need to be ready to answer next year.

The fossil pile did not yield a lot of fossils but I did see a number of brachiopods people brought to me for identification. I saw a nice crinoid holdfast and beautiful Platystoma snail fossil with growth lines. The naturalist at the park showed me a Dawsonoceras cephalopod fossil someone left that was about 20 cm long. The Devonian fossil pile was stocked with lots of spirifer brachiopod fossils for visitors to take home. A number of trilobite and coral fragments could be found there as well.

The mineral pile was the usual big geology attraction. A number of visitors found flourite cube corners or cube clusters in purple, yellow, and bluish colors. The material is from a fluorite processing mill in southern Illinois that processed minerals from that area. Normally one sees four types of minerals: fluorite, barite, calcite, and sphalerite. The fluorite is usually purple, yellow or clear. Occasionally, green and blue fluorite will be found.

A persistent child collector found a nice pink-clear fluorite fragment.

Learn more at the Falls of the Ohio State Park web site: