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A multidisciplinary study of the Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation, Mussentuchit Wash, Utah: a determination of the paleoenvironment and paleoecology of the Eolambia caroljonesa dinosaur quarry

Cretaceous Research

By:
, , , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2006.07.007

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Abstract

A quarry within the Cedar Mountain Formation in Mussentuchit Wash, Emery County, Utah, produced a fossil assemblage containing the remains of at least eight juvenile iguanodontid dinosaurs (Eolambia caroljonesa). The Cedar Mountain Formation lies stratigraphically between the Tithonian-Berriasian (Upper Jurassic) Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation and the Cenomanian (Upper Cretaceous) Dakota Formation. Detailed stratigraphic, sedimentological, geochronological, palynological, and paleontological data have been collected along a measured section at the site of the Cifelli #2 Eolambia caroljonesa Quarry. These data provide a chronostratigraphic and a biostratigraphic framework for the Cedar Mountain Formation and allow a detailed reconstruction of the paleoenvironment and the paleoecology of the local paleogeographic area from which E. caroljonesa have been recovered. Three 40Ar/39Ar ages ranging from 96.7 to 98.5 Ma have been obtained three stratigraphically distinct altered volcanic ash layers within the Mussentuchit Member, one of which passes through the E. caroljonesa quarry, that indicate that the quarry is latest Albian in age and that the stratigraphic boundary between the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation and the overlying Dakota Formation is at or near the Albian/Cenomanian boundary. Sedimentological and biostratigraphic data suggest that significant long-term and short-term climatic changes are recorded in the Cedar Mountain Formation. During deposition of the lower part of the formation, climatic conditions were warm and arid to semi-arid. During deposition of the upper part of the formation, conditions became more humid. The progressive change in climatic conditions was probably related to the transgression of the Mowry Sea from the north. Cyclic sedimentation in the Mussentuchit Member suggests high-frequency changes from wet to dry periods. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
A multidisciplinary study of the Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation, Mussentuchit Wash, Utah: a determination of the paleoenvironment and paleoecology of the Eolambia caroljonesa dinosaur quarry
Series title:
Cretaceous Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.cretres.2006.07.007
Volume
28
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Cretaceous Research
First page:
461
Last page:
494