Oakes Quarry Field Trip Report

The field trip to Oakes Quarry contributed to the expansion of my knowledge and professional skills in the field of geology because the field trip helped me to see the real world example that demonstrates different geological layers that can bet raced on the Oakes Quarry. This field trip was an important experience for me that helped me to understand better the evolution and development of the Earth accompanied by climate changes. At the same time, Oakes Quarry field trip helped me to reveal the essence of the local geological development since I have managed to conduct important observations and take photos on the ground of which I conducted the analysis to identify different layers which date back to different periods and show considerable changes in the climate of the region.

The Oakes Quarry Park exposes about 8 meters of the Silurian Brassfield Formation, a fossil-rich limestone and dolostone. The quarry floor is a dolostone that is absolutely riddled with burrows. The field trip was conducted during a day. The weather was good and sunny that allowed me to take photos for further study. There several stops during the trip, during which I had an opportunity to explore the area and trace marks of the past life in the region as well as the evolution of plants and animals living in the area.

The field trip included the visit of key places of the Oakes Quarry Park. The field trip comprised 2 miles trail. In the course of the trip we visited all key areas of the park, including wetlands, glacial features, fossil trail, fossil coral, Rock Piles, prairie, and woodland restoration. The visit of the wetlands was quite noteworthy because the local wetlands remain in their original state and have not been vulnerable to the impact of human activities. The natural environment was preserved in its authentic state. In such a way, the wetlands could be and were studied as the authentic wetlands that covered a large part of the region in the past.

I focused my attention on the wall of the quarry mainly because it opened several layers related to different periods, which I was interested to study and identify them accurately. The wall of the quarry exposes several other units, including a crinoidal limestone made up mostly of broken crinoid fragments. This layer is clearly seen on the wall and has distinct features which are attributed to that specific period.

In addition, there are finer-grained units that include a variety of fossils, including gastropods and nautiloid cephalopods. There are also limestone beds that are filled with rugose and tabulate corals. In such a way, one layer covers another and forms the rock. These layers are clearly seen on the wall that allows tracing the evolution of the region and local nature in the course of time.

At the same time, in the course of the field trip, I have noticed that the different units are not distributed at random through the quarry, but occur in a particular sequence. In the marked up image below, the blue represents the burrowed dolostone (not visible in this image), the red is the crinoidal limestone, the green are the fine-grained beds that include nautiloids, and the yellow are the coral-rich limestones:

This seems to represent a transgressive sequence, in which the water was getting deeper over time. The burrowed dolostone is probably an intertidal deposit which was actually exposed (or nearly so) at low tide. As the water got somewhat deeper, this spot became the surf zone right along the beach. The high wave energy carried broken fragments of various organisms, especially crinoids. Crinoids are delicate animals that have skeletons made up of hundreds of individual pieces that will quickly disassociate under high-energy conditions.

Above the crinoidal limestones are slightly deeper-water conditions. There is some variation here; the finer-grained beds are probably the deepest water, and may have been below normal wave base, while the coral-rich units were almost certainly above wave base (but still subtidal). The alternating occurrence of these units probably represents slight changes in local sea level. This didn’t have to be due to actual regional changes in sea level; it could easily be the result of the migration of coral reefs as they grew across the sea floor, with the water getting shallower when the reef is present because of the thickness of the reef.

There’s one more interesting piece of the field trip. At the top of the quarry the corals are all beveled off. Such unusual position of the corals evoked the question why they are positioned like this, in such unusual way? At any rate, I have never encountered the corals beveled off in such unusual way. All the exposed rock around the top of the quarry is polished, and in most areas it’s covered with striations. The fact that the quarry is polished may indicate to the external impact of water, for example or frequent use of the top by researchers but, in my opinion, it was the natural, non-human impact that polished the quarry so well.

During the Pleistocene, glaciers covered this area, stripping away the younger sediments and grinding away the top of the coral-rich limestone. So, on a single surface, we have evidence for a tropical coral reef and a continental glacier, separated by over 430 million years. Such a huge time gap is clearly seen on the wall of the quarry and helps to understand the change of the climate in the region based on geological evidence.

The field trip also included the visit of Rock Piles (Talus), where the similar evidence could be found. To put it more precisely, during the study of the Rock Piles, I found the similar signs of the same layers which I have already found on the wall. This is why I obtained another evidence of the existence of distinct periods, when the climate change had a considerable impact on the local environment. The Rock Piles comprised several layers referring to different periods.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the observations made in the course of the field trip have expanded my knowledge and skills in the field of geology consistently. The field trip was an excellent opportunity for me to learn the real world examples of the development of the planet and the evolution of the climate in different periods.

 

References:

Oakes Quarry Park. (2014). Retrieved on April 10, 2014 from http://www.beavercreekwetlands.org/documents/maplocations/BCWA_Broch_Oakes_Web.pdf

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]
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