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Book Chapter

Paleontology and stratigraphy of middle Eocene rock units in the Bridger and Uinta Basins, Wyoming and Utah

By
Paul C. Murphey
Paul C. Murphey
Department of Paleontology, San Diego Natural History Museum, 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California 92101, USA pmurphey@sdnhm.org;
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K.E. Beth Townsend
K.E. Beth Townsend
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University, 19555 N. 59th Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85308, USA btowns@midwestern.edu;
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Anthony R. Friscia
Anthony R. Friscia
Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles, 621 Charles E. Young Drive So., Los Angeles, California 90095-1606, USA tonyf@ucla.edu;
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Emmett Evanoff
Emmett Evanoff
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado 80639, USA emmett.evanoff@unco.edu
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The Bridger Formation is located in the Green River basin in southwest Wyoming, and the Uinta and Duchesne River formations are located in the Uinta basin in Utah. These three rock units and their diverse fossil assemblages have great scientific importance and are also of historic interest to vertebrate paleontologists. Notably, they are also the stratotypes for the three middle Eocene North American Land Mammal “Ages,” the Bridgerian, Uintan, and Duchesnean, from oldest to youngest. The fossils and sediments of these formations provide a critically important record of biotic, environmental, and climatic history spanning ~10 million years (49–39 Ma). This article features a detailed field excursion through portions of the Green River and Uinta basins that focuses on locations of geologic, paleontologic, and historical interest. In support of the field excursion, we also provide a review of current knowledge of these formations with emphasis on lithostratigraphy, biochronology, depositional and paleoenvironmental history, and the history of scientific exploration.

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

Geologic Field Trips to the Basin and Range, Rocky Mountains, Snake River Plain, and Terranes of the U.S. Cordillera

Jeffrey Lee
Jeffrey Lee
Department of Geological Sciences 400 E. University Way Central Washington University Ellensburg, Washington 98926 USA
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James P. Evans
James P. Evans
Department of Geology Utah State University 4505 Old Main Hill Logan, Utah 84322-4505 USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
21
ISBN electronic:
9780813756219
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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