Ramblings about what I encounter within the realm of the geosciences, as well as the occasional rant about nonsense.

24 April 2008

Quarry 10

Click for the Smithsonian article

The Morrison Natural History Museum is a small museum located in the foothills. It is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Denver area, specifically the Golden and Morrison areas. I admit, however, that I am biased. When I was an undergrad, I interned with the museum for a little bit. I still stop by and volunteer when I am in the area.

This article is talking about some of the recent discoveries the museum has been making, as well as the area's historical significance to paleontology. The baby stegosaur tracks are really amazing to look at. I happen to have an image of one of them:

You can make out the manus (the small oval in front of the middle toe) and the pes in the above photo. You can really see the weight distribution of these guys. Stegs had a unique pes morphology, with three squared off toes, so they are easy to distinguish. The best thing is, the museum has found tracks of many different sizes, all belonging to stegosaurs. There is even some examples of larger tracks being overprinted with the smaller tracks and vice versa. This can be used as evidence of herds, with young (about the size of the shot above) and old (well, full grown) moving together.

Unfortunately, all the prints that have been found were in blocks that were used as a make-shift barrier along a nearby road-cut of I-70. The director is confident that he knows which layer they came from, but we haven't had the opportunity yet to prospect for some in situ track ways.

2 comments:

David Loeff said...

Hi Bryan;

I just got done reading an article on Quarry 10 in Smithsonian. As it happens, I live in Lakewood and have taken many hikes along the Hogback. However, I have no idea how to find Quarry 10. Is it accessible to the public and could you tell me how to get there?

I like the cavern picture at the bottom of your blog. Is that somewhere close by?

Thanks,
David Loeff dmloeff@msn.com, webmaster@scitrans.com

Bryan said...

Hi David,

Matt Mossbrucker, director of the MNHM, is the person to contact about gaining access to quarry 10. Since it is his project. He is also always on the lookout for new volunteers to help with the project. You can contact him through the MNHM website.

The museum tries to keep Quarry 10's location relatively secret. Because we can't put a fence up or anything, and we don't want anyone hurt. It is also on private property, so we don't want to bother the landowners too much.

The cavern is a travertine spring located between Los Alamos, NM and White Rock, NM. "Cavern" is being a bit generous as to the size of the opening. I had to duck and put my camera above my head when I took that picture (to this day I am amazed at how good it looks). From the top of the spring to the roof of the opening was only about 2.5 feet. I have put up a photo of the outside of the cavern taken from the road pull off.

Disclaimer

All the Latin on this page is from my vague recollections from High School. There are mistakes in the text. I just was trying to get the point across

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM
The photo of the travertine spring was taken in the small opening in the center of the image.

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