GMS     The Georgia Mineral Society, Inc.
4138 Steve Reynolds Boulevard
Norcross, GA 30093-3059

GMS Field Trips

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GMS Epic Trip
Tennessee and Mississippi
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
October 12, 13, 14, 2018

Charles defines an “epic” field trip as one that encompasses multiple locations, at least 3. So the October trip definitely met that criteria because we visited 4 different locations in 2 states over 3 days! We started at a meteorite impact crater in Tennessee. Attendees collected impact structures called “shatter cones”. When a meteorite slammed into the ground around 200 million years ago, the impact was so intense that small cracks formed in the dolostone bedrock. The cracks emanate from a point oriented towards the impact and radiate outwards in a fractal pattern. Sometimes cone shaped specimens are found, hence the shatter cone name, but almost all of the dolostone in the area clearly exhibit the shatter pattern.

The next day, we were up before the roosters and assembled at a quarry that is known for fine lower Devonian marine fossils. There were numerous brachiopods, corals, bryozoans, crinoids, and trilobites. We collected in a different area than on prior field trips, so it was fun exploring that “new” area.

With the morning trip behind us, the third location filled our afternoon. We bid a fond farewell to Tennessee and headed for Mississippi. Next stop was a creek with Cretaceous fossils. It was a little chilly to be splashing around in a creek, but intrepid members jumped in. I saw only a few sharks’ teeth this time, but they were all very nice.

After a good night’s sleep, we visited the fourth and last location of the epic trip. We received permission to collect in an outcropping of the Cretaceous Coon Creek formation near Tupelo, MS. Various species of decapods, mostly crabs and a few lobsters, were found. Nancy and Rebecca, members of the North Mississippi Gem & Mineral Society was on hand to identify fossils for us and Nancy found a spectacular ammonite! Coon Creek formation fossils usually have original material, so the rainbow shimmer of nacre was what caught her eye. She carefully stabilized the ammonite and painstakingly worked on freeing it from its muddy resting place.

Once again, the epic trip was action packed and full of fantastic collecting. We are very fortunate to have the support and assistance of so many people. A big thank you to quarry personnel, North Mississippi club members, and George Phillips, Paleontology Curator of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science as well as field trip participants for their camaraderie!

For more pictures from each trip, click the corresponding trip photo below.

Lori Carter
On behalf of Charles Carter, GMS Field Trip Chair

Site 1: Meteorite Impact Crater in Tennessee

shatter cone
Shatter cones!
(Click the picture above for more pictures)

Site 2: Lower Devonian Fossil Location in Tennessee

Crinoid Calyx!
(Click the picture above for more pictures)

Site 3: Cretaceous Fossil Location in Mississippi

Sharks' teeth!
(Click the picture above for more pictures)

Site 4: Late Cretaceous Fossil Location in Mississippi

(Click the picture above for more pictures)

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