Expedition Day 9 – Giant ammonites

We worked down river as far as the ice tunnel taking GPS waypoints for the most important outcrops. We located some of the older horizons and found parts of giant ammonite, Otoceras, which would have reached the size of a bicycle tire. Several examples of the large snail Belerophon were also recovered, as well as a very large coprolite (100 mm in length) containing chewed up ammonites.

We moved back upstream as far as possible, finding organic rich shale layers with pyrites (iron disulfide) and masses of Claraia; these “clam-like” bivalves seemed to have tolerated the low oxygen conditions on the ancient Triassic sea bed.

Considerable amounts of plant material, including horsetails and some seed-like structures, were also found indicating a close proximity to land.

There is one last upriver exposure we need to see. It looks promising but we have run out of time fore today.

Another discovery was Arctic fox tracks. Sadly we did not get to meet the owner for a photo session!


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