Friday, June 4, 2010

Goodbye Cretaceous East, G'Day Cretaceous West

Yesterday, we (Tom Rich and I) concluded our paleontological survey of the Strzelecki Group, the Early Cretaceous rocks east of Melbourne, Victoria. As my faithful readers may recall from previous posts, these rocks date to about 115-120 million years ago. We walked across many kilometers of coastline during the past nine days, distances I hope to quantify better for you once all of the GPS data have been compiled. Trust me, it was a great amount of walking, and a great amount of Cretaceous. (Hey, that might make for a great title for a blog. Hmmm...)

So now we will take a day off in Melbourne to charge batteries, literally and figuratively. Melbourne is conveniently located between the eastern and western outcrops of the Cretaceous rocks here in Victoria, and Tom Rich's home is here in the Melbourne area with Pat Vickers-Rich. The western outcrops are of the Otway Group, which are slightly younger than the Strzelecki Group, dating at about 105 million years ago. How will these rocks and their trace fossils differ from those east of Melbourne, other than being less old? We'll soon see!

In the meantime, look for other entries on various scientific mysteries of the Cretaceous rocks here in Australia - some of which have been solved, some still taunting.

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