Sunday, April 11, 2021

Paleozoic Taxa of the St. Croix Valley

Back when I was working on the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway project, I'd compiled a spreadsheet of all of the fossil genera and species that had been reported from the rocks exposed along the valley. There had been some talk of spinning it off as a separate thing, but that never happened, so I played with the idea of posting it here. I then forgot about it until recently looking through the backlog of half-formed ideas. The spreadsheet itself was all ready to go, so I figured "why not?"

It's pretty simple; a column of numbers so it can be sorted back to the original organization when I'm working, a column for the genus/species, a column for the broad classification, twelve columns for the formations (go here for a refresher; the names are abbreviated for space, but each one has a note providing the full name), a column for references (defined on the "References" tab), and a column for additional notes. If a given species is present in a particular formation, the corresponding cell is marked "Y" and filled blue; if there's some question, the cell is marked "?" and filled yellow. If it's not present, there's a dash and no color fill. To check it out, you can enter here. I would not be surprised if there has been some oversplitting, if for no other reason than the challenges of preservation (we're dealing with a lot of natural molds and casts of partial trilobites in sandstone; fragility and preservation fidelity leave something to be desired).

It's worth mentioning that there is a document that covers some of the same ground, Raasch (1950). In one sense it's more narrowly focused, on Cambrian trilobite biostratigraphy, but in another it's more diffuse, with a larger area of interest.


Raasch, G. O. 1950. Zonal range of Croixan trilobite genera in the upper Mississippi Valley. Cambrian Subcommittee Memorandum No. V. Illinois State Geological Survey, Urbana, Illinois.

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