On the News | Australia | Ancient marine fossils preserved under a busy Canberra bridge @ ABC News

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Ancient marine fossils preserved under a busy Canberra bridge

Penny Travers


Woolshed Creek was the first site in Australia where Silurian-age fossils were discovered. (Image Credit: ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)

“Thousands of people drive over a small bridge on Canberra’s Fairbairn Avenue every day, unaware that beneath it lay ancient marine fossils.

The mudstone rock outcrop on Woolshed Creek contains brachiopods, trilobites, pelecypods, corals and bryozoan fossils from the Silurian geological period.

The site was discovered by the father of Australian geology, Reverend William B Clarke, in 1844.

“At that time all the dating of rocks was done by examining the fossils in the sedimentary rocks,” said Doug Finlayson, former Geoscience Australia geophysicist and Geological Society of Australia ACT branch treasurer.

“But obviously, as science progressed, we now know that there are much older rocks in the western parts of Australia.”

The mudstone site is part of the geological unit called the Canberra Formation and was formed in a shallow marine environment about 427 million to 433 million years ago.

Clarke collected fossil samples during his 1844 visit to Duntroon homestead (then owned by Sydney merchant Robert Campbell) and sent them to Britain and Belgium.

“In Belgium there was a scholar there that compared them to fossils of a similar period from other parts of the world and that made them significant on a global scale,” Dr Finlayson said.” (…) READ MORE

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READ IT HERE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-25/woolshed-creek-fossil-site-preserved-under-busy-bridge/8639018

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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)