Day #46 Deskcrop: Oil Shale

We’ll start the work week off with a deskcrop of oil shale from the Eocene Green River Formation, a little bit northeast of Douglas Pass, Colorado. When I originally collected this piece a freshly fractured surface was noticeably aromatic. We even burned a couple pieces in our campfire during field camp, though the result was smellier than it was flammable. To the best of my understanding this is not the locality of the truly high grade “mahogany ledge” in the Green River Formation, though this locality is worth the detour for its preservation of leaf and insect fossils. If anyone knows of an exposure where one can collect a piece of the “mahogany ledge” I’d sure like to hear about it so I can add that to my deskcrop/teaching collection.

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Oil Shale

Explore this and all of my 2010 Deskcrops and Outcrops in Google Earth!

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