Getting ‘Sedimental’ About Wet-Sieving…

Hello! Our summer research project is now in full swing.

This week I started wet-sieving samples that we collected from the Liberty Formation, the post-Richmondian invasion community. For those not too familiar with geology, a “formation” is just a specific layer of rock in the stratigraphic column that can be traced and studied in multiple localities. Here’s a helpful video that briefly explains sedimentary rocks and how they help us understand Earth’s past – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Y3oaYR-3c

Wet-sieving is a process in which sediment is dumped into a box with a mesh bottom and open top, placed in water tub and shaken continuously to clean off any fossils in the sediment. It is a long, messy, arm-tiring job that requires a good deal of patience! Not to complain, though- the fossils we’re getting out of the Liberty formation sediment through the sieve are plentiful, and frankly pretty awesome. Further, the lab that I am working in is brand new and perfect for the job. Not to mention, my advisor Dr. Tyler has made sure multiple times that I am comfortable in the space!

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IMG_0525Tomorrow and Monday we head out to some road cuts near Cincinnati as well as northern Kentucky to collect samples from the Fairview Formation, a group of rocks that consist of a pre-invasion community. We’re also heading to Cincinnati to gather data from the University of Cincinnati Paleontology Museum. Soon, Dr. Tyler and I will start making species assignments for the fossils collected and move forward with our analysis of how the different ecosystems interacted both during and after the Richmondian Invasion.

Stay tuned!

Cheers,

Hannah

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