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The Carboniferous in West Virginia, US

Carboniferous in West Virginia map

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Carboniferous Fossils
Fossil photos from Carboniferous in West Virginia

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Paleontology and geology

During the Early Carboniferous, sediments eroded off the Acadian Mountains in the north and east, forming large marine deltas. Later, a widespread warm, shallow sea covered West Virginia and thick limestones accumulated on the sea floor. Then as Gondwana began colliding with Laurentia, a period of mountain building (the Allegheny Orogeny) began, exposing more land to erosion and causing a return to the formation of large deltas. During the Late Carboniferous, large rivers flowing from the rising Appalachians deposited conglomerates and sandstones, and extensive coal-forming swamps formed in this wet tropical environment. These cycles of sedimentation produced alternating beds of coal, sandstone, mudstone, and freshwater limestones in the region. Brachiopods and bryozoans were abundant in the sea, while horsetail rushes and scale trees thrived in the warm, humid climate on land. This map indicates the presence of Carboniferous rocks over much of the state.

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Research and Collections

Research and Collections

Researchers (showing 1 of 1 listings)

Dr. Thomas W. Kammer: Specialty: Evolutionary paleoecology of Paleozoic crinoids, plus lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy of marine Mississippian rocks in the east-central United States. Field areas include West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.

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