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The Cambrian in Utah, US

Cambrian in Utah map

undifferentiated rock units help

Generalized geologic map from the Utah Geological Survey.

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Cambrian Fossils
Fossil photos from Cambrian in Utah

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Paleontology and geology

Sea level rose throughout the Early and Middle Cambrian, causing the shoreline to migrate east until the entire state was covered by water by the end of the Cambrian. Deposits of shallow-water sandstones and overlying shales and carbonates are much thicker in the western part of the state than in the eastern half, as that is the area where the sea covered Utah for a longer time. The most complete sequence of Middle through Late Cambrian fossil-bearing rocks in the world is found in Utah. A wide range of fossil marine invertebrates have been discovered in these rocks, including brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, and conodonts. Utah is particularly rich in trilobites and virtually every museum in the world has a specimen of the trilobite Elrathia kingi from Utah.

Although this map only indicates the presence of undifferentiated rocks, there are scattered outcrops of Cambrian rocks throughout the western part of the state, as shown on the map provided by the Utah Geological Survey.

Links to more on the Cambrian in Utah

Education and Exhibits | Resources

Education and Exhibits

Virtual Exhibits (showing 1 of 1 listings)

Cambrian Explosion Fossils of Utah - America's Burgess Shale: The Middle Cambrian Wheeler Shale and Marjum Formation are exposed within the House Range west of Delta, Utah. Both formations are famous for their trilobites and other shelly fossils, but also contain a rich diversity of fossils of soft-bodied animals, some of which are shown in this gallery.

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Courses and Lectures (showing 1 of 1 listings)

Paleogeography of the Southwestern U.S.: The paleogeography of the southwestern U.S. from 1.8 billion years ago to 10 million years ago. Text and images by Dr. Ron Blakey from Northern Arizona University.

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General Reference (showing 1 of 1 listings)

Trilobites and the Cambrian Environment in Utah: Trilobites are probably the most common fossils collected in Utah; many world-class specimens from this state reside in museums throughout the world. This page from the Utah Geological Survey web site offers information on what trilobites are and where they are found in Utah.

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