Badlands at Blue Basin

Badlands at Blue Basin

Detailed Description


The badlands at Blue Basin and the surrounding valley to the north (Turtle Cove) have yielded many of the most important fossils recovered in the John Day region. These fossil discoveries helped establish much of the chronology of North American Tertiary-age mammalian faunas. Today the region continues not only to yield new fossil plants and animals, but also to provide a wealth of knowledge about past climate history and environmental changes associated with mountain building and catastrophic volcanism in the region (Morris, 2003).

Many of the early fossil collections came from "float" from landslide and alluvial deposits (such as the deposits shown in the foreground of this image). However, modern paleontological studies focus on the more arduous task of studying fossils in their original burial localities, because paleontologists are interested in studying the entire ancient ecosystem.


Image Dimensions: 800 x 600

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US