Master's student Nathan Marshall assists with a visual aid during the fall 2009 field trip while Professor Brett looks on.
Prior to the opening of the convention itself, several field trips were
offered so that participants could avail themselves of the world-famous
Ordovician strata in the Cincinnati area.
One field trip in
particular quickly reached the maximum number of participants:
“Depositional Environments and Paleoecology in a Sequence Stratigraphic
Context: Upper Ordovician Strata in the Classic Cincinnati Arch Area.”
Led by UC Geology Professor Carlton E. Brett and UC alum Patrick I. McLaughlin, now of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, and with the assistance of current geology student Nathan Marshall, the two-day trip departed from the University of Cincinnati each morning at 8:30 a.m. and returned to campus each evening at about 10 p.m.
The leaders promised that the trip would provide an overview of spectacular exposures of Upper Ordovician (~455 to 445 million year old) Lexington Limestone and Cincinnati Group (Edenian, Maysvillian and lower Richmondian).
The field trip participants looked at richly fossiliferous mixed shales, siltstones and limestones; fossils and the environments that formed them. Brett and McLaughlin led discussions on such things as bed formation, storm and seismic processes, biotic responses to sea-level fluctuations and their contributions toward a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework.
There were also ample opportunities to collect exceptionally well-preserved Ordovician fossils including brachiopods, mollusks, trilobites and crinoids.
No wonder Stefano Dominici, the video maker, concluded that “Geology is wonderful.” Who wouldn’t?