Field Trip To Ione Basin--March 11, 2004

Western Foothills Of The Sierra Nevada

Amador County, California

Exposures of the Middle Eocene Ione Formation in the vicinity of the Discovery Site--so-named because that's where I first found fossil plants in the Ione Basin on July 21, 1991. Grayish-white, unfossiliferous carbonaceous mudstones outcrop below plant-bearing reddish-brown sandstones (roughly middle of picture). At upper left to upper-center, the grass-covered, tree-studded slopes belong to overlying Lower Miocene Valley Springs Formation. Image taken on March 11, 2004.

Genesis Of The Field Trip

After my highly enjoyable day's return to the Ione Basin on May 8, 2004, while the weather still held (there had been little rain in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada since January, 2004), I wanted to revisit the vicinity of The Discovery site, to document outcrops of the Middle Eocene Ione Formation. Several of the exposures out that way yielded common to abundant fossil leaves--accessible fossilferous horizons I wanted to examine and photograph, naturally--but in addition I also had in mind to document with a camera a number of the representive rock lithologies of the Middle Eocene Ione Formation.

Please note: All fossil localities in the Ione Formation of Amador County, California, presently occur on private property; explicit permission from the land owners must be secured before collecting fossils there.

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