Sedimentary and Taphonomic Contexts of Quaternary Vertebrate Fossils in the Northern Rocky Mountains

Author(s): Christopher L. Hill

Year: 2018


Quaternary vertebrate assemblages from the northern Rocky Mountains can be used to understand the biogeographic consequences of climate change. Some localities contain strata from before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), while others consist mostly of Late Glacial and Holocene deposits. The Merrell Local Fauna is from a stratigraphic sequence in Centennial Valley. Radiocarbon dates range from >52,000 to 19,000 BP and fossils are in lacustrine deposits, fluvial sediments, and a debris flow. The Blacktail Cave sequence extends from prior to the LGM to the Younger Dryas (37,000 to 10,270 BP). The fossil assemblage includes large- and small–sized mammals. Strata are composed of silts, clays, sands, and gravels along with rockfall and travertine. Strata at Sheep Rock Springs, Indian Creek, and MacHaffie incorporate fossils that are younger than the LGM and can be compared to Late Glacial-Holocene sequences in Idaho and localities on the Northern Great Plains. A diverse set of sedimentological and taphonomic contexts are associated with these localities which contain cave, alluvial, eolian and paludal/lacustrine deposits. These sedimentary sequences can be used to examine patterns of landscape evolution and ecological change before, during and after the LGM, including conditions associated with the Younger Dryas and the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

Cite this Record

Sedimentary and Taphonomic Contexts of Quaternary Vertebrate Fossils in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Christopher L. Hill. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442913)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20023