A day of geological exploration in the Negev: the En Yorqeam Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at Makhtesh Ramon

12_EnYorqeamView070813MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–Our final stop on our geological tour today was close to our temporary home: on the northern rim of Makhtesh Ramon (N 30.62831°, E 34.81759). Exposed here is the En Yorqeam Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian), seen above as the less resistant marly unit between two resistant limestones. I did my first presentation on Israeli geology with bored and encrusted oysters from the En Yorqeam, which were also the subjects of a Fossil of the Week post.

We visited this outcrop today because there are some stratigraphic questions about its thickness and distribution. Its rich fossil fauna has also not been described in detail. This would be an ideal Independent Study project someday, especially with one large outcrop so close to our headquarters.

13_Echinoids070813Echinoids are the stars of the fossil fauna in the En Yorqeam. In just ten minutes we picked up over a dozen well preserved specimens. The large ones at the top are Heterodiadema lybicum. I don’t know the identity of the two in the bottom row. I bet some sharp student, though, can come up with the names quickly!

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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4 Responses to A day of geological exploration in the Negev: the En Yorqeam Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at Makhtesh Ramon

  1. Joanna Scheffler says:

    If I’d been sitting around long enough to be encrusted I’d be bored too.
    (We hard rockers can’t resist those opportunities)
    The blogging is great, keep it up!

  2. Mark Wilson says:

    Oh you went there, Joanna! Thanks for reading! Hope all is well.

  3. Joanna Scheffler says:

    I’m really enjoying your blogs. I am quite astounded at the opportunities the Woo geo students have had under your tenure, and maybe a little jealous too! I feel very proud of the quality of the program of this little liberal arts college, and brag about it at every opportunity!

  4. Mark Wilson says:

    Thanks, Joanna. We can only do these things through the generosity of alumni and granting agencies. It is such a joy to work with students in these places, we will all tell you. We also like it that the blog serves as a communication channel to alumni and friends.

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