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The type locality for the Campanian Coon Creek Formation, located in McNairy County, Tennessee, is a well-known lagerstatte, with exceptionally preserved marine invertebrate and vertebrate remains in shallow shelf sediments. At the time of deposit ion, the type locality was located in an embayment proximal t o t he eastern margin of the Appalachia province that experienced alternately cool- and warm-water conditions, likely due to currents from both the Western Interior Seaway and Tethys. While marine in their entirety, the sediments contain significant quantities of terrestrial palynomorphs, especially near the top of the section and thus provide a snapshot of adjacent upper Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems which are not otherwise preserved in this region. A recently completed biostratigraphic study of rangefinder widely-spaced samples through the section suggested that the increase in terrestrial input up-section may be the result of increased fluvial input, as total marine microfossil abundances remain largely unchanged. The biostratigraphic study suggested that more detailed examination of the terrestrial palynomorphs preserved in the section was warranted. In July 2022, the team of co-authors collected 27 fresh samples from the type locality. In this study we present the preliminary results of new biostratigraphic and paleoecological investigations of terrestrial palynomorphs recovered from the site.

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Higher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Preliminary Terrestrial Palynological Re-investigation of the Type Coon Creek Lagerstatte, Tennessee, USA



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