Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Gabitov, Rinat I.

Committee Member

Kirkland, Brenda L.

Committee Member

Schmitz, Darrel W.

Committee Member

Mylroie, John E.

Date of Degree

8-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Abstract

Three paleo-environments were studied. The first project concerned the Manson Impact and the effect of the Black Hills on the resulting fall-out from this asteroid strike. Samples of the Crow Creek Member were taken east of the Black Hills in Nebraska and South Dakota and samples from the Red Bird Member were taken from the west, in Wyoming. These samples were examined for chemical weathering, soot, shocked quartz, and fossils. The Crow Creek samples had shocked quartz (indicative of an impact), severe chemical weathering, soot, and evidence of tsunamis. There were few calcareous fossils. The Red Bird showed no signs of chemical weathering, a distinct absence of soot and shocked quartz and an abundance of fossils. These results indicate that the Black Hills were large enough to pose an atmospheric and oceanic barrier to the effects of the Manson Impact. The second project dealt with dinosaur eggs which were found in Montana. The eggs were examined and subjected to Computed Tomography Scans. The egg-shell, matrix, and volcanic ash were studied. The egg-shell was found to be from an undescribed oolithic species, and revealed that a transgressive event transpired after the eggs had fossilized. The matrix revealed that the eggs were laid in a flood-plain. The ash revealed a high amount of tungsten and yielded a high percentage of potassium for future dating. The eggs themselves revealed that intact embryos were within. This project has provided information on dinosaur nesting behavior. In the third project corals were examined to determine the usefulness of sampling different architectural structures for evaluating environmental proxies. Coral was collected at the Verde Reef. The different architectural structures were sampled using SIMS, and LA-ICP-MS to selectively sample the small architectural structures. Oxygen isotope ratios and elemental: calcium ratios were compared among the different structures. It was found that dissepiments intake isotopic oxygen and elements at different rates than other structures. This has an impact in sampling corals for environmental proxies, but, because of the very small amount of mass contained in the dissepiments that bulk analyses would not be significantly affected.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20969

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