Scouting trip: Day 3

16 May 2009. Abaga Qi adjacent, Inner Mongolia

1000. After breakfast with people from the cultural station, we headed out to the eastern outskirts of Abaga. Before we left town we stored our jackhammer and generator at the cultural station. We decided not to screenwash on this trip because of the strong winds and low temperatures (overcast, 20-30 mph sustained winds, daytime high temperature around 10 degrees Celsius).

1202. N44º01' E115º03' elevation 1157 m.

[An example of the contact relationship between the top basalt and the underlying mudstone]

We surveyed the 10-m thick layer of sediment below a capping basalt layer. Large bone fragments (vertebra, rib, etc.) were found in the gray and yellowish laters, but there was otherwise nothing significant.

[A partial leg of a small bovid, probably a goat or sheep, buried in silty sandstone. The specimen does not appear fossilized, and may have been buried under transported sediment after a storm. Hongjiang (from the cultural station) also found a skull cap from a human burial site that might have been displaced by the elements]

1600. Brick factory south of Abaga Qi: we discovered Hipparion and rhino cheek teeth in the red clay, which is overlaid by a dark metamorphic pebble layer (rounded and polished). The local workers had already seen skulls of rhinos, and they have sold large bones to local collectors. The preservation of the fossils is very good in situ, but the excavators have smashed most of the visible fossils.
[The red clay of the brick factory southwest of Abaga Qi; workers there claimed that many large fossils were found in the beginning of factory operations, but the larger specimens have been destroyed]

-There seems to be a yellow mudstone later above the red clay; in certain visible contacts the dark metamorphic rock is not between those sedimentary layers, indicating the possibility of an overland flow route?