Maquoketa Shale - Wequiock Falls, WI
This site is about 5 miles north east of Green Bay at the intersection of Hwy 57 and Van Lanen Road.
This site is accessible only in dry weather.
The falls are a state natural area. Parking is provided. From the parking lot follow the old road over the abandoned bridge to see the falls from above.
Circle around the falls until you come to the wooden stairs that take you safely down to the bottom of the ravine.
The base of the falls are a short scramble from the base of the stairs.
The falls are capped with the hard Silurian Mayville dolomite. The Ordovician Maquoketa Formation below the lip of the falls consists
of blue-gray shaly dolomite. The blue-gray color is due to volcanic ash derived from the Appalachians and transported far inland by winds and currents.
For the better fossil hunting, walk downstream through the tunnel under the road.
Take care through the tunnel as it can be quite slippery.
The creek bed is full of rubble from the eroding banks of the ravine. Some of the slabs are fossiliferous but they are also quite weathered.
Keep walking about 100 yards until you see this high bank.
In this area, the Maquoketa is a loose muddy shale, punctuated layers of hard rock at the top.
I found some loose small brachiopods and bryozoan fragments in the muddy layers close to the bottom.
A couple of the hard rock layers at the top are very fossiliferous.
The Silurian age Mayville dolomite on top of the mudstone does not appear to be fossiliferous.
Other Mudstone Exposures
The exposures are limited, past the high bank area.
However, on the way back, look for other exposures of the mudstone.
Small Loose Fossils from the Mudstone
The mudstones have a low density of small loose fossils.
Some of the hard rock layers, near the top of the mudstone are full of brachiopods and other sea floor dwellers.
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