Tag Archives: Haslam Formation

Nov. 22 field trip

When: 8:00AM, Sunday, November 22, 2020

Where: Dumont Road, Nanaimo

Directions: Meet at Helmcken Park & Ride at 8:00am. COVID-19 protocols remain in effect; masks during meet and greet and travel via separate vehicles.

Exposure: Dumont Road is the site of two quarries containing exposures of the Late Cretaceous Haslam Formation, where beautiful white fossils of the the ammonites Canadoceras and Pseudoschloenbachia, numerous bivalves and gastropods and other diverse fossils have been found, along with occasional plant material.  The lower of the two quarries is now a motocross track and practice may be taking place so awareness and caution are needed.  The upper quarry hasn’t been excavated in many years, but preserves a slightly different fauna – perhaps younger? – than that of the lower quarry.

Equipment: Fossils are found in the rock and in concretions, so a good hammer or sledge, chisel, and protective eyewear are required. It’s a hillside, so expect to ascend and descend slopes with some significant elevation gain, with some uneven footing, but as sites go, it’s an easy walk. Dress for the season and bring lunch and water.

Contact: RSVP Jerri Wilkins, Field Trip Lead, via the VicPS Facebook page or via email.

Sep. 27 Field Trip

When: Sunday, Sept 27, 2020

Where: Chemainus River

Directions: Meet at Helmcken Park & Ride at 9am. Carpooling optional/personal decision; masks must be worn if/while carpooling, social distancing mandatory throughout the field trip.

Exposure: Cliffs along the deep canyon of the Chemainus River expose the black mudstones of the Haslam Formation, an ancient marine environment deposited in the Upper Cretaceous (85MY before present). Fossils can be found high above on the cliff face and loose in the steep piles of scree stretching to river level. Fossil are common in large and small concretions and in situ on this stretch of the river.

Many of the fossils of the Haslam Formation are representatives of extinct animal groups which have no modern counterparts. The ancient Haslam environment was a shallow sea populated by molluscs, fishes, and giant marine reptiles. Some of the fossils, such as clams and snails, are similar to their modern relatives, but others, such as the extinct ammonites, provide an excellent opportunity to explore changing life and environment over geological time.

Contact: RSVP Jerri Wilkins via the VicPS Facebook page or via email.

November 25th 2018 field trip

When: Sunday, November 25th, 2018, 9:00 am

Directions: Meet at the Helmcken Road Park and Ride at 9:00 am to arrange carpooling.

This field trip is suitable for collectors of all ages and activity levels. Fossils are found in the rock and concretions at the site, so a good hammer or sledge, chisel, and protective eyewear are required.

Clothing: Footwear should be appropriate for rocky and sometimes muddy conditions.  Be aware that this site has undergone significant terraforming, so you should expect to be walking on rocks and boulders that can be slippery and treacherous. Dress in layers to adapt to sun, clouds or wind. Rain gear packed and ready is always smart. As we post this notice, the long range forecast for the site is 20% POP and light winds. Bring water and snacks.

Contact: RSVP Jerri Wilkins via the VicPS Facebook page or via email at jlwilkins2-at-hotmail.com for more specific details about our planned fossil hunting location.

June 24 field trip debrief: Chemainus River

Members who enjoyed the field trip to the Chemainus River report finds of glypoxoceras  pieces, tesserolax spine, inoceramus, spenoceramus, scallop shell about thumbnail size with hinge, and bottom third of a leaf.

The next field trip should take place toward the end of July; we’ll post with details when it’s planned.

Date:  Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Meeting Location and Time:  Helmcken Road Park and Ride at 09:00 AM.

Safety: This is a river site, so you should expect:

  1. it is likely that you will have to wade and get wet,
  2. rocks can be slippery and treacherous, and
  3. you should never wander off alone. Cliffs at this site are high and dangerous. There are past reports of fossil collectors experiencing injuries and near-injuries resulting from falling rocks.

Equipment: Fossils are usually found in concretions that fall out of the cliffs, so a good
hammer or sledge and protective eyewear are required.

Please see the email to Society members for a good description of the location and what you may expect to find.