Ash Hollow Geology

Ash Hollow Geology (HMZU)

Location: Big Springs, NE 69122 Garden County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 18.1', W 102° 7.253'

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Ash Hollow is a focal point for understanding the geologic history of the Central Great Plains prior to the onset of the Great Ice Age. It is the type locality of the Ash Hollow Formation, named by Henry Engelmann after a visit in 1858-1859. These sediments were deposited in ancient valley-systems that drained east from the Rocky Mountains.

Much of the ancient valley-fill is exposed in cross section in the cliff faces along the roof of Ash Hollow Cave, in the exhibit area. Some of the overlying hard ledges or mortar-beds probably represent hard-pan or caliche soils, and others contain fossil grass seeds and root-casts of yucca, all indicative of a semi-arid climate and plants somewhat like today. But the animals found in these rocks were very different, including camels, rhinoceroses, and long-jawed mastodonts, most of which became extinct before the Ice Age. The Ice Age animals were likewise mostly distinct from those now living here.

The earliest collections of fossils were made for F.D. Cope near here in 1879. Explorers who made geological contributions include John C. Fremont in 1843 and G.K. Warren in 1855.
Series This marker is part of the Nebraska: Nebraska State Historical Society series
Marker Number160
Placed ByNebraksa Geological Society and Nebraska State Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 1:04am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 741044 N 4576244
Decimal Degrees41.30166667, -102.12088333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 18.1', W 102° 7.253'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 18' 6.00" N, 102° 7' 15.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)308
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3897 US-26 Scenic, Big Springs NE 69122, US
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