This article was previously posted and is being republished.
The Ural Mountains are rich in fossils and minerals. Find out what ones are in this western portion of Russia.
Minerals, fossils and ores found in the Ural mountains point to the area once being under water.
Located in the western portion of Russia, near the Arctic Ocean, the Ural Mountains have offered a source of mystery and fascination for locals and visitors. Marine fossils have been found high up in the Ural Mountains, nowhere near sea level. There are two schools of thought on how the fossils, minerals and ores got there.
Some scientists believe that the earth was once made up of supercontinents, which collided, pushing tectonic plates up and creating the mountains. Creation scientists, like Ken Hamm, believe marine life deposits were left on the mountains during the great flood described in the Bible.
With one theory, fossils were formed over billions of years with a little water. With the other theory, fossils were formed over a shorter period of time with a lot of water. The science behind both theories is pretty amazing and worth further study. No matter which theory you subscribe to, there have been several types of fossils and minerals discovered in the Ural Mountains.
Types of Fossils
Microbial boundstones make up a large part of the fossils found in the Ural Mountains. These are sponges and other creatures that typically make up a barrier reef that you would see on the sea floor rather than on top of a mountain. Other fossils include fish and shelled creatures.
Limestone, Standstone, Dolomite
The actual rock on the west side of the Ural Mountains are believed to be from deposits from an ancient sea dated around the Paleozoic period. For a decade, Dr. Soja of Colgate University has studied the unusual terrain and preserved and collected fossils, categorizing them in an attempt to explain the unique findings. While the limestone, sandstone and dolomite are thought to hail from a shallow ocean (coral reef), the east side is made of rocks similar to rocks found deep in the ocean.
Ores and Minerals
Sediments from the sea also helped to form some of the numerous minerals and ores located in the Ural Mountains. A few of the natural resources that can be found are gabbro, quartzite and schist.
More Study Needed
To fully understand the different fossils that have been found and to discover more, researchers like the team led by Dr. Soja continue to study the Ural Mountains and to find new specimens to classify. There’s no telling what might be discovered next in this exciting branch of geology.