Get Wheeler Shale essential facts below. View Videos or join the Wheeler Shale discussion. Add Wheeler Shale to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Together with the Marjum Formation and lower Weeks Formation, the Wheeler Shale forms 490 to 610 m (1,610 to 2,000 ft) of limestone and shale exposed in one of the thickest, most fossiliferous and best exposed sequences of Middle Cambrian rocks in North America.
At the type locality of Wheeler Amphitheater, House Range, Millard County, western Utah, the Wheeler Shale consists of a heterogeneous succession of highly calcareous shale, shaley limestone, mudstone and thin, flaggy limestone. The Wheeler Formation (although the Marjum & Weeks Formations are missing) extends into the Drum Mountains, northwest of the House Range where similar fossils and preservation are found.
Detailed work recognises a number of ~10 m thick lagerstätten sequences in the formation, each of which formed at a sea-level high stand in deep water. The lagerstätte were deposited by turbidities and mudslides onto an oxygenated sea floor.
The productive layers comprise mud and clay particles, with a tiny fraction of wind-blown quartz.
Incomplete list of the fauna of the Wheeler Shale:
(Note: the preservation of hard bodied trilobite remains and soft bodied animals seems to be mutually exclusive within particular horizons.)
^Johnson, Kirk; Troll, Ray (2007), Cruising the fossil freeway: An epoch tale of a scientist and an artist on the ultimate 5,000-Mile paleo road trip, Golden, CO.: Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN978-1-55591-451-6
^ abGaines, R; Kennedy, M; Droser, M (2005), "A New Hypothesis for Organic Preservation of Burgess Shale Taxa in the Middle Cambrian Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah", Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 220: 193-205, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.07.034
^ abcGunther, L.F.; Gunther, V.G. (1981), "Some Middle Cambrian Fossils of Utah", Brigham Young University Geology Studies, 28: 1-81
^ abBrett, C. E.; Allison, P. A.; Desantis, M. K.; Liddell, W. D.; Kramer, A. (2009). "Sequence stratigraphy, cyclic facies, and lagerstätten in the Middle Cambrian Wheeler and Marjum Formations, Great Basin, Utah". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 277: 9-33. Bibcode:2009PPP...277....9B. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.010.
^Halgedahl, S. L.; Jarrard, R. D.; Brett, C. E.; Allison, P. A. (2009). "Geophysical and geological signatures of relative sea level change in the upper Wheeler Formation, Drum Mountains, West-Central Utah: A perspective into exceptional preservation of fossils". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 277 (1-2): 34-56. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.011.
^Gaines, R. R.; Kennedy, M. J.; Droser, M. L. (2005). "A new hypothesis for organic preservation of Burgess Shale taxa in the middle Cambrian Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 220: 193. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.07.034.