Locality information


Stratigraphic Column


Map of localities in Tennessee.


Drawn after Hackley et al, 2006.

The Claiborne Formation is a very widespread formation encompassing several states. For this study, the Claiborne Formation was exposed at the Puryear clay pit, in Henry County, Tennessee, USA and at the Warman clay pit, near Como, Weakley County, Tennessee, USA. The Wilcox and Claiborne Formations were exposed in the Buchannon clay pit, in Henry County, Tennessee, USA. Although Dr. Crepet no longer collects at these sites, he has collected a great deal of fossils material previously and has access to other collections from the same sites from other universities.
The formations lie in the Mississippi Embayment. The stratigraphic positions of the studied material are the Wilcox and Claiborne Formations (Groups). The sediments consist of a series of cross-bedded or massive sands, clay lenses, with lignite associations. The depositional environment is thought to be associated with an oxbow lake system.

The paleoenvironment, reconstructed from the micro and megaflora and depositional profiles, was warm temperate to cool subtropical. These sediments have been dated by stratigraphic and palynological means as Paleocene/Lower Eocene (Wilcox)- Middle Eocene (Claiborne) in age (~65-41 MYBP)

Please see these references for further information:

Crepet, W. L. and T. N. Taylor, 1986. Primitive mimosoid flowers from the Paleocene-Eocene and their systematic and evolutionary implications. American Journal of Botany 73 (4): 548-563.

Hackley, P.C., P. D.Warwick, R. E. Thomas, and D. J. Nichols, 2006. Review of lignite resources of western Tennessee and the Jackson Purchase Area, western Kentucky. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1078, 34 p.

Moore, B. R., 2001. Fossil plants from the Wilbanks clay pit (Middle Eocene Caliborne Formation, Western Tennessee) paleontological implications and educational applications. Masters Thesis. University of Tennessee.

Potter, F. W. and D. L. Dilcher, 1980. 8: Biostratigraphic analysis of Eocene clay deposits in Henery County, Tennessee. In. D. L. Dilcher and T. N. Taylor (eds.) Biostratigraphy of Fossil Plants. Dowen, Hutchenson and Ross, Inc., Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 211-225.

Roberts and Collins, 1926. The Tertiary of West Tennessee. American Journal of Science s5-12: 235-243.

Russell, E. E., and W. S. Parks, 1975. Stratigraphy of the outcropping Upper Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Lower Eocene in Western Tennesse. Tennessee Division of Geology, Nashville, Tennessee. Bulletin 75, Part B. 48pp.