On the 8th day, we drove out about two hours to the “Mongolian Border Locality,” located south and right on the border of China and Mongolia. After the bumpy drive (once again there were no roads leading to this locality and lots of dramamine was taken), our group arrived to the locality greeted by the Mongolian military as they escorted us up the STEEPEST HILL EVER to our field site.
We then were taken to the Chinese/Mongolian border where a monument marked the exact border separating Mongolia from China.
It was hard to believe a plaque statue was separating me from the vast country of China.
The field work at this locality was much more difficult than the localities we studied the past five days because the sections were located on an extremely steep mountain, so it was a constant challenge to keep your balance while hammering away at samples and analyzing fossils.
The formation primarily contained low-grade metamorphic sediments, with a thick interval of well bedded and highly fossiliferous slates. Fossils found in the slate layers consisted of brachiopods, rugose corals, trilobites (I found one of these!!! Whoo!!), bryozoan colonies, and crinoid crowns. As you moved down the mountain, there is an evident transition from a marine Devonian paleoenvironment into terrestrial deposits from the Carboniferous, which contain several plant fossils.
We stumbled upon another mafic basalt layer while at this locality, which we gladly sampled and celebrated.
After this day in the field, we drove back to base camp sad to realize we only had one more day in the field left! Even though I was sore and tired, I didn’t want this experience to come to an end.