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The Highest Fossils in the World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2009

N. E. Odell
Affiliation:
Clare College, Cambridge.

Extract

In his splendid volume Geology of the Himalayas (1964; reviewed in this Number, p. 86), Professor Augusto Gansser refers (p. 164) to the rock specimens brought back from the summit of Mount Everest by the successful Swiss climbers in 1956, and also by the American team in 1963. All the various summit specimens, Professor Gansser states, are lithologically quite identical. They consist of fine-grained, thin-bedded grey calc-schists or platy limestones. The calcites are elongated conformably with the schistosity, which seems to parallel the bedding. The detrital grains are mostly quartz, acid plagioclases and some microline, together with fine sericite lamellae, paralleling the calcites. Gansser continues: “Of special interest is the fact that both samples contain crinoidal fragments. Their large uniform calcite crystals contrast with the otherwise much finer crystalline matrix. In one elongated stem-fragment the segmentation is visible (Photo. 46), while one small plate still shows the well-preserved perforation (Photo. 47).” Moreover, he observes: “These remnants, representing the highest fossils in the world, are unfortunately not sufficiently well-preserved to allow an age-determination of the top Everest limestone. They do, however, support rather than contradict the Carboniferous (to Lower Permian) age generally assigned to the Everest limestones, on the grounds that they are overlain by the (Upper) Permian Lachi Series (Odell, 1943; Wager, 1939).”

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1967

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References

REFERENCES

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Odell, N. E., 1925. Observations on the rocks and glaciers of Mount Everest. Geogrl J., 66, 299315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Odell, N. E., 1926. Exhibition of supposed fossils from the north face of Mount Everest. Q. Jl geol. Soc., Lond., 82; Proc. Part 3, p. cv.Google Scholar
Odell, N. E., 1943. The so-called “Axial Granite Core” of the Himalaya: its actual exposure in relation to its sedimentary cover. Geol. Mag., 80, 148154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wager, L. R., 1939. The Lachi series of northern Sikkim and the age of the rocks forming Mount Everest. Rec. geol. Surv. India, 74 (2), 171188.Google Scholar
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