The Windom Shale in Central New York
   -The Tully Site


      The Windom Shale is the uppermost member of the Moscow Formation (and thus also of the Middle Devonian) in western and central NYS.  It ranges in thickness from 3.5 m (11.5 ft) at Lake Erie to 60 m (200 ft.) near Skaneateles Lake.  In eastern NY the Windom Shale grades into the Cooperstown Siltstone.  In western NY the Windom rest unconformably on the Tichenor Limestone member of the Moscow Formation.  It is topped unconformably by the Leicester Pyrite, or where the pyrite is absent, by the Geneseo Shale member of the Upper Devonian Genesee Formation.  In central NY the Windom rests on the Kashong member of the Moscow Formation, and is unconformably topped by the Tully Limestone (= the Tully Formation).  The Windom is a gray to medium gray shale, with various more calcareous layers present.

Tully_10112008.jpg (170041 bytes)
Windom Shale exposed at Tully, Onondaga County, NY (2008)

    The Windom Shale is exposed at the surface at numerous localities in western and central NY.  One especially accessible site is located at Tully in Onondaga County, a short distance south of Syracuse, NY.   There, the Windom Shale is exposed in a road cut along the eastern side of US Rt. 11 north of its intersection with NY Rt. 80.  A second exposure nearby is a cut into the slope behind a motel on NY Rt. 80 a short distance east of its intersection with Rt. 11.   This exposure is located approximately 30 m below the Tully Limestone, which was once quarried further up the hill overlooking Tully.

       The fossils found at this site represent a community of organisms that were apparently adapted to life on and in a muddy sea floor with relatively high sediment loads in the water (such as many of the bivalves and gastropds), or those that freely swam in the water column (such as the cephalopods).   However, crinoids and some other forms that were probably more susceptible to fouling by sediments are occasionally found.  Several of the more calcareous layers in the approach a limestone in consistency, and contain other species such as frond-like bryozoa, some brachiopods, etc.  Corals are conspicuous in their near absence, presumably because the high sediment loads in the water would quickly smoother them.   A notable exception to this observation was the finding of a large Favosites in one of the calcareous layers this summer (1999).

 

Fossils found in the Windom Shale (Moscow Formation) at Tully, Onondaga Co., NY

Coral
Favosites hamiltoniae Hall
Bryozoa
Atactotoechus fructicosus (Hall) Hederella sp.
Lichenalia stellata Hall    Reptaria stolonifera Rolle
Sulcoretipora incisurata (Hall) Taeniopora exigua Nicholson 
Brachiopods
Crania crenistriata Hall   Craniella hamiltoniae Hall
Cryptonella planirostra Hall Elita fimbriata (Conrad)   
Leiorhynchus multicostum (Hall) Lingula spatulata Vanuxem
Longispina mucronata Hall Meristella haskinsi Hall
Mucrospirifer mucronatus (Conrad) Orbiculoidea media Hall
Pseudoatrypa devoniana Webster Rhipidomella penelope Hall   
Roemerella grandis Hall  Spinocyrtia granulosa (Conrad)
Striatochonetes setigerus (Hall) Tropidoleptus carinatus (Conrad)
Bivalves
Aviculopecten princeps (Conrad) Cypricardella bellastriata Conrad
Glossites sp. Gramatodon hamiltoniae Hall
Grammysia bisulcata Conrad Grammysioidea arcutata (Hall) ?
Leiopteria conradi Hall Modiomorpha concentrica (Conrad)
Mytilarca oviformis Conrad (?) Nucula corbuliformis Hall
Nuculites oblongatus Conrad N. triqueter Conrad
Orthonota sp. Paleoneilo constricta (Conrad)
P. emarginata (Conrad)   P. filosa (Conrad)
Paracyclas sp. Phestia brevirostra Hall
Prothyris lanceolata Hall Pseudoaviculopecten exactus  (Hall)
Pseudoaviculopecten scabridus (Hall)  Pterinopecten undosus Hall
Telinopsis subemerginata Hall
Gastropods
Bellopheron sp.? Glyptotomaria (Dictytomaria) capillaria (Conrad)
Holopea macrostomas Hall Paleozygopleura sp.
Platyceras erectum Hall Platyceras "thetis" Hall
Platystoma lineata Hall Ptomatis patulus Hall
Retispira leda Hall Straparollus sp.?
Cephalopods
Michelinoceras sp. Spyroceras nuntium (Hall)
Tornoceras (Tornoceras) uniangulare Conrad
Criciconarids
Tentaculites bellulus Hall
Hyolithids
Hyolithes sp.?
Crinoids
unidentified columnals Arthoacantha sp.
Gennaeocrinus sp. cf. G. carinatus Synaptocrinus nuntius Hall
Trilobites         
Basidechenella rowi (Green) Dipleura dekayi (Green)
Greenops boothi (Green) Phacops rana (Green)
Phyllocarids     
Echinocaris punctata Hall         Other unidentified sp.
Rhinocaris columbia Clarke.
Plants
unidentified fragments
Ichnofossils (Trace Fossils)
"Zoophycus"

 

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Page last revised Feb. 4, 2008