by Michael C. Wilson and Lionel E. Jackson Jr. Monday, February 8, 2016
It might surprise people to learn that some type sections can be found in cities. Type sites require conservation and protection. An example from the Vancouver metro area in British Columbia is a series of gravel pits along the Coquitlam River that are the type section for deposits associated with the Coquitlam glacial stade. The pits, which we visited as part of our field trip at the Geological Society of America meeting in Vancouver in 2014, have been a focus of public concern over issues ranging from aesthetics to the delivery of sediment to a nearby salmon stream; yet they have also been of vital economic importance in supplying raw material to a growing metropolis.
Reclamation of the pits would obliterate an important reference geological section. Unfortunately for science, whether through mining or reclamation, these deposits will ultimately be lost for study, as often occurs in urban settings. Temporary exposures can be of great value, but they require rapid responses to study and sample them while they are available.
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