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Lompoc Quarry (Miocene of the United States)

Also known as UCMP V2502, Celite Company #5 quarry, John Mansfield quarry

Where: Santa Barbara County, California (34.6° N, 120.4° W: paleocoordinates 34.1° N, 117.6° W)

• coordinate estimated from map

When: Monterey Formation, Tortonian (11.6 - 7.2 Ma)

• Diatomaceous beds are considered to be the equivalent to the Temblor. Kellogg (1922) said this was early Miocene, but Demere et al. (2005) assign it to the Tortonian; formation and age after Chang & Grimm 1999 (8.2 to 7.3 Ma, Barron, pers. com). Much debate in the literature on the formation name and age of these beds. Others identify the formation as Sisquoc. Behl & Ramirez 2000 agree that the Monterey Formation is exposed in the quarry, but give an age range of 8.5-5.5 Ma (J. Barron, pers. com.)

•Diatom flora corresponds to Rouxia californica Zone of AKIBA (1986), Late Miocene, approximately 7.7-6.4 Ma. Taminura, Yoshihiro (USNM KEMu database entry date 12 Oct. 2010)

•According to the original description, the skull was found by workers of the Celite Products Company quarrying diatomaceous earth, “about 140 feet below the exposed surface of the bed” ([159: 3]). Recent studies focusing on the diatomaceous deposits quarried near Lompoc reported that roughly 218 metres of diatomite, belonging to the upper siliceous member of the Monterey Formation, are exposed at the Celite diatomite quarry [160]. These deposits range from 8.2–7.3 Ma, with the latter date denoting the upper limit of the economically mineable deposits [160]. A similar date is suggested by the diatom assemblage contained in the matrix adhering to the holotype specimen (Rouxia californica Zone/ NPD7A; 7.6–6.6 Ma [161, 162]) [23; N. Kohno 2015, pers. comm.]. Together, these data suggest a latest Tortonian age (7.6–7.3 Ma) for M. miocaena. Note that additional specimens possibly referable to “M.” miocaena have also been reported from the Late Miocene–Pliocene Purisima, San Mateo and San Diego formations (California, USA). Pending further study, these specimens may extend the range of the lineage by up to 5 Ma. (Marx & Fordyce, 2015)

• formation-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: basinal (); diatomite

• deep Pacific basin

Size class: macrofossils

Preservation: original phosphate

Reposited in the USNM

Collection methods: surface (in situ),

Primary reference: R. Kellogg. 1922. Description of the skull of Megaptera miocaena, a fossil humpback whale from the Miocene diatomaceous earth of Lompoc, California. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 61(14):1-18 [M. Uhen/M. Uhen/M. Uhen] more details

Purpose of describing collection: general faunal/floral analysis

PaleoDB collection 45489: authorized by Mark Uhen, entered by Mark Uhen on 25.10.2004, edited by Jonathan Marcot

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)