Dinosaur National Monument quarry map

February 25, 2015

The Carnegie Quarry, at Dinosaur National Monument, near Jensen, Utah, is arguably the most impressive dinosaur-fossil exhibit anywhere in the world — a covered, semi-excavated quarry that’s absolutely packed with big dinosaur fossils.

It’s also notoriously difficult to photograph: too big to fit into a single photo, and with poor contrast between the bones and matrix. This is the best picture I’ve found of part of it (from here) …


… although this one (from here) conveys the scale better:


It’s one of the great sadnesses of my life that I’ve yet to visit DNM.

The quarry is historically important: discovered by Earl Douglass in 1909, it yielded among other specimens CM 3018, the holotype of Apatosaurus louisae and the principle subject of Gilmore’s (1936) monograph.

I’ve only recently become aware (thanks, Matt!) of Ken Carpenter’s (2013) detailed treatment of the history, sedimentology and taphonomy of the quarry — an important work that deserves to be widely read. Pages 10-14 are largely taken up with parts A-E of figure 10 — a big multi-page map of the quarry, showing the location of its most important specimens. Unfortunately, the five sections of this figure are all at slightly different scales in the PDF. I’ve rescaled them and pasted them together into a single big (4387 × 1210) image which I reproduce here:

Carpenter (2013:fig 10): map of the Carnegie quarry, composited from parts A-E.

Carpenter (2013:fig 10): map of the Carnegie quarry, composited from parts A-E.


Update (six hours later)

I just heard from Ken Carpenter, who created the illustration. He has kindly sent me the full-resolution version — which is four times as big as the one I extracted from the PDF — and gave me permission to post it here on SV-POW! under the CC By licence. So here it is!

DNM Quarry map

Thanks, Ken!

Second update (12 March 2015)

Over on the Extinct Monsters blog, Ben Miller has published The Carnegie Quarry Diaspora. It’s a beautiful illustrated survey of some of the most important specimens to have come out of this quarry, including no fewer than seven important sauropod individuals.


12 Responses to “Dinosaur National Monument quarry map”

  1. Ben Says:

    Probably a dumb question, but is this a map of the quarry today, or are the removed specimens (CM 3018, USNM Diplodocus, etc) shown in situ?

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    Not a dumb question at all. This is not the quarry as it is today, but I suppose a sort of idealised version of how it was when it was all under the ground, before we took anything out. CM 3018 is of course mounted in the Carnegie Museum, next to the Carnegie Diplodocus CM 82.

  3. Dan Chure Says:

    Dinosaur National Monument and Brigham Young University are in the middle of a joint project which will result in a complete digitized map of the entire deposit and an associated, searchable database for all the fossils found here. The database will include individual bone photos, catalog data, information from the extensive Monument archives such as scientific correspondence, WPA work at Dinosaur, planning for the in-situ display, the three buildings that have at one time or another been up over part or all of the quarry, AMNH involvement in development of the quarry, historical photos of excavations and specimens, preparation notes, etc. We will also link photos of the diverse sedimentology in the quarry to hotspots on the map. Our ultimate goal is to have this freely available on line. We are very near completion of the digitized mapping, which includes maps that were never published and hence are not part of Carpenter’s excellent effort. The database building begin this summer. If you’re ever in this area Mike, stop by, we’d be glad to show you around.

  4. Mike Taylor Says:

    Wow, Dan, this is outstanding news! Thanks for sharing it.

    As for being “in the area” — can be assured that if my travels ever take me within striking distance of Carnegie Quarry, I’ll be there as quick as I humanly can be!

  5. Thomas Holtz Says:

    Yes, thanks for sharing!! This is really useful! Thanks to the SV-POW folks and Ken Carpenter for providing this!

  6. […] Addendum: Mike Taylor recently called attention to a gorgeous map of the entire deposit prepared by Ken Carpenter, which was what prompted this post. Check it out here. […]

  7. Did they find any giant humans?

  8. Mike Taylor Says:

    They did not; and neither did anyone else.

  9. Tom Johnson Says:

    Mike, Ken, and all: so it wasn’t just my astigmatism trying to line up the pages! Thanks!! Questions: (1) I notice between the two versions, the outlines of the original hillsides differ. I understand the original map (Gilmore 1936) did not match archival photographs and was corrected. (2) Photographs of the quarry wall: I visited the quarry just last week and took photographs with the available light. My photos have never approached the ones I’ve seen published, where the bones in the quarry wall are a rich brown, contrasting with the sandstone beautifully. This was the case in the “Barosaurus issue” of Natural History in the 1990s and the cover of Dinosaur: the Story Behind the Scenery, for example. Was the old building more brightly lit?

  10. […] a piece of signage from the wonderful Dinosaur National Monument, which we visited on the 2016 […]

  11. […] If you’d like to see the full quarry map (albeit sadly unlabeled by species) you can see that on Matt Wedel’s blog Sauropod Vertebra Picture of The Week (SVPOW). […]

  12. […] Dinosaur National Monument Sauropod wall found here […]

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