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Life in Ohio 438 M.Y.A.!
Ohio was located south of the Equater during this time period. Ohio was dominated by shallow seas that were full of coral reefs that were home to many invertebrates, cephalopods, and jawed fish. The first land plants appeared during the period, making animal life on land possible!
Ohio and the Silurian Period438 - 408 MillionYears Ago
Halite FormationDue to the tropical cimate in Ohio at the time, rocks and minerals called evaporates formed. An evaporate is a rock or mineral that forms as the result of seawater evaporating. As water evaporated from seas minerals such as halite and gysum were left behind. The seawater would refill these basins and evaoporate again leaving more minerals behind.Halite MiningThe result was thick, economically important deposits of halite, which is salt, and smaller amounts of gypsum. Today, Ohio is one of top salt-producing states in the nation. Ohio boasts the nation’s deepest salt-mining operation, some up to 2000 feet deep and extending some 2 miles under Lake Erie. These salt mines provide rock salt for snow and ice control.Other Rocks and Minerals Formed in Ohio During the Silurian PeriodRocks and minerals formed during the Silurian Period in Ohio are of great economic importance to the state. The western half of the state has supplies of limestone and dolomite that is used for road construction, commercial building, concrete, and agricultural and chemical lime.Oil and gas have also been produced from Silurian rocks. Large reserves of natural gas – over 3 trillion cubic feet – are located under Lake Erie. Of particular importance is a sandstone beneath eastern Ohio known to drillers as the Clinton. Large amounts of natural gas have been produced from more than 75,000 Clinton wells.The largest sandstone quarry in the world is located in Amherst, Ohio. Sand, gypsum, and limestone used for construction purposes are found in abundance. Many museum quality specimens of crystals of celestite, fluorite, sphalerite, galena, pyrite, and marcasite have been collected in northwestern Ohio.
First Land Plants