Stratigraphic range: Cambrian stage 3
|Location||Western Nevada and Eastern California, USA|
The formation dates to the Stage 3 of the yet-to-be-ratified Cambrian Series 2; the lower portion base of the formation and the youngest lagerstatte beds date to the Nevadella trilobite zone (= Laurentian Montezuman stage), with higher beds dating to the Olenellus trilobite zone (= Laurentian Dyeran stage), making the formation the same age as the Sirius Passet and just younger than the Chengjiang. It outcrops in Esmerelda county in western Nevada.
The formation was deposited on an offshore shelf, and experienced storm-related pulses of siliciclastic sediment input. Like many other Burgess Shale-type lagerstatten, this unit was deposited on the Cordilleran margin of the Laurentian continent; it is among the oldest of the lagerstatten from this region.
The fossil preservation is markedly similar to that in Utah lagerstatten, particularly the Spence Shale. The quality of preservation was obtained by the rapid burial of organisms in obrution events, which buried them out of reach of would-be scavengers.
Most of the fauna is biomineralized, including brachiopods, hyolithids, trilobites, archeocyathids, and helicoplacoids, which are often articulated. Non-mineralized components of these fossils are also preserved, as are sponges, anomalocaridid parts, and a range of algae and cyanobacteria.
- English, Adam M.; Babcock, Loren E. (2010). "Census of the Indian Springs Lagerstätte, Poleta Formation (Cambrian), western Nevada, USA". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 295 (1–2): 236. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.05.041.
- McKee, E. H.; Gangloff, R. A. (1969). "Stratigraphic Distribution of Archaeocyathids in the Silver Peak Range and the White and Inyo Mountains, Western Nevada and Eastern California". Journal of Paleontology 43 (3): 716–726. JSTOR 1302466.