Nebraska During the Cenozoic Era

Welcome! These pages introduce the Cenozoic geology of Nebraska. Cenozoic deposits of terrestrial origin cover most of the state. Click on the links below to learn more about Nebraska during the Cenozoic Era.

Geologic Timescale and Paleogeography

Nebraska During the Cenozoic Era

Places to Visit

Cenozoic Animals of Nebraska

The image above is a reconstruction of life around an ancient waterhole in northeast Nebraska during the Miocene Epoch (approximately 12 million years ago). During the Miocene, a volcanic eruption in Idaho generated huge quantities of ash, which was then carried by the wind to Nebraska. This volcanic eruption quickly buried northeastern Nebraska in several feet of ash, thus creating a world-class fossil site known as Ashfall Fossil Beds. Fossils include complete and articulated skeletons of large mammals, birds, and turtles, as well as seeds of grasses and trees.