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Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
"Environmental reconstruction and stratigraphy in
the Palaeozoic"
workshop in honour of the 125th obit of Bernhard von Cotta
"Late Westphalian terrestrial biotas and
palaeoenvironments of the Variscan foreland and
adjacent intramontane basins"
2004 Central European Meeting of IGCP 469
▬▬▬ October, 9 – 11, 2004 ▬▬▬
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Bernhard von Cotta, the famous German geologist, was born in a foresters lodge near
Eisenach, on the 24th of October 1808. He was educated at Dresden, Tharandt, Freiberg and
Heidelberg. From 1842 till 1874 he held the professorship of geology at the Bergakademie
Freiberg ("mining academy"). Botany at first attracted him, and he was one of the earliest to
use the microscope in determining the structure of fossil plants. Later on he gave his attention
to practical geology, to the study of ore-deposits, of rocks and metamorphism. He was
regarded as an excellent teacher. His classification and description of rocks (a Treatise on
Lithology which was translated by P.H. Lawrence in 1866) was the first comprehensive work
on the subject issued in the English language, and it gave great impetus to the study of rocks
in Britain. Bernhard von Cotta died at Freiberg on the 14th of September 1879.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Prof. Dr. J.W. Schneider & Dr. Olaf Elicki
Department of Palaeontology
Geological Institute
Freiberg University
Bernhard-von-Cotta street 2
09599 Freiberg
: + 49 (0) 3731 - 39 - 2856
: + 49 (0) 3731 - 39 - 3599
: [email protected]
[email protected]
Dr. Christopher Cleal
Department Biosyb
National Museums & Galleries of Wales
Cardiff CF10 3NP
United Kingdom
: + 44 (0) 2920 573310
: + 44 (0) 2920 239829
: [email protected]
Dr. Stanislav Opluštil
Faculty of Science
Charles University
Albertov 6
128 43 Praha
Czech Republic
: + 42 (0) 22195 1502
: + 42 (0) 2291 425
: op[email protected]
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Welcome at Freiberg University !
List of participants
Meeting schedule
Bek, J.: Carboniferous sphenophyllalean spores and their parent plants
Cassinis, G. & Santi, G.: Westphalian to Triassic continental deposits between the
Como and Maggiore lakes, Italy/Switzerland, and regional implications: an overview
................. 10
Cleal, C.J.: The Westphalian macrofloral record from the cratonic Central Pennines Basin, UK
................. 12
Dimitrova, T., Cleal, C.J. & Thomas, B.A.: Palynology of late Westphalian – early Stephanian
coal-bearing deposits in the eastern South Wales Coalfield
................. 13
Doktor, M., Gradziński, R., Gmu, D. & Kędzior, A.: Sedimentary environments and changes
of peat-forming conditions during deposition of the Kraków Sandstone Series, Upper Silesia
Coal Basin, Poland
................. 14
Drábková, J.: Palynological assemblages from Radčice locality near Plzeň (Cantabrian,
Nýřany Member, Plzeň Basin, Bohemian Massif)
................. 16
Evans, B.G.: Geoparks, coalfields and South Wales: a sustainable sombination?
................. 17
Jarzembowski, E.: Animal/animal interaction in the Late Carboniferous
................. 18
Kiersnowski, H., Maliszewska, A. & Jackowicz,E.: Advances in Rotliegend rocks stratigraphy,
palaeogeography and petrology within the Brandenburg-Wolsztyn High and its vicinity
(W-Poland Variscan Externides)
................. 20
Libertin, M.: Autecology of Calamites preserved in tuff (Czech Republic, Bolsovian)
................. 22
Lozovsky, V.: Paramount biological event inside of Permian
................. 23
McLean, D.: A review of late Westphalian palynological datasets from northwestern European
................. 25
Menning, M., Alekseev, A., Chuvashov, B.I., Davydov, V.I., Forke, H.C., Heckel, P.H., Jin, Y.G.,
Jones, P.J., Kozur, H., Nemyrovska, T.I., Schneider, J.W., Weddige, K., & Weyer, D.:
Devonian-Carboniferous-Permian correlation chart 2003 (DCP 2003)
................. 27
Oliwkiewicz-Miklašinska, M.: Record of plant communities in peat and surrounding areas on
the base of palynological analysis (examples from coal-bearing succession in Upper Silesia
Coal Basin)
................. 28
Opluštil, S.: Lepidodendraceae of the Late Paleozoic continental basins of the Czech Republic
................. 29
Paul, J.: Stratigraphy and facies analysis of the Naab Basin (Permo-Carboniferous, E-Bavaria,
................. 30
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Pešek, J. & Sýkorová, I.: Significance of clastic dykes and coal clasts for timing of organic
matter coalification
................. 32
Popa, M.E.: Carboniferous megafloras from Romania
................. 34
Pšenicka, J., Bek, J. & Opluštil, S.: Carboniferous ferns from the tuff horizon, Kladno Formation
(Bolsovian), Czech Republic
................. 36
Süß, H. & Schultka, S.: Fusain from Upper Jurassic marine influenced sediments in Tanzania
................. 37
Šimůnek, Z.: Palaeobotanical research in the Carboniferous and Permian horizons of the
Boskovice Furrow
................. 38
Štamberg, S.: Lower Permian actinopterygian fishes and their occurrence in the fossiliferous
horizons of the Boskovice Graben
................. 39
Tenchov, Y.: Early Westphalian sediments of Dobrudzha Coal Field (NE Bulgaria) –
stratigraphy, depositional conditions, interpretation
................. 40
Thomas, B.: A re-examination of some Upper Carboniferous herbaceous lycophytes from the
Westphalian of the Zwickau coalfield, Germany
................. 41
Tröger, K.-A.& Walter, H.: The significance of Bernhard von Cotta for the development of the
geological sciences
................. 43
van Waveren, I.M., Hasibuan, F., Booi, M., Boer, P.L., Chaney, D., Konijnenburg J.H.A. &
Wagner, R.H.: First results from the 2004 expedition to the lower Permian of Sumatra: are the
different plant associations from the Mengkarang Formation related to differences in
................. 45
workshop handouts:
Gaitzsch, B. & Schneider, J. W.: Lower Carboniferous paralic to peri-montaneous palustine
and fluvial environments
................. 47
Schneider, J.W., Walter, H. & Tschernay, P.: Lower Permian volcanic influenced lacustrine
biota from the NW Saxony Volcanite Complex
................. 56
Schneider, J.W., Kaulfuß, U. & Fischer, J.: Autunian fluvial to lacustrine facies from the
Massif Central (France)
................. 60
Legler, B., Schneider, J.W., Gand, G. & Körner, F.: Playa and sabkha environments from
Northern Germany and Southern France
................. 64
excursion guide:
Schneider, J.W.: "Permocarboniferous of the Erzgebirge basin"
................. 84
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Welcome at Freiberg University !
Dear participants,
we are very delighted to welcome you at the Geological Institute of the Freiberg University.
The intension of this scientific meeting is to follow the thread of our international workshops
on the Rotliegend in 1997 and on the Upper Carboniferous and early Triassic in 2002. So, we
are looking forward to new ideas and interesting discussions during the three next days.
This time, there is a very fortunate combination of an international workshop in honour of the
25th obit of Bernhard von Cotta:
“Environmental reconstruction and stratigraphy in the Palaeozoic”,
and the IGCP 469 Central European Meeting on:
“Late Westphalian terrestrial biotas and palaeoenvironments of the Variscan foreland and
adjacent intramontane basins”.
The broad range of scientific topics in the numerous oral and poster presentations is fully in
the sense of Cotta, who has done his phd on silicified woods from the Rotliegend, who has
further worked on field mapping projects in Saxony and Thuringia, who has documented
many drillings and who has evaluated the coal deposits in Saxony as a competent expert.
Furthermore, Cotta was interested in palaeobotany, in the distribution of species through time
and in the reconstruction of the global climate history.
This broad range is the idea of our meeting, too: from local observation to regional
conclusions and global processes.
So, we wish interesting sessions, a successful excursion and a very pleasant stay at the
Geological Institute of the world’s oldest montanous university Bergakademie and at our nice
mediaeval silver-mining town.
Jörg W. Schneider
Olaf Elicki
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
NITG & National Geological Survey,
The Netherlands
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Pavia University, Italy
[email protected]
National Museums & Galleries of Wales,
[email protected]
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia
[email protected]
Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków
[email protected]
Czech Geological Survey, Prague
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
National Museums & Galleries of Wales,
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Geological Survey of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
[email protected]
Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Natural History Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
GeoResearchCentre, Potsdam, Germany
[email protected]
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, U.K.
[email protected]
Natural History Museum, Mainz, Germany
[email protected]
Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków
[email protected]
Polish Geological Institute, Warsaw
[email protected]
Freiberg, Germany
Geological Survey of Brandenburg,
Kleinmachnow, Germany
[email protected]
Chemnitz, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Prague National Museum, Czechia
[email protected]
Czech Geological Survey, Prague
[email protected]
Geological Prospecting Institute, Moscow,
[email protected]
Sheffield University, U.K.
[email protected]
GeoResearchCentre, Potsdam, Germany
[email protected]
Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków
[email protected]
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Charles University, Prague, Czechia
[email protected]
Göttingen University, Germany
[email protected]
Charles University, Prague, Czechia
[email protected]
Bucharest University, Romania
[email protected]
West Bohemian Museum, Plzeň, Czechia
[email protected]
Natural History Museum, Chemnitz, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Fraunhofer Institut für Elektronenstrahl- und
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Natural History Museum, Berlin, Germany
[email protected]
Czech Geological Survey, Prague
[email protected]
Museum of Eastern Bohemia, Hradec Králové,
[email protected]
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia
[email protected]
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Naturalis, Leiden, The Netherlands
[email protected]
Martin-Luther-University, Halle, Germany
[email protected]
Geological Survey of Saxony, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Freiberg University, Germany
[email protected]
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
meeting schedule
registration and organisation desk
Geological Institute (Humboldt-building, Bernhard-von Cotta street 2)
10.00 – 21.00 h
7.30 – 19.00 h (7.30 – 11.30 h at the Mineralogical Institute, Brennhausgasse 14)
8.00 – 18.00
Friday, 08/10/2004
icebreaker party (19.00 h) at the Geological Institute
Saturday, 09/10/2004
8.00 – 8.10
8.10 – 8.15
8.15 – 8.35
8.35 – 8.55
Schneider, J.W. & Cleal, C.J.
Elicki, O.
chairman: C.J. Cleal
Jarzembowski, E.
Štamberg, S.
8.55 – 9.15
Šimůnek, Z.
9.15 – 9.35
Paul, J.
9.35 – 9.55
9.55 – 10.15
coffee break & posters
chairman: S. Opluštil
Evans, B.G.
10.15 – 10.35
McLean, D.
10.35 – 10.55
Oliwkiewicz-Miklašinska, M.
10.55 – 11.15
Bek, J.
11.15 – 13.30
13.30 – 13.50
13.50 – 14.10
chairman: M. Menning
Popa, M.E.
Opluštil, S.
14.10 – 14.30
Cleal, C.J.
14.30 – 14.50
van Waveren, I.M. et al.
14.50 – 15.10
coffee break & posters
chairman: G. Cassinis
Doktor, M. et al.
15.10 – 15.30
organisational advises
Animal/animal interaction in the Late Carboniferous
Lower Permian actinopterygian fishes and their occurrence
in the fossiliferous horizons of the Boskovice Graben
Palaeobotanical research in the Carboniferous and Permian
horizons of the Boskovice Furrow
Stratigraphy and facies analysis of the Naab Basin (PermoCarboniferous, E-Bavaria, Germany)
Geoparks, coalfields and South Wales: a sustainable
A review of late Westphalian palynological datasets from
northwestern European basins
Record of plant communities in peat and surrounding areas
on the base of palynological analysis (examples from coalbearing succession in Upper Silesia Coal Basin)
Carboniferous sphenophyllalean spores and their parent
Carboniferous megafloras from Romania
Lepidodendraceae of the Late Paleozoic continental basins
of the Czech Republic
The Westphalian macrofloral record from the cratonic
Central Pennines Basin, UK
First results from the 2004 expedition to the lower Permian
of Sumatra: are the different plant associations from the
Mengkarang Formation related to differences in lithofacies?
Sedimentary environments and changes of peat-forming
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
15.30 – 15.50
Libertin, M.
15.50 – 16.10
Pšenicka, J. et al.
16.10 – 16.30
Thomas, B.
16.20 – 16.50
16.50 – 17.10
coffee break & posters
chairman: J.W. Schneider
Tenchov, Y.
17.10 – 17.30
17.30 – 18.00
Lozovsky, V.
Menning, M. et al.
Schneider, J.W. & Cleal, C.J.
conditions during deposition of the Kraków Sandstone
Series, Upper Silesia Coal Basin, Poland
Autecology of Calamites preserved in tuff (Czech Republic,
Carboniferous ferns from the tuff horizon, Kladno
Formation (Bolsovian), Czech Republic
A re-examination of some Upper Carboniferous herbaceous
lycophytes from the Westphalian of the Zwickau coalfield,
Early Westphalian sediments of Dobrudzha Coal Field (NE
Bulgaria): stratigraphy, depositional conditions, interpretation
Paramount biological event inside of Permian
Devonian-Carboniferous-Permian correlation chart 2003
(DCP 2003)
closing words
Sunday, 10/10/2004
8.30 – 8.40
8.40 – 9.00
Schneider, J.W.
Tröger, K-A. & Walter, H.
9.00 – 10.15
Gaitzsch, B. & Schneider, J.
coffee break & posters
Schneider, J. W., Walter, H.
& Tschernay, P.
Schneider, J. W., Kaulfuß, U.
& Fischer, J.
coffee break & posters
Legler, B., Schneider, J. W.,
Gand, G. & Körner, F.
Schneider, J.W.
10.15 – 10.35
10.35 – 11.50
11.50 – 14.00
14.00 – 15.15
15.15 – 15.35
15.35 – 16.50
workshop opening lecture:
The significance of Bernhard von Cotta for the development
of the geological sciences
Lower Carboniferous paralic to peri-montaneous palustine
and fluvial environments
Lower Permian volcanic influenced lacustrine biota from the
NW Saxony Volcanite Complex
Autunian fluvial to lacustrine facies from the Massif Central
Playa and sabkha environments from Northern Germany and
Southern France
closing words
Monday, 11/10/2004
7.30 h
one-day field trip
Schneider, J.W.:
“Carboniferous and Permian of the Zwickau and Erzgebirge Basins”
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Carboniferous sphenophyllalean spores and their parent plants
J. Bek
Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Palaeoecology, Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences, Rozvojova 135,
165 00 Prague 6, Czechia, [email protected]
Sphenophylls belong represent the relatively small group of Carboniferous plants, although they are reported in
the global scope. Sphenophyllalean plants were assigned to different genera like Sphenophyllum, Bowmanites,
Sphenophyllostachys, Koinostachys, Rotularia, Volkmannia, Sphenophyllites, Aspidiostachys and Anastachys.
The most important papers were published by Hoskins and CROSS (1943) and REMY (1955), which divided
sphenophylls into three groups. Author studied several compressions of sphenophyllalean cones palynologically,
i.e. their in situ spores from Carboniferous of the Czech Republic (Langsettian-Stephanian). It is possible to
divide sphenophyllalean spores into seven groups:
The first group consists of simple laevigate trilete microspores of the Calamospora-type. Morphological
variation is enormous and spores from a one cone can be compared with several dispersed calamospore species.
These spores were reported mainly by REMY (1955) from the Pennsylvanian of Germany.
The second group is represented by laevigate monolete spores of the intermediate and large size (over 35 µm).
These spores are known from petrified and compression specimens of species like Bowmanites myriophyllum, B.
majus and several others. The classification of such dispersed monoletes depends only on the diameter and these
spores can be correlated with several dispersed species of genera Laevigatosporites (oval shape) and
Latosporites (circular shape).
Cones of the the third group yielded operculate trilete pseudocavate spores of the Vestispora-type, which are
described from compression and coal-balls specimens of species like Bowmanites emarginatum, B. cuneifolium,
B. nonbracteatum, Koinostachys iowensis and others. Vestispores isolated from a cone are closely similar and
belong to the same dispersed species-Vestispora magna, V. pseudoreticulata, V. fenestrata and V. tortuosa.
Strobili of the Bowmanites dawsonii-B. weissii-type represent the fourth group of sphenophyllalean spores.
These spores are trilete, operculate and can be compared with the dispersed genus Pteroretis. They are described
mainly from coal-balls of USA and recently from the Czech Republic. All of them are more or less same and
belong to the same dispersed species.
The fifth group consists of big (over 100 µm) thick-walled trilete laevigate spores of the Punctatisporites obesustype and all of them are identical. These spores are reported only from two species (Bowmanites pseudoaquensis
and B. brasensis) Pennsylvanian of the Czech Republic.
The sixth group is represented by relatively big reticulate spores of the Dictyotriletes muricatus-type and again
all of them can be assigned to the same dispersed species. In situ D. muricatus spores are described only from
one specimen from coal-balls of USA (Andrews and Agashe 1962) and from two compression specimens from
the Bolsovian of the Czech Republic.
Cones of the the seventh group yielded monolete spores with prominent sculpture of outer exine layer and all of
them can be asigned to the dispersed genus Columinisporites. These spores are reported only from coal-balls of
It is evident, that macrofloristic division of sphenophylls into three groups does not correspond with
palynological division (seventh groups), based on the in situ spores. It is an appeal for the revision of
Carboniferous sphenophylls and close collaboration of macropalaeobotanists and palynologists. It is possible to
conclude, that sphenophylls is not an homogeneous group of Carboniferous plants and needed further research.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Westphalian to Triassic continental deposits between the Como and Maggiore lakes,
Italy/Switzerland, and regional implications: an overview
G. Cassinis & G. Santi
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pavia, via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy, [email protected]
The Manno Conglomerate, occurring between the Maggiore and Como lakes in very scattered outcrops,
generally pinched along tectonic lines, represents the oldest Carboniferous sedimentary formation in the western
Southern Alps. It is made up of conglomerates and sandstones to siltstones only composed of metamorphic and
vein-type quartz clastics. Bedding is often irregular and some channeling is observed. The thickness varies from
0-15 m in the Val Sanagra (Venzo & Maglia, 1947), to 20-30 m in the Val Rezzo and in the upper Val Colla, and
to ca.100 m beneath the Denti della Vecchia (Lehner, 1952).
Venzo (1951) ascribed the Alpe Logone macrofloras in Val Sanagra, yielding Calamites spp., Pecopteris
plumosa, Neuropteris flexuosa, Linopteris neuropteroides, Lepidodendron weltheimi, Lepidophyllum majus,
abundant Sigillariae and other forms, to the Westphalian C. Jongmans (1950), due to the presence of Linopteris
neuropteroides, Pecopteridium, Sigillariaephyllum, Cordaites cf. borassifolius, earlier related the floras of the
type locality of Manno in the contiguous Canton Ticino to the Westphalian B and C, but later (1960) proposed to
assign all these plants found in the Swiss/Italian area to a slightly younger Westphalian age.
The Manno unmetamorphosed deposits represent the product of erosion of the Variscan mountain chain, and
thus the contact with the crystalline basement is marked by a gap of as yet unknown time duration. The Manno
molasses likely infilled a fault-bounded intracontinental basin characterised by fluviolacustrine and
fluviopalustrine environments. As a consequence, these deposits gave rise to a first tectonosedimentary cycle,
that, according to literature (Italian IGCP 203 Group, 1986, and so on), mostly developed during the Early
Permian and even up to Mid-Permian ages, throughout the entire Southern Alpine domain and other parts of
Europe; whereas the overlying cycle, generally encompassing the Permian-Triassic boundary, began in the study
area a long time after, marked by the so-called “Verrucano-Servino Series”, which, due to recent research
(Sciunnach et al., 1996), took place generally from the Early Triassic.
The examined region, e.g. along the Germignaga-Bedero road on the eastern side of Lake Maggiore, also
includes some sandy-conglomeratic clastic layers of light-grey colour, locally bearing anthracite-type coal rockfragments with badly preserved plant remnants (including Sigillaria), presumably related by Venzo & Maglia
(1947) to Stephanian. Generally these clastics derive from the metamorphic basement, but in the nearby area,
some coarse-grained sequences, such as those cropping out along the Luino-Laveno railway-line, show the
additional presence of big volcanic lithics probably testifying to preliminary igneous activity. Therefore, we are
induced to suggest that this horizon represents a younger episode with respect to the typical Manno
The described Upper Carboniferous clastics, in the area between the Lugano and Maggiore lakes, are followed
above by a voluminous succession of prevalent Lower Permian volcanics. These igneous products are, however,
largely lacking between the Lugano line and Lake Como, as well as between the Porlezza corridor of the former
lake and, northward, the territory cut by M. Grona, Val Colla and the Jorio-Tonale lines. On the whole, we can
thus reasonably suggest that this northeast sector of the investigated region, which was the site of a Westphalian
basin sedimentation, was probably affected from latest Carboniferous to Permian times by tectonic movements
that generated one or more structural highs, in connection with a period of transcurrent megashears and plate
reorganisation compatible with the coeval tectonic setting of Variscan Europe (Arthaud & Matte, 1977 and so
on). Some important Carboniferous and Permian lines, such as the M. Grona line, likely pulsed in this context,
though they assumed their present geometry during the Alpine orogenesis.
A mainly terrigenous sequence known as “Servino-Verrucano Series” and Bellano Formation, underlying the
Late Anisian-Ladinian carbonates, was deposited in the Lake Lugano-Lake Como region probably beginning
from the Early to Middle Triassic times. The conglomerates and sandstones of the former unit are derived from
the erosion of the Variscan basement and of the volcanics of the Lugano area, and at a regional scale, form a
transgressive unconformable sequence deposited in alluvial plains, coming from the east. The clastic succession
of the latter unit consists again of conglomerates and sandstones lithologically similar to the “Verrucano-Servino
Series”. In the light of the above and from a comparison with the stratigraphic succession of central Lombardy,
and in agreement with Sciunnach et al. (1996) we also suggest that a formal use of this “Verrucano-Servino
Series” - introduced by previous authors in the area west of Lake Como, where the Upper Permian to Anisian
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
succession represented by the Verrucano Lombardo, the Prato Solaro Member, most of the Servino Formation,
the Carniola di Bovegno and most of the Bellano Formation are lacking - appears improper and should thus be
BERTOTTI G. (1991): Early Mesozoic extension and Alpine shortening in the western Southern Alps: the geology
of the area between Lugano and Menaggio (Lombardy, Northern Italy). Mem. Sci. Geol., Padova, con 1 carta
geologica, 43: 17-123.
Italian IGCP 203 Group (ed.) (1986): Permian nd Permian-Triassic boundary in the South-Alpine segment of the
Western Tethys. Field Guidebook. Field Conf. SGI-IGCP Proj. 23, July 1986, Brescia (Italy), Tipolit. Comm.
Pavese: 180 pp.
JONGMANS W.J. (1050): Mitteilungen zur Karbonflora der Schweiz, I. Eclogae Geol. Helv., 43/2: 95-104.
JONGMANS W. J. (1960): Die Karbonflora der Schweiz. Beitr. Geol. Karte Schweiz, N.F., 108: 1-95.
LEHNER P. (1952): Sue Geologie des Gebietes der Denti della Vecchia, des M. Broglia, des M. Brè, und des M.
San Salvatore bei Lugano. Eclogae Geol. Helv., 45: 86-159.
SCIUNNACH D., GARZANTI E. & GONFALONIERI M.P. (1996): Stratigraphy and petrography of Upper Permian to
Anisian terrigenous wedges (Verrucano Lombardo, Servino and Bellano Formations; western Southern
Alps). Riv. It. Paleont. Strat., 102: 27-48.
VENZO S. (1951) : Les gisements nouveaux du Carbonifère (Westphalien) dans les Alpes Lombardes. C.R. 31ème
Congrès de Strat. et de Géol. du Carbonifère, Heerlen 1951, pp. 647-649.
VENZO S. & MAGLIA L. (1947): Lembi carboniferi trasgressivi sui micascisti alla 2fronte sedimentaria
subalpina” del Comasco (Acquaseria di Menaggio-Bocchetta di S.Bernardo) e del Varesotto (Bedero). Atti
Soc. It. Sci. Nat., 86: 33-70.
Fig. 1: Geological map of the area between Lugano and Menaggio, in the western Southern Alps. DV = Denti
della Vecchia; C = Catenina; PZ = I Pizzoni; SP = Sassi della Porta; SC = Sassi di Cusino; MP0 Monte
Piaggia; MG = Monte della Grona; SSM = Sasso di S. Martino. (After BERTOTTI, 1991, modified).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
The Westphalian macrofloral record from the cratonic Central Pennines Basin, UK
C.J. Cleal
Department of Biodiversity & Systematic Biology, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Cathays Park,
Cardiff CF10 3NP, U.K., [email protected]
The Central Pennines Basin includes a number of important coalfields, most notably the YorkshireNottinghamshire-Derbyshire, Lancashire and North Staffordshire Coalfields. It has a continuous coal-bearing
succession from the base of the Langsettian through to the upper Bolsovian Stage, together with some upper
Westphalian D. Being an essentially cratonic basin, which was little affected by Variscan tectonic activity, it has
an extensive and well-preserved macroflora record. This was extensively investigated in the late 19th and early
20th century, most notably through the work of ROBERT KIDSTON. It formed the basis of early ideas concerning
the use of plant macrofossils for correlating and classifying coal-bearing strata of this age. Surprisingly,
however, it has never subject to a formal biostratigraphical analysis, in the same way as was done in South
Wales by EMILY DIX, and more recently by the present author.
The author has undertaken a review of the published Central Pennines macrofloras as part of a contribution to
the UK part of IUGS’s Carboniferous of the World project. A total of 197 species/varieties have been recorded
(48 lycophytes, 39 sphenophytes, 5 sphenophylls, 44 ferns, 48 pteridosperms, 11 cordaites, 7 others) in
KIDSTON’s publications and in the publications (e.g. sheet monographs) of the British Geological Survey. Many
of the records are clearly old and the taxonomy of the species has been revised in the intervening years. It has
been possible to update many of the identifications, in particular for the pteridosperms and ferns. However, for
some of the other groups this is more problematic, most notably for the lycophytes.
Based on these partly revised records, a detailed range chart has been prepared for the macrofloral species in the
Central Pennines Basin. This shows that that the standard biozones recognised in the Variscan Foreland
coalfields such as South Wales, can also be recognised here. It also allows the rate of species extinctions and
originations through the Central Pennines Basin succession to be examined, to establish patterns of vegetation
change to be determined.
It is evident that during the Langsettian and Duckmantian, the Central Pennines Basin represented a relatively
undisturbed habitat allowing the coal forest ecosystem to flourish. There was a steady rate of species and
origination, with the flooding caused by eustatic sea-level rises having little significant impact on the
macrofloras. During the Bolsovian, however, there appears to have been a marked decline in plant biodiversity,
and towards the end of the Bolsovian the coal forest habitats seem to have all but vanished here. There was a
brief resurgence of coal forests during the late Westphalian D, apparently coincident with changes identified in
southern Britain that have been linked with Variscan tectonic activity. Low diversity macrofloras persist into the
lower Cantabrian but then disappear.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Palynology of late Westphalian – early Stephanian coal-bearing deposits in the eastern
South Wales Coalfield
T. Dimitrova1, C.J. Cleal2 & B.A. Thomas3
Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Street, Block 24, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria,
[email protected]; 2Department of Biodiversity & Systematic Biology, National Museums & Galleries of
Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP, UK,: [email protected]; 3Welsh Institute of Rural Sciences,
University of Wales, Llanbadarn Campus, Aberystwyth SY23 2EX, UK, [email protected]
Roof shales above coals in the eastern part of the South Wales Coalfield have yielded diverse and well-preserved
palynofloras. They indicate that the Llantwit No. 1 and No. 2 seams are Stephanian in age, and thus correlate
with the Household Coals Member in the Forest of Dean. Until the formation of the highest coal seam in the
succession (No. 1 Llantwit seam) conditions were progressively becoming wetter, as indicated by an increase in
abundance of lycopsids and a decline in the cordaites. However, after the formation of this stratigraphically
highest coal, the lycopsids declined significantly indicating that conditions suddenly became drier, perhaps as a
result of uplift of the area as the Variscan Front to the south steadily pressed forwards.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Sedimentary environments and changes of peat-forming conditions during deposition of
the Kraków Sandstone Series, Upper Silesia Coal Basin, Poland
M. Doktor, R. Gradziński, D. Gmur & A. Kędzior
Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków Research Centre, Senacka 1, 31-002,
Kraków, Poland, [email protected]
Sediments of the Kraków Sandstone Series are the uppermost and the youngest part of the coal-bearing
succession of the Upper Silesia Coal Basin. The area of the Kraków Sandstone Series extends from the west to
east for about 80 km, and from the north to south about 40 km. All of the borders of this area have erosional
character. The characteristic feature of this series is the presence of thick packages of coarse sediments (coarse
and middle-coarse sandstones with conglomerates intercalations): their thickness is usually a few to dozen
meters, but in some cases reach even 100 m. Coarse-grained packages are usually separated by a thin, usually up
to a few meters thick interbeds of fine-grained sediments. In the fine-grained sediments there occur quite thick
up to 6 m coal seams.
Coarse-grained packages are interpreted as sediments of braided rivers, deposited within channel tracts. The
braided type of rivers is confirmed by: predominance of sandstone in the whole series, quite small part of finegrained sediments and almost lack of fine-grained intercalations in the thick sandstone bodies ambit.
Sedimentological features give evidence for such type of rivers as well; we can see a similarity to the known
inchannel sediments of modern sandy braided rivers as well to the fossil sediments, interpreted as sediments of
such rivers. Comparison of the sandstones package sequences with the model sequences of present channel
rivers sediments, after MIALL (1978), show the most similarities with the Platte River sequence, representing
distal sandy braided river.
Huge thickness of the many sandstone packages and features of the sequence with a complex internal structure
suggest, that such packages could arise as a result of occupying for a long time the same place, just little
migrating river tract. We can’t however exclude, that their arise as a result of superposition of a few different
generation of the channel tracts caused by migration or avulsion.
Fine-grained packages are interpreted as overbank sediments deposited on the floodplain, where the fine-grained
sediments - mudstones were in predominance. Most of them were deposited from suspension during periodic
floods. Some of the mudstones, which are characterized by horizontal, delicate lamination and flat squeezed
plant pieces, were the most probably deposited in shallow lakes of floodplain. The lakes could arise owing to
reducing the surface area below the level of ground waters, thanks to compaction or tectonically induced
subsidence, which were not compensate by accretion of sediments. Relatively rare intercalation consists with
fine-grained sandstones or heteroliths, present in the fine-grained intervals, are imputed by crevasse splays,
which were develop in the adjacent to the channel tract zone.
Coal seams are the product of peat, which had a good swampy condition on a floodplain. Most often there were a
peat of a forest-type with differential humidity level, rarely peat of herbaceous-type. The presence of seat-earth
below of the most coal seams level, point out on autochthonous character of the seams. The most widespread
peatland was covered the area probably of a few hundred square meters. But many of them were smaller, what
we can observe in the last stage of phytogenic material accumulations and as well different amount and thickness
of the coal seams was observed in the profiles of the particular drill-holes.
Although beginning of phytogenic sedimentation in the Kraków Sandstone Series peat bogs took place in
herbaceous and mixed swamp environment most frequently. Peat deposition during the formation of the Kraków
Sandstone Series coal seams occurred predominantly in conditions of the wet forest swamp in the telmatic zone.
The vertical and lateral trend has been found in the variation of peat-bog types during sedimentation of Kraków
Sandstone Series. The coal seams in the lower part of this series originated mostly in the conditions of wet forest
swamp. In the middle part of Kraków Sandstone Series profile, coal seams descended mainly in herbaceous
swamp. The coal seams from upper part of series profile originated in the forest and mixed swamp.
Predominance of forest swamp conditions has been observed in the southwestern part of Kraków Sandstone
Entering of the channel tract on the floodplain area, as a result of migration or avulsion, initiate at the beginning
fast and huge compaction lower peat levels. The consequence of that was local reduction of the depositional
surface, what provide fast increase of channel sediments. Such phenomenon gave the circumstances for split up
of peat layer. Recorded cases of a big-scale diffraction of seams are the prove for contemporary coexistence of
the areas of peat accretion and deposition of thick sandstone packages (channel tract).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
In the condition of general aggradations, equalizing of tectonic subsidence of the basin, faster increase of the
sediments in the channel tracts was equalizing on the overbank areas mostly by the growth of peat. As a result of
the accumulation area of the Krakow Sandstone Series in the next steps of the development was characterized by
little relief drops. Input of the clastic material – both fine- and coarse- grained – was consistent and underwent
only typical fluctuations for fluvial systems. Arrangement of the coarse- and fine-grained lithosomes in the
Kraków Sandstone Series (together with coal sediments inside them) were controlled by processes on the
piedmont area, mostly by lateral migration of the braided-rivers channels and sudden transfer of this tracts.
Vertical and lateral variability of the lithofacies can be explain only by natural changes in the environments and
sub environments of the deposition connected with processes typical for humid piedmont area which underwent
of consistent subsidence, so mainly by intrabasinal factors (autocyclic).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Palynological assemblages from Radčice locality near Plzeň (Cantabrian, Nýřany
Member, Plzeň Basin, Bohemian Massif).
J. Drábková
Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3/131, 118 21 Praha 1, Czechia, [email protected]
The natural section near Radčice is about 1 km long and represents one of the best Carboniferous exposures
known in the Plzeň Basin. Conglomerates and sandstones from Radčice exposure are considered for sediments
of meandring river channels, grey micaceous siltstone either overbank or water pool deposits (SKOČEK, 1995).
Poor macroflora (ČTRVERÁČEK,1984) Cordaites borassifolius, Poacordaites sp., Pecopteris cyathea,
Cordaicarpus sp., Pecopteris unita, Pecopteris arborescens, Sphenophyllum emarginatum, Sph. oblongifolium,
Annularia stelata, Cordaianthus sp. Lepidophyllum sp. Lepidophloios laricinus was found in grey micaceous
siltstone with roots.
The first occurrences of the species Sphenophyllum oblongifolium are considered by WAGNER (1984,1985) as
important for the Cantabrian. The pecopterid species have Stephanian character too.
Fifteen palynological samples from sixty metres long and about 1,5 m thick lens of siltstones with macroflora
have been palynologicaly treated.
Megaspores are represented by species Calamospora laevigata, Laevigatosporites glabratus, Triangulatisporites
triangulates, Bentzisporites tricollinus and Schopfipollenites ellipsoides that indicate occurrence of Calamites,
Sigillaria, Selaginella and pteridosperms.
Monolete microspores of some pecopterids (Punctatosporites spp., Speciososporites spp., Laevigatosporites
spp.) are common, spores of Calamites (Calamospora spp.) and Cordaites (Florinites spp.) are abundant in some
Species characteristic for Westphalian D of the Bohemian Massif Vestispora fenestrata, Cirratriradites saturni
are presented. Stratigraphically younger species of Stephanian character e.g. Punctatosporites speciosus,
Speciososporites spp. Gillespieisporites sp. Candidispora candida, Wilsonites delicatus, Wilsonites vesicatus,
Limitisporites sp. and Potonieisporites novicus occur.
The studied spore assemblages could be assigned to the LG-PS (Lagenoisporites glabratus -Punctatosporites
speciosus) zone (KALIBOVÉ,1983) represented Upper Westphalian D of the Bohemian Massif. The ascertained
macroflora and palynological assemblages are proposed to be Cantabrian now.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Geoparks, coalfields and South Wales: a sustainable combination?
B.G. Evans
Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology, National Museums & Galleries of Wales,
Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP, UK, [email protected]
For several years now, and particularly since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the protection and enlightened management of the environment has been
acknowledged as top priority by decision makers, planners, scientists and the general public alike. If the Earth's
environment is to be treated as it ought to be, a better understanding of the various biological and geological
processes which have left their mark on the Earth's surface is necessary. These marks are still affecting
humankind and will continue to influence our future. A good knowledge of geological heritage - and a healthy
respect for all it represents - is an important factor in the holistic approach to a sustainable environment and
development in it. In this context, schemes which not only protect but lead to renewal and economic benefit are
particularly important and relevant.
To recognise sites and terrains specifically of earth science interest, UNESCO has launched the International
Network of Geoparks programme. This programme has the dual objective of enhancing the value of sites which
act as key witnesses to the Earth's history whilst creating employment and promoting regional economic
Geoparks can be regions, large or small, wherein the geological heritage of the Earth is safeguarded and
sustainably managed. It should also be recognised that success can only be achieved through strong local
involvement. Geopark nominations must therefore come with a strong commitment to develop and implement a
management plan which meets the economic needs of the local population whilst protecting the landscape in
which they live. This novel initiative is an excellent means of gaining international recognition for locally or
regionally important geological sites.
The current physical and social landscape of South Wales is inherently linked to the region’s geological history.
Founded on the rich reserves of coal and iron, the industrial revolution transformed the landscape, social
structure and standing of South Wales. Welsh coal had been known since Roman times and small iron works had
long dotted the landscape. However, advances in technology and the thirst for these raw materials both in Britain
and the rest of the world were responsible for an explosive growth in population and a rapid disfigurement of the
South Wales could be considered the birthplace of the industrial revolution; an area that demonstrated pioneering
spirit and led to the development of the modern world. The landscape that was previously untouched, became
scared and ugly, tainted by progress. Welsh steam coal became the fuel of choice for furnaces and boilers
everywhere and new techniques enabled the use of coal (as coke) in iron smelting.
Thankfully times have changed, technology has again moved on, the heavy industry that dominated South Wales
has largely disappeared. The environment and landscape is to some extent recovering, but the essence of the
industrial revolution remains, in the landscape, in innumerable scars – quarries, brickpits, railways, tips, levels,
tramways etc. Many of these also give a view of rocks of the Carboniferous Coal Measures 280-350 million
years before the present, which make up the coalfield. The result of exploitation is that a great deal of geology is
exposed throughout the coalfield, much of which would not be accessible had it not been for the area’s industrial
past. Artificial exposures now complement the many spectacular natural cliffs and river gorges with their
geological exposures, and together they create an almost complete record of Late Carboniferous, floras, faunas
and environments This level of exposure and accessibility to of rocks of this age is exceptional and cannot be
equalled in Europe, where many of the coalfields are of limited extent, range and access. The importance of the
Carboniferous rocks of South Wales is recognised by the fact that the coalfield has many Sites of Special
Scientific Interest, specifically protected by statute for their national and international geological significance
making it a prime candidate for becoming a European Geopark.
The irony is that the very rocks which fuelled the industrial revolution and helped build the modern world, with
all its inherent environmental problems, may help answer important global questions concerning modern day
climate change (UNESCO IGCP research project 469).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Animal/animal interaction in the Late Carboniferous
E. Jarzembowski
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St Faith’s Street, Maidstone, Kent. ME14 1LH, U.K.,
[email protected]
The Coal forest is often perceived as primeval and inhabited by a few creepy-crawlies of large size and/or
unpleasant habits. Whilst not doubting the abundance of cockroaches (the forest was a fine restaurant) nor the
likelihood of being eaten ('spiders' galore), there is evidence of more subtle interplay between animal species and
sustainable ecology.
I shall demonstrate this with a selection of examples including evidence of camouflage (disruptive markings) and
warning (aposematic) colouration in insects; dimorphism in arachnids; and anti-predation devices in
xiphosurans. The mutual arms race sometimes led to gigantism in unrelated arhropods. Alleged mimesis,
however, is artistic licence but blood parasitism remains an intriguing possiblility. Faunal continuum did not
entail boredom, and terrestrial invertebrates had higherr status than in later periods.
Anderson, L.I. 1994. Xiphosurans from the Westphalian D of the Radstock Basin, Somerset Coalfield, the South
Wales Coalfield and Mazon Creek, Illinois. In: Writhlington Special Issue. Proceedings of the Geologists’
Association, 105 (4), 265-275.
Carpenter, F. M. 1992. Superclass Hexapoda. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part R, Arthropoda 4, 3 &
4, xxiii + 655 pp.
Dunlop, J. A. 1994. The palaeobiology of the Writhlington trigonotarbid arachnid. In: Writhlington Special
Issue. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 105 (4), 287-296.
Jarzembowski, E. A. 1988. Prospecting for early insects. Open University Geological Society Journal, 9 (1),
34-40, 2 pls.
Jarzembowski, E. A. 1989. Writhlington Geological Nature Reserve. Proceedings of the Geologists’
Association, 100 (2), 219-234.
Jarzembowski, E. A. 1994. Fossil cockroaches or Pinnule Insects? In: Writhlington Special Issue. Proceedings
of the Geologists’ Association, 105 (4), 305-311.
Kukalová-Peck, J. 1991. Fossil history and the evolution of hexapod structures. In: The insects of Australia
(2nd edition), 1, 141-179. Melbourne University Press, Carlton.
for photographs seenext page:
Fig. 1 Crypsis (disruptive marking) on forewing of ‘protorthopteran’ insect Narkeminopsis eddi, Upper
Westphalian D, UK.
Fig. 2 Ditto on hindwing of undescribed palaeodictyopteran insect, Upper Westphalian D, UK (inverted in
Earth Heritage, 1998).
Fig. 3 Aposematism (frightening marking) on forewing of ‘protorthopteran’ insect Protodiamphipnoa tertrini,
Stephanian B/C, France.
Fig. 4 Pseudomimesis (fern pinnule ‘model’) in forewing of mylacrid cockroach, Upper Westphalian D, UK.
Fig. 5 Pseudomimesis (water droplet ‘model’) in opisthosoma of armoured spider Pleophrynus verrucosa,
Upper Westphalian D, UK.
Fig. 6 Pseudomimesis (lycopsid pinnule ‘model’) in prosoma of horseshoe crab Euproops danae, Upper
Westphalian D, UK.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Advances in Rotliegend rocks: stratigraphy, palaeogeography and petrology within the
Brandenburg-Wolsztyn High and its vicinity (Western Poland Variscan Externides)
H. Kiersnowski, A. Maliszewska & E. Jackowicz
Polish Geological Institute, ul. Rakowiecka 4, 00-975 Warszawa, Poland, [email protected]
Throughout the Permian, the Brandenburg-Wolsztyn High (BWH) was a distinctive structural element in its
palaeomorphology, built predominantly of Carboniferous-Permian volcanic rocks and subordinate Lower
Carboniferous,(and Devonian?) sedimentary rocks. The BWH makes up an extremely northward protrusion of
Variscan Externides. The general tectonic frame of the BWH contains: from the western side - LiebenwaldeTorgelow Tectonic Faults Zone and Lower Odra Tectonic Faults Zone along the border with the North German
Basin; from north and east --the Variscan Deformation Front (VDF) tectonic (thrust?) zone at the border with the
Polish Basin; from southwest - the Dolsk Fault Zone. Towards the southeast, the BWH structure continues as a
row of additional tectonic palaeo-uplifts. Folds and thrust of Variscan origin determine the structure of the BWH
Carboniferous basement. The later volcanic complex masks the rough palaeomorphology of Carboniferous
basement. Volcanic rock complex more than 400–500 m thick is composed of several units representing stages
of volcanic activity, separated by repeating erosional planar surfaces and sometimes by epiclastic strata. It is an
unusual feature, given the erosional gap existing for 20 million years or longer, that remnants of volcanic cones
are preserved directly under Zechstein deposits. The complex geological structure of the BWH and its later
tectonic history resulted in cross-shaped faults pattern of present “tectonic field”. Some of tectonic faults are in
convergence with Rotliegend tectonic troughs. Identifying the dominant direction of Rotliegend troughs axis: WE (older pattern) or N-S (younger pattern) has a key importance for recognition of potential reservoir rocks
Brandenburg – Wolsztyn High
(middle and eastern part)
The BWH palaeomorphology was strongly and abruptly changed due to several phases of volcanic activity,
leaving thick units of lava or pyroclastic rocks. Simultaneously, weathering processes modified
palaeomorphology, removing unconsolidated deposits. Several tectonic blocks build up from strongly folded and
tilted Lower Carboniferous rocks form distinct uplifts within BWH. It is still unclear, whether volcanic rocks
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
never covered Carboniferous uplifts, or the volcanic rocks were eroded later, before Zechstein? It is also
assumed, that the northeastern side of BWH was probable higher during Rotliegend time than the southern side.
In addition, it is presumed that Rotliegend sedimentary rocks never formed significant sedimentary cover on the
BWH territory, but BWH itself was an important source of detrital material accumulated around it. Deposition
during Rotliegend time, characterized by multi-storey style, being a response to palaeoclimatic changes.
Lower Rotliegend sedimentary rocks originated under warm and humid climatic conditions, at alluvial and
lacustrine environments. They are preserved within BWH area in tectonic troughs and slopes of BWH margins.
They often contain pyroclastic admixture. Assumed fluvial drainage system was “dispersed” and variable in
time, due to frequent changes in palaeomorphology.
Upper Rotliegend sedimentary rocks originated under warm and arid climatic conditions, in aeolian, alluvial and
fluvial environments. The alluvial and fluvial deposits are preserved within the BWH area in reactivated tectonic
troughs and predominantly on southern slope of the BWH. During Upper Rotliegend time, the BWH north and
northeastern slopes were probably a minor sediment source for surrounding basins. The fluvial drainage system,
mostly located in central and southern parts of the BWH, was mature with southward confined outflow.
An important factor shaping the uppermost Rotliegend morphology was prevailing winds from east and
northeast, which resulted in aeolian accumulation. Aeolian deposits are recorded in eastern and southeastern side
of BWH. They are also predictable on northwestern side of BWH.
During the Late Rotliegend times, playa deposits gradually covered the BWH north and northeastern slopes.
Such phenomenon might have evoked by a process of playa shift, caused by gradual fluvial progradation from
the northern side of the Polish Rotliegend basin.
Rock changeability within the examined BWH area resulted in creation of several lithostratigraphic units:
formations and members. Authors made a revision of established stratigraphic units as well as proposed new
informal ones. The stratigraphic units are defined based on an analysis of lithology and petrology of the studied
volcanic and sedimentary epiclastic rocks.
In the BWH region there is a volcanic association composed of lava flows, pyroclastic deposits, and hypabyssal
and intrusive rocks. These volcanites display a considerable variety of mineral and chemical composition as well
as textures governed by magmatic and postmagmatic processes. The volcanic series is mainly of calc-alkaline
type and consisted of differentiated basalts, andesites, dacites and rhyolites; trachyandesites and trachytes are
less abundant. The composition of basic and intermediate rocks suggests a peridotite mantle source and
contamination by continental crustal material. Rhyolites and dacites are considered to be as the products of
crustal anatectic melts. The tectonic settings of volcanic activity have been designed as within-plate or volcanic
arc. These rocks have been strongly altered by regional processes of propilitization (as albitisation of feldspars,
carbonatization, chloritization, silicification and sericitization).
Volcanic rocks are often covered by volcanogenic epiclastic deposits accompanied by tuffs, tuffites and rocks
poor in volcanogenic material. Sedimentological features, state of preservations, structural immaturity and
mineral as well as chemical composition of these deposits indicate rather short transport of detrital material in
aquatic environments. Prior to the final deposition, the sediments were only slighty weathered, and the strongest
alteration processes developed during diagenesis.
The main factors that caused disintegration of lava and pyroclastic cones was, most probably, phreatic or
phreatomagmatic eruptions which resulted in bursting of stratovolcanoes and exhausting of small amount of
pyroclastic material. Fragments of older volcanic rocks, along with juvenile pyroclasts and fragments of rocks
underlying the volcanic sheets, were mobilized in a form of avalanches and lahars, or transported by flowing
waters. These materials are interlayered with deposits formed by pyroclastic flows or falls.
Geotectonic environment of these depositional processes is identified as an active continental margin. Deposits
containing more andesite and basalt lithoclasts reveal features characteristic of a continental island arc.
Upper Rotliegend deposits in the vicinity of BWH are distinguished by a complicate diagenetic history. The
results of mechanical and chemical compaction as well as cementation of Fe-/Mn dolomite, Mn-/Fe calcite,
quartz, anhydrite, in places also ankerite and barite, are perceived. Diagenetic dissolution processes and
transformation of unstable detrital components into clay minerals – illite, kaolinite and chlorites, dominated the
evolution of pore space in sediments. The beginning of illite growth is determined by K-Ar method for the
Middle Jurassic time. The mesogenesis processes occurring at the stage of considerable burying, was of the
greatest importance for a development of reservoir properties of Rotliegend sandstones.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Autecology of Calamites preserved in tuffaceous rocks (Czech Republic, Bolsovian)
M. Libertín
National Museum, Vaclavske namesti, Prague 1, Czechia, e-mail: [email protected]
Ovcin, a well-known locality with Bolsovian compression plant fossils, is inactive opencast mine near Radnice,
radnice Basin. The mine is in the southern part of the Central and Western Bohemian Carboniferous Basins of
the Bohemian Massif. Tuff very rapidly changes to the sandy porphyric tuff 0.4 – 0.9 m thick. Clayey tuffit whetstone (7-8 m) thick overlie the sandy porphyric tuff. Plants were rapidly covered by volcanic ash during two
eruptions. The break in the volcanic activity is documented by impressions of raindrops 150 mm above the base.
Clayey siltstones representing the finest grained part of the pyroclastic fall yielded the richest plant record.
Whole plants including their fertile parts are often preserved fossilised in their original position, i.e., in situ.
The method of study in situ fossil plant assemblage buried in volcanic ash never been used for the research of
Carboniferous plants, especially from ecological view. The study of fossiliferous tuff was divided into several
steps. The fist step was uncovering of non-transported volcanic ash (tuff) with in situ fossil plants. Uncovered
surface was divided into a one square metre network. All square meters were signed (alphabetically for Y-axes
and numbers for X-axes). The roof of Lower Radnice Seam was used for measuring of Z-axes. Starting point
localized to left upper corner of A0 was defined for subsequent coordination in a PC. Generally 123 m2 were
uncovered. Every remains of fossil plants were recorded to the graph paper (second step) using coordinates X-YZ, including the description of the shape and diameter. Fossils were documented by a digital camera for
subsequently control of data. The third step represents an analysis of data and the graphic reconstruction using
COREL DRAW 9.0. Last fourth step is synthesis of sedimentary, taxonomical and taphonomical data.
Preservation of the plants:
It is possible to interpret the taphocenoze from the Whetstone horizon as: swamp with forest-type of plants.
Forest structure can be differentiated into several following storeys: arborescent storey, low-tree storey, shrubby
storey and understorey; tree-lycopsid dominant, well-diversified and structured assemblage of about 23 species
with dense understorey; understorey irregularly distributed and dense, fern-sphenophyllalean dominant
Two calamitean species are recorded. The first possesses leaves of the Annularia longifolius-type and with cones
of the Palaeostachya elongate-type, born on the distal branches (branch bearing numerolus cones). The second
one has leaves of the Annularia equisetiformis-type and cones of the Palaeostachya distachya-type, grew
directly on the nodes of the stem.
The genus Calamites is represented by two species. These species formed major part of the shrubby storey. It is
possible to estimate their height of the trunks (3-4 m) from the their diameter (2-80 mm).
1. Calamite with cones of the Palaeostachya distachya-type - leaves fallen down before the maturity of cones.
2. Calamite with cones of Palaeostachya distachya-type –two fertile and vegetative stems and vegetative, like
some species of Equisetum. This type was probably monocarpic.
The research was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic - GA205/02/1121.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Paramount biological event inside of Permian
V.R. Lozovsky
Geological Prospecting Institute, Miklucha-Maklay street 23, 117485 Moscow, [email protected]
In evolution of the organic world conducting place is usually given to mass extinctions (МE). Among such МE
carry also widely known Permian-Triassic, captured mainly marine benthonic organisms. Repeatedly, it was
already marked (Permian-Triassic boundary, 1998) that actually this transition was not such sharp, in reality and
was made gradually, in some stages. At the same time the largest changes in the fauna are usually connected
with occurrence of new forms, especially such which result in cardinal changes, the beginning essentially other
evolutionary branches which are giving rise to new directions remain indifferently. One of such major
evolutionary boundaries is marked in the basis of the Guadalupian on new stratigraphical scale or between
Lower and Upper Permian of the traditional scale. We shall look, what large evolutionary changes both in the
marine, and on terrestrial occur on these boundary
In the marine basins the first occurrence of ammonite ceratites (Paraceltites), coexisted alongside with goniatites
in the end of Permian, and since Triassic, conceded to them a place is observed. In the beginning of a stage, on
the data of T.B. LEONOVA, achieve maximum morphological progress goniatites due to increase of number of
blades. Here occurs new (roadian) a complex of ammonoids (Daubichites, Sverdrupites), known in extensive
territory, starting from Canada and finishing Japan.
With this boundary connects large changes in fauna fusulinids (LEVEN, 2003). After large extinction in the end
of Kungurian in the beginning of Late Permian (Kubergandinian age) many new genus and taxons more a high
rank appears. There is also a full updating of all communities of fusulinids. In pelecypodes of Northeast of Asia
the major event on this boundary was occurrence of genus Kolymia. Dynamics of development brachiopods at
this boundary still more not enough, but on the phylogenetic levels there is a change of dominants.
On land, since Late Permian occur stereospondyl amphibians. Their first finds come from zone Tapinocephalus
of Southern Africa Rhinesuchus (biostratigraphy, 1995). Most part of parareptile (on IVACHNENKO, 2001) is Late
Permian. Some representatives concern to their number family Leptorophidae (Biarmica from Sheshma horizon,
procolophonoid Nyctiphruretus and Bashkiroleter (family Hyctiphruretidae) from lower part of Upper Permian,
Mezen basin. Here it is possible to attribute Macroleter (Lanthanosuchidae) from the same layers, and the close
form Chickasha, Guadalupian of Northern America (LAURIN, REISZ, 2001), Chalkosaurus from Lower Tatarian
of Isheevo and Rhipaeosaurus from younger layers of Kazan, Belebey. Pareiasauria are known only from Upper
Permian, since zone Tapinocephalus and its equivalents.
Significant event of evolution of tetrapods is occurrence on a boundary of Upper Permian Therapsida. The most
ancient Therapsida are known from zone Eodicynodon of Southern Africa (biostratigraphy, 1995). To them also
it is possible to attribute Golusherma fauna of Kazanian, PreUrals (Microsiodon, Parabradysaurus)
(IVAKHNENKO et al., 1997).
The fauna considered as more ancient Therapsida early from Ocher actually is younger than the Kazanian
(BABENYSHEV, 1998). Therapsids of Mezen (Biarnosuchus and Niaftasuchus) on age answer to Ocher fauna.
Probably, the first Therapsida have appeared at the end of early Permian (Tetraceratops from the upper part of
Clear Fork Fm. of Oklahoma (LAURIN, REISZ, 1996), however our researchers (IVACHNENKO, RAUTIAN and
others, oral communication) do not confirm this assumption. In the Western Europe footprints, supposed referred
to Therapsida (Lunaepes, Planipes) are found in Pradino formation in Lodev basin (France) (GAND, 2001).
On flora the boundary between early and late Permian is marked in the East Europe by transition from
Viatscheslavia florae to Phylladoderma one (ESAULOVA, 1999). Sharp change of flora of the Vorkuta and
Pechora series, expressed in change of flora from moisture loving up to arid climate here is observed
(PUCHONTO, 1998).
To the major biological change inside of Permian it was paid attention from the point of view of large structural
transformations, market in Western Europe (CASSINIS et al., 2000) as well in Eastern one (ZEISLER, LOZOVSKY,
2002), simultaneous to Saalian folding.
BABENYSHEV, V.M. (1997): Stratigraphy of the Tatatian deposits from Upper and Middle part of the Kama river
region Proceedings of thr X111 Intern. Congress of the Carboniferous and Permian 28 August-2 September
1995, Krakow, Poland. Part 1: 91-92.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
RUBIDGE, B.S. (ed.) (1995): Biostratigraphy of the Beaufort groop (Karoo supergroup). South African committee
for stratigraphy. Biostratigraphic Series.N.1: 46 p.
CASSINIS, G., DI STEFANO, P., MASSARI, F., NERI, C., VENTURINI, C. (2000): Permian of South Europe and its
interregional correlation. In: Yin, H., Dickins, J., Shi, G. &Tong, J. (eds.): Permian-Triassic Evolution of
Tethys and Western Circum-Pacific. Elsevier Science: 37-70.
GAND, G. (2001): Palichnofauna. In: Continental Permian-Triassic series of Provence (Southern France). field
trip guidbook. April 30-May: 22-26.
ESAULOVA, N.K. (1999): Zonal subdivisions of the Upper Permian in Volga-Ural regions on Macroflora. In:
BUROV, B., TSAULOVA, N. & GUBAREVA, V.: Proceeding Intern. Symposium ,,Upper Permian Stratotypes of
the Volga Region”. Geos. Moscow: 110-115. (in Russian)
IVAKHNENKO, M.F. (2001): Tetrapods of the East-European Late Paleozoic territorial-matural complexes. Perm:
200 p. (in Russian).
IVAKHNENKO, M.F., GOLEBEV, V.K., GUBIN, YU.M. (1997): Permian and Triassic tetrapods of Eastern Europe.
Moscow. GEOS: 216 p. (in Russian).
LAURIN, M. & REISZ, R.R. (1996): The osteology and relationships of Tetraceratops insignis, the oldest known
therapsids. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 16: 95-102.
LEVEN, E.Ya. (2003): Dynamics of Fusulinid genera and main stage of their Evolution. Stratigraphy. Geol.
correlation: 3 p.
LOZOVSKY, V.R., ESAULOVA, N.K (eds.) (1998): Permian-Triassic boundary in the continental series of East
Europe. GEOS: 246 p.
PUCHONTO, S.K. (1998): Permian stratigraphy and flora of the deposits in the Pechora Basin. Scientific World,
Moscow: 312 p. (in Russian)
ZEISLER, V. & LOZOVSKY, V. (2003): Upper Palaeozoic-Lower Mesozoic tectonic-sedimentary complexes of
Eurasia. Bull. Mosc. obs. ispytat. prirody, jnd.Gtol.,78/3: 11-17. (in Russian)
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
A review of late Westphalian palynological datasets from northwestern European basins
Duncan McLean
Palynology Research Facility, University of Sheffield, Dainton Building, Brook Hill Sheffield, S3 7HF, U.K.,
[email protected]
This study involves a review of palynological datasets from Bolsovian to earliest Stephanian strata in the
northwestern European and their potential for indicating the stratigraphical and palaeogeographical distribution
of terrestrial vegetation on the Variscan foreland. Palynological work on these strata has been ongoing for more
than 50 years resulting in the production of a vast amount of data. Much of the data was generated for the coal
extraction industry in the 1950s to 1970s for stratigraphical study of the coal measures intervals, and is largely
derived from preparations of coal material. This data is often restricted to coal measures facies and may be
absent from conglomerate-prone or red bed facies. More recent data is associated with exploration for
hydrocarbons and is usually derived from coals and clastic material of all facies (often, as in the Netherlands and
northern Germany, with emphasis on conglomerate-prone sections). Much data is available in scattered
published accounts or in the archives of national geological surveys and coal authorities and, more recently, in
the archives of oil and gas exploration companies or associated consultants. Undoubtedly much of economic
significance remains confidential, but even for areas of ongoing economic exploration, such as the southern
North Sea basin, there is a wealth of data.
The limits of the study have been set at the latitude of Inninmore Bay, Scotland and the North Sea Flora Field
(northernmost known Bolsovian and Westphalian D miospore assemblages) in the North and the Lorraine Basin
in the South. The western limit is set at the Piesberg. Subsurface Late Carboniferous sections exist further East in
Lower Saxony, but no data from these are available at present. The Western limit is set at Inninmore Bay and the
western extent of the Pembrokeshire coalfield, although there are limited outriding datapoints in the Porcupine
Being the result of many years of investigation by workers from a large number of different laboratories, an
obvious concern in using the data relates to its quality and taxonomic consistency. Most of the people
responsible for the data have changed jobs, retired or died and their ideas or material are no longer available. To
some extent the importance of this concern is related to how the data is to be used. In palaeovegetational
modelling the recognition of specimens to generic level is usually all that is needed, and it most datasets will
achieve consistency at this level.
Several approaches to palaeovegetational reconstruction from palynological datasets have been developed for
Carboniferous situations. All are essentially similar in that they relate spore and pollen groups to known parent
vegetation types. That use by many American coal palynologists and recently by CLEAL & DIMITROVA (2003)
groups palynomorphs solely according to their biological affinities with identified macrofloral groups. The
approach by DAVIES & MCLEAN (1996) adds information derived from the stratigraphical associations of
particular palynomorphs in order to include taxa whose parental affinities are unknown, particularly those which
had parent vegetation outside of the basins of deposition, and which occurred most commonly in strata
associated with marine flooding events. The “Sporomorph EcoGroup” palaeovegetation modelling of ABBINK et
al. (2001) and ABBINK & VAN KONIJNENBERG-CITTERT (2003) is similar in that it relates palynomorph
assemblages to reconstructed palaeoecological (rather than purely biological) groupings of parent vegetation.
The usefulness of these approaches can be demonstrated in both stratigraphical and geographical contexts where
they allow palaeovegetational (as a possible set of proxies to palaeoclimatic) changes to be shown in space and
time. The principal difficulties in using these modelling tools in the late Carboniferous are: (1) There are major
facies and taphonomic controls on the distributions of palynomorphs such that within short sequences the
representations of any palynomorph group may vary greatly while at lower stratigraphical resolution it is often
not possible to consistently determine an average vegetational composition for a particular stratigraphic interval;
(2) Within the datasets there is often a lack of independent stratigraphical control which can make difficult any
comparison of vegetation changes from place to place. Both factors limit the scale at which time-slice mapping
of palaeovegetation can be made; (3) Palynology is a data-rich science - the amount of information needing
attention is very large. There are ways to address these difficulties but it is important to remember the limitations
that they impose on the final interpretations of modelling.
An objective in reviewing these datasets is to provide palaeovegetational maps for several relevant time-slices.
This is being achieved using several data-handling computer programmes that are largely used as standard in the
hydrocarbon consulting industry. An example of preliminary results for a geographically restricted area is
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
illustrated in Figure 1. While the palaeovegetational maps alone may provide useful information, the ultimate
aim of the study is to compare them against overprints showing (inter alia) facies distributions, particularly the
distributions of red beds versus coal measures, and sandstone and conglomerate fairway orientations. It remains
to be seen how the structural and sedimentological asymmetry of the Carboniferous Variscan foreland basin is
reflected in the palaeovegetation.
Fig. 1: Example of presentation of palynological data to attempt to reconstruct palaeovegetational distributions:
visualisation of the spatial variation in abundance of “extra-basinal” palynomorphs category in the early
Bolsovian (Aegiranum Marine Band to Cambriense Marine band), northern margin of the southern North
Sea Basin. Fig. 1a is viewed from the Northeast and Fig 1b is viewed from the South West. Area of study
is two blocks E-W by one block N-S (approx. 20 x 15 km).
ABBINK, O.A. & VAN KONIJNENBERG-VAN CITTERT, J.H.A. (2003): A palaeoecological approach to the
Pennsylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) palynology of the Netherlands. 15th International Congress on
Carboniferous and Permian Stratigraphy, Utrecht, August 2003, Abstracts: 3-4.
ABBINK, O., TARGONARA, J., BRINKHUIS, H. & VISSCHER, H. (2001): Late Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous
palaeoclimatic evolution of the southern North Sea. Global and Planetary Change, 30: 231-256.
CLEAL, C.J. & DIMITROVA, T.K. (2003): A new approach to interpreting palynological data from the Late
Carboniferous tropical coal forests. 15th International Congress on Carboniferous and Permian Stratigraphy,
Utrecht, August 2003, Abstracts: 104.
DAVIES, S.J. & MCLEAN, D. (1996): Spectral gamma-ray and palynological characterisation of Kinderscoutian
marine bands in the Namurian of the Pennine basin. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 51:
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Devonian - Carboniferous - Permian Correlation Chart 2003 (DCP 2003)
Menning1, M, Alekseev, A., Chuvashov, B.I., Davydov, V.I., Forke, H.C., Heckel, P.H., Jin, Y.G., Jones, P.J.,
Kozur, H., Nemyrovska, T.I., Schneider, J.W., Weddige, K., & Weyer, D.
GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Telegrafenberg, Haus C, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany,
[email protected]
The Devonian - Carboniferous - Permian Correlation Chart 2003 (DCP 2003) has been created for the Priority
Program 1054 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) „The Late Palaeozoic in the light of sedimentary
geochemistry“ to compare trends of isotopes of carbon, sulphur, nitrogen, and oxygen on an improved
stratigraphic base.
More than 40 regional marine and continental sections from six continents and about 50 zonations of
ammonoids, brachiopods, bryozoans, conodonts, corals, foraminifers, ostracods, radiolarians, and several
continental fossils groups have been correlated with the global reference scale of the ICS (2002) using numerous
stratigraphic methods. Significant differences between synonymous global and regional chronostratigraphic units
as well as lithostratigraphic (mapping) units are elucidated.
The DCP 2003 is based on the Stratigraphische Tabelle von Deutschland 2002 (STD 2002) of the Deutsche
Stratigraphische Kommission (2002) in which the global reference stages were integrated, and calibrated using
isotopic ages and geological time indicators. An important aim in its construction was made to avoid stretched
and compressed time spans as far as possible.
The full continental facies of several sections is the main reason for the tremendous correlation problems.
Therefore, isotopic ages become increasingly more important, not only for numerical calibration, but within their
margins of error, for correlation. The only magnetostratigraphic marker in the Late Palaeozoic that appears to be
reliable for correlation is the Illawarra Reversal (265 Ma).
To elucidate inaccurate ages and correlations as well as gaps of unknown duration, numerous arrows are shown.
The lithofacies of the sections are differentiated by colours. Glacial sediments and coals, the position of index
fossils, and historical vs. established (as GSSP) boundaries are shown.
Deutsche Stratigraphische Kommission (ed.) (2002): Stratigraphische Tabelle von Deutschland 2002, Potsdam
International Commission on Stratigraphy (2002):, (recent address:
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Record of plant communities in peat and surrounding areas on the base of palynological
analysis (examples from coal-bearing succession in Upper Silesia Coal Basin
M. Oliwkiewicz-Miklašinska
Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Research Centre in Kraków, Senacka 1, 31-002
Kraków, Poland, [email protected]
The coal-bearing succession in Upper Silesia Coal Basin includes clastic and phytogenic deposits exceeding
8000 m in thickness and representing paralic as well as continental sediments. This succession represents time
interval Namurian A – Westphalian D (Kotas, 1995).
The Carboniferous coal-bearing succession is divided into four main, informal lithostratigraphic units,
traditionally called „series”. The lowermost unit - the Paralic Series, comprises marine, fluvial and deltaic
deposits. Three succeeding units - Upper Silesia Sandstone Series, Mudstone Series and Cracow Sandstone
Series – represent continental deposits, mostly fluvial in origin.
The samples from coals and barren rocks representing all lithostratigraphic units have been examined in
palynostratigraphic, palaeoecological and palynofacies aspects. Results of quantitative and palynofacies analysis
are the base for interpretation of peat-forming environments and surrounding areas of clastic sedimentation. In
the case of peat-forming environment the sporomorph assemblages reflect composition of ancient plant
communities, whereas composition of spore assemblages from areas of clastic deposition depends on water
and/or wind transportation. The botanical affinity of most Carboniferous sporomorphs are known (Balme, 1995)
as well as their palaeoecological preferences (Davies & McLean, 1996; DiMichele et al., 1985; Gastaldo, 1987).
Changes of sporomorph assemblages may be the basis for interpretation of climatic and environmental changes.
Examples from Jaklovec and Poruba Beds of Paralic Series, Jejkowice and Zabrze Beds of Upper Silesia
Sandstone Series, Orzesze Beds of Mudstone Series and Łaziska Beds of Cracow Sandstone Series present
different types of peat-forming environments (wet forest mire, herbaceous mire, dry forest swamp) and reflect
changes of environment caused by marine ingresion or flood events.
BALME, B.E. (1995): Fossil in situ spores and pollen grains: an annotated catalogue. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol.,
87: 81-323.
DAVIES, S.J., MCLEAN, D. (1996): Spectral gamma-ray and palynological characterization of Kinderscoutian
marine bands in the Namurian of the Pennine Basin. Proc. Yorkshire Geol. Soc., 51: 103-114.
DIMICHELE, W.A., PHILLIPS, T.L., PEPPERS, R.A. (1985): The influence of climate and depositional
environment on the distribution and evolution of Pennsylvanian coal-swamp plants. In: TIFFNEY, B.H. (ed.):
Geologic factors and the evolution of plants: 223-256.
GASTALDO, R.A. (1987): Confirmation of Carboniferous clastic swamp communities. Nature, 326: 869-871.
KOTAS, A. (1995): Lithostratigraphy and sedimentologic-paleogeographic development. Upper Silesian Coal
Basin. In: The Carboniferous system in Poland. Prace Państw. Inst. Geol., 148: 124-134.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Lepidodendraceae of the Late Paleozoic continental basins of the Czech Republic
Stanislav Opluštil
Charles University Prague, Faculty of Science, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague, Czechia,
[email protected]
Tree lycophytes belong among the most common fossils of the Lower to Middle Pennsylvanian strata of the
Euramerican floristic province. Their tree growth habit does not favour their preservation of a whole plant.
Instead, fragments of bark, leafy shoots or fructifications are most commonly found. Correlation of these
fragments to reconstruct the individual plant is still very poorly understood. As a result, number of biological
species and their stratigraphical importance in individual coal basins remains problematic.
One of the possible way resulting in solution of the problem is step by step systematic correlation of isolated
organs of tree lycophytes from particular localities which could provide an idea about total number of biological
species at each locality or certain stratigraphic unit. Consequently, lycophytes of particular localities and then
basins can be compared to recognise paleogeographic distribution pattern and stratigraphic range of individual
species. As an example, correlation of isolated lycophyte organs from the Late Carboniferous deposits of the
continental basins in central and western Bohemia is presented. Early results of bark – leafy shoot –
fructification – spore correlation based on a thorough revision of rich material of more than thousand species and
literature data are performed here. This revision is focused only on representatives of the family
Lepidodendraceae. Correlation is still in progress. Representatives of Lepidodendraceae belong to the whole
plant compression genera Lepidodendron, Lepidofloyos and Bothrodendron. Their description is based mostly on
the type material represented by bark impressions and only rarely by leafy shoots. These plants produced
fructifications of several genera. They involve microsporangiate cones Lepidostrobus (Lycospora-producing),
Achlamydocarpon (Cappasporites-producing), megasporangiate genera Achlamydocarpon (Cystosporites
diabolicus-producing) and Lepidocarpon (Cystosporites giganteus-producing) and bisporangiate strobili of the
genus Flemingites (Lycospora orbicula and Lagenicula sp.)
In all, 16 species of parent plants have been identified until now. From the same localities, 15 species of
microsporangiate, 4 megasporangiate and 2 bisporangiate strobili have been recognised. This comparison
indicates apparent absence of megasporangiate strobili related probably to their disintegration into individual
sporophylls after their fertilisation. Isolated sporophylls are often very similar to each other and their
determination is therefore problematic.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Stratigraphy and facies analysis of the Naab Basin (Permo-Carboniferous,
E-Bavaria, Germany)
J. Paul
Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum der Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidt-Str.3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany,
[email protected]
Along the western border of the Bohemian Massif in east Bavaria there are a number of small PermoCarboniferous basins from which the Stockheim, Weidenberg, Erbendorf, and Weiden Basin are the largest.
Only recently it became clear that these basins are part of a larger basin called the Naab Basin (SCHRÖDER, 1988,
PAUL & SCHRÖDER, 2005) which was subdivided by later tectonics and erosion into smaller areas. Besides, a
large part is covered by Mesozoic sediments. Due to these reasons neither the former nor the present extension of
the Naab Basin are known.
The lowest part of the Permo-Carboniferous sediments in the Naab Basin is not reached by a bore-hole. Only by
reflection seismic surveys (MÜLLER, 1994) it is known that in the centre of the basin the greatest thickness of
Permo-Carboniferous sediments above the crystalline basement is about 2800 m. Detailed information about the
upper part yielded the bore-holes of Röthenbach and Neunkirchen which were already drilled about 1911 and
reached depths of 1400 and 1300 m, respectively and the partly cored drilling Weiden with a depth of 1450 m.
Cores and cuttings of the Weiden drilling were investigated in detail.
Generally, the sedimentary succession in the various parts of the basin is more or less the same. But until now a
detailed correlation is not possible, therefore the stratigraphy of the Naab Basin is described by informal units.
The lower part (unit I) consists of coarse dark grey alluvial fan sediments and is between 50 and some hundred
m thick. In some subbasins like the Erbendorf and Stockheim areas there is a coal seam. In places it is split up by
intercalations of clastic sediments. The coal seam wedges out towards deeper parts of the basin. Layers of
pyroclastic sediments are restricted to the Stockheim area.
Unit II is about 150 m thick and dominated by red clayey siltstones in which sandstones and coarse clastics are
intercalated. In the upper part there are several horizons of groundwater derived carbonate concretions.
Unit III consists of regular alternations of coarse clastics, sandstones, black shales and laminated black
carbonates of lacustrine origin. These sequences reflect cyclic fluctuations of the climate. During periods of
increased precipitation a large stratified lake developed of which the bottom was deep below the wave base.
Several soil horizons indicate dry periods and a certain standstill of sedimentation. The cycles can be traced by
reflection seismic all over the basin. A MILANKOVITCH origin of the cycles is assumed, but the time-span of a
cycle is not known. In the upper part of the unit an increasing input of volcanic ashes is observed, especially in
the black shale facies where ash layers are well preserved.
Unit IV is dominated by volcanic ashes and lapilli which have according to their Nb/Y and Zr/TiO2 ratio a
rhyolitic composition (SYWALL, 1992). In the Erbendorf area there is a 200 m thick rhyolitic to rhyodacitic
extrusion above pyroclastic sediments.
Unit V is built of 500 to 1000 m of red alluvial fan deposits which were topped by Buntsandstein sediments. It
consists of arkosic fanglomerates, sandstones and clayey siltstones. Pedogenic carbonates, silcretes and – in the
basin centre – anhydritic cements are indications of an arid climate. Most likely, this unit is deposited in the dry
upper Rotliegend. Until now the upper boundary to equivalents of Zechstein deposits or Lower Triassic
Buntsandstein sediments is not clear.
It is assumed that subsidence and the following sedimentation of the Naab Basin started in the Upper
Carboniferous. The only biostratigraphical fix-point of the succession is given by pollen and spores of unit III
which yielded a Stephanian A-B age (VELD & KERP, 1992). Therefore, an uppermost Westphalian age of the
lowermost sediments is possible. Also conchostrakians and acanthodian fishes are present in the black shale
facies of unit III, but they are not determined until now. There are also no modern investigations of the numerous
plant fossils of the coal bearing unit I. Stephanian species as well as Lower Permian are recorded (HERRMANN,
1958). Most likely, the climax of volcanic activity of unit IV was near the Permian/Carboniferous-boundary like
everywhere in central Europe.
Recently, the deep water facies of the Naab Basin borders directly on the Fränkische Linie, a younger master
fault separating the Bohemian Massif from the south German block. Therefore, it is assumed that in former times
the basin extended widely eastward. The connections to other Permo-Carboniferous Basins like the Kraichgau
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Basin are unclear. There are indications of intra-Rotliegend movements leading to erosion of Rotliegend
sediments on the one hand and to shifting depocenters on the other hand.
HERRMANN, R. (1958): Die stratigraphischen und tektonischen Verhältnisse des Stockheimer Beckens unter
besonderer Berücksichtigung des thüringischen Anteils. Geologie, 7: 133-157, Berlin.
MÜLLER, M. (1994): Neue Vorstellungen zur Entwicklung des nordostbayrischen Permokarbon-Troges auf
Grund reflexionsseismischer Messungen in der Mittleren Oberpfalz. Geol. Bl. NO-Bayern, 44: 195-224,
PAUL, J. & SCHRÖDER, B. (2005): Das Rotliegend im Ostteil der Süddeutschen Scholle. Schrftr. Dt. geol. Ges.
(in prep.).
SCHRÖDER, B. (1988): Outline of the Permo-Carboniferous basins at the western margin of the Bohemian
Massif. Z. geol. Wiss., 16: 993-1001, Berlin.
SYWALL, M. (1992): Geochemische Untersuchung an permokarbonen Sedimenten der Bohrung “Stadt Weiden”
(Opf.). 97 p., unpubl. thesis, Univ. Göttingen.
VELD, H. & KERP, H. (1992): Aspects of Permian palaeobotany and palynology. XIII. On the Stephanian age of
a Rotliegend deposit near Weiden, Oberpfalz, Germany. N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Mh 1992: 369-384, Stuttgart.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Significance of clastic dykes and coal clasts for timing of organic matter coalification
J. Pešek1 & I. Sýkorová2
Charles University Prague, Faculty of Science, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague, Czechia, [email protected]
Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics AS CR, V Holešovičkách 41, 182 09 Prague, Czechia
Opinions on the rate of coalification of organic matter and development of a coal seam from peat differ
considerably. For instance, KARWEIL (1956), M. & R.TEICHMÜLLER (1968), a.o. thought that coalification of
organic matter is a prolonged process, which lasted tens of millions years at depths of a few thousands of metres.
On the other hand, numerous authors are of the opinion that the transformation of peat into coal is a process of
which duration does not exceed a system or it rather occurred within one stage (CROSS, 1952; PIETZSCH, 1962;
PEŠEK, 1978; REICHEL, 1970, a.o.). The examination of clastic dikes penetrating coal seams and studies of coal
clasts occurring in Late Paleozoic basins, e.g., in Germany, Great Britain, USA, former Soviet Union, Czech
Republic and Poland showed that there exist some doubts about the depth and time needed for the formation of
subbituminous and bituminous coal and precondition of gererally high temperatures during the Variscan
Clastic dikes
The origin of clastic dikes, particularly in the Bolsovian of the Plzeň and Kladno-Rakovník basins (Czech
Republic) and Pennsylvanian sediments in several basins in the USA appears to be an interesting issue as
concerns the timing of coalification. PEŠEK (1978) identified clastic dikes in the Upper Radnice Seam
(Bolsovian) of the Plzeň Basin. This author is of the opinion that the 50 - 100 cm deep fractures filled with
superposed clastics originated in already „mature“ slightly coalified seam of bituminous coal, exposed during a
hiatus between the Bolsovian and Westphalian D. These dikes have either irregular shape or form conic bodies
with sharp boundaries. The filling of either irregular or conic clastic dikes does not show any signs of
postsedimentary deformation. Consequetly, these dikes could not have originated in peat because during its
coalification and solidification would have to suffer from deformation (meandering). Some conic forms with
sharp boundaries were observed in mine entries a few tens of metres long. Similar phenomena were described,
e.g., by PRICE (1933) in West Virginia and in Pennsylvanian Basin and by DAMBERGER (1973) in the Illinois
Coal clasts
Coal clasts occurring in closer or remote hanging wall of coal seams are a few mm up to several cm large, being
subangular or angular. However, there also exist clasts of which one side is angular to subangular, whreas their
opposite side is markedly sharp. Coal clasts are mostly slightly less coalified (of the order of 0.0X %) by
comparison with the nearest coal seam. Palynological studies carried out by different authors enabled to obtain
exact but often very suprising ages of coal clasts. With the exception of studies, which dealt with the Polish and
Czech parts of the Upper Silesian Basin, the coal clasts were always found in a unit of evidently same age (cf.
PAŠEK, 1984; GAYER et al., 1996 and DANĚK et al., 2002). PAŠEK (1984) and DANĚK et al. (2002) identified
such clasts in the Plzeň and Kladno-Rakovník basins of which sedimentary filling is of Bolsovian up to
Stephanian C ages. Their sediments are in subhorizontal position being mostly disturbed by only normal faults.
The rank of coal clasts corresponds to high volatile bituminous coal. In contrast, the remaining findings come
from folded basins of foredeep type. If bituminous coal seams were eroded, which has been proved by many
observations, then the coalification of organic matter is believed to have been very fast, i.e., within a substage,
maximum during 1-2 million years or even shorter period of time. Whilst GAYER et al. (1996) assume preceding
burial of coal seams to a depth of about 1 km at increased geothermal gradient (600 C/km) connected with the
ascent of hot fluids along tectonic lines leading to fast coalification to the rank of bituminous coal, the deep
burial of organic matter in continental basins in the Bohemian Massif could not have occurred. Coal clasts in the
Kladno-Rakovník Basin occur in the basal unit, whereas clasts in the Plzeň Basin found by PAŠEK (1984) were
in close hanging wall of the Nýřany Main seam (Westphalian D). Palynological studies proved these coal clasts
to belong to the Westphalian D. In contrast, coal clasts in the Kladno-Rakovník Basin, consisting of banded coal
are of Bolsovian age. Therefore, it is obvious that coalification of coal seams in the Plzeň as well as in the
Kladno-Rakovník basins was not only very fast, almost in leaps and bonds, but it is thought to have occurred at
a depth of only tens up to a few hundreds of metres. The only logical reason leading to such fast coalification of
biomass could have been high value of geothermal gradient in these basins of the Bohemian Massif. A number
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
of large or smaller plutons of which many are 307-350 million years old appear to have played important role in
the increase of heat flow (thermal gradient) during the Late Paleozoic in the Bohemian Massif.
The authors wish to express their thanks to the Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
for the financial support of the Grant No. A 3111103.
CROSS, A.T. (1952): The geology of Pittsburgh Coal: Stratigraphy, petrology, origin and composition, and
geologic interpretation of mining problems. Second conference on origin and constitution of coal, Crystall
Cliffs, Nova Scotia, 32: 111.
DAMBERGER, H. (1973): Physical properties of the Illinois Herrin (No. 6) Coal before burial, as inferred from
earthquakenduced disturbences. Septième Congr. Intern. Stratigr. Geol. Carbon, II, Joh.van Acken, Krefeld:
DANĚK, V., PEŠEK, J. & VALTEROVÁ, P. (2002): Coal clasts in the Bolsovian (Westphalian C) sequence of the
Kladno-Rakovník continental basin (Czech Republic): Implication of the timing of maturation. Polish Geol.
Inst. Spec. Pap. 7: 63-78.
GAYER, R.A., PEŠEK, J., SÝKOROVÁ, I. & VALTEROVÁ, P. (1996): Coal clasts in the upper Westphalian
sequence of the South Wales coal basin: implication for the timing of maturation and fracture permeability.
In: GAYER, R. & HARRIS, J. (eds.): Coalbed methane and coal geology, Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ., 109: 103130.
KARWEIL, J. (1966): Inkohlung. Pyrolyse und primäre Migration des Erdöls. Brennst- Chem. 47: 161-169.
PAŠEK, J. (1984): Erosion of coal seams in the Vejprnice mine field in the Plzeň basin. Folia Mus. Rer. Natur.
Bohem. Occident., Geol., 20: 1-30.
Pešek, J. 1978: Erosion and clastic dikes in coal seams of the central Bohemian basins and their significance
for determination of plant substance coalification. Folia Mus. Rer. Natur. Bohemiae Occident., G. 12, 1-34.
PIETZSCH, K. (1962): Geologie von Sachsen. VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaft. Berlin: 1-870.
PRICE, P.H. 1933: Clay dikes in Redstone coal, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Amer. Assoc. Petroleum Geol.
Bull., 17: 1527-1533.
REICHEL, W. (1970): Stratigraphie, Paläogeographie und Tektonik des Dőhlener Beckens bei Dresden. Abh.
Staatl. Mus. Mineral. Geol., 17: Dresden: 1-133.
TEICHMÜLLER, M. & TEICHMÜLLER, R. (1968): Geological aspects of coal metamorphism. In: MURCHISON, D.
G. & WESTOLL, T. S. (eds.): Coal and coal-bearing strata. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh and London: 347379.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Carboniferous megafloras of Romania
M.E. Popa
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Laboratory of Palaeontology, 1, N. Balcescu Ave.,
010041, Bucharest, Romania, [email protected]
Carboniferous continental deposits in Romania are recorded in the South Carpathians, within the Resita and
Sirinia Basins. These deposits include coal beds that made them economically significant since the XIXth
Century, and in this way the associated megaflora came under scientific focus. BITOIANU (1973, 1974) and
DRAGASTAN et al. (1997) published taxa lists and made attempts for a phytostratigraphic calibration of these
deposits. In spite of the richness of these floras, the list of paleobotanical publications is short, and previous
publications usually lack descriptions or detailed figuration. The Paleozoic floras of the South Carpathians are
now under detailed revision, on newly collected material, or on previous collections from various Romanian
institutes (POPA, 1999, 2001).
The Resita Basin represents the main part of the sedimentary cover of the Getic Nappe, and it yields a thick
succession of Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian sediments. The Carboniferous deposits are assigned to
the Resita Formation, with three members: Doman Member, Westphalian B? in age, Lupacu Batrin Member,
Westphalian B-D, and Lupac Member, Stephanian A-C. The Permian deposits are assigned to the Ciudanovita
Formation, with two members: Girliste Member and Lisava Member, both Lower Permian in age. The
Carboniferous outcrops are rare, and the mining works from Lupac and Secu, for Carboniferous coals, are
nowadays closed.
The Carboniferous flora of the Resita Basin is a diverse and well preserved flora, counting more than 130 species
belonging to Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. BITOIANU (1987, 1988) and NEGREA (1987) detailed the
systematic lists of the Resita basin. Sphenopsids include Calamites (C. suckowii), Calamostachys (C.
tuberculata, C. germanica), Asterophyllites (A. equisetiformis), Annularia (A. stellata) or Sphenophyllum (S.
oblongifolium). Lycopsids are rare and badly preserved, including Stigmaria (S. ficoides), Lepidodendron (L.
sp.), Sigillaria (S. sp.), Lepidophyllum (L. sp.) and Asolanus (A. camptotaenia). Filicopsids are mainly
Marattialeans, such as Acitheca (A. cf. hemitelioides). Pteridophylls are abundant, with more than 25 species of
Pecopteris (P. feminaeformis, P. unita), Alethopteris (A. zeillerii), Neuraletopteris (N. sp.), Odontopteris (O.
sp.), Linopteris (L. obliqua), Cyclopteris (C. sp.). Pteridosperms are represented by species such as Dicksonites
(D. pluckenetii, D. sterzelii). Conifers belong to Cordaitales, with Cordaites (C. principalis), and Cardiocarpus
(C. sp.), with rare preserved cuticles. Walchialean conifers such as Walchia (W. piniformis) are rare, and they
occur to the top of the Carboniferous sequence, while in the Permian sequences they are quite frequent.
Bryophyte remains belonging to Hepaticae are unclear.
The Sirinia Basin is confined to the Danubian Units, with an autochthonous position in the structure of the South
Carpathians. It includes a Paleozoic sequence of Carboniferous and Permian deposits. The Carboniferous
sediments are assigned to the Cucuiova Formation, Westphalian-Stephanian in age, while the Permian deposits
are assigned to the Povalina Formation, with two members, the Staricica and Ielisova Members, and to the
Trescovat Formation.
The Carboniferous flora of the Sirinia Basin is less diverse and less preserved than that of the Resita Basin,
especially due to the tectonic evolution of these autochthonous terraines. It has been worked by MAXIM (1967,
1969) and by BITOIANU (1973, 1974). The flora counts less than 30 species, belonging to Sphenopsids, with
Calamites (C. carinatus), Lycopsids, with Stigmaria (S. ficoides), Sigillaria (S. sp.), pteridophylls, with
Neuralethopteris (N. jongmansii), and Alethopteris (A. sp.).
The phytostratigaphy of the Carboniferous formations of the Resita and Sirinia basins is still a matter of debate.
BITOIANU (1973, 1974) included assemblages for marking the Westphalian and Stephanian subdivisions, with a
series of difficulties in defining these assemblages. The paleoecology of these floras is marked by their coal
generating character as coal floras, while the clastic floras are more significant for the Permian formations.
BITOIANU, C. (1973): La flore du Carbonifere superieur de la Roumanie, Septieme Congres International de
Stratigraphie et de geologie du Carbonifere, Krefeld: 115-127.
BITOIANU, C. (1974): Le Silezien des Carpathes Meridionales (Roumanie). Bull. Soc. Belge geol. Paleont.
Hydrol., 83(2): 131-133.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
BITOIANU, C. (1987): Consideratii paleobotanice, petrografice si genetice asupra huilelor carbonifere din Banat.
Contributii Botanice: 89-97.
BITOIANU, C. (1988): Macroflore Stephanienne de Lupac. Studia Univ. Babes-Bolyai, XXXIII(2): 51-63.
DRAGASTAN, O., POPA, M.E. AND CIUPERCIANU, M. (1997): The Late Palaeozoic phytostratigraphy and
palaeoecology of the Southern Carpathians (Romania), Primul Simpozion National de Paleontologie,
Bucuresti: 57-64.
MAXIM, I.A. (1967): Noi contributiuni asupra florei fosile de la Svinita-Banat, cu o privire comparativa intre
flora permo-carbonifera din zona Svinita, Resita si sudul Dunarii. Studia Univ. Babes-Bolyai, Geologia, 2: 917.
MAXIM, I.A. (1969): Citeva plante din Stephanianul superior de la Svinita (Banat). Studii si cercetari de
geologie, geofizica, geografie, Sectia geologie, 14(2): 405-422.
NEGREA, E. (1987): Contributii la cunoasterea paleoflorei Carbonifer superioare din stratele de Lupac (Zona
Resita). Dari de Seama ale Sedintelor Comitetului Geologic, 72-73(3): 169-174.
POPA, M.E. (1999): The Early Permian Megaflora from the Resita Basin, South Carpathians, Romania, 5th
EPPC. Acta Palaeobotanica. W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Krakow: 47-59.
POPA, M.E. (2001): Aspects of Romanian Palaeozoic Palaeobotany and Palynology. Part I. An Acitheca type
fern from Secu (Banat). In: L. OLARU (ed.), 3rd Romanian National Symposium of Palaeontology. Acta
Palaeontologica Romaniae. Vasiliana '98, Iasi: 365-369.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Carboniferous ferns from the tuff horizon, Kladno Formation (Bolsovian),
Czech Republic
J. Pšenička1, J. Bek2 & S. Opluštil3
Department of Palaeontology, West Bohemian Museum in Pilsen, Kopeckeho sady 2, 301 36 Plzeň, Czechia,
[email protected] or [email protected];
Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rozvojova 135, 165 00 Prague 6, Czechia;
Department of Geology and Palaeontology, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czechia
We present here details of the ferns that come from the volcanic-ash bed of the Whetstone Horizon. This horizon
overlies the roof of the Lower Radnice Coal that belongs to the Radnice Member, Kladno Formation
(Bolsovian). Consequently, the flora preserved in this tuff represents a peat-forming assemblage. Specimens
come from the Ovčín locality (Radnice Basin), Doubrava and the Brandýsek locality (Plzeň Basin). The ferns
occur as trees, lianas or climbing plants, as well as herbaceous plants. However, the most common are climbing
plants, together with herbaceous forms from the understorey to low tree storey.
Pecopterids are represented by one species of the Pecopteris miltonii-group (Pecopteris aspidioides Sternberg)
and one species of the P. arborescent-group (P. sp. nov. A1). Both species represent arborescent types of ferns.
P. aspidioides is a very common species that occurs throughout all localites where the whetstone horizon tuff is
preserved. The new species, P. sp. nov. A1, is known only from the Brandýsek locality (near Doubrava; Plzeň
Basin). Both species are of the relatively primitive (eusporangiate) marattialean ferns. A very common fern
species found in the tuff of the whetstone horizon is Corynepteris angustissima (Sternberg) Němejc. This species
was a dominant element of the understorey. Corynepteris belongs to the zygopterid type of ferns. The tuff of the
whetstone horizon brings an interesting fern of the family Botryopteridaceae – the genus Sonapteris Pšenička This genus represents the first evidence of botryopterid ferns from compression material. We described two
species - S. barthelii Pšenička and S. pilsensis Pšenička The genus represents relatively primitive
ferns that were climbing on other arborescent plants. Another interesting climbing fern is Oligocarpia
lindsaeoides that is relatively common in the Radnice basin (Ovčín, Svinná and Chomle localities). This species
represents a relatively modern fern (leptosporangiate). Discopteris ketnerii Pšenička and D. doubravensis
Pšenička represent modern ferns too. Both species only occur in the Plzeň Basin. Zeilleria Kidston
represents a very interesting Carboniferous fern. We recognised Z. frenzlii Stur and a new species Z. zodrowii
Pšenička We described reproductive organs in detail from Z. zodrowii that cannot be compared with
reproductive organs from other ferns. Common clinging ferns coming from all localities where the tuff of the
whetstone horizon occurs is Senftenbergia plumosa (Artis) Bek and Pšenička. Other interesting ferns are
Dendraena pinnatilobata Němejc and Kidstonia heracleensis Zeiller that come only form the Štilec locality
(Tlustice Basin). Details of features of both species from this locality are still relatively unknown, especially
reproductive organs, because the specimens are not well preserved. NĚMEJC (1963) described from the tuff
Brittsia problematica D. White, but the specimen is very badly preserved. We assume that this species would be
synonymous with Corynepteris angustissima based on a comparison of its reproductive organs.
This project is supported by GAČR (205/02/1121), Research Program (RK01P03OMG023) of the Ministry of
Culture of the Czech Republic and IGSP 469 Project.
NĚMEJC, F. (1963): Paleobotanika. Nak. Českoslov. Akad. Věd. Praha: 529. (in Czech).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fusain from Upper Jurassic marine influenced sediments in Tanzania
H. Süß & S. Schultka
Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Institut für Paläontologie, Invalidenstraße 43,
10115 Berlin, Germany, [email protected]
In 1906/1907 the fossil lagerstätte Tendaguru (Tanzania, East Africa) was discovered and rapidly became one of
the most famous fossil sites in the world because of the accumulation of vast masses of dinosaur remains and
even the discovery of early mammals. At the locality, around 60 km NW of Lindi harbour, the fossil finds also
contain rich marine invertebrate faunas (ABERHAN et al., 2002). Plant fossils were mentioned by DIETRICH
(1914) and HENNIG (1914), but only an unripe araucarian cone was briefly decribed by GOTHAN (1927) and this
was followed by new revisions of cuticles and silicified woods in 1999 by KAHLERT et al. and in 2001 by SÜß &
Fieldwork in 2000 found no evidence for potential silification processes and therefore the silicified fossil
remains found so far must be erosional relicts from overlying Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments.
While plant meso- and microfossils are few and not diverse (SCHRANK, 1999, HEINRICH et al., 2001, GRUBE &
SCHULTKA, 2002), in some layers fusain is tremendously abundant which is novel for African territories of the
Gondwana continent. The fusain remains represent a wide range of conifers mainly of Cupressaceae (4 new
species) and especially Podocarpaceae (7 new species in 3 new genera).
The relativly small (1-5 mm) components of fusain are often well rounded, demonstrating considerable transport
and frequent shifting as is to be expected of plant material in marine sediments. Even if it is difficult to interprete
these highly sorted fossil remains deposited remote from their origin they provide a short glimpse of the Jurassic
climate. Growth rings of very different thickness always show very narrow but discrete late wood, which is
unusual for equatorial climates. Together with the sedimentological reports and the irregular thickness of the
early wood this gives evidence of short dry seasons with very variable rainy seasons.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Paleobotanical research on the Carboniferous and Permian horizons of the
Boskovicé Furrow
Z. Šimůnek
Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3/131, 118 21 Praha 1, Czechia, [email protected]
Ten localities of seven Permian fossiliferous horizons (e.g. Bačov, Míchov, Obora, Neslovice, Svitávka,
Kladoruby) and two Carboniferous localities (Oslavany) of the Boskovicé Furrow have been studied.
The new excavations yielded 1531 Permian and 1175 Carboniferous specimens that contributed to the
knowledge of floral assemblages of individual fossiliferous horizons. 20 species are new for fossiliferous
horizons and 15 species are new for the Boskovicé Furrow:
Pecopteris cf. bredowii, Remia pinnatifida, Odontopteris lingulata, Neurocallipteris gallica, N. planchardii,
Rhachiphyllum aff. curretiensis, ?R. subauriculata, Dicranophyllum longifolium, Culmitzschia angustifolia,
Hermitia arnhardtii, H. germanica, H. rigidula, H. schlotheimii and bifurcated leaves of uncertain affinity
(LAUSBERG & KERP, 2000).
The Carboniferous assemblages are usually hygrophilous, peat-forming, consisting predominantly with ferns
(Pecopteris cyathea and P. densifolia) accompanying with sphenopsids (Annularia sphenophylloides).
Pteridosperms and Cordaites are rare.
Allochthonous meso- to xerophilous floral elements, such as conifers and some pteridosperms dominated by
Odontopteris schlotheimii occur in places above the 1st (uppermost) coal seam of the Rosice-Oslavany Coals.
Meso- to xerophilous Permian flora is usually dominated by conifers. However, there have been observed
changes in dominant groups in stratigraphical sequence. The oldest Zbýšov and Říčany horizons of the Padochov
Formation are characterized by domination of both groups: conifers and pteridosperms in different layers. The
conifers dominate in the Chudčice Horizon of the Beverská Bítýška Formation. Zbýšov and Lubě horizons of the
Letovice Formation are characterized by the dominance of pteridosperms, namely Autunia conferta. However,
the conifers are also very common. The youngest Míchov and Bačov horizons are typical by dominance of
conifers. These changes in assemblages might reflect the changes in the climate. The most common conifers in
the so called “walchia shales” are Otovicia hypnoides and Culmitzschia parvifolia. Other very common species
in different lithologies are Ernestiodendron filiciforme and Walchia piniformis.
Conifers represent 70% of Permian floral assemblage, whereas the stratigraphically important callipterids form
only 3% of the same assemblage. Autunia conferta dominates in some Permian localities. Other plant groups –
sphenopsids, ferns and other pteridosperms and Cordaites are extremely rare. The typical Permian assemblages
are characterised by meso- to xerophilous elements.
LAUSBERG, S. & KERP, H. (2000): Eine Coniferen-dominierte Flora aus dem Unterrotliegend von Alsenz, SaarNahe-Becken, Deutschland. Feddes Repertorium 111: 399-426. Berlin.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Lower Permian actinopterygian fishes and their occurrence in the fossiliferous horizons
of the Boskovicé Graben
S. Štamberg
Museum of Eastern Bohemia, Eliščino nábřeží 465, 500 01 Hradec Králové, Czechia,
[email protected]
The Boskovicé Graben (BG) is the name used for the narrow depression between Moravský Krumlov and
Moravská Třebová filled by Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian sediments. These sediments have been the
object of interest to palaeontologists for more than a hundred years and much attention has been paid to the flora
and to the amphibians. New palaeontological material has been collected in the last few years by the author from
several important fossiliferous horizons as from the south as from the north regions of the Boskovicé Graben.
The actinopterygian fishes are very abundant in some horizons and up to now more than 2000 specimens were
collected. They were preliminary divided to three families: Amblypteridae, Aeduellidae and Elonichthyidae.
Among Lower Permian actinopterygians of BG dominate fishes of the family Amblypteridae namely genus
Paramblypterus (Štamberg, 1997). Specimens were reaching the length of about 25 cm and its dentition
consisted of numerous minute teeth embedded in brush-shaped arranged tubules. Scales are smooth with
denticulated caudal margins. The skull roof bones are in shape different from these of Paramblypterus rohani,
which is common in the Krkonoše-Piedmont Basin. It can be assumed that also genus Amblypterus (sensu
DIETZE, 2000) is present, but the differentiation of the skeletons of Amblypterus and Paramblypterus needs more
comparative studies.
Family Aeduellidae has been only recently identified in the Lower Permian of BG (ŠTAMBERG, 2002). Three
specimens from the northern region of BG are assignable to genus Aeduella. They are adult with characteristic
diagnostic features as is the shape of the maxilla, opercular and subopercular. Aeduellids showing morphological
features of the family Aeduellidae but differing from the genus Aeduella were found in large numbers in the
southern region of BG. These very small fishes do not exceed 8-10 cm in length.
The third group of actinopterygians provisionaly ranged to the family Elonichthyidae has been discovered this
year in the northern region of BG. Specimens of this group not exceeding 15 cm in length and their scales are
conspicuously sculptured by ridges. The lower and upper jaws have not tubular teeth as are in Amblypteridae
and Aeduellidae, but they are armed by numerous conical sharp pointed teeth.
The sedimentary fill of BG contains numerous separate fossiliferous horizons (JAROŠ, 2001). Their correlation is
very complicated thanks to gradual moving of the sedimentation from south to north and moreover the originally
continuous units are broken up into the smaller blocks. The actinopterygians seems to be one of groups of
fossils important for correlation of fossiliferous horizons. The actinopterygians are known from the Říčany
Horizon (Padochov Formation), Zbraslavec Horizon and Zboněk-Svitávka Horizon (Lowermost Member of the
Letovice Formation), Kochov Horizon, Bačov Horizon and Míchov Horizon (Lower, Middle and Upper Member
of the Letovice Formation).The small fishes of the family Aeduellidae, but not Aeduella are peculiar to Říčany
Horizon (Locality: Neslovice). The Zbraslavec Horizon and Zboněk-Svitávka Horizon (Localities: Zbraslavec,
Letovice-Jindřichov, Kladoruby) contain the specimens predominantly ranged to family Elonichthyidae. Kochov
Horizon, Bačov Horizon and Míchov Horizon (Localities: Bačov, Míchov, Kochov, Drválovice, Obora, Novičí)
are characterised by unusually dense assemblages of individuals of the family Amblypteridae (mainly genus
Paramblypterus) and occurrence of several specimens of the genus Aeduella. The results of the present studies
lead to conviction of correlation of Bačov, Míchov and Kochov Horizons to one only.
DIETZE, K. (2000): A revision of paramblypterid and amblypterid actinopterygians from Upper Carboniferous –
Lower Permian lacustrine deposits of Central Europe. Palaeontology, 43 (5): 927-966; London.
JAROŠ, J. (2001): Litostratigrafická tabulka stephanu a autunu boskovické brázdy. Příloha 19. In: PEŠEK, J. et al.:
Geologie a ložiska svrchnopaleozoických limnických pánví České republiky. Český geologický ústav: 244
p.; Praha.
ŠTAMBERG, S. (1997): New discoveries of palaeoniscoid fishes and other fauna and flora from the northern
region of Boskovice Furrow, Czech Republic.- Journ. Czech Geol. Soc., 42 (1-2): 111-120; Praha.
ŠTAMBERG, S. (2002): Aeduellids (Actinopterygii) from the Lower Permian basins of the Bohemian massif. –
IPC 2002, Geological Society of Australia, Abstracts 68: 148-149; Sydney.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Early Westphalian sediments of Dobrudzha Coal Field (NE Bulgaria): stratigraphy,
depositional conditions, interpretation
Y.G. Tenchov
Geological Institute of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria, [email protected]
At the end of Late Visean the regression of Moesian epiplatform sea leads to subaerial sedimentation with some
coals in parts of NE Bulgaria (South Dobrudzha). About at the beginning of Namurian A three faults bordered a
depression of about 220 km2 in which an about 450 m thick seccession of sandstones with coal pebbles was
deposited. Some coal seams formed at the end of that depositional phase. After some break in deposition
between Late Namurian C and Cantabrian the realised sedimentary sequence is related to the Balchik Group with
its Mogilishte, Vranino, Makedonka, Velkovo, Polyantsi and Gurkovi Formation. The first three formations are
subject of the present study.
Mogilishte Formation
At the beginning of sedimentation a swamp covered the depression (end of Namurian C). The coal seam l1 - at
the base of the sequence - was deposited without angular unconformity to the Namurian A sediments. 30 to 50 m
of lacustrine sediments follow upwards. It seems that the delimiting faults were activated and from their positive
parts sand and plant fragments filled the lake near to the faults. A new fault with positive east wing split the
depression into two parts. Whereas in the western part sandstones were deposited for up 87% of the whole
succession, in the eastern part they represent 20 to 60% only. The next up to 150 m of the sequence are
represented by clastic deposits (mainly in the south). This indicates that only here a fault was slight active. In
result, an alluvial plain was formed 2 -3 km to the north of the fault. More to the north, locally, frequently
migrating swamp conditions were developed. Also some wash of coals was realised. From 150 to 290 m of the
sequence the succession resembles the previous portion, but with coarser sandstones west of the internal fault. In
the northern part more coal seams and claystones occur. It seems that in northern half of the depression the
swamps were more stabile whereas in the south the alluvial plain conditions were rather distributed. From 290 to
400 m of the sequence the amount of sandstones diminishes (until less than 50%). In the easternmost part they
represent more than 80 % and (in places) yield pebbles. Claystones and coal seams are more frequent. Even in
drill 90, within a thick claystone interval freshwater molluscs were found. The coals are not correlatable. 400550 m: The diminishing tendency of clastic sediments becomes more clear in all prospected parts and is
progressively expressed upwards. For the part 500 - 550 m, the clastics are about 25 %, but in western part - up
to 60%. That supposes the activity of a western fault. Along the southern border - Seltse Fault - the clastics
content is rather low, indicating that the fault was passive here. 550-650 m: This interval is only regionally
developed where the next event – erosive cut – is expressed weekly. That corresponds to regions where the
thickness of the Vranino and Lower Makedonka Fm. is less than 100 m. Drills which are situated near to the
southern (Seltse) Fault show a higher content in sandstones and in many places in pebbles, too. In drills which
are distant to the Seltse Fault, the regarded interval yields claystones, thin or thicker coal seams and interbeds
mainly of siltstones. The lithology indicates a slight activation of the Seltse Fault which provides sandstones in
nearest drills. To the north contemporary swamps and mainly lacustrine conditions were developed.
Vranino Formation
The Vranino Formation has a thickness of 0 (southern drills R148, R159) to 76 m. It is composed of middle
grained sandstones, locally with pebbles or thin small-pebble conglomerates. The grains in the lower
part of the sandstones are from metamorphic rocks - indicating feeding from far regions - maybe of Variscan
chains. In the middle and upper part, the sandstone-grains are of volcanic rocks, volcanic glass, and quartz. The
coal-grains are derived from the Mogilishte Formation.
Lower part of Makedonka Formation
The thickness of this formation ranges from 0 m in south to 85 m in central part of the site. Sandstones represent
up to 80% of the sequence. They are middle to coarse-grained, greenish, and volcanomictic. Scattered redcoloured quartz grains occur. To the North, up to seven coal interbeds and coal seams can be observed. The roof
shales provide a rich megaflora. The upper boundary is posed with the appearance of brown to beige tonsteins
that are situated immediately bellow coal seam m5 which is at the base of the Upper Makedonka Formation.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
A re-examination of some Upper Carboniferous herbaceous lycophytes from the
Westphalian D of the Zwickau coalfield, Germany
B.A. Thomas
Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth,
Ceredigion SY23 3AL, U.K., [email protected]
I have suggested that anisophyllous Selaginella-like forms made their first appearance in the Bolsovian of the
Saar-Lorraine basin and agreed with precious authors that such Selaginella-like species were close enough to
extant Selaginella to be included within that genus (THOMAS, 1992, 1997). However, in studying specimens
from Zwickau with incident-light darkfield microscopy, they were seen to have extra pairs of smaller leaves on
the underside of the stems that are only visible when the specimens are preserved inverted (with their upper
surfaces face down on the rock surface). There are indeed six rows of leaves arranged as three distinctly different
pairs on the several specimens from Zwickau. I now agree with that HIRMER (1927, fig. 372a) that his illustration
of Selaginella gutbieri was probably correct in showing six rows of leaves.
The genus Selaginella P. Beauv. is recognised by most pteridologists as the only genus of extant plants in the
family Selaginellaceae Milde and contains about 700 species. Proposed divisions of Selaginella into three or
more genera has not received general acceptance as has the subdivision of the genus into five subgenera by using
leaf morphology, sporophyll morphology and growth habit (JERMY, 1986).
I have argued elsewhere that such anisophyllous fossil plants should be included within the extant genus
Selaginella P. Beauv. (THOMAS, 1997). In the light of the recognition of the extra ranks of leaves this question
now needed to be revisited. For this reason information on the fossil anisophyllous Selaginella-like plants from
Saxony have been included within the table of information on the extant subgenera. From this comparison, I
propose that the Carboniferous anisophyllous fossil Selaginella-like plants still share enough characters with
extant Selaginella to be retained within that genus. However, because of their trimorphic leaf morphology they
cannot be included within any of Jermy’s five subgenera. Therefore, I propose a new subgenus for these fossil
trimorphic species to be diagnosed as “Stems creeping with prostrate branches, leaves trimorphic, in six distinct
rows, those on the lower surface being the smallest, then those of the upper surface, with the lateral leaves being
the largest by far; cones terminal, sporophylls uniform and distichous.”
On the bases of leaf morphology and epidermal characters I recognise three species from Zwickaw: Selaginella
gutbieri (Goeppert) Thomas nov.comb. et emend., Selaginella stachygynandroides (Gutbier) Thomas nov.comb.
et emend., Selaginella zeilleri (Halle) Thomas nov. comb. et emend.
Similar studies are underway on similar specimens of Selaginella from the Westphalian D of the Bristol and
Somerset Coalfield. It remains to be seen whether this subgenus of anisophyllous plants is restricted to the
Palaeozoic. Only a re-examination of the Mesozoic and Tertiary species will answer this.
Selected references
HIRMER, M. (1927): Handbuch der Paläobotanik, 1, Munich & Berlin: 708 pp.
JERMY, A.C. (1986): Sub-generic names in Selaginella. Fern Gazette, 13: 117-118.
THOMAS, B.A. (1992): Palaeozoic herbaceous lycophytes and the beginnings of the extant genera Lycopodium
and Selaginella. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 79: 623-631.
THOMAS, B.A. (1997): Upper Carboniferous herbaceous lycopsids. Rev. Palaeopbot. Palynol., 95: 129-153.
for table see next page:
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
c. 50
c. 600
S. flabellate (L.)
c. 60
S. heterostachys
fossil plants
c. 5-10
S. gutbieri
Type species
S. spinosa P.
S. uliginosa
(Labill.) Spring
S. rupestris (L.)
Growth habit
creeping and
much branched
or with short
erect branches
creeping or erect
and much
creeping and
much branched
or with erect
Creeping and
Tab. 1: (B.A. Thomas)
uniform and
uniform and
uniform and
uniform and spiral
dimorphic (at
least on the
uniform (but
showing slight
dimporphism) and
dimophic and
dimorphic (at
least on the
uniform and
uniform and
uniform and
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
The significance of Bernhard von Cotta for the development of the geological sciences
K.-A. Tröger & H. Walter
Geological Institute, Freiberg University, Zeuner street 12, 09599 Freiberg, Germany,
[email protected]; Geological Survey of Saxony, Freiberg, Germany,
[email protected]
Carl Bernhard von Cotta (1808-1879), sun of a forester-resident in Zillbach/Thuringia, studied forestry and
geological sciences in Tharandt (1827), Freiberg (1827-1832) and Heidelberg (1832, ½ year). He took place in
the geological mapping of Saxony under the guidance of CARL FRIEDRICH NAUMANN as from 1833. C.B.v. Cotta
was appointed to a chair of “Geognosie und Versteinerungslehre” in Freiberg (Bergakademie of Freiberg) in
1842. The activities of B.v. Cotta in Freiberg were very important for the reorganization of the students training
on the one hand and his research, which was combined with expeditions, work in mining districts and geological
mapping in Saxony and Thuringia.
Topics of his research were:
endogenetic and exogenetic processes: activity of water in oceans, lakes and rivers; activity of ice;
earthquakes and changes of level; mountain building (disturbed bedding, conform bedding),
basical principles in lithostratigraphy (Gruppe-group; Formation-formation, Schichtgruppe-member,
Schicht-layer; facial changes, facial interfingering),
principles in biostratigraphy: flora – fauna (first presentation – first lectures in Freiberg),
Historical Geology (short outline for Europe in the chapter: “Architektur der festen Erdkruste“ –
Geologische Bilder, B.v. Cotta 1876),
systematic petrography: sedimentary rocks – mechanical, chemical, phytogenetic, zoogenetic;
metamorphic rocks with examples (degree of metamorpism no sign for the age of the rocks);
volcanic rocks; plutonic rocks,
contributions to the mapping of Saxony together with C.F NAUMANN (professor at the Bergakademie
Freiberg 1836-1842) and mapping in Saxony, Thuringia and the Fichtelgebirge between 1833 and
palaeontology (mainly description of silicified wood of Permo-Carboniferous age („Dendrolithen in
Beziehung auf ihren inneren Bau“ – description of 8 new species),
ore deposits – 1: mainly forms of deposits – see BAUMANN & WOLF, 1980; 2: prospection for ore
deposits and coal deposits
a - in Saxony including northern N Bohemia: Freiberg, Altenberg, Zinnwald, Graupen and Pöbel,
Altenberger, Berggießhübel, Seifen, Katharinenberg and Saida, Marienberg, Ehrenfriedersdorf and Geyer,
Sauberg near Ehrenfriedersdorf, Kupferberg and Sebastiansberg, Joachimsthal, Schwarzenberg,
Johanngeorgenstadt and Eibenstock , Schneeberg; mainly Ag , Pb , Co and Sn ores.
b - other parts of Germany (underlined: sedimentary ore deposits): Fichtelgebirge, Vogtland
(Bavarian and Thuringian part), Thüringer Wald (copper slate), Harz, Mansfeld, Weser mountains (iron
ores: Lias, Dogger, Weald), Salzgitter (Lower Cretaceous iron ores), Peine (Upper Cretaceous iron ores),
Rheingebiet (upper Carboniferous siederites), Hunsrück (Fe), Rheinisches Schiefergebirge (Ag, Pb, Ni,
Co, Mn), Aachen (Pb, Zn), Arnsberg (Sb), Commern and Mechernich (Pb), eastern border of Rheinisches
Schiefergebirge (copper slate), Twiste near Arolsen (Cu), Schwarzwald, Pfalz (Hg), Schwaben and
Franken (Jurassic oolithic iron ores).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
c - ore deposits in other parts of Europe/world: Alpen, Karpaten, Siebenbürgen, Banat, Kroatien, Altai.
coal deposits: Bayrische Alpen (Tertiary - Molasse), Tirol, Banat, Siebenbürgen, Donez region (Upper
The research of B.v. Cotta includes all branches of geological sciences. His contributions to the lithostratigraphy,
to the exogene geology and to the search of deposits must especially be mentioned. Finally, it must be pointed
out that the progressive geological research in Freiberg started with the research of B.v. Cotta.
Fundamental works of B.v. Cotta
COTTA, B.v. (1832): Die Dendrolithen, in Beziehung auf ihren inneren Bau. – Arnoldische Buchhandlung
Dresden u. Leipzig . Arnoldische Buchhandlung Dresden und Leipzig: 89 S.
COTTA, B.v. (1855): Die Gesteinslehre. Verlag J.G. Engelhardt Freiberg.
COTTA, B.v. (1856): Die Lehre von den Flötzformationen. Verlag J.G. Engelhardt Freiberg: 285 S.
COTTA, B.v. (1856): Winke über Aufsuchung von Stein- und Braunkohlen besonders für Grundbesitzer. Verlag
J.G. Engelhardt Freiberg.
COTTA, B.v. (1858): Deutschlands Boden, sein geologischer Bau und dessen Einwirkungen auf das Leben des
Menschen . Verlag J.G. Engelhardt Freiberg: 1. Teil (1854), 2. Teil (1858).
COTTA, B.v. (1861): Die Lehre von den Erzlagerstätten. Verlag J.G. Engelhardt Freiberg. 1. Auflage (1855) , 2.
Auflage (1859) – Bd. I , 2. Auflage (1861) – Bd. II ; Freiberg.
COTTA, B.v. (1876): Geologische Bilder. 6. Auflage. Verlagsbuchhandlung J.J. Weber Leipzig: 343 S.
COTTA, B.v. (1857): Kohlenkarte von Sachsen und Erläuterungen. Verlag J.G. Engelhardt Freiberg; Freiberg.
Works about the importance of B.v. Cotta for the geology including his list of references:
Rektor Bergakademie Freiberg (ed. 1980): Die Bedeutung Bernhard von Cottas für die geologischen
Wissenschaften. Gedenkkolloquium anlässlich seines 100.Todestages.Vorträge zum Berg- und
Hüttenmännischen Tag 1979 in Freiberg. Freiberger Forschungsh. D 137: 97 S. Leipzig.
WAGENBRETH, O. (1965): Bernhard von Cotta. Leben und Werk eines deutschen Geologen im 19. Jahrhundert.
Freiberger Forschungsh. D 36: 112 S.; Leipzig.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
First results from the 2004 expedition to the lower Permian of Sumatra:
are the different plant associations from the Mengkarang Formation related to
differences in lithofacies?
I.M. van Waveren1, F. Hasibuan2, M. Booi1, P.L. Boer3, D. Chaney4, J.H.A. Konijnenburg1 & R.H. Wagner5
Nat. Natuurhist. Museum, Naturalis, P.O. box 9517, 2300 RA The Netherlands, [email protected];
Geological Research and Development Center, Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia;
Department of sedimentology, Institute of Geology, University of Utrecht, Budapestlaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht,
The Netherlands;
Department of Paleobiology, MRC 121, Smithsonian Institution, NMNH, 10-th Constitution Avenue NW,
Washington DC, 20560 U.S.A.;
Centro Paleobotánico, Jardín Botánico de Córdoba, Avenida de Linneo s/n. 14004, Córdoba, Spain.
The ecosystem stability and taxonomic stasis that prevailed for plants in the Late Carboniferous were disturbed
in the Early Permian because of the end of the Paleozoic glaciation (PFEFFERKORN et al., 2000). This transition
was observed in Texas where a Permian xeromorphic flora replaced a wet one (DIMICHELE et al., 2004). A
similar transition was discovered for the Jambi-paleoflora in the uniquely preserved regressive Mengkarang
Formation (Sumatra). A review of the Jambi paleoflora indicated the presence of Cathaysian and Euramerican
plant fossils in the Early Permian deposits of Sumatra. (VAN WAVEREN et al., 2004). In October 2003 a pilot
study to the Jambi area on Sumatra where the Early Permian is outcropping indicated that the study of the
Mengkarang formation can clarify (1) the change from a wet to a xeromorphic flora, (2) its depositional
environments and (3) its stratigraphic position in order to assess Sumatra’s role in Early Permian floral migration
and its paleogeographic position (VAN WAVEREN et al., 2003). The first results of the sampling expedition held
in August 2004 will be presented.
DIMICHELE, W.A., CHANEY D. & TABOR, N. (2004): Vegetation of Wolfcampian (early Permian) age in NorthCentral Texas, USA: Dynamics in the Western Tropical Belt during the time of Late Paleozoic Deglaciation.
Abstracts from the VII International Organization of Paleobotany Conference, Bariloche, Patagonia,
Argentina, March 21-26: 23-24.
PFEFFERKORN, H.W., GASTALDO, R.A. & DIMICHELE, W.A. (2000): Ecosystem Stability during the Late
Paleozoic Cold Interval: in GASTALDO, R.A., & DIMICHELE, W.A. (eds.): Phanerozoic Terrestrial
Ecosystems: Paleontological Society Short Course Notes: The Paleontological Society Papers, 6: 63-78.
Palaeoflora of Sumatra: a progress report. Abstracts from the VII International Organization of Paleobotany
Conference, Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina, March 21-26: 141-142.
Indonesian-Dutch Project on the Review of the Palaeobotanical Jambi Collection and Paleontological
Research on Sumatra. First progress report for LIPI. 11pp.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Cotta - workshop
Lower Carboniferous paralic to peri-montaneous palustine and fluvial
Lower Permian volcanic influenced lacustrine biota from the NW Saxony
Volcanite Complex
Autunian fluvial to lacustrine facies from the Massif Central (France)
Playa and sabkha environments from Northern Germany and Southern
J.W. Schneider, B. Buschmann, J. Fischer, B. Gaitzsch, G. Gand,
U., Kaulfuß, F. Körner, B. Legler, P. Tschernay & H. Walter
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Lower Carboniferous paralic to peri-montaneous palustine and fluvial environments
B. Gaitzsch & B. Buschmann
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Geology, [email protected]
1 Geology of the Torgau-Doberlug Syncline
(B. Buschmann)
The present core material was recovered in the area of the Torgau-Doberlug Syncline (TDS). The TorgauDoberlug Syncline (also called Torgau-Doberlug-Göllnitz Syncline) represents the E branch of the DelitzschTorgau-Doberlug Synclinal Zone (DTDS) – a narrow ENE striking Variscan structural belt at the NE margin of
the Saxothuringian Zone (Fig. 1). The DTDS is bordered by the Neoproterozoic Lusatian-Leipzig Greywacken
Complexes to the S and by the Metamorphic Zone of Bitterfeld-Drehna (also called Southern Phyllite Zone of
the Mid German Crystallin Rise to the N (Fig. 2).
Fig. 1: One out several geotectonic zonation schemes of the Central European Variscides (modified after Zoubek
1988, Fig. 1). Zoubeck´s scheme emphasizes a tectonostratigraphic link between Variscian structural
complexes in the Bohemian Massif (Saxothuringian and Barrandian) and the Amorican Massif (Northern
Amorican Zone)
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 2: Structural subdivision of the Variscan basement in the NE of the Saxothuringian Zone, modified after
Kampe et al. (1990, unpubl. report).
1.1 Basement exposured of the DTDS
The pre-Stephanian (i.e. the Variscian basement) of the DTDS and the MGCR is blanketed by up to more than
200 m thick Cenozoic soft rocks. Stephanian to Rotliegend molasses and Upper Permian Carbonates (German
Zechstein) are sandwiched between the basement and the Cenozoic locally.
The single permanent outcrops of the pre-Stephanian of the DTDS are restricted to the S margin of the TDS.
They represent monadnocks of cherts from the Neoproterozoic Rothstein Formation, rising up to approx. 60 m
above the elsewhere covered pre-Tertiary surface (the Rothstein rock W of the village Rothstein, situated NE of
Bad Liebenwerda).
The current knowledge of the basement geology of the DTDS is based on core drillings and geophysics. He bulk
of core drill exposures is relating to the following exploration stages: coal exploration in the fifthies (Viséan of
TDS), mapping during the early sixties, uranium exploration between 1978 and 1981 (mainly TDS) and tungsten
exploration in the eighties (Delitzsch syncline and TDS). None of the mentioned explorations recovered
economically workable deposits.
Best exposures of the pre-Stephanian are concentrated on the TDS, were the displayed core material of the short
course comes from. The core material from the Viséan of the TDS is stored by the Geological Survay of the
Brandenburg State.
1.2 Tectonostratigraphy of the TDS
Outstanding tectonostratigraphic features of the TDS are:
The preservation of the Cadomian disconformity between a low grade Neoproterozoic Cadomian
basement and overstepping very low grade fossiliferous Lower to Middle Cambrian.
The occurrence of Viséan III early Variscan molasses deposited at sea level contemporaneous to
the emplacement of the Variscan intrusive Complex of Pretzsch-Prettin.
The Cadomian basement (Neoproterozoic Rothstein Formation)represents an over 1.000 m thick fragment of an
marine contintal margin backarc basin of the late Avalonian-Cadomian peripheral orogen. Sedimentary
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
deposition is dated by a zircon from a tuff layer at 566+10 MaThe period of Cadomian basin closure is restricted
by the Lower Ovetain age (early Lower Cambrian, approx. between 535 and 525 Ma) of disconformably
overlaying fossiliferous carbonates.
The Lower Cambrian overstep sequence (Zwethau Formation, thickness above 800 m) records erosion of the
Cadomian low grade metamorphosed basement (up to more then 100 m thick, very immature conglomerates)
and shallow marin terrigenous-carbonatic sequences under arid climate conditions. Basin formation is related to
pull-apart processes in the framework of a continental transform margin.
Within the Zwethau Formation, sills and dikes of tholeiitic basalts to andesites and calc-alkaline andesites record
a thinned continental crust.
The fossiliferous Middle Cambrian (Arenzhain Group, thickness above 750 m) records a quiet siliciclastic shelf
A stratigraphic gap covers the approximately 170 Ma between the Middle Cambrian (from ~510 Ma) to the Late
Viséan III (~330 Ma).
The Viséan oversteps the Cambrian succession across an angular unconformity. Basal fossiliferous carbonates
and carbonatic greywackes represent analogues to the European Carboniferous Limestone. The subdivision into
lithostratigraphic formations reflects a distinct cyclicity of depositional fining upwards sequences in the
framework of an overall trend from shallow marin to fluvial deposition.
As main controlling factors of deposition, the interplay of Variscan orogenic collaps processes (extensional basin
settings) and high frequency sea lever fluctuations ( beginning of the Lower Carboniferous Glaciation) are
The occurrence of very low grade Silurian chert pebbles indicates either reworking of a Silurian succession
within the TDS or detrial input from an unkown source area.
Paralic to fluviatil environments favored the deposition of coal seams.
Andesitic to rhyodacitic sols in the Viséan sediments are contemporaneous to the emplacement of approx. 330
(U/Pb and Pb/Pb isotopic ratios of magmatic zircons after Anthes & Reischmann 1996 and Hammer et al. 1996).
Variscan Plutonite Complex of Pretsch-Pretrin-Schönewalde, wich subcrops at the NW margin and N of the
TDS. The trace element geochemistry of the Viséan sills indicate magma generation within a thickened
continental crust.
In general, the tectonostratigraphy of the TDS area reflects the maintenence of a high crustal position since the
end of the Cadomian orogeny resp. throughout the Variscan history.
Fig. 3: Palaeogeography of Europe at time of Viséan-Namurian boundary (after Skompowski et al. 1995)
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 4: Scheme of the lithologic-tectonostratigraphic development in the Torgau-Doberlug Syncline. (postCarboniferous omitted).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
2 Viséan
(B. Gaitzsch, B. Buschmann & P. Jonas; unpubl.)
2.1 Regional and plate tectonic importance
The Lower Carboniferous deposits of the NW Bohemian Massif record the surficial expression of the Variscan
orogeny by flysch facies sedimentation, related to intense reworking of high crustal Variscan nappes
(Tournaisian to Viséan III), and the deposition of early Variscan molasses related to the formation of extensional
orogenic collapse basins (Viséan III). Due to the fading of Variscan orogenic influences towards the NNW-NW,
from the Saxothuringian Zone across the Rhenohercynian Zone and the Variscan foreland basin to the platformal
area of the Caledonian consolidated S margin of Laurussia, the flyschoid development in the outer part of the
central European Variscan belt extends up to the Namurian (Rhenohercynian Zone), and the late Variscan
folding up to the Westphalian in the foreland basin areas (Fig. 5). The Lower Carboniferous platformal area of
the Caledonian consolidated S margin of Laurussia is characterized by a Tournaisian to Viséan stable shallow
marine Carboniferous Limestone facies.
The Viséan III of the Saxothuringian Zone records the transition from flysch deposition to early Variscan
molasses. In contemporaneous Viséan III depositional areas, flysch or molasse facies deposits accumulated
respectively (Fig. 5), reflecting the interplay of orogenic collapse extensional basin formation and high
frequency sea level fluctuations. Viséan III early molasse basins of the Saxothuringian Zone comprise
terrigenous depositional sites towards the interior of the Bohemian Massif resp. the Variscan belt (C in Fig. 5),
and shallow marine - paralic - fluviatile depositional sites towards the exterior (A, B in Fig. 5).
The onset of early Variscan molasse deposition in the Delitzsch-Torgau-Doberlug Synclinal Zone (DTDS) is
temporally related to the crenistria-event (Viséan IIIα) sea level rise (HERBIG, 1998). Nevertheless, the basin
formation is clearly related to extensional processes in context of the Variscan orogenic collapse. The
depositional facies in the Doberlug area records synsedimentary extension (e.g. syndepositional extensional
faulting). A distinct cyclicity of depositional fining upwards sequences is considered to record the interplay of
successive extension of the basin substratum and high frequency sea level fluctuations. Sills of evolved andesites
to rhyodacites with thick crustal trace element signatures (P. JONAS, poster on conference) erupted
penecontemporaneously to sedimentary deposition. The volcanism is considered to represent a supracrustal
expression of the emplacement of the ~ 330 Ma intrusive complex of Pretzsch-Prettin. Probably, late Variscan
intrusives extend subsurface below the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian-Viséan deposits of the Torgau-Doberlug
Syncline (TDS) area, as the coal seams of the Viséan are thermally matured to anthracite.
NÖLDEKE (1970), assumes a compressive origin of the penetrative deformation in the late Viséan subhercynian
folding stage, but an extensionrelated deformation (extensional faulting and folding) is considered more
The Viséan III of the Doberlug area oversteps the Cambrian succession across an angular unconformity. Aside of
the Cadomian regional overprint of the Neoproterozoic Rothstein Fm., the pre-Viséan deposits did not suffer a
Variscan regional overprint. Hence, the Viséan records supracrustal orogenic collapse processes in a relatively
stable area of the NE Saxothuringian Zone, resp. an intermediate facies development between the
Rhenohercynian and the interior parts of the Variscan Saxothuringian Zone.
At least partially, the restricted subsurface distribution of the Viséan in the TDS (Figure 6) is attributable to preStephanian and pre-Cenozoic erosions. Across the N-flank of the TDS, Stephanian molasses local cover
Neoproterozoic and Cambrian deposits as well as granitoids of the intrusive complex of Pretzsch-Prettin.
Neoproterozoic core sections are affected local by up to 300 m deep penetrating pre-Stephanian/Stephanian red
weathering. In context with the regional distribution patterns of Neoproterozoic and Lower Cambrian deposits at
the N-flank of the TDS (Figure 6), that implies a significant prestephanian uplift of roughly E-W oriented
basement blocks with increasing uplift rates towards the NNW. Hence, the modern 'synclinal' structure of the
TDS resp. the DTDS might rather represent a Viséan to pre-Stephanian graben structure.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 5: Distribution of Lower Carboniferous deposits in the east German area.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 6: General map of the geology of the study area(TDS) and positions of studied drills and outcrops (Cenozoic
cover removed). The W part of the TDS (position of drill Zwethau 1/65), and recently studied core
profiles on Saxony federal territory are not shown.
2.2 Viséan of the TDS – stratigraphy
(B. Gaitzsch)
Across the DTDS, two Viséan depositional areas are preserved (Delitzsch and Doberlug areas, Fig. 5). The
Carboniferous of the Delitzsch area was lately studied by STEINBACH (1990). NÖLDEKE (1970) presented a
comprehensive publication about the Viséan in the Doberlug area. Currently, a modern investigation of Viséan
molassoid depositional areas in the context of Variscan collapse basin formation in the Saxothuringian Zone is
conducted by B. GAITZSCH.
The Viséan of the TDS is subdivided into lithostratigraphic units of formation stage (Fig. 7). As a whole, these
formations comprise a group, which is not named hitherto.
An overview to the lithostratigraphic subdivision of Viséan molasse basins in the Saxothuringian Zone (A to C
in Fig. 5) is shown in Figure 8.
2.3 Displayed core material and drill core reference profiles
The bulk of core sections exposing the Viséan was drilled during coal exploration in the fifthies. With exception
of drill DK D59, all core sections are strongly reduced to reference samples. Of drill DK D59, selected core
sections are displayed at the short course (see Fig. 8 for core profile). Further, reference samples of other drills
are displayed as supplements to the core sections, and as references to lithologies not present in the shown core
boxes. By that, typical lithologies of all four lithostratigraphic formations are shown.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 7: Lithostratigraphic subdivision of the Visean in the Doberlug area (TDS). Compiled after NÖLDEKE
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 8: Lithostratigraphic subdivision of Visean basins in the east German part of the Saxothuringian Zone. For
basin locations see Fig. 5.
3 References
HERBIG, H.-G., 1998. The late Asbian transgression in the central European Culm basins (Late Viséan, cd
IIIα). Z. dt. geol. Ges., 149: 39-58.
NÖLDEKE, W., 1976. Das Obervisé von Doberlug-Kirchhain. Jb. Geol., 5/6 f. 1969/70: 589-706.
SKOMPSKI. S., Alekseev. A., Meischner, D., Nemirovskaya, T., Perret, M.-F. & Varker W. J., 1995. Conodont
distribution across the Visean/Namurian boundary. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senkenberg, 188: 177-209.
STEINBACH, V., 1990. Struktur und Entwicklung der karbonen Molassen im Raum Delitzsch-Bitterfeld.
Freiberger Forschungshefte, 439: 69-108.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Lower Permian volcanic influenced lacustrine biota from the NW Saxony Volcanite
P. Tschernay1, J. W. Schneider 1, H. Walter2
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Geology, [email protected];
Geological survey of Saxony, Freiberg, [email protected]
Lake biota of the Carboniferous and Permian lacustrine black shale facies have attracted palaeontologists and
private collectors for two centuries because of their mostly high content of plant and animal fossils. Newly, very
detailed and high skilled research work has been carried out on the famous late Stephanian (Pennsylvanian) and
Lower Rotliegend (Cisuralian) lakes in the grey facies of the Saar-Nahe basin by Boy and his co-workers (comp.
BOY 1997, BOY & SCHINDLER 2000). But besides this lakes of the black shale type facies exists a wide variety of
aquatic environments in different settings from grey to red facies, which remain merely unknown. The literature
on this settings is mostly very restricted, especially in the European Permian, where on the other hand side huge
volcanic areas exist. Only some rare examples exist, e.g. GAITZSCH (1995), WALTER & GAITZSCH (1988),
SCHNEIDER (1994), WERNEBURG (2002). In the NW-Saxonian Volcanite Complex, one of such lakes has been
recently discovered and bed by bed documented during students field courses of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg
in the early 90this and large excavation in 2001. From the ongoing investigation in the frame of the diploma
thesis of P. Tschernay first interesting results will be demonstrated by specimens and profile documentations
supported by some power point pictures.
1 Regional Geology and stratigraphy
The Börtewitz lake horizon is intercalated into the more than thousand metre thick mostly acidic volcanites of
NW Saxonian Volcanite Complex. This complex is situated in the area north of the Saxonian Granulite Massif
between the towns Meißen and southern outskirts Leipzig. Deposition started with the 150 to 200 m thick
Kohren-Formation above the Variscan basement. This Formation is built up by a sequence of fanglomerates,
sandstones and siltstones, interfingered with acidic to intermediate and basaltic volcanites and pyroclastics. The
following Rochlitz Formation is about 400 m thick and consist mainly of trachyandesitic to rhyodacitic flows
and the Rochlitz-ignimbrite. In the top of this ignimbrite a wide variety of volcanites and pyroclastics with some
intercalations of alluvial coarse clastics and rare lake horizons were deposited. This heterogeneous sequence of
250 m thickness is called the Oschatz-Formation. Lacustrine black shales have been first mentioned by COTTA
(1856) as the “Saalhausener Formation” near the town Oschatz. The Börtewitz lake horizon is regarded as an
lateral, more pyroclastic influenced equivalent of the Saalhausen Member. For longe time this horizon was only
known from fossil containing shale pebbles in quarternary deposits. After the discovery of an outcrop close to
the village Börtewitz and the excavation, this lake horizon became the most importand biostratigraphic marker
horizon in the NW Saxonian Volcanite Complex. The 600 m thick Wurzen Formation is formed by extrusive
and intrusive volcanites. Locally this Formation is covered by Upper Rotliegend red beds.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 2: Correlation chart of NW-Saxony (orig. Schneider & Roscher)
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
2 Points of discussion
sedimentology and facies of the lake horizon and accompanying pyroclastics
origin of chert concretions and lacustrine laminated cherty horizons
climatic situation derived from sedimentology and flora
palecological character of the lake during different stages
food chains in different stages of the lake development
palaeobiogeography and some mysterious phenomena, as the complete missing of palaeoniscid fishes
Fig. 2: reconstructed food chain of the Börtewitz lake (orig. Tschernay after Boy & Schindler 2000)
BOY, J. A. (1977) Typen und Genese jungpaläozoischer Tetrapoden-Lagerstätten. Palaeontographica, A 156,
4/6:111-167, Stuttgart.
BOY, J. A. & SCHINDLER, T. (2000): Ökostratigraphische Bioevents im Grenzbereich Stephanium/Autunium
(höchstes Karbon) des Saar-Nahe-Beckens (SW-Deutschland) und benachbarter Gebiete. N.Jb.Geol.Paläont.
Abh, 216, 89-152, Stuttgart.
COTTA, B. V. (1856): Rotliegendes am Hutberg bei Weissig in Sachsen.-N. Jb. F. Min., p. 544, Stuttgart
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
GAITZSCH, B. (1995): Extramontane Senken im variscischen Finalstadium in Norddeutschland Lithofaziesmuster, Tektonik und Beckenentwicklung.- Dissertation, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, 101 pp.
SCHNEIDER, J. (1994): Environment, biotas and taphonomy of the lacustrine Niederhäslich Limestone, Döhlen
Basin, Germany.- Transact. Royal Soc. Edinburgh: Earth Sci., 84: 453-464, Edinburgh.
WALTER, H. & GAITZSCH, B. (1988): Beiträge zur Ichnologie limnisch-terrestrischer Sedimentationsräume. Teil
II: Diplichnites minimus n. ichnosp. aus dem Permosiles des Flechtinger Höhenzuges.- Freiberger
Forschungsheft,C 427: 73-84, Leipzig.
WERNEBURG, R. (2002): Apateon dracyiensis – eine frühe Pionierform der Branchiosaurier aus dem
Europäischen Rotliegend, Teil 2: Paläoökologie. – Veröff. Naturhist. Museum Schleusingen, 17: 1-82.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Autunian fluvial to lacustrine facies from the Massif Central (France)
J. W. Schneider1, J. Kaulfuß2 & J. Fischer1
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Geology, [email protected]; 2Natural History Museum,
Mainz, Germany, [email protected]
Since long time, the Autunian basins in the French Massif Central are famous for the Euramerian non-marine
Carboniferous because of hers characteristic fossil content. Based on them and a very long research history, the
lithostratigraphical term “Autunien” was introduced by (MAYER-AYMAR 1881, see BROUTIN et al. 1999) and is
up to now in use as “Autunian” by some Permian workers in a chronostratigraphical sense (comp. BROUTIN et al.
1999, SCHNEIDER 2001). Most samples of the last two centuries comes from mining of coals as well as bituminous black shales. The last working open cast coal mine in Autunian sediments of the Massif Central was Buxieres-les-Mines (in the following shortly Buxieres). This mine was since 1980 up to its closure and renaturation in
2001 the largest outcrop of Autunian (Lower Rotliegend) coals and lakustrine black shales in Europe.
From the end of the 19th century up to the end of coal mining, various fossils have been collected by
palaeontologists and private collectors. For details of the research history see STEYER et al. 2000 (reprints will be
available during the workshop). Organized by the Association Rhinopolis, Ganat, which was established to
coordinate collecting und treasuring of fossils, as well as supported by the coal mining company “Houillères des
basins Centre et Midi”, a European Working Group was established for detailed research work in 1996.
Supported by them and organized on the French side by J.M. Pouillon, two palaeontological field courses (1999,
2000) of students of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg took place. During this field work, seven typical profiles
have been documented and sampled in great detail. Unfortunately, the unexpected fast closure of the mine
prevent further work in the now completely disappeared outcrop. Fortunately, during the students field course in
2000, profiles of altogether 15 m across the coal seams and the lakustrine black shales have been cut with an
engine rock saw. Based on this material and very well supported by J.M. Pouillon and Dr. P. Debriette, the
former Freiberg student U. Kaulfuß has outworked his diploma mapping (3D modelling, KAULFUß 2004) and
diploma thesis (KAULFUß 2003). Here, only some general information are given. Based on samples and
documentations, detailed information on first results of this ongoing French-German cooperation will be
presented and discussed during the workshop.
1 Geological situation and stratigraphy (mainly after PAQUETTE & FEYS 1989; DEBRIETTE 1997)
Buxieres is situated at the south-western border of the Bourbon l´Archambault basin, which lay in the North of
the Massif Central between the Sancerre fault in the West and the Grand Sillon Houiller in the East (see Fig. 1,
there called the Aumance basin). This about 500 km2 large halfgraben basin is subdivided by the nearly S-N
striking Gipcy-Bourbon basement ridge in the two subbasins of Souvigny in the East and Aumance in the West.
Buxieres belong to the Aumance basin. Sedimentation starts with the “Buxieres inferieur” (Fig. 2) in the
Stephanian; max. 800 m coarse to fine clastic sediments with minor coal seams and local with volcanite
intercalations have been drilled during coal exploration (DEBRIETTE 1997). After an angular unconformity
follow with erosive base 1100 m thick Autunian sediments of the Buxieres and Renière Formations - first up to
250 m thick conglomerates with interbedded arcosic sandstones of the “Conglomerate Member” (= La Mouillere
Member) at the base of the grey facies Buxieres Formation. The following “Infra Buxieres Member” consist of
150 m of biotit and feldspar containing fluvial sandstones. They are overlain with smooth transition by the 250 m
thick “Supra Buxières Member” – a sequence of fluvial fine conglomerates and sandstones with intercalated coal
seams followed by very fossiliferous lakustrine black shales with intercalated dolomitic horizons. The “Supra
Buxieres Member” contain up to 30 pyroclastic marker beds, the most significant are the “lien blanc” in the top
of the “Couche du Toit” coal seam and the “lien vert” in the top of the lacustrine facies. Plant containing
claystones of the silting-up facies are erosive cut by progradating fluvial channel sandstones with locally
intercalated dm thick black shales of small lakes and ponds. The grey facies of the Buxieres Formation is
overlain by the reddish 460 m thick alluvial to lacustrine clastics of the Reniere Formation. They consist of
conglomerates, arcoses, silt and claystones as well as limestone horizons and volcanic ash layers. With an
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
angular discordance and erosive basis, which cut down in the South of the basin up to the Buxieres Formation,
follow red beds of the Clusor Formation in a preserved thickness of 60 m. They are regarded as Saxonian,
i.e.Upper Rotliegend.
Fig. 1: Carboniferous
and Permian Basins of
the Massif Central
1 – Post-Permian
2 – Permian
3 – Coal-Basins
4 – pressumed
5 – basement
(after DOUBINGER et al.
2 Presented material/points of discussion
palustrine and lacustrine grey facies of the Buxieres Formation
origin of the coarse clastics of the type “grès nougat”
unusual missing of internal bedding of the black shales
disturbations of lacustrine sediments
taphonomy of fishes
age of the formation by branchiosaurs, insects and xenacanth shark teeth
climatic conclusions
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Groups and
Fig. 2: normal profie of the Basin of
Bourbon-l`Archambault (STEYER et al.
2000; after DEBRIETTE 1992)
Renière B
Renière A
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
BROUTIN, J., CHATEAUNEUF, J.-J., GALTIER, J. & RONCHI, A. (1999) : L’Autunien d’Autun reste-t-il une
reference pour les dépots continentaux du Permien inferieur d’Europe?- Géologie de la France 2: 17-31.
DEBRIETTE, P.J. (1997) : Bassines stephano-permiens du sud-ouest du Bourbonnais.-Livret-guide de la visite
A.G.P. à Buxières les Mines, 32 pp.
DEBRIETTE P. (1992): Le basin permien de Bourbon l`Archambault et le Sillon Houllier (Allier-France).- Extrait
du bulletin de la Société d`naturelle d`Autun, n° 144, 34 p.
KAULFUß, U. (2003): Lithofazies, Genese und Strtaigraphie des Permokarbon im Becken von Bourbonl`Archambault (Massif Central) – Fallstudie Buxieres-les-Mines.- TU Bergakademie Freiberg, unveröff.
Dipl.-Arbeit, 82 S., Freiberg.
DOUBINGER J., VETTER P., LANGIAUX J., GALTIER J. & BROUTIN J. (1995): La flore fossile du bassin houiller de
Saint-Étienne.- Mém. Mus. natn. Hist. nat., 16, pp. 1 – 357, Paris.
Amphibien und Seismite – der See von Buxieres-les-Mines (Unterperm, Massiv Central, Frankreich).- 73.
JT Paläont. Ges., Mainz 2003, Kurzfassungen, Terra Nostra, 5/2003: 144-145.
SCHNEIDER, J.W. (2001): Rotliegendstratigraphie – Prinzipien und Probleme.- Beitr. Geol. Thüringen; N.F. 8: 742; Jena.
PAQUETTE, Y. & FEYS, R. (1989) : Le bassin de Bourbon-l` Archambault (Aumance).- in : CHATEAUNEUF, J.-J.
& FARJANEL, G. (ed.) : Synthèse géologigues des bassins permiens francais.- Mém. BRGM, 128, pp. 43-54,
RAGE, J.-C., RIVAL, J., SCHNEIDER, J.W., STAMBERG, ST., WERNEBURG, R., CUNY, G. (2000): New floras
and faunas from the Lower Permin of Buxières-les-Mines, Bourbon-l´Archambault basin (Allier, France). A
preliminary report.- Bull. Soc. Géol. France, 171 (2): 239-249.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Playa and sabkha environments from Northern Germany and Southern France
B. Legler1 (part 1); J. W. Schneider1, G. Gand2 & F. Körner1 (part 2)
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Geology, [email protected]; 2Université de Bourgogne,
Dijon, [email protected]
Part 1: North German Basin (Southern Permian Basin)
1. Introduction
Sediments of playa and sabkha environments are well known from recent deserts as well as from the geologic
record. Although both terms are frequently used, a broad variety of definitions exist. Playa was used in the
southwest of North America for the first time. It refers to the topographically lowest part of an undrained desert
basin, where an ephemeral playa lake can exist.
The term sabkha originates from the Arabic. It is often used for areas where saline minerals crystallize at or near
the surface through evaporation. After HOLM (1960) “the term should be restricted to coastal regions.”
According to this definition a sabkha is influenced either by direct flooding by seawater or by seepage of marine
Sedimentation in desert environments is highly influenced by the groundwater table. Efflorescence and adhesion
play an important role in the sand/silt-ratio of the deposits. Marginally, dunes can occur. Closer to the basin
centre with increasing influence of evaporating groundwater, dry, damp and wet sandflat deposits appear. A
saline mudflat environment occurs at the rims of salt pans or perennial saline lakes. Lake sediments are formed
within a standing water body and are not influenced by desiccation.
2. Geological setting
Playa and sabkha environments of the Upper Rotliegend II (Permian) in Northeast Germany are discussed in this
part of the workshop. The North German Basin is a part of the Southern Permian Basin, extending from Great
Britain to Poland (ZIEGLER 1990). The basin was filled with hundreds to thousands of meters of siliciclastics and
halite deposited within a huge playa system. This playa system evolved in a desert environment under arid to
semiarid climatic conditions.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
3. Lithofacies
Different facies types within the playa/sabkha environment of Northeast German Rotliegend could be observed.
The most common types are described below.
Lithotype Sp: Cross-bedded sandstones
Sandstones of lithotype Sp are mostly medium grained, but fine and coarse grained sandstones also occur.
Partially thin silt laminae can be observed. The cross-stratified sandstones are parallel bedded. Finer and coarser
grained laminae alternate. Fine-grained sandstones form up to few mm thick laminae with inverse grain-size
grading. Partially a thin silt layer occur at their base. The coarse-grained strata are up to several centimetres
thick, those strata are internally untextured. The dip of the cross-bedding strata differs from low angles of 5° up
to high angles of about 20°, seldom 30°. Sandstones of lithotype Sp form sets of similar dipping strata. The tops
of these sets are eroded. Sets of low angle cross-bedding are centimetres to few decimetres thick, whereas
steeper inclined sets reach thicknesses of more than 10 m. Sandstones of lithotype Sp are almost exclusively of
red colour. Fossil remains are absent.
Gap1, Gap5, Sventesius; thin-sections: Ko3, Mi37
Cross-stratification of this type occurs in aeolian dunes. The thin laminae with inverse grading are formed by
migrating ripples. Those climbing translatent strata (HUNTER 1977, KOCUREK & DOTT 1981) can be preserved at
the dune apron or on lateral edges of cresenic dunes. The coarse-grained, internally homogeneous strata result
from grain flows, which are formed when lee-slopes of dunes become too steep to be stable.
Lithotype Sh: Horizontal-bedded sandstones
Horizontal bedding is caused by two-fold grain segregation. The parallel stratified laminae are dominantly
medium grained, but coarse and fine grained laminae also exist. Laminae show inverse grading. Subordinately
silt and fine gravel may occur in horizontal-bedded sandstones. Sandstone beds of lithotype Sh are several
decimetres thick. Horizontal bedding often evolve into low-angle cross-bedding towards the top.
Mi15, lower part; Rhi3, Ko4/74, Sventesius, Hünenküche; thin sections: Ko4, Hünenküche
Aeolian horizontal bedding is produced by migrating wind ripples (MOUNTNEY & THOMPSON 2002). Saltation
ripples create fine-grained, whereas granule ripples generate coarse-grained ripples. After FRYBERGER ET AL.
(1983) aeolian horizontal bedded sandstones can be formed in interdune and dry sandflat facies. Both
environments are very similar. Interdunes occur between dunes and often intercalate with them. Dry sandflat
sequences are thicker and more extensive.
Lithotype Sm: Massive sandstones
Massive, unstratified sandstones are composed of medium and coarse grains, fine-grained sand, silt and finegravel can also exist. Sometimes medium- to coarse-grained claystone-clasts occur. They are several centimetres
to some decimetres thick.
Gap4, upper part; Aaz3 ; thin section: Ko2 (with rip-up clasts)
Two processes are generally made responsible for massive sandstone formation in arid environments.
Stratification becomes indistinct in sandstones with a small grain-band. Sometimes transitions to stratified
sandstones exist. Secondary processes such as halotubation homogenise sedimentary structures by precipitation
and dissolving of evaporites.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
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Lithotype Sw: Wavy-bedded silty sandstones
Wavy horizontal bedded sandstones are non-parallel bedded. Discontinuous, unplanar, silty laminae and drapes
cause wavy bedding. Thickness of silty, sometimes clayey laminae differs. They are 2 to 3 mm thick in
maximum. Laminae become thinner to the edge and often split up. Sand is intercalated as beds with different
thickness, sometimes sandy lenses occur. Within the lenses sand is homogeneous, seldom stratified. Medium
grained sandstones dominate lithotype Sw. Fine- and coarse-grained sand occurs subordinately. Rarely coarsegrained sand and fine gravel are randomly scattered. Some sandstones with crinkled clay-laminae exist.
Anhydrite nodules of millimetre to centimetre scale are common. Sets of wavy-bedded sandstones are some
decimetres up to several metres thick. There is a smooth transition from wavy-bedded to lenticular-bedded
Mi15, upper part; Aaz1, lower part; Mi9; Aaz20; Rhi 26; Rhi31; Rhi40 – crinkled clay-layers
See lithotype Sf for interpretation.
Lithotype Sf: Lenticular to flaser-bedded silty sandstones
Bedding is generated by lots of non-parallel, wavy, discontinuous silt laminae. Compared to wavy bedded
sandstones the silt- and clay-content is higher. Siltlaminae are 1 to 7 mm thick. They often split up. Sand lenses
are fine to medium grained, massive, sometimes laminated. The lense-size depends on the clay content: with
higher clay contents they become smaller. They are 5 to 30 mm in width in average. Individual sandy layers
occur. Coarse-grained sand can be randomly scattered. Anhydrite nodules of millimetre to centimetre scale are
common. Sets of this lithofaciestype are almost several decimetres, only sometimes a few metres thick.
Mi6, Mi49, Mi13
Wavy and lenticular-bedded sandstones form in a damp and wet sandflat environment. Both deposits differ in
penetration of groundwater and/or in salt content. Smooth transitions exist between both.
Damp and wet sandflat environments depend on a higher ground water level as dry sandflat environment.
Windblown sand forms adhesion ripples and warts on groundwater penetrated sedimentary surface (REINECK
1955, KOCUREK & FIELDER 1982). The formation of efflorescence crusts is another important fact in generation
of wavy- to lenticular-bedding (SMOOTH & CASTENS-SEIDELL 1994, GOODALL et al. 2000). While the
sedimentary surface is covered by an efflorescence crust, wind driven sand forms irregular layers and fills in
swales and pockets. Windblown dust adheres at salt crusts. Clay and silt laminae are formed when halite is
dissolved during heavy rains. Nodular gypsum is formed within the sediment.
Lithotype Ms: Mudstone with sandy lenses and flasers
Lithotype Ms is very similar to lenticular and flaser bedded silty sandstones. Smooth transitions exist with
increasing clay and silt content. With the decrease of sand lenses the silt content within these lenses increases.
Wavy, clayey silt laminae are 3 to 10 mm thick. Pure, very discontinuous clay laminae (2 – 3 mm thick) occur.
Fine to medium grained, silt-rich sand-lenses are laminated or homogeneous. They are in average 5 to 20 mm in
length. Small anhydrite nodules (about 1 mm) are common within sand lenses. Sets of lithotype Ms are several
decimetres, seldom 2 to 5 metre thick.
Uth9, Aaz5
For interpretation of this lithotype see Lithotype Mm.
Lithotype Mb: Brecciated Mudstone
Brecciated mudstones are characterised by clay-, mudstone- and fine grained sand-clasts within a fine grained
sandy matrix. Its texture is particle or matrix supported. The clay clasts are several millimetres to centimetres in
diameter. Clayey clasts are almost exclusively smaller than sandy ones. The clasts are not sorted. They are often
rounded to subrounded, but angular clasts with frayed borders also can be found. Clasts are unstratified or finely
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
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laminated. Different dipping of lamination shows rotation of clasts. Locally the matrix is intensely cemented.
Indistinct, unplanar to wavy lamination is indicated by elongated clasts. But in the majority of cases brecciated
mudstones are homogeneous. Sometimes subvertical, jagged cracks occur. They become narrower towards the
base and are often ramified near the top. Cracks are thin lined by clay and filled with silt and clay. Mudstones of
lithotype Mb are several decimetres thick.
Mi66, Aaz10, Uth6, Uth4
This lithotype is interpreted together with type Ms and Mb. See lithotype Mm for interpretation.
Lithotype Mm: Homogeneous Mudstone
Lithotype Mm is characterised by very high silt and clay content. Fine-grained sandstone is rare. Very indistinct,
disrupted, some millimetre thick clay laminae are common. Due to the narrower range of grainsizes the
mudstones appear massive and homogeneous. Thin vertical cracks occasionally occur. Anhydrite nodules (often
1 – 10 mm in diameter) occur as well as halite pseudomorphoses. Sets of homogeneous mudstones are several
decimetres thick.
FehZ1/1, FehZ1/2, FehZ1/3, Mi46ab, Mi70, Mi67
Mudstones of lithotype Ms, Mb and Mm can be allocated to the saline mudflat environment. Whereas mudstones
with sandy lenses (Ms) formed at the outer edge, brecciated mudstones (Mb) and massive mudstone (Mm) are
arranged closer to the saline lake of the basin centre. Saline mudflats are characterised by thick evaporitic crusts
at their surface. Sand is blown at the unplanar surface of the crust forming sand patches. Windblown dust is also
deposited at the evaporitic crust. During heavy rains, flooding causes the dissolving of salts. Irregular silt layers,
sandy lenses, and clay layers remain (GOODALL et al. 2000). While drying up, the sediment is disrupted by salt
crust evolution. During repeated wetting and drying evaporate crystals are formed around mudclasts and round
them (SMOOT & OLSEN 1994). Whereas temporary efflorescence crusts form brecciated mudstones, sand- and
silt-size particles are left by well-developed crusts.
Lithotype Tl: Horizontal laminated claystone
Typical horizontal laminated claystones are varicoloured (greyish-red, violet, blue-green). Laminae are some
millimetres up to 2 centimetres thick. The clay laminae are characterised by a certain carbonate content. Grey
gypsum crystal layers and silt laminae can also appear. Gypsum crystal layers are unstratified, seldom planar
horizontal bedded or indistinct ripple-cross stratified. Gypsum crystals also occur within the clay layers. The
planar to somewhat unplanar horizontal laminae are continuous. Thickness-variability was partially observed.
Single, 2 to 4 mm thick layers with aligned gypsum macrocrystals can be found. Just in one case silified layers
exist. Lithotype Tl is several centimetres thick.
Mi31; thin section: Mi34
For interpretation see lithotype Tb.
Lithotype Tb: Brecciated claystone
Brecciated claystones are similar to lithotype Tl, but laminae are disrupted. Normal faults in millimetre to
centimetre scale occur. Also subvertical cracks with infillings of silt exist. Sometimes clasts with partial fitting
appear. Almost exclusively extentional patterns occur. Solely folds and thrust structures could be observed.
Conchostracans were found in brecciated claystones. This lithotype is several centimetres thick.
Rhi21; Mi31; Mi36; thin section: Ko10, Ko9
Laminated and brecciated claystones are formed in perennial saline lakes. Lamination can be formed as algal
laminae in shallow water (“Algal Mat – Playa Lake Model” of OLSEN (1984)) or when sediment is deposited
from suspension in deep water below wave base (“Deep Water – Stratified Lake Model” of OLSEN (1984)).
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
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Desiccated sediments occur directly beneath and above lithotypes Tl and Tb, arguing strongly for the first model.
Anhydrite and carbonate content are evidences for higher salinity of the lake water. Varying clay-, anhydriteand carbonate content shows fluctuating lake levels possibly by seasonal/annual/perennial changes in
Synaeresis, desiccation, seismic shocks and solution processes can result in brecciation of those laminated
claystones as discussed by MINGRAM (1988). Probably several of these processes acted.
Lithotype Ts: Horizontal bedded claystone
The base of horizontal bedded claystones is sharp. Horizontal bedding is caused by thin silt laminae. Lenses of
fine grained silt, in planview asymmetrical ripples, occur occasionally. Mica is concentrated in layers.
Subvertical, sand filled cracks are abundant. They become narrower towards the base and are ramified near the
top. In plan view they form polygonal patterns. Partly the clay layers are concave curved next to the cracks, sand
is filled in between the horizons. Angular to subrounded claystone clasts occur at the base of overlying
sandstone. Halitpseudomorphs and hydromeduses are abundant on bedding planes. Traces of arthropods,
swimming trails and burrows are rare. Horizontal bedded claystones are few centimetres to decimetres thick.
Mi29b; Mi58: hydromeduses; Mi20: swimming trails; Mi21: arthropod traces; Rhi52: burrows
Horizontal bedded claystones were formed in temporary playa lakes that originated from heavy rains. Clay and
silt was windblown or transported by running water. During desiccation of the playa, mud cracks formed.
Horizontal bedding is traceable within several blocks (SMOOT & OLSEN 1994). Sand was blown into the cracks,
and during short flooding, clay lines were formed. Ephemeral playa lakes are habitats of hydromedusas
(medusina limnica). While the water table is near the surface, halite crystals can form.
Lithofacies models for Northeast German Rotliegend deposits
Two different facies associations are obvious in Northeast German Upper Rotliegend II sediments.
(1) Sp – Sg – Sm – Sw – Sf – Ts
This association is linked to the basin margin. The groundwater table was relatively far away from the
sedimentary surface. Dune fields and sandflats cover large areas. Rainwater from desert storms filled
topographical low regions and interdune areas. Claystones were deposited in those ephemeral playa lakes.
Hydromedusas lived within the ponds. Thin salt crusts were formed by ascending ground water during wetter
periods in damp and wet sandflats. Windblown dust was caught there.
Sedimentation of this facies association was controlled by a fluctuating ground water table, but cyclicity is not
obvious. This is typical for sediments of Dethlingen-Formation.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
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(2) Sw – Sf – Ms – Mb – Mm – Tb – Tl
The second facies association was controlled by cyclic fluctuations of the perennial saline lake. The groundwater
table was generally higher than before. Thin salt crusts of damp and wet sandflat environment occurred during
the driest periods. Closer to the saline lake (or while lake expansion) the area was covered by thick salt crusts of
mudflat environment. During phases of maximum lake expansion, the area became completely flooded.
Laminated claystones formed. Algal mats protected probably lamination against reworking.
Sediments of the Hannover-Formation belong to this facies association. Cyclicity is distinct, caused by
fluctuating lake level. Almost all times the area is covered by more or less thick salt crusts during upper
Hannover time. Lake sediments become rare and cyclicity is no longer obvious.
FRYBERGER, ST. G., AL-SARI, A. M. & CLISHAM, TH. J. (1983): Eolian Dune, Interdune, Sand Sheet, and
Siliciclastic Sabkha Sediments of an Offshore Prograding Sand Sea, Dhahran Area, Saudi Arabia.- AAPG
Bulletin, 67 (2): 280 – 312.
GOODALL, T. M., NORTH, C. P. & GLENNIE, K. W. (2000): Surface and subsurface sedimentary structures
produced by salt crusts.- Sedimentology, 47: 99 – 118.
HOLM, D. A. (1960): Desert geomorphology in the Arabian peninsula.- Science, 132 (3437): 1369-1379.
HUNTER, R. E. (1977): Basic types of stratification in small eolian dunes.- Sedimentology, 24: 361 – 387.
KOCUREK, G. & DOTT, R. H. Jr. (1981): Distinctions and uses of stratification types in the interpretation of
eolian sand.- Journ. Sed. Petrol., 51: 579 – 595.
KOCUREK, G. & FIELDER, G. (1982): Adhesion structures.- Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 52 (4): 12291241.
MINGRAM, J. (1988): Lithofazielle, milieuanalytische und petrographische Untersuchungen im höheren Saxon
der südwestlichen Altmark.- Diss. TU Bergakademie Freiberg: 105.
MOUNTNEY, N. P. & THOMPSON, D. B. (2002): Stratigraphic evolution and preservation of Aeolian dune and
damp/wet interdune strata: an example from the Triassic Helsby Sandstone Formation, Cheshire Basin, UK.Sedimentology, 49: 805 – 833.
OLSEN, P. E. (1984): Comparative Palaeolimnology of the Newark Supergroup: a Study of Ecosystem
Evolution.- Diss. Yale University: 726.
REINECK, H. E. (1955): Haftrippeln und Haftwarzen, Ablagerungsformen von Flugsand.- Senckenbergiana
Lethaea, 36 (5 – 6): 347-352.
SMOOTH, J. P. & CASTENS-SEIDELL, B. (1994): Sedimentary features produced by efflorescent salt crusts, Saline
Valley and Death Valley, California.- In: RENAUT, R. W. & LAST, W. M. (eds.): Sedimentology and
Geochemistry of Modern and Ancient Saline Lakes, SEPM Spec. Publ., 50: 73 – 90.
SMOOT, J. P. & OLSEN, P. E. (1994): Climatic Cycles as Sedimentary Controls of Rift-Basin Lacustrine Deposits
in the Early Mesozoic Newark Basin Based on Continuous Core.- SEPM Core Workshop, 19: 201 – 237.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
ZIEGLER, P. A. (1990): Geological Atlas of Western and Central Europe.- Geol. Soc. London: 239.
Part 2: Permian playa environments of Southern France
1 Introduction
The Lodève basin in Southern France provides one of the most complete and best exposed Lower to Upper
Permian profiles in Europe with facies transitions from fluvial-lacustrine grey sediments to alluvial and playa red
beds. The basin is situated on the southern border of the Massif Central forming a half graben structure with a
supposed master fault in the South (BROUTIN et al. 1992, DEROIN et al. 2001). Permian sediments crop out in an
area of 150 km2 with a thickness of about 2.500 m. At the Orb fault in the west coal containing Upper
Stephanian sediments of the Graissessac basin are exposed, which extend below the Permian red beds as
indicated by one drill hole (VETTER 1971, fig. 10; BROUTIN et al. 1992, p. 108).
Guided by G. Gand and J. Garric, extensive palaeontological sampling based on detailed lithostratigraphy take
place since many years (e.g. GAND 1987 ff., GAND et al. 1997a, c, Gand et al. 2000, GARRIC 2001). Additional,
detailed sedimentological, geochemical, mineralogical and palecological investigations are carried out by F.
Körner and J.W. Schneider (e.g. KÖRNER 1999, KÖRNER et al. 2001 ff.) in the post-Stephanian profile, whose
upper 2.000 m (Rabejac to La Lieude Formation) have been documented for cyclostratigraphy. The aim is to
reconstruct the climatic processes, which control the litho- and biofacies patterns during an Icehouse/Greenhouse
Based on specimens of sediments and fossils as well as supported by graphics and power point presentation,
some results and unsolved problems should be discussed during the workshop.
Fig. 1: Map of France
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2 Basin history and facies pattern
Different opinions exist concerning the basin history, BECQ-GIRAUDON & VAN DEN DRIESSCHE (1993) suppose
a continuous basin development and facies transitions from the Graissessac Stephanian into the Lodève Lower
Permian caused by a single Stephano-Permian extensional tectonic event. After SAINT-MARTIN (1993), cited and
discussed by GALTIER in GAND (ed. 2001), the E-W stretching Stephanian Graissessac basin has been partially
eroded in post-Stephanian times and is unconformable overlain by deposits of the subsequent Permian Lodève
basin – see fig. 2.
Fig. 2: The Permian series of Lodève
basin. A = Autunian group wit F1-F3
Formations, B = Saxonian group with
F4, F5 Formations (ODIN 1986), C =
F12-F35 saxonian fossiliferous sites;
Stratigraphy: COGEMA = Compagnie
Générale d’Exploitation des Matières
Nucléaires, E = Members (Laversanne
1976), V.a = volcanic ashes indicated
by roman numbers, Beds from 57 to 00
with alpha, béta, gamma = bone beds,
R = 100-1000 COGEMA markers;
Palaeontology: Traces Inv. =
invertebrates with p = tubes and
burrows, P = exogene resting,
furrowing , walking/crawling tracks; (I
= Isopodichnius); Traces Ver. =
footprints; compilation from Heyler &
Lessertisseur 1963, Laversanne 1976,
Ellenberger 1983a, 1983b, 1984, Gand
1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, Debriette &
Gand 1990; Flora, M.f = macroflora, AE from COGEMA unpublished,
Doubinger 1956, 1963, Doubinger &
Heyler 1959, 1975, Doubinger &
Kruseman 1965, Galtier & Broutin
1995; A45-48: Tullières, B: = Mas
d’Alary = typical Autunian flora; Flora,
P.a = palynology, LO1, LO2, LO3 =
Doubinger et al. 1987‘ associations;
Fauna Ver = vertebrates, F, G, H, I
after Vetter et al. 1963, Doubinger &
Heyler 1959, 1975, Heyler 1969
Laversanne 1976, COGEMA unpubl.;
F = “Branchiosaurus”, “Actinodon”,
Aphelosaurus, fishes; G = fishes; H =
fishes, “Actinodon”, Eryops,
pelycosaurian remains; I =
“Actinodon”; J = bone beds after
Ellenberger 1983b. Fauna Inv.: K, M,
N = conchostracans, K + L =
gastropode, after Laversanne 1976; O =
conchostracan + gastropode after
Ellenberger 1983b; F29-F17 =
sandstone channels with Triopsids (ti),
insects (a), conchostracans (c), Gand et
al. 1999, Nel et al. 1999a-c. (after Gand
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2.1 Usclas-St-Privat and Tuilières-Loiras Formation
Sedimentation in the Permian Lodève basin starts with the fluvial clastics and lacustrine black shales of the
Usclas-St-Privat Formation (160 m) and the Tuilières-Loiras Formation (350 m). These grey facies sediments are
deposits of a fan and flood plain system with basin central eutrophic lakes. The Usclas-St-Privat Formation
consists of a succession of approximately 10 m fining upward sequences, each of them start with fluvial whitish
sandstones at the base and passing upward into deltaic and lacustrine sediments. Lacustrine sediments constitute
the greater part of the Tuilières-Loiras Formation (Broutin et al. 1992). They are organised in small scale cycles
(in average about 12 m thick) – basal cross bedded fluvial sand- and siltstones followed by lacustrine greyish to
black laminated calcareous siltstones and up to 2 m carbonaceaous, often bituminous black shales at the top. This
sequences could be traced over 15 km distance and more. Pyroclastic horizons, acting as marker beds, are very
common. The climate was warm-humid to semihumid with seasonal rainfall, indicated by laminated (?varved)
lake sediments. In the transition zone of the upper Tuilières-Loiras Formation to the lower Viala Formation the
facies changed from grey to red. The flora of the lakustrine black shales and the red beds as well is clearly
dominated by meso- to xerophile plants, especially conifers (about 85%) and subordinated callipterids (about
10%). The aquatic fauna has a very low diversity, compared to other lakes of similar age in the more northern
part of the Massif Central (Buxieres-les-Mines, Aumance, Autun). They consist of conchostracans, 2 or 3
palaeoniscid species, Acanthodes, discosauriscid amphibians and a newly discovered hybodont shark (?
2.2 Viala Formation
The overwhelming red Viala Formation (250 m) consists of cyclic braided river/sheetflood sandstones and flood
plain silt-/mudstones with intercalated grey to black lake horizons. The red facies was deposited under semiarid
conditions, indicated by gypsum-pseudomorphs, desiccation cracks, xeromorphic calcisols as well as mesophile
to xerophile fauna and flora. For the first time Supaia appears in the Lodève basin. Fluvial sandstones horizons
in the Lower Viala Formation contain characteristic bone beds (α, β, γ – see Fig. 2) consisting of mm to cm large
splinters of bones. Complete bones are extremely rare. This preservation is very typical for bones exposed for
longer time to the blistering heat of the sun, which cause physical weathering. During strong rain fall events,
they are washed together in this special kind of bone beds.
Tetrapod tracks are increasingly common during the Tuilières-Loiras and Viala Formation. The typical
association consists of Dromopus, Anthichnium and Limnopus, accompanied by Dimetropus and Varanopus
(GAND et al. 2000).
2.3 Rabejac Formation – Fig. 3
Above an erosional (?and angular) unconformity, which cut up to 100 m of the Viala Formation (ODIN 1986,
BROUTIN et al. 1992; see fig. 4), the 280 m thick Rabejac Formation starts with fanglomerates. Further
deposition took place on a flood plain with periodically filled ponds and lakes in a fan and flood plain/flood
basin system. Grey facies is completely missing. Remains of macroflora, mostly trunks and roots as well as
conifer twigs and cones, are still frequent but oxidised. Widespread flood casts and rain prints point on seasonal
to episodic heavy precipitation. The endogenous invertebrate burrow Scoyenia, very common in the flood plain
deposits of the Tuilières-Loiras and Viala Formation is still frequent, indicating a relatively high ground water
level. Trails of triopsides and conchostracans are very common in sediments of shallow pools (GAND 1994).
Very flat water is indicated by wind generated wave ripples and the type of triopside trails – the
Trachomatichnus crawling trails are more frequent than the typical Isopodichnus feeding trails of triosides. Body
fossils of those arthropods are rare. Additionally, tetrapod tracks and swimming trails in form of scale
impressions from the body floor are common (GAND et al. 2000; pers. comm. VOIGT 2004 ).
There is no well defined boundary between the Rabejac and Salagou Formations, rather a smooth transition
(possibly the Rabejac should be included as a Member in the Salagou Fm.). Root horizons, macroremains of
plants, the arthropod ichnocoenoses of shallow pools as well as the alluvial plain/flood plain Scoyeniaichnofacies becoming increasingly rare up to disappearance.
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Fig. 3: left: Rabejac Fm. basal conglomerate, rosd D148, SE of Les Hémies; right: Smooth transition of
fluviolacustrine sandstones of the Rabejac Fm. into the playa siltstones of the Salagou Fm., road D148, SW of
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2.4 Salagou Formation – Fig. 4
In the transition from Rabejac to Salagou Formation a climatically induced retreat of the alluvial fans is evident.
Fluvial sandstones and siltstones disappear almost completely, sedimentation is dominated by cyclic playa
siltstones of about 1500 m thickness. Indications of a semiarid to arid climate as vertisols (instead of calcisols)
and desiccation crack horizons became increasingly frequent. The absence of Scoyenia and the absence of plant
roots point on a lowered ground water level at the playa borders as well as on seasonal water filling of the playa
self. Besides that, plant growing is hampered on frequent desiccated clay and silt, because roots could hardly
penetrate this kind of hard xeric soil. The occurrence of fossils in the Salagou Formation is almost completely
restricted to temporary water filled parts of channels, which contain masses of xerophile organisms
(conchostracans, triopsides, insects – comp. GAND et al. 1997, GARRIC 2000). In the Octon Member of the
Lower Salagou Formation a maximum of aridity was reached. Cycles of the Octon Member consist of m-thick,
massive red brown claystones and beige-coloured, cm-thick calcareous siltstones with characteristic desiccation
cracks. More frequent precipitation caused an extension of the playa lake. Therefore primary thin bedded to
laminated subaquatical deposited siltstones, the prevailing facies type of the Upper Salagou Formation Merifons
Member, represents a more central playa lake position in contrast to the muddy playa sediments of the Octon
Member. Cycles of the Merifons Member consist of cm- to dm-thick, often laminated, red brown claystones and
grey-green, cm-thick calcareous cemented siltstones with extensive desiccation crack polygons. The red beds of
the Salagou formation have long time been regarded as unfossiliferous - up to the discovery of fossil rich
channel fills. This channels originate during rainy seasons and are multi-storied (GARRIC 2001). The same
phenomena could be observed in recent playa settings as in Jordan and Tunisia. Most common are invertebrates
adapted to short time (weeks only) standing water bodies of small pools and puddles - conchostracans and
triopsides, sometimes in mass occurrences of hundreds and thousands individuals. Besides them insects (mostly
wings only) are not rare, but plants are almost missing. No vertebrates have been found up to now in the playa
facies – neither skeletons nor tracks.
Fig. 4: left: Typical sequence of playa
vertisols and dessication crack
horizons in the Octon Mbr., Salagou
Fm.; right: Typical sequence of
partially laminated playa siltstones and
dessication crack horizons of the
Merifons Mbr., Salagou Fm.
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2.5 La Lieude Formation – Fig. 5
The La Lieude Formation starts with coarse clastics
- sheetflood and braided river conglomerates and
fanglomerates, that directly overlie the series of
1500 m fine clastic red playa sediments of the
Salagou Formation. In the main stream direction,
this coarse clastics are stacked to a thickness of
some decametre. Laterally to the main streams they
have thicknesses of some decimetres and are
interbedded with playa siltstones. Frequent greygreen colours indicate that a higher ground-water
level caused reducing conditions. With the first
conglomeratic levels mottled calcisols and
invertebrate burrows (Scoyenia), rooted siltstones
and vegetation reoccur, trunks of some centimetre
diameter as well as leaves of Supaia are not rare.
Additionally, a new tetrapod track association
appear (GAND 1993, GAND et al. 2000). In the
lowermost part of the formation the famous track
site of La Lieude is exposed – twenty trackways
belonging to four ichnotaxa of therapsids and
therosaurs could be distinguished (GAND et al.
2000). The trackmaker of the 20 to 30 cm diameter
tracks as Plantipes and Brontopus is possibly a
pelycosaur similar to Cotylorhynchus. Skeleton
remains of such up to 3 m long herbivorous reptiles
were newly discovered in sheetflood sediments
close to La Lieude village. These drastic changes in
litho- and biofacies patterns from playa to alluvial
plain environments are indications of a rapid
increase in the rate of precipitation.
Fig. 5: Basal coarse clastics (sheet flood and braided
river channels) of the La Lieude Fm., NW of La
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October, 9 - 11, 2004
3 Petrological climate signals
The mudstones of the grey facies consist predominantly of illite, potassium feldspar, dolomite, quartz, kaolinite
and organic carbon. Characteristic for the grey facies is kaolinite, indicating a high intensity of chemical
weathering, and organic carbon, implying a high organic productivity and reducing conditions. Potassium
feldspar only appears in grey facies where it is very abundant - up to 35% of the whole rock (ODIN 1986) - and in
the top of the Lodève profile in the La Lieude Formation (Fig. 1).
Mudstones of the red facies consist predominantly of illite, albite, analcime, dolomite, calcite and quartz.
Characteristic for the red facies are hematite, which indicates oxic conditions, as well as albite and the authigenic
zeolithe mineral analcime. NMILA (1995) assumed, that most of the authigene albite and analcime were formed
through alteration of volcanic shards. After NMILA (1995) clear indications of volcanic input during deposition
of the Rabejac and the Salagou Formation should exist. In the reddish brown mudstones relics of volcanic shards
and quartz typically of volcanic origin (high temperature quartz, quartz chips) should be found. If so, an
detritical input from eroded volcanites of the older formations is more possible, because real ash layers of some
centimetre thickness are found only in two levels of the lower Octon Member (KÖRNER 1999) – despite of the
excellent preservation potential in the more than thousand meters thick playa sediments of mainly quite water
depositional environments. An early diagenetic origin of analcime and albite is most possible (REMY & FERREL
1989, HSÜ & SIEGENTHALER 1969). Evaporative pumping leads to the destruction of detritical feldspar and of
montmorillonit providing highly alkaline solutions. From these solutions analcime and albite can be neoformed.
These processes are characteristic for semiarid climates. The sharp quartz fragments, discussed by NMILA (1995)
could simply bee products of strong physical weathering under semiarid to arid climate and the short transport
(mostly in suspension) from the nearby source areas. Anyway, for some restricted levels a direct input of air fall
pyroclastics is proven by KÖRNER (1999). The pyroclastic origin of the so called “marker horizons” in the
Salagou Formation (niveaux repères in French) must be abandoned. They represent somewhat thicker
desiccation crack horizons as normal. Their basin wide extension has been tested, but it remains difficult to trace
them over longer distances than some hundreds meters in the outcrops. Generally, the very frequent and
characteristic desiccation crack horizons marks flooding events of the playa. They follow one to another in the
Octon Member in the metre scale, in the Merifons Member in the decimetre scale. Their cyclostratigraphical
interpretation is in progress (KÖRNER 2005 in prep.).
4 Geochemical climate signals
Geochemical investigations included element geochemistry and oxygen-isotope analysis on calcareous cemented
siltstones of the red bed facies (KÖRNER et al. 2001). In the transition zone from grey to red facies, changes in
the major element geochemistry are associated with the appearing/disappearing of distinct minerals. Higher
Na2O- (albite, analcime), CaO- (calcite) and Fe2O3-contents (hematite) are associated with the decline of K2O(potassium feldspar) and MgO-contents (dolomite).
The Na2O-content reflects the abundance of analcime and albite in the rocks. As outlined above both minerals
have been formed under semiarid conditions. Playa-mudstones of the Rabejac Formation and the Salagou
Formation as well as calcareous cemented siltstones of the whole profile were analysed. Aggressive solutions
induced by evaporative pumping are responsible for the destruction of detrital minerals and volcanic shards, the
following removal of distinct elements like potassium and the enrichment of sodium by neoformation of albite
and analcime. The samples of the Octon Member, which have the highest Na2O/Al2O3-ratios and the lowest
K2O/Al2O3-ratios compared to the other units, reflect therefore a period of strong evaporation. These trends
occur in the calcareous cemented siltstones as well as in the mudstones.
Oxygen-isotope measurements on calcite of calcareous cemented siltstones indicate a trend towards higher δ
O18-values from Rabejac to Salagou Formation. That is interpreted to reflect the highly evaporitic environment
during deposition of the Salagou Formation.
5 Stratigraphy – Fig. 6
To understand the biostratigraphical conclusions and the correlation chart (Fig. 4) some explanations will be
needed. The Carboniferous/Permian (C/P) boundary is indicated in fig. 4 by 299 Ma after RAMEZANI et al.
(2003), therefore the C/P boundary should be situated in the uppermost Stephanian, if the isotopic ages of the
Stephanian C in the Saar-Nahe basin are (more or less) correct.
Up to now, no satisfying biostratigraphical correlation between the entirely continental sections in Western
Europe and the marine standard scale of the Permian as well as the stratotype section of the
Carboniferous/Permian boundary in the Southern Urals exists. Traditionally, this boundary is set at the
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Stephanian/Autunian or Stephanian/Rotliegend boundary (see SCHNEIDER et al. 1995b, c). Ironically, after
isotopic ages (see above) and first biostratigraphical data (Schneider et al. 2004), the newly defined global C/P
boundary is very close to the boundary between the “Steinkohlengebirge” (Coal Measures) and Rotliegendes as
discussed e.g. by Beyschlag & Fritsch (1899). The German Rotliegend is a lithostratigraphical unit. Likewise,
the French Autunian (widely used in Europe as a chronostratigraphical term) was primary defined
lithostratigraphically (MAYER-AYMAR 1881, see BROUTIN et al. 1999) – it is used here in this sense and as a
synonym to the Lower Rotliegend. In the same way, the term Saxonian should be used in its primary
lithostratigraphical sense and synonymous to the Upper Rotliegend – see Fig. 6. The term Thuringian was
introduced by MUNIER-CHALMAS & DE LAPPARENT (1893) instead of the German lithostratigraphic term
Zechstein, which could not be translated satisfyingly into French. Here the German term Zechstein is applied,
since the Thuringian as a supposed chronostratigraphical unit is very misleading because of its unknown time
range. The Zechstein as a lithostratigraphical unit is absolutely clearly defined at the base by the marine
transgression and this boundary could be increasingly better dated by conodont-biostratigraphy (SCHNEIDER et
al. in progress).
BROUITIN et al. (1992) and GAND (2001, ed.) give an updated synopsis on the biostratigraphy of the Lodève
basin. Resulting from microfloral studies (DOUBINGER et al. 1987) the Usclas St. Privat and the lower TuilièresLoiras Formations have been dated as “Upper Autunian”, the Upper Tuilières-Loiras Formation as equivalent to
the Leonardian Wellington shales or “Upper Artinskian” and the Viala Formation as “Thuringian” or “Ufimian
to Kazanian” (which is older than the Thuringian = Zechstein, see fig. 4). As indicated by macrofloras (BROUTIN
et al. 1992, Fig. 6; GALTIER & BROUTIN 1995), the whole section from the Usclas-St-Privat Formation up to the
top of the Viala Formation corresponds to the Upper Autunian, that is late Asselian to early Sakmarian after
BROUTIN et al. (1999).
According to GAND (1993; ed. 2001) tetrapod footprints provide a somewhat wider time range for the Autunian
part of the section – Gzhelian to Sakmarian. The tetrapod footprints of the Rabejac Formation could be dated as
Late Kungurian to Early Ufimian and those of the La Lieude Formation as Tatarian (GAND et al. 2000), therefore
the Salagou Formation covers the time from Late Kungurian to Tatarian.
Conchostracans have been found in all levels of the Rabejac, Salagou and La Lieude Formations. In comparison to
the forms of the Permian of Russia and North America as well as of the German Rotliegend (MARTENS 1983 ff.,
SCHNEIDER et al. 1995a) the Rabejac Formation and the lower to middle Salagou Formation could be of
Artinskian to Kungurian/Ufimian or even upper Sakmarian to Kazanian age. The occurrence of the pteridosperm
Supaia, a characteristic plant of the Viala Formation (GALTIER in GAND (ed.) 2001, p. 15) up to the La Lieude
Formation (new discoveries during field work 2004), supports a Late Lower Permian age (Artinskian to
Kungurian according to KERP in GAND et al. 1997b) for the base of the Salagou Formation (NEL et al. 1999b). In
the higher Merifons Member of the upper Salagou Formation as well as some tens of metres above the base of
the La Lieude Formation, conchostracans with meshwork ornamentation between the growth lines, typical for
Upper Permian and Mesozoic forms, suggest a Tatarian (Capitanian) age.
Species of at least ten orders of insects have been found (e.g. GAND et al. 1997b, NEL et al. 1999a), among them
Phyloblatta and Opsiomylacris species. They are similar to those observed at the Obora locality in the Boskovice
Furrow (Czech), in the Rotterode and Tambach Formations of the Thuringian Forest basin (see Fig. 6) and the
Wellington Formation (Leonardian) of Kansas (SCHNEIDER 1980, 1984; SCHNEIDER in GAND et al. 1997b).
Fragments of about 2 cm long forewings from the Arieges locality in the middle part of the Salagou Formation show
first indications of a v-shaped cross-venation pattern. This pattern is typical for the genus Aisoblatta, which occurs
first in the uppermost Kungurian and is typical for the German Zechstein and the Upper Permian of China (see
SCHNEIDER 1996). In summary, blattid insects of the Salagou Formation could indicate a Late Cisuralian to Early
Lopingian age. According to NEL et al. (1999b) and BÉTHOUX et al. (2001), Odonatoptera and Glosselytroptera point
on a Kazanian (Wordian) age for parts of the Salagou Formation. The discovery of the oedischiid Iasvia reticulata
ZALESSKY, up to now only known from the type locality Chekarda in Russia, Solikamsk Formation of the Ufimian,
in the middle part of the Salagou Formation (BÉTHOUX et al. 2002), supports a Kungurian/Kazanian age for large
parts of the Salagou Formation.
Zircon based datings was done at the GeoForschungszentrum Potsdam on tuff horizons of the the TuilièresLoiras Formation and the Octon Member of the Salagou Formation – the ages are not very convincing. First
results of magnetostratigraphic investigations (pers. com. V. BACHTADSE and W. SCHILLER, Munich) seem to
put the La Lieude Formation in a position just around the Illawara reversal, that is Lower Capitanian respectively
Lower Tatarian age.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
As shown above, many questions concerning the age of the sedimentary infill of the Lodève basin remain
unanswered at present. Anyway, the red beds of the Lodève basin are one of the best exposed Permian section
in Europe. Pyroclastic horizons and the unusual rich fossil content provide the best opportunity for future
correlations between marine and non-marine Permian basins.
6 Conclusions to the climate development – Fig. 7
During Stephanian times, the Graissessac-Lodève basin is located in the equatorial and tropical everwet biome of
ZIEGLER (1990) as documented by grey sediments with coal seams and the macroflora. Starting with the
Stephanian and during the Permian, the palaeogeographic position of the Lodève basin changed from about 5°
South to about 10° North (pers. com. V. Bachtadse), in other words, the Lodève basin was placed within the
equatorial belt for the whole time. The Usclas-St-Privat and the Tuilières-Loiras Formations could be assigned to
the tropical and subtropical summerwet biome with monsoonal climate. During the transition from the TuilièresLoiras to the Viala Formation warm-humid conditions of the grey facies shifted to semiarid conditions of the red
bed facies. The changeover from the alluvial fan/flood plain system of the Rabejac Formation to the playa facies
of the Octon Member of the Lower Salagou Formation is transitional. A maximum of aridity was achieved
during the Octon Member. Most likely, these increasing aridisation reflects global changes during the Lower
Permian. During this time the tropical vegetation in the whole equatorial Western Pangea is replaced by the
coastal and inland tropical to subtropical dessert biome and locally by the tropical and subtropical summerwet
biome (comp. ZIEGLER 1990, figs. 3, 4). A dramatic shift to higher precipitation rates occurred with the start of
the La Lieude Formation (Tatarian resp. Capitanian). Possibly, this events could be correlated with the ongoing
marine incursions in the Southern German Basin (LEGLER et al. in prep.) and in the Permian of the Southern
Similar litho- and biofacies changes have been observed further northwards in the Saar-Nahe basin during the
Late Glan Subgroup and the Nahe Subgroup as well as in the Thuringian Forest basin from the Oberhof
Formation to the Eisenach Formation (Fig. 6; comp. SCHNEIDER & GEBHARDT 1993). Playa facies occurs in
these basins in the Standenbühl and Eisenach Formations as well as in the Hornburg Formation of the Saale
basin. In contrast to the Lodève basin, those playa sediments are linked with aeolian sand deposits. Further
northwards, ranging from Capitanian times up to the Zechstein transgression, the huge Southern Permian Basin
(North German Basin in Fig. 6) of 1500 km length and 400 km width was filled with about 2000 m of sediments,
predominantly playa deposits, aeolian sands and halite.
The missing of extensive evaporites and aeolian sands in the Lodève basin could be linked to its position close to
the Tethys in the influence of the Intertropical Confluence Zone with saisonal rainfalls. Obviously, the inland
playas of the above mentioned German basins have been drier, according to their position more northerly within
the Trade Wind Belt. Up to now, in these basins no analogy could be found for the drastic climatic shift from the
Salagou to the La Lieude Formation. Maybe, the incompleteness of the sedimentary record is the reason for that
– see Fig. 6. The only events with interregional influence on climates could be the Bellerophon transgression in
the Southern Alps and the Zechstein transgression in Middle Europe. Both rapid transgressions took place in the
Middle Lopingian above the Ilawarra reversal – may be they cause an marine touch on climate, resulting in a
similar fast increase of precipitation.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 6: Corellation chart (orig. SCHNEIDER & ROSCHER)
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 7: Synthese profile of climatic development (orig. KÖRNER & SCHNEIDER)
The authors thank their colleagues for many fruitful discussions, particularly the members of the French
Association des Géologues du Permian as well as the organizers of the very stimulating meeting in Sienna. F.
Körner and J.W. Schneider acknowledge the support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft research grant
Schn 408/7 as part of the DFG project 1054 Evolution of the System Earth. We thank V. Bachtadse and W.
Schiller, Munich, for the palaeomagnetic data, U. Gebhardt, Halle, for discussions of climate problems and the
improvement of the English, and M. Roscher for technical support.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
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Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
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Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
excursion guide
“Permocarboniferous of the Erzgebirge basin”
J. W. Schneider1, B. Gaitzsch1, B. Legler1, R. Rössler2, F. Fischer3 & M. Roscher1
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Geology, [email protected]; 2Natural
History Museum, Chemnitz, [email protected]; 3Saxon State Ministry
of Environment and Agriculture, [email protected]
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Excursion route and stops
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Leaders: J. W. Schneider & B. Gaitzsch
The aim of the excursion is to introduce participants to classical outcrop-areas of continental Mississippian,
Pennsylvanian and Permian sequences of the European Variscides in Saxony (Fig. 1). The excursion will start
with Viséan Early Molasse of the Borna-Hainichen Basin, followed by Early Permian (Asselian) palaeosoilcontaining alluvial fan/alluvial plain sequences as well as fossil-bearing pyroclastics (Petrified Forest of
Chemnitz). At the end we will demonstrate in the town Zwickau the outcrops of Westphalian coal seams.
Problems of geotectonic and climatic situations (Fig. 11) should be discussed in the context of basin
development and lithofacies/biofacies patterns. Beyond that we would like to focus on local to interregional
correlations (Fig. 3) between the continental basins and continental and marine scales of the Carboniferous and
Permian as well.
The excursion guide presented here should introduce participants to the main facts related to locations,
stratigraphy and sedimentary facies, details will be discussed in the outcrops. During the Cotta-workshop, at the
day before the excursion, sediments and fossils of the Hainichen Viséan and the Zwickau Westphalian will be
shown and discussed.
Here, some more outcrops are described as we will see during the excursion, because of unknown weather
conditions (clay pit is not very fine in the rain) and the special requests of participants (e.g. old mine dumps with
plant fossils instead of conglomerate outcrops).
1 Introduction
The present-day 70 x 30 km large and NE-SW striking Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) depression in South Saxony
(Fig. 2) is discontinuously filled up with the molasses of the Variscan orogen. Sedimentation is interrupted by
long lasting periods of non-sedimentation and erosion of older basin fill. Each phase of basin formation is
controlled by different geodynamic regimes trough time and therefore each particular basin has its own history
independent of precursors. So, the present-day outline of the basin marks the extension of the Rotliegend trough,
which should be called the Chemnitz basin. Erzgebirge depression or basin is an artificial term only useful for
print of small scale maps.
The Late Viséan is represented by relicts of the Hainichen basin, which was formed in the top and/or in front of
the gravitational collapsing pile of Variscan naps and which is situated now between high grade metamorphic
complexes of the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) and the Saxonian Granulite Massif. Besides the typical Variscan
NE-SW strike, N-S and NW-SE fault systems have influenced basin development and sedimentation during
different times. At crosspoints of such deep faults local basins developed, as the postorogenic basins of Flöha
(Westphalian B) and Zwickau-Oelsnitz basin (Westphalian D to Cantabrian) as well as the basins in the Eastern
Erzgebirge Mountains, e.g. Olbernhau-Brandov and Schönfeld-Altenberg. The Rotliegend Chemnitz basin arose
after the Franconian movements and basin reorganization and is superimposed on the deep fault system of the
detachment between Erzgebirge Mountains and the Granulite Massif (KRONER 1995). Additional, this fault
systems have influenced the drainage systems and basin interconnections and acted in this way as migration
pathways for fauna and flora. In the Upper Permian Upper Rotliegend II the red beds of the Mülsen-Formation
formed possibly the transition to the latest Permian Zechstein and Mesozoic platform development.
Exploration and exploitation of hard coal has a long history in Saxony – the first record is the prohibition for
blacksmiths to use hard coal within the city walls of the town Zwickau in 1348 because of “poisonous smoke”.
Later G. AGRICOLA (1494 – 1555) and B. v. COTTA (1856) wrote about the coal mining in Zwickau. Up to 1970,
when the last mine was closed, 350 Mill. tons of hard coal have been exploited. The palaeobotanical research of
the Carboniferous in Saxony starts with A. v. GUTBIER (1835) „Abdrücke und Versteinerungen des Zwickauer
Schwarzkohlengebirges“ and H.B. GEINITZ (1854) “Darstellung der Flora des Hainichen-Ebersdorfer und des
Flöhaer Kohlenbassins”.
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Fig. 1: Generalised stratigraphical profile of the Erzgebirge basin (orig. RÖSSLER)
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Fig. 2: Position of the Erzgebirge basin
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Fig. 3a: Explanation to the correlations in Fig. 3
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1 Hainichen basin (mainly after GAITZSCH 2005 in press) – Fig. 4
Only locally, in the north-eastern part of the Erzgebirge basin, marine turbidites and fan-delta sediments (>1000
m) are known. The turbidites are most likely of uppermost Devonian to Tournaisian age and the fan-delta
sediments of the Striegis-Formation of Viséan age. These deposits represent relicts of the Variscan marine
foredeep. The Upper Viséan sediments of the following Hainichen Subgroup (> 1000 m) are deposited within a
submontane continental basin possibly close to the coast.
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Stop 1: Heumühle near Goßberg, valley of the Striegis river, Lower Viséan
Thickness: 650 to 1000 m
Base and top: tectonical contacts
Lithology/facies: fan-delta sediments
Fossil content/biostratigraphy: plant detritus, sporomorphs (in investigation)
Geochronology: granite pebbles 501 + 10 Ma (GEHMLICH et al. 2000), detritic Muskovite 379 + 9 and 378 + 8
Ma (AHRENDT et al. 2001) – early Variscan detritus.
The outcrop exposes sediments of the Heumühle Member, a fining-up sequence of proximal alluvial fan
(talus)/debris flow association, mainly matrix supported, bolder up to 1m in diameter, intercalated fine
conglomerates interfingering with sandstones; rare limestone bolder and pebbles contain Middle to Upper
Devonian corals and stromatoporoids of an completely eroded Devonian carbonate platform.
The overlying Höllgraben-Member (not seen during the excursion) is characterized by interbedding of
graywackes and siltstones with polymictic conglomerates and turbidite sequences rich in plant detritus. With
erosive contact it is followed by the Lichtenstein Member, consisting mainly of well rounded and very mature
quartz and quartzite pebbles. The relations to the older and younger sequences and the environment
reconstruction as well are hampered by the exclusive tectonic contacts at the base and top.
Brittle deformation of pebbles and boulders is characteristic in all this units. This kind of deformation is
completely missing in the younger Hainichen Subgroup. The lithofacies associations are interpreted as
subaquatic fan delta deposits – if marine (most possibly) or lacustrine is open up to now. It is supposed, that the
Striegis Formation forms the transition between lower Carboniferous turbidites and the coal-containing coastal
alluvial plain deposits of the Hainichen Subgroup (see below and SCHNEIDER et al. 1996, 1997).
Stop 2: town Hainichen, municipal park, Frankenberg Formation, higher Viséan
Hainichen-Subgroup (Hainichen-Ebersdorfer Kohlenformation GEINITZ 1854a)
Thickness: > 1000 m
Base: tectonical contact
Top: erosive overlying Westphalian or Lower Permian Rotliegend
Lithology/facies: fan and alluvial plain with swamp-system
Biostratigraphy: Lower Carboniferous, Viséan IIIβ-γ based on macroflora (PATTEISKY 1934; HARTUNG 1941,
GOTHAN 1949)
Frankenberg Formation (outcrop municipal park Hainichen)
Thickness: 70 - 800 m
Base: tectonical contact
Top: erosive superimposed Berthelsdorf Formation
Lithology/facies: siliciclastic continental shelf deposits, subaeric to subaquatic in relation to the groundwater
level depending on sea level fall and rise
Fossil content: hygro- to mesophile plant associations on episodically devastated areas, hydrophile to hygrophile
associations on river banks and in swamps (HARTUNG 1938, 1941, RÖSSLER & SCHNEIDER 1997); acanthodian
scales, xenacanth shark head spine and egg-capsules (Fayolia), hybodont shark egg capsules (Palaeoxyris),
sarcopterygian scales (new samples from the hay way A 4 reconstruction at Chemnitz-Glösa)
Biostratigraphy: see above Hainichen-Subgroup; after BEK (unpubl. report 1997): lower part of the NM-zone CLAYTON et al. (1978), approximately late Asbian V3b
Geochronology: 330 + 4 Ma (GEHMLICH et al. 2000) from zircon analysis (Pb/Pb single zircon evaporation) of
rhyolithic tuff in the lower part of the Frankenberg-Formation (WISMUT-well Frankenberg Fr 7/68-41 between
152,0-152,7 m depth); from detritical muscovite about 330 Ma (AHRENDT et al. 2001) – late Variscan detritus,
indicating very fast exhumation.
The whole profile of the Frankenberg Formation is dominated by compositional immature terrigenous clastics,
subordinated appear thin coal seams. Such hard coal seams have been exploited between 1789 and 1873 at
Berthelsdorf village south of Hainichen and between Borna and Ebersdorf east of Chemnitz between 1816 and
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Generally, the deposits of 70 m to 800 m thick Frankenberg-Formation form an shallowing upward sequence.
Matrix-rich, poorly sorted psephites/litharenites are covered by cross-bedded litharenites. The top is formed by
ribble-cross bedded, mica-rich fine sandstones and laminated siltstones, both contain very often plant detritus.
Sometimes strong slumping could be observed. In the outcrop municipal park Hainichen, deposits of medial
braided rivers and distal debris flows as well as deposits of palustrine flood basins with swamps (several thin
coal seams in the subsurface) are exposed, indicating sharp facies transitions in the scale of some meters.
Up to now, the deposits of the Frankenberg Formation have been regarded generally as subaeric alluvial
deposits. Resulting from actual sedimentological investigations, subaquatic deposition in an delta-environment in
the lower part the profile is assumed. Only the upper part consist of floodplain and channel deposits with local
swamps generating dm-thick coal seams and carbonaceous shale. In the topmost part of this floodplain sequence
a rich fish fauna with acanthodians, sarcopterygians and mass occurrences of hybodont and xenacanth egg
capsules was discovered. Possibly, temporary flood plain ponds was spawning places of shark females. These
sharks were not marine – evolutionary they belong to the earliest forms adapted to freshwater.
Therefore, the up to now existing idea of a local and isolated intramontane basin must be given up. This basin
was open for the immigration of fishes via a drainage system without any insurmountable high gradient sections.
It was a submontane basin close to the Variscan foredeep (GAITZSCH & SCHNEIDER 1997, RÖSSLER &
SCHNEIDER 1997). However, it is open, if any direct marine influence on the basin existed.
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2 Chemnitz basin – Fig. 5
The Lower Rotliegend Härtensdorf Formation rest with an angular unconformity on the deeply eroded upper
Zwickau Formation of topmost Westphalian to Cantabrian age. This unconformity and erosional gap could be
related to the Franconian movements at the Stephanian/Rotliegend transition but also to the earlier Asturian
movements during or after the Cantabrian as well. The basin development and configuration during the Lower
Rotliegend and Upper Rotliegend I are mainly controlled by volcano-tectonical processes. Frequent ash falls
during this time originate from volcanic activity mostly outside the basin, possibly in the NW-Saxony Volcanite
Complex, which flanked the basin to the North. During Upper Rotliegend II, facies pattern follow increasingly
NW-SE directions perpendicular to the Variscan strike.
The following text is based mainly on FISCHER (1991) as well as on the new mapping activity of geological
plane table maps by SCHNEIDER et al. (in progress).
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Stop 3: Hainichen clay pit, Härtensdorf Formation, Lower Rotliegend (Asselian) – Fig. 6
Härtensdorf Formation
Thickness: 280 m
Base: basal conglomerates erosive and with angular unconformity on Viséan and Westphalian sediments as well
as on the Variscan basement
Top: base of the Grüna tuff, Planitz Formation
Lithology/facies: red beds of an alluvial fan/alluvial plain system with local swamps (“Wildes Kohlengebirge” =
wild coal seams) and temporary ponds, xeromorphic palaeosoils (vertisols, calcisols); in the upper part slow
volcanic activity with minor ash falls
Fossil content: rare hygro- to mostly mesophile macroflora; endogenous ichnia, isolated microremains of
Biostratigraphy: early Permian Rotliegend after macrofloral remains (BARTHEL 1976); lower Härtensdorf
Formation - sporomorph associations dominated by Vittatina spp., indicative for sporomorph zone VII, level Q8
(middle Kartamyskaja Svita) of the Donetsk basin and higher, upper Härtensdorf Formation - sporomorph zone
XIII, level S2 (lower Slavanskaja Svita) of the Donetsk basin. From this it follows, that the whole Härtensdorf
Formation is Lower to Upper Asselian age (DÖRING et al. 1999).
In the Hainichen clay pit (SCHNEIDER & RÖSSLER 1996, RÖSSLER & SCHNEIDER 1997) red bed alluvial plain
siltstones with intercalated coarse, matrix supported fanglomerates are exposed (Fig. 7). They were deposited
during the progradation of alluvial fans of a semi-arid type from the southern margin into the basin. Coarse
clastics of intense ephemeral flood discharge are dominated by mass-flow deposits and interbedded sheet floods.
The latter one was largely maintained by the high contend of clay matrix, which was derived form the low-grade
source area, the so called “slate mantle” of the Saxonian Granulite Massiv. Alluvial plain silty to sandy fine
clastics are intersected by flat braided river channels. The Scoyenia-ichnofacise of siltstones as well as the
complete bioturbated sandy, mica-rich siltstones of the Planolites montanus-ichnofacies are very characteristic
for temporary relatively high groundwater levels (in contrast to playa environments). Both they are very useful
indicators for environmental reconstruction. Post-depositional pedogenic variations are typical. Vertisols are
nearly missing but root penetration of various degrees connected with colour mottling is widespread. Millimetrefine branched root systems are common on bedding plains. In the neighbourhood of former palaeo-groundwater
conducting and therefore sometimes leached coarse clastics, calcic soils are developed. They consist of
carbonate nodules from mm to cm scale as well as of strong calcareous cemented siltstones of dm size. Often,
carbonate nodules are arranged along former roots. Vertical oriented subcylindrical to conical rhizoliths of 1.5 to
10 cm width and more than 60 cm length are not rare. Cross sections of this roots show often a distinct
concentric zonation: first a central root mould filled with sparry calcite, second a micritic envelope with alveolarseptal fabric from small lateral roots or root hairs and at least an outer zone of pale green calcite-cemented
sediment. Generally, the low maturity of this calcic soils indicates fast aggradation.
Only one time, a lateral discontinuous silty limestone horizon of 20 cm thickness containing vertebrate remains
was discovered within the floodplain clastics. Bedding is absent in this horizon, the presence of scattered vugs,
as well as irregular shaped burrows filled with sparry calcite indicate, that this horizon was primarily a limy mud
of a very restricted temporary pool. Aquatic invertebrates, as ostracods and gastropods, generally common in
restricted ephemeral pools of the Permocarboniferous, have not been found. The mm-sized vertebrate jaw
fragments, limb bones and the very characteristic vertebrae indicate lepospondyle amphibians or small reptiles
belonging the rare Euramerian microsaurs.
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
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Fig. 6: Sediment facies and fossil content of the Härtensdorf Fm. in the Hainichen clay pit
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Stop 4: abandoned “von Tranitz” quarry, Eastern border of town Chemnitz, Zeisigwald Tuff,
Leukersdorf Formation, Lower Rotliegend (Asselian) - Fig. 7, 8
Leukersdorf Formation
Thickness: up to 700 m
Base: basal conglomerates erosive on Planitz-Formation
Top: basal conglomerates of the Mülsen Formation
Lithology/facies: red beds of an alluvial fan/alluvial plain/lake system, minor fluvial-palustrine-lacustrine
deposits close to the base (Rottluff Horizon), one basin wide lake horizon in the middle part (Reinsdorf horizon),
some pyroclastic horizons and in the Western part of the basin the marker horizon of the Zeisigwald caldera
Fossil content: very common endogenous ichnia of Scoyenia- and Planolites montanus-type; one amphibian
skeleton (Onchiodon) and some vertebrae of an diatectomorph cotylosaur (Phanerosaurus naumanni); vertebrate
microremains and bad preserved branchiosaur skeletons in the Reinsdorf-limestone horizon together with charagyroconites, ostracods and gastropods; mines and coprolithes of arthropods in petrified wood; most common are
plant remains – the petrified forest of Chemnitz and the silicified peat horizon of Chemnitz-Altendorf – for
details see RÖSSLER (2001); depending on local edaphic conditions and the position of the groundwater level, the
flora consist of hygrophile associations and meso- to xerophile associations as well.
Biostratigraphy: early Permian Rotliegend after macrofloral remains (BARTHEL 1976); lowermost Leukersdorf
Formation - sporomorph associations indicative for sporomorph zone XVI, level S4 (uppermost Slavjanskaja
Svita) of the des Donetsk basin, uppermost Asselian (DÖRING et al. 1999).
The amphibian Onchiodon permits after WERNEBURG (1993, 1995a,b) the comparison with the Niederhäslich
Formation of the Döhlen basin and the Oberhof Formation of the Thuringian Forest – that is uppermost Lower
Rotliegend. Allostratigraphical, with regard to biostratigraphy, volcanotectonical and climatic development, a
position within the Upper Rotliegend I is preferred by SCHNEIDER et al. (1995).
In the Beutenberg hill area at the eastern outskirts of Chemnitz some old abandoned quarries expose the eruption
centre of the Zeisigwald Tuff horizon of the Upper Leukersdorf Formation (FISCHER 1991, EULENBERGER et al.
1995, RÖSSLER 2001). In the outcrop “von Tranitz” quarry a part of the whole succession could be observed.
From the complete volcanic deposits (investigated mainly on drilling cores of this area) the eruption story can be
reconstructed. The caldera formation starts with a Plinian eruption along faults, producing up to 25 m thick
reddish violet lapilli-bearing air-fall ash tuff (pyroclastit a1; maximal size of lapilli 10 cm). It is followed by a
phreatomagmatic pyroclastic surge eruption, in the process of which a caldera structure of 2.5 km diameter
developed. In the caldera fill facies, the pyroclastic base surge sequence has a thickness of up to 55 m, in the
outflow facies of only 5 m. After that, the eruption stile changed to ignimbrite glow cloud flows with a thickness
of more than 30 m. Phreatomagmatic air fall tuffs terminate the volcanic event.
At the Eastern wall of the former quarry two base surge horizons separated by a thin layer of ash tuff are
exposed. The base surge exhibit anti-dune wavy bedding with wave lengths up to 10 m and small amplitudes of
about 0.5 to 1 m. Large accretionary lapilli up to 2 cm in diameter are very characteristic for the turbulent
eruption cloud. In the top of the quarry wall, a part of the ignimbrite crops out. The fan like arranged, with their
tips west-pointing trunks of the Petrified Forest of Chemnitz are the result of a directed blast of the base surge
eruption (RÖSSLER 1995, RÖSSLER & BARTHEL 1998). This situation is directly comparable to the welldocumented phenomena that occurred during the Mount St. Helens directed blast eruption in 1980.
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Fig. 7: Lithology and fossil content of the Leukersdorf Fm. (orig. RÖSSLER)
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3 Zwickau-Oelsnitz-Basin – Fig. 9, 10
The present day 30 x 7 km Zwickau-Oelsnitz basin of Westphalian D to (?) Cantabrian age is subdivided by a
synsedimentary active swell in the subbasins of Zwickau and Oelsnitz. The Zwickau basin originate above the
crosspoint of some regional deep faults: the NW-SE Gera-Joachimov-zone, the SW-NE detachment between the
Erzgebirge and the Saxonian Granulite Massif, the N-S zone of Plauen-Dessau-Leipzig (Naab-N-S-element) as
well as subordinated E-W-directions (BRAUSE et al. 1997). During Westphalian time, a drainage system was
linked to this fault pattern, which dewatered the Bohemian basins. It interconnected the Eastern part of the
Kladno-Rakovnik basin (OPLUŠTIL 1997) with the basins of Olbernhau-Brandov, Altenberg-Schönfeld, ZwickauOelsnitz and Flöha (Fig. 10). It could be traced along the Naab-N-S-element via the area of Halle-Magdeburg to
the North into the Variscan foredeep to the delta fan in the area of the deep well Boizenburg 1/74 (GAITZSCH et
al. 1998). The Westphalian Zwickau Formation is covered by the Lower Rotliegend Härtensdorf Formation by
an angular unconformity linked with strong erosion. To the North and West this erosion cut down to increasing
older Westphalian sediments up to complete erosion. Therefore, neither the primary thickness nor the primary
extend of the basin are known.
Fig. 9: Generalised profile of the Zwickau Fm. in the outcrop Cainsdorf bridge, Mulde River
(orig. SCHNEIDER, BERGER & STEINBORN, based on HOTH 1984)
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Stop 5: Zwickau-Cainsdorf, Cainsdorf Bridge, Mulde river banks, Zwickau Formation, Westphalian D
Zwickau-Formation (Zwickauer Schwarzkohlengebirge, GUTBIER 1834)
Thickness: 170 m in the Oelsnitz subbasin, 300 m in the Zwickau subbasin
Base: erosive with a structural unconformity on Variscan basement
Top: erosive superimposition by the Härtensdorf Formation, Lower Rotliegend
Lithology/facies: coarse clastics of medial to distal alluvial fans, dominated by matrix rich conglomerates and
coarse pebbly sandstones, sometimes with intercalated debris flows; alluvial plain/flood plain/flood basin facies
with palustrine areas related to the outer border of alluvial fans; volcanic ash horizons are very rare.
Fossil content: hydro- to hygrophile macroflora (GUTBIER 1835; GEINITZ 1855; STERZEL 1881; GOTHAN 1932;
DABER 1955, 1957; RÖSSLER & BUSCHMANN 1994); hygrophile microflora after ZERNDT (1932); DYBOVA &
JACHOWICZ (1957) and DÖRING et al. (1988); some arachnids (Trigonotarbida, Phalangiotarbida) GEINITZ
(1882), DABER (1990), RÖSSLER & DUNLOP (1997); further arthropods (GEINITZ 1856; STERZEL 1881b,c,
SCHNEIDER 1983) – ostracods, conchostracans, Arthropleura, eurypterids, insects (Blattoida); pelecypods;
tetrapod tracks; ?fishes (coprolithe: Ichthyocopros GEINITZ).
Biostratigraphy: based on macroflora Westphalian D (DABER 1955, 1992) to lower Cantabrian (RÖSSLER pers.
comm.); based on microflora ?uppermost Westphalian C, Westphalian D to ?lower Stephanian (DÖRING et al.
1988); after insects and conchostracans Westphalian D to Cantabrian (SCHNEIDER & RÖSSLER 1996)
The Zwickau Formation (HOTH 1984, DÖRING et al.1988, SCHNEIDER et al. 2005 in press) is subdivided from the
base to the top into three subformations:
Schedewitz Subformation: thickness 110 m; erosive on the Variscan basement;
Marienthal-Pöhlau Subformation: thickness 150 m; base – Zwickau conglomerate;
Oberhohndorf-Subformation: thickness up to 50 m; base - coarse clastics; one tuff layer (Lehe band) in
the Lehe coal seam (STUTZER 1934, RÖSLER et al. 1967); primary thickness unknown because of postdepositional (Stephanian – Rotliegend) erosion.
The outcrop at the Cainsdorf Bridge along the Mulde river (Fig. 9) are the only surface outcrop of
Westphalian sediments in East Germany. Clastics and coal seams of the Schedewitz and Marienthal-Pöhlau
Subformations are exposed. The profile starts with an intermediate vulcanite of some tens of meters thickness in
the top of the (here not exposed) Cainsdorf Melaphyr (palaeo-basalt), which form both together an palaeo-swell,
which was increasingly covered by sediments. At some tens of meters lateral distance the cover changes from a
dm thick weathering crust of the vulcanite to rooted clayish siltstones with gravels, poorly sorted conglomerates
and coal seams, resting directly on the volcanite. After an interbedding of clastics and coal seams, most possibly
equivalents of the Segen-Gottes seams, coarse unsorted matrix rich channel conglomerates (debris flow like)
with about 3 m thickness of the Zwickau conglomerate follow – interestingly this stacked channels were only
exposed on the right bank, on the left bank they are missing. Anyway, these conglomerates are regarded as the
base of the Marienthal-Pöhlau Subformation. The following profile is characterised by thick alluvial, mica and
plant detritus rich sandstones (Amandus- and Ruß sandstone), whitish claystones (underclays) and decimetre
thick equivalents of the Ludwig seam and the 1.4 m thick Amandus seam (= Deep Planitz seams). In the top of
the outcrop, the up to 1.2 m thick Rußkohle seam II and the up to 4.5 m thick Rußkohle seam I are exposed. The
latter one is covered by mica- and plant detritus-rich fluvial sandstones, containing a horizon of sideritic geodes.
The right bank of the Mulde was well exposed after the strong flood event in August 2002. It was documented in
detail in the autumn 2002 and early spring 2003 and ones more during reconstruction work in early spring 2004
by SCHNEIDER & ZEIDLER (2003 and in progress). Samples, available for further investigations, were stored at
the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the Staatliches Umweltfachamt, Gebietsstelle für Geologie, Plauen.
Palynological investigations are in progress by Ch. Hartkopf-Fröder, Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein-Westfalen,
in cooperation with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt und Geologie,
Freiberg. One of the most interesting finds of private collectors, using the singular situation for sampling of
plants, was the discovery of Dicranophyllum gallicum, an upland flora element, in the level of the Amandus or
Deep Planitz seams respectively (DABER 2002). This fits well with short distance between the erosional areas in
the highlands and the coal seam forming swamps along the distal borders of large fans, e.g. the Rußkohlen seam
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I along the NE-, N- and NW-front of the Reinsdorf fan. Generally, the Zwickau coal seams show a strong
splitting off by sandstone interbeds and dirty bands. Only locally they consist of pure coal of 6 to 10 m, as in the
level of the Rußkohlen seams - observable in the outcrop at the Cainsdorf Bridge.
Fig. 10: Reconstruction of the drainagesystems which dewater the Bohemian Westphalianbasins and the occurences near Görlitz, as well as linking the Basins of ZwickauOelsnitz and Flöha and the basins within the Erzgebirge. It extend up to the region
of Halle-Magdeburg into the Westphalian foredeep, where it deposit the deltafan
which were drilled by the well Boizenburg 1/74. Abbreviations of the drillings: W
1050/78 – WISBAW 1050/78, Jes 1z – Jessen 1z/62, Rx 2/62 – Roxförde 2/62, Beb
6 – Beberthal 6, Koz 3h/74 – Kotzen 3h/74, Bzg 1/74 – Boizenburg 1/74, Sw 1/87 –
Schwerin 1/87, Pud 1/86 – Pudagla 1/68, Loss 1/70 – Loissin 1/70, Ba 1/63 – Barth
1/63, Gst 1/73 – Gingst 1/73, Rn 4/64 – Rügen 4/64, Rn 2/67 – Rügen 2/67. (after
GAITZSCH et al. 1998 as well as OPLUŠTIL 1997)
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
Fig. 11: Climatic development and processes during Permocarboniferous (orig. Schneider &
Workshop & IGCP 469 Central European Meeting “FREIBERG 2004”
Dept. of Palaeontology, Geological Institute, Freiberg University
October, 9 - 11, 2004
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