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Book Chapter

Palaeoecology and plant succession in a borehole through the Rhynie cherts, Lower Old Red Sandstone, Scotland

By
Clare L. Powell
Clare L. Powell
1
Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, UK
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Nigel H. Trewin
Nigel H. Trewin
1
Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, UK
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Dianne Edwards
Dianne Edwards
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Cardiff University, PO Box 914, Cardiff CF1 3YE, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

A cored borehole through the Early Devonian Rhynie cherts at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland, has revealed 53 chert beds in 35.41 m of core. The cherts originated as sinters deposited by hot-spring activity. Chert comprises 4.20 m of the cored succession, with the thickest bed, representing a single silicification event, being 0.31 m thick and the thickest composite chert (comprising six beds) 0.76 m thick. Average chert bed thickness is 80 mm. Forty-five plant-bearing chert beds are interbedded with sandstones, mudstones and shales. The sediments were deposited on an alluvial plain with local lakes, the area being periodically affected by hot-spring activity. Plants initially colonized both subaerial sand and sinter surfaces. Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii and Horneophyton lignieri commonly form the basal parts of the profiles with subsequent colonization by other genera. Rhynia is commonly found in life position above originally sandy substrates, and Horneophyton above sinter surfaces. The composition of the Rhynie vegetation is compared with coeval assemblages and, on the basis of current knowledge, it is concluded that there is no unequivocal evidence that the plants were adapted to life in the stressed environments in the immediate vicinity of hot springs.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

New Perspectives on the Old Red Sandstone

Geological Society of London
Volume
180
ISBN electronic:
9781862394285
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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