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Investigating paleosol completeness and preservation in mid-Paleozoic alluvial paleosols: A case study in paleosol taphonomy from the Lower Old Red Sandstone

By
Susan B. Marriott
Susan B. Marriott
School of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
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V. Paul Wright
V. Paul Wright
School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3YE, UK, and BG Group, 100 Thames Valley Park Drive, Reading RG6 1PT, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2006

Preservational bias in paleosol formation is rarely discussed and remains a major issue in paleopedology. The relatively simple paleosol profiles of the Silurian-Devonian Old Red Sandstone alluvial successions of southwest Wales provide an opportunity to investigate the completeness of a widespread type of calcic Vertisol. Reactivated, truncated cumulate horizons provide means of assessing the dynamics of floodplain erosion and accumulation. While these distinctive profiles are not especially common, effects of low-magnitude erosion events were probably masked, affecting only the topmost part of the upper soil horizon. In the absence of a stabilizing rooted vascular plant cover in pre–mid-Paleozoic sediments, such mobile upper soil horizons were likely a common feature.

La posibilidad de preservación de paleosuelos es un hecho raramente discutido, a pesar de ser un tema importante dentro de la paleoedafología. Los perfiles de paleosuelos relativamente sencillos de las sucesiones aluviales del Silúrico-Devónico de la Old Red Sandstone en el suroeste de Gales ofrecen una buena oportunidad para investigar si el registro de algunos tipos de paleosuelos muy frecuentes, los Vertisuelos cálcicos, es completo o no. Los horizontes reactivados, truncados y compuestos de estos paleosuelos nos aportan los medios para conocer la dinámica de la erosión y acumulación dentro de la llanura de inundación. En los casos en los que estos perfiles no son muy comunes, los efectos de eventos erosivos de baja magnitud quedan enmascarados afectando sólo a la parte más alta del horizonte superior del suelo. En ausencia de una cobertera vegetal de plantas vasculares enraizadas que estabilizaran la superficie, como es el caso de los sedimentos anteriores al Paleozoico medio, estos horizontes móviles del suelo fueron probablemente un rasgo característico.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Paleoenvironmental Record and Applications of Calcretes and Palustrine Carbonates

Ana María Alonso-Zarza
Ana María Alonso-Zarza
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Lawrence H. Tanner
Lawrence H. Tanner
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Geological Society of America
Volume
416
ISBN print:
9780813724164
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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