Abstract

The effects of volcanicity often mimic those of aridity and can lead to paleoenvironmental misinterpretations. The occurrence of volcanically induced barrenness, xeric conditions, and extreme geochemical alkalinity or salinity in the context of a regionally more humid climate is dubbed here “mock aridity.” Biotic recovery at Mount St. Helens (Washington) and Oldoinyo Lengai (Kenya) points to potential long-term effects of volcanicity on the overall ecosystem. Contraindicating sedimentary rocks and fossils from Kenya Miocene rocks and contraindicating sites in U.S. Pacific Northwest Miocene rocks both suggest interpretive problems due to mock aridity. This calls for a reevaluation of volcanogenic sites derived from supposed climax ecosystems in the light of mock aridity.

You do not currently have access to this article.