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The genesis of mass carpological deposits (bedload carpodeposits) in the Tertiary of the Lower Rhine Basin, Germany

Carole T. Gee
The genesis of mass carpological deposits (bedload carpodeposits) in the Tertiary of the Lower Rhine Basin, Germany (in Plant taphonomy special issue, Carole T. Gee (prefacer) and Robert A. Gastaldo (prefacer))
Palaios (October 2005) 20 (5): 463-478

Abstract

Large, well-preserved carpofloras from Miocene and Pliocene lignite-bearing sequences of the Lower Rhine Basin in Germany occur in a variety of fluvial and lacustrine facies, including channel, point-bar, cut-off channel (oxbow-lake), crevasse-splay, channel-bar (sand-gravel flat), and lake-delta deposits. Despite their occurrence in a wide spectrum of depositional facies, the accumulations share a suite of distinctive characteristics. They appear as a jumble of woody material dominated by abraded pieces of wood, including conifer cones, woody fruits, seeds, small branches, and charcoal in an unconsolidated matrix of medium- or coarse-grained sand. The key characteristic of the fossil plant remains is woodiness. Close association between the lignified material and these grain sizes indicates that these woody fruits are hydrodynamically equivalent to medium- to coarse-sized sand, and were transported as bedload during flood events. Transport by bedload also is evidenced by the high degree of roundness in associated wood clasts, by abrasion in some diaspores, and by the lack of non-resistant plant parts (e.g., leaves, flowers, fleshy or delicate tissues) in the accumulations. Thus, the lignified plant remains behave as sedimentary clasts in the water column, but only after they have been fully saturated with water. Mass carpological accumulations in very coarse-grained sand on active point bars in the Sieg River near Bonn and their formation during events of extreme discharge serve as a modern analog for the fossil carpofloras. New terminology and concepts pertaining to these mass carpological deposits, or "bedload carpodeposits", also include the terms "bedload carpobiofacies", and "bedload carpolithofacies". A basic depositional model for the genesis of bedload carpodeposits is presented.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 20
Serial Issue: 5
Title: The genesis of mass carpological deposits (bedload carpodeposits) in the Tertiary of the Lower Rhine Basin, Germany
Title: Plant taphonomy special issue
Author(s): Gee, Carole T.
Author(s): Gee, Carole T.prefacer
Author(s): Gastaldo, Robert A.prefacer
Affiliation: University of Bonn, Institute of Paleontology, Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany
Affiliation: University of Bonn, Institute of Paleontology, Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany
Pages: 463-478
Published: 200510
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Meeting name: 7th International Organization of Paleobotany conference
Meeting location: Bariloche, ARG, Argentina
Meeting date: 20040321March 21-26, 2004
References: 70
Accession Number: 2006-007817
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. col., 8 tables, geol. sketch map
N50°55'60" - N50°55'60", E06°57'00" - E06°57'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Colby College, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 200604
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