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Fossil wood from the Upper Cretaceous crater sediments of the Salpeterkop Volcano, north west province, South Africa

M. de Wit and M. Bamford
Fossil wood from the Upper Cretaceous crater sediments of the Salpeterkop Volcano, north west province, South Africa
South African Journal of Geology (September 2021) 124 (3): 751-760

Abstract

The Salpeterkop volcano forms part of what has been referred to as the Upper Cretaceous Sutherland Suite of alkaline rocks, an igneous province composed of olivine melilitites, carbonatites, trachytes and ultramafic lamprophyres. Salpeterkop is a remnant of the summit tuff ring structure that surrounds a crater which is almost 1 km in diameter and is filled with epiclastic strata. Five pieces of silicified wood were collected from the crater filled sediments, sectioned and identified as a new species of Cupressinoxylon, C. widdringtonioides. This is the first example of the fossil genus in South Africa. Only one member of the Cupressaceae s.l. occurs in southern Africa today. From the wide and indistinct growth rings in the fossil wood it can be deduced that the local climate was warm and humid with little or no seasonality, in support of global records of a warm Late Cretaceous. The preservation of the crater further signifies the low level of erosion the region has experienced since its emplacement.


ISSN: 1012-0750
EISSN: 1996-8590
Serial Title: South African Journal of Geology
Serial Volume: 124
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Fossil wood from the Upper Cretaceous crater sediments of the Salpeterkop Volcano, north west province, South Africa
Affiliation: University of Stellenbosch, Department of Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Pages: 751-760
Published: 20210901
Text Language: English
Publisher: Bureau for Scientific Publications, Pretoria, South Africa
References: 45
Accession Number: 2021-052765
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, geol. sketch maps
S33°00'00" - S24°40'00", E16°25'00" - E25°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, ZAF, South Africa
Country of Publication: South Africa
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Geological Society of South Africa. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202137
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