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Marchetti L.,University of Padua | Forte G.,University of Padua | Bernardi M.,MUSE Museo delle Science | Bernardi M.,University of Bristol | And 5 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2015

The Late Cisuralian is known as a time of increasing aridity, compared to the Late Pennsylvanian-Early Cisuralian. Although several studies highlighted this trend at low latitudes of Western Pangaea, little is known from Central Pangaea environments. The discovery of new fossiliferous horizons in the Late Cisuralian Tregiovo Formation (Northern Italy), allowed a new palaeoenvironmental study based on facies analysis, ichnology, palaeobotany, plant-insect interaction and palynology. Three facies associations were identified (A-C), and correspond to floodplain lake, ephemeral lacustrine and distal alluvial fan environments, respectively. The tetrapod ichnoassociation is more diverse than previously known, including abundant diapsid and non-diapsid reptile tracks and rarer temnospondyl amphibian tracks. Plant fossils are characterized by a predominance of hinterland taxa (conifers), hygrophytic plants are present as well. The sporomorph association is dominated by miospores of Cordaitales, Voltziales, and Peltaspermales while trilete lycopsid and fern miospores are rare which corresponds well with the macroflora. Invertebrate trace fossils and feeding traces on plant fossils are described for the first time from the Tregiovo Basin suggesting transitional, low energy environments, and a relatively low level of herbivory, respectively. This study evidences the development in the Tregiovo Basin of a wet-and-dry (probably seasonal) climate, which became drier between facies associations A-B. This environment constitutes an important reference since few data are known to infer the Late Cisuralian climatic conditions of Central Pangaea. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Lauer T.,Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics | Frechen M.,Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics | Klostermann J.,Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein Westfalen | Krbetschek M.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | And 2 more authors.
Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Geowissenschaften | Year: 2011

Luminescence dating was applied to Last Glacial and Early Holocene fluvial deposits derived from the Lower Rhine. The aim was to obtain a robust chronology for the sections (open pits) under study in order to contribute to a better understanding of past fluvial dynamics of the River Rhine. Furthermore, different luminescence dating methods (quartz OSL, feldspar IRSL and pIRIR as well as pIR-YOSL) were compared and tested by applying them to sands sampled at Rheinberg and Monheim-Hitdorf where independent age control is provided by intercalated pumice originating from the eruption of the Laacher See Volcano, about 12 900 a ago. The obtained quartz ages are in agreement with the age of the marker tephra. Also the feldspar luminescence age estimates agree with the quartz OSL ages. For the Rheinberg and Monheim-Hitdorf sections the obtained ages now yield a very precise chronology. Based on this chronology a very rapid fluvial aggradation could be demonstrated for the sediment succession at the Monheim-Hitdorf site occurring during Younger Dryas. At Rheinberg it was shown that the Laacher See pumice was reworked for long time as the luminescence ages point to a Boreal period of aggradation (~4 ka after the eruption of the volcano). For the older Lower Terrace sites (Aloysiushof/Dormagen, Niederkassel, Libur) the ages now yield a reliable chronological framework for the fluvial aggradation helping to better understand the timing of changes in fluvial dynamics. © 2011 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.


Dutta S.,Indian Institute of Technology Bombay | Hartkopf-Froder C.,Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein Westfalen | Mann U.,Jülich Research Center | Wilkes H.,Helmholtz Center Potsdam | And 2 more authors.
Lethaia | Year: 2010

Biogeochemistry and molecular taphonomy of biopolymers of marine zoomorphs are poorly known. In order to obtain insights into this issue we report on the biogeomacromolecular composition of hand-picked, well-preserved scolecodonts of Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian age using micro-Fourier transform infrared (micro-FTIR) spectroscopy, Curie point pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Cupy-GC-MS) and tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH)-assisted thermochemolysis-GC-MS. The present study reveals that scolecodonts are composed of both aliphatic and aromatic moieties. The micro-FTIR spectra of scolecodonts are characterized by aliphatic CHx (3000-2800 and 1460-1450/cm) and CH3 (1375/cm) absorptions and aromatic C=C (1560-1610/cm) and CH (3050/cm and 700-900/cm) absorptions. The major pyrolysis products from the scolecodonts include aromatic hydrocarbons such as alkylbenzenes, alkylnaphthalenes and alkylphenols. Aliphatic hydrocarbons are represented by a homologous series of n-alkenes and n-alkanes. The compounds released upon thermochemolysis with TMAH are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (as their methyl esters), n-alkenes/alkanes and aromatic acids (as their methyl esters). No protein/amino acid-derived compounds have been recognized in the pyrolysates or in the thermochemolysates, and it is concluded that protein/amino acid-related compounds, which are commonly found in the jaws of extant polychaetes, were destroyed due to diagenetic processes. Obviously, excellent morphological preservation and low thermal alteration are not paralleled by a similar degree of chemical preservation. □Biogeomacromolecules, micro-FTIR, pyrolysis-GC-MS, scolecodonts, thermochemolysis-GC-MS. © 2009 The Authors, Journal compilation © 2009 The Lethaia Foundation.


Auerswald K.,TU Munich | Fiener P.,University of Augsburg | Martin W.,Bayerisches Landesamt fur Umwelt | Elhaus D.,Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein Westfalen
Catena | Year: 2014

The K factor of the Universal Soil Loss Equation is the most important measure of soil erodibility that was adopted in many erosion models. The K factor can be estimated from simple soil properties by a nomograph. Later, the classical K factor equation was published to assist the calculation of K. This equation, however, does not fully agree with the nomograph, which still has to be used in these deviating cases. Here we show for a large soil data set from Central Europe (approximately 20,000 soil analyses) that the equation fails in considerably more than 50% of all cases. The failure can be large and may amount to half of the K factor. To facilitate the K factor calculation, we developed a set of equations that fully emulates the nomograph and supersedes the cumbersome reading of the nomograph. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Richter D.K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Gotte T.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Stritzke R.,Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein Westfalen
Geologie und Palaeontologie in Westfalen | Year: 2014

A post-variscic karst cavity in the Middle Devonian limestone sequence of the quarry Asbeck (Honnetal) contains a 5.5 m thick sequence of silty and muddy sediments of Neogene age below sandy Pleistocene deposits. Palynological investigation reveals a Miocene age of the silt-series (SP9 sensu BRELIE, 1988) but no pre-quaternary forms have been found in the upper sandy part of the sediments. The fine, Miocene deposits are laminated and are suggested to be transported by turbidity currents with low density into the cavity, while the badly sorted, coarse sediments in the upper part of the sequence are probably transported by massflows higher viscosity. This sedimentological interpretation is in accord with [Laugfacetten] at the walls of the cavity, which indicate stagnant water or at least very low streaming. The provenance areas of the sediments are outside the Devonian limestones for both parts of the sequence. Glaucony which have been found in the sediments indicates that partly Upper Cretaceous sediments are recycled. © 2014 Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe.


Meinsen J.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Winsemann J.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Weitkamp A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Landmeyer N.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2011

During the late Saalian Drenthe glaciation ice-damming of the Upper Weser Valley led to the formation of glacial Lake Weser. The lake drained catastrophically into the Münsterland Embayment as the western ice dam failed, releasing up to 110 km3 of water with a calculated peak discharge of 2.5 × 105 m3/s to 1.3 × 106 m3/s. Geographic information systems (GIS) and high-resolution digital elevation models (DEM) were used to map streamlined landforms and channel systems in front of lake overspills. Geological maps, 2450 boreholes and the DEM were integrated into the 3D modeling program GOCAD to reconstruct the distribution of flood-related deposits, palaeotopographic surfaces and the internal facies architecture of streamlined hills. The drainage pathways are characterized by the occurrence of deep plunge pools, channels, streamlined hills and 4 km long and 12 m deep V-shaped megaflutes. Plunge pools are deeply incised into Mesozoic basement rocks and occur in front of three major overspill channels. The plunge pools are up to 780 m long, 400 m wide and 35 m deep. Approximately 1-10.5 km downslope of the overspill channels fan shaped arrays of streamlined hills are developed, each covering an area of 60-130 km2, indicating rapid flow expansion. The hills commonly have quadrilateral to elongated shapes and formed under submerged to partly submerged flow conditions, when the outburst flood entered a shallow lake in the Münsterland Embayment. Hills are up to 4300 m long, 1200 m wide, 11 m high and have characteristic average aspect ratios of 1:3.3. They are separated by shallow, anabranching channels in the outer zones and up to 30 m deep channels in the central zones. Hills partly display V-shaped chevron-like bedforms that have apices facing upslope, are 1.6-2.5 km long, 3-10 m high, 0.8-1.2 m from limb to limb, with limb separation angels of 20-35°. These bedforms are interpreted as mixed erosional depositional features. It is hypothesized that the post-Saalian landscape evolution of the Münsterland Embayment has considerably been influenced by catastrophic floods of glacial Lake Weser, creating large and deep valleys, which subsequently became the new site of river systems. The outburst floods probably followed the east-west-trending Saalian Rhine-Meuse river system eventually flowing into the North Sea, the Strait of Dover and the Bay of Biscay. It is speculated that the Hondsrug ice stream may have been enhanced or even triggered by the formation and outburst of glacial lakes in the study area. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Ribbert K.-H.,Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein Westfalen | Piecha M.,Geologischer Dienst Nordrhein Westfalen
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2014

During the Frasnian the carbonate platform of the Rhenish Massenkalk reef development was affected by (1) the decline of the stromatoporoid - coral community during the rhenana conodont zone and its replacement by a crinoid-brachiopod-calcimicrobialite facies capping the reef and (2) repeated flooding of the carbonate platform by coarse siliciclastic debris from a local fan delta along the coast not far to the northwest of the present Velbert Anticline. During this time, in an interval of very slow sedimentation represented by phosphatic hardgrounds, calcimicrobes developed upright columnar structures (stromatolites) of Rothpletzella and Wetheredella. Conodont biofacies of this short time interval of autochthonous stromatolite growth indicates a regressive phase following the Early/Late rhenana conodont zone transition. © 2014 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Scharer U.,University of Munster | Scharer U.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Berndt J.,University of Munster | Scherer E.E.,University of Munster | And 4 more authors.
Chemical Geology | Year: 2012

Detrital zircon grains of the Cenozoic Lower Rhine Basin were dated by the U-Pb method and simultaneously analyzed for initial Hf signatures to (1) identify distinct geodynamic events recorded in the W-European basement and cover rocks and (2) estimate the addition of juvenile crust in relation to these. Approximately 350 zircon grains extracted from 4 Miocene to Quaternary sand samples were investigated by back-scattered electron (BSE) and cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging. One third of these zircons were found to be sufficiently homogeneous for laser ablation U-Pb dating, which was performed by two individual and spatially well separated laser-spot analyses on the same grain, substantiating zircons have identical ages for the two intra-grain analyses. Approximately 40 zircons showed different ages. Our U-Pb dating results document distinct periods of primary magmatic zircon growth between 2.7 and 0.03. Ga. These ages correspond to worldwide known subduction-collision cycles. The oldest terrains exposed today along the Rhine River and the Alps belong to the Variscan cycle. Therefore, all zircon grains older than ca. 0.4. Ga must have been extracted from Paleozoic or Mesozoic-Cenozoic cover rocks containing detrital grains inherited from pre-Variscan basement; only the Cenozoic zircons require direct transport to the basin.From the dated homogeneous zircons 34 grains were selected for Hf isotope analysis, showing large variations in initial Hf isotope ratios (εHf i) between -10.9 and +15.2. Twelve of the 13 Precambrian grains yield positive or zero εHf i values, with a single 1025-Ma old grain having a negative value of -10.9. For the 21 zircon grains younger than 0.6Ga, a series of 9 grains yield positive or zero εHf i, whereas the remaining 12 zircons have negative values as low as -5.8. Approximately 60% of the zircon crystals reflect addition of juvenile crust having positive or zero εHf i being extracted from the mantle around the time indicated by their U-Pb ages. For some cases, juvenile crust addition may be somewhat older than indicated by the U-Pb ages because zircon growth may occur during later differentiation of rocks originally devoid of zircon. For such cases, εHf i values are necessarily less positive than that of the juvenile magma, depending on the Lu/Hf and crustal residence times of the zircon-free rock. A few εHf i values between +11.4 and +15.2 corroborate the existence of highly fractionated, Lu-enriched and Hf-depleted asthenospheric mantle in Mid-Proterozoic times. In agreement with earlier detrital zircon studies, our new data demonstrate that crustal recycling during continent collision events significantly increased in Phanerozoic times, being relatively rare during Precambrian times where intra-plate plume activity and oceanic arc attachment were dominant. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


The 526 m deep borehole Paffrather Mulde 1 revealed a sequence of Upper Devonian strata (Adorfian-Dasbergian) within the Bergisch Gladbach-Paffrath Synclinorium. The unit is strongly affected by numerous tectonic faults. Dips of strata as reconstructed from combined core and borehole data are generally directed towards SE. Within the deepest part of the borehole, orientation data are not available and interpretation of the structural setting is ambiguous. Combined with folding, numerous thrusts occur, which are part of the Bergian Thrust Zone. In part they cut the stratigraphic sequence as synthetic faults, dipping steeper than bedding planes. Other thrusts, however, form flat dipping shear planes. For one of the thrusts a stratigraphic throw of at least 150 m can be proved. Another major thrust has to be inferred closely to the south of the borehole. In the area between the borehole and the main branch of the Bergian Thrust in the south, the existence of a deeply downfolded syncline is most probable, containing uppermost Devonian or even Lower Carboniferous strata. In detail different interpretations of the exposed structure are possible, depending on the interpretation of the deepest part of the drilled section as being a syncline or anticline. Besides these Variscan structures neotectonic faults occurred in the borehole. Normal faults and strike-slip faults, striking NW-SE, are most likely related to the subsidence of the Lower Rhine Embayment during the Tertiary. The main fault inferred from the borehole data and adjacent outcrops causes a stratigraphic gap of at least 425 m. In the context with other boreholes and exposures in the neighbourhood a graben structure of some 400-500 m subsidence can be recognised, here named as "Refrath Graben". The interference of this graben structure with the Bergisch Gladbach-Paffrath Synclinorium explains the occurrence of youngest Palaeozoic strata (uppermost Devonian, "Dasbergian"), known so far within this region. © 2013 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.

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