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The Early Eocene of Schöningen (N-Germany) – an interim report

Riegel, W. and Wilde, V. and Lenz, O. K. (2012):
The Early Eocene of Schöningen (N-Germany) – an interim report.
In: Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences, Österreichische Geologische Gesellschaft, pp. 88-109, 100, ISSN 2072-7151, [Article]

Abstract

The open cast mine Schöningen Südfeld (Lower Saxony, northern Germany), exposed a continuous section of about 170 m which ranges in age from the latest Paleocene to the earliest Middle Eocene, thus encompassing the entire Early Eocene. The section includes 10 coal seams with clastic interbeds, all of which show marine influence to various degrees. A standard section for the Early Eocene Schöningen Formation has been compiled from numerous overlapping partial sections. The section is unique worldwide in its position at the marine and terrestrial interface allowing insights into the interaction between land and sea during the greenhouse climate. Selected aspects of field observations and results of a representative palynological survey are discussed with respect to their significance for the interpretation of environment and climate. Dinocyst associations show a distinct Apectodinium acme in the lower part of the section near the expected position of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, but concomitant changes in the terrestrial vegetation have not been observed. Vegetation changed mainly in response to shoreline conditions as indicated by a unique succession with Thomsonipollis magnificus and Pistillipollenites macgregorii substituting for the true tropical mangrove of the Middle Eocene. Type and distribution of charcoal allows the distinction of a low frequency from a high frequency fire regime and an essentially fire free regime following each other from base to top. Palynological and charcoal evidence from the Schöningen section suggests a change from a more temperate alternating wet/dry climate at the beginning to a tropical perhumid climate towards the end of the Early Eocene and into the Middle Eocene.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2012
Creators: Riegel, W. and Wilde, V. and Lenz, O. K.
Title: The Early Eocene of Schöningen (N-Germany) – an interim report
Language: English
Abstract:

The open cast mine Schöningen Südfeld (Lower Saxony, northern Germany), exposed a continuous section of about 170 m which ranges in age from the latest Paleocene to the earliest Middle Eocene, thus encompassing the entire Early Eocene. The section includes 10 coal seams with clastic interbeds, all of which show marine influence to various degrees. A standard section for the Early Eocene Schöningen Formation has been compiled from numerous overlapping partial sections. The section is unique worldwide in its position at the marine and terrestrial interface allowing insights into the interaction between land and sea during the greenhouse climate. Selected aspects of field observations and results of a representative palynological survey are discussed with respect to their significance for the interpretation of environment and climate. Dinocyst associations show a distinct Apectodinium acme in the lower part of the section near the expected position of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, but concomitant changes in the terrestrial vegetation have not been observed. Vegetation changed mainly in response to shoreline conditions as indicated by a unique succession with Thomsonipollis magnificus and Pistillipollenites macgregorii substituting for the true tropical mangrove of the Middle Eocene. Type and distribution of charcoal allows the distinction of a low frequency from a high frequency fire regime and an essentially fire free regime following each other from base to top. Palynological and charcoal evidence from the Schöningen section suggests a change from a more temperate alternating wet/dry climate at the beginning to a tropical perhumid climate towards the end of the Early Eocene and into the Middle Eocene.

Journal or Publication Title: Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume: 100
Publisher: Österreichische Geologische Gesellschaft
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science > Applied Sedimentary Geology
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2015 11:22
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