A palynological study from Sweden reveals stable terrestrial environments during Late Silurian extreme marine conditions

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Abstract

A palynological study of the upper Silurian Oved-Ramsasa Group in Skane, Sweden yields a well preserved spore assemblage with low relative abundances of marine microfossils. In total, 26 spore taxa represented by 15 genera were identified. The spore assemblage is dominated by long-ranging cryptospore taxa, and the trilete spore Ambitisporites avitus-dilutus. However, key-species identified include Artemopyra radiata, Hispanaediscus lamontii, H. major, H. verrucatus, Scylaspora scripta and Synorisporites cf. libycus. Importantly, Scylaspora klintaensis was identified, allowing correlation with the Klinta 1 drillcore (Skane). A Ludlow age is inferred for the exposed succession, which agrees well with previous conodont stratigraphy. The organic residue is dominated by phytodebris and spores, but with high relative abundances of acritarchs at two levels, possibly related to flooding surfaces. Based on the palynofacies analysis, a near-shore marine environment is proposed. The close proximity to land is inferred by the high proportions of spores, and the dispersed assemblage most likely represents the local flora growing on delta plains. The palynological signal also infers a stable terrestrial environment and vegetation, in contrast to unstable conditions in the marine environment characterised by ooid formation in an evaporitic environment. Comparisons with coeval spore assemblages from Gotland, Avalonia and Laurentia show relatively close similarities in taxonomic composition at the generic level.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology

Keywords

  • cryptospores, early land plants, Klinta, Ludfordian, sea level, stratigraphy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-158
JournalEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Volume105
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015
Peer-reviewedYes