Palynofacies from Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) ore-bearing clays at Gnaszyn, Kraków-Silesia Homocline, Poland, with special emphasis on sporomorph eco-groups

Przemysław Gedl, Jadwoga Ziaja


The palynological organic matter of dark clays from Bathonian ore-bearing clays exposed at Gnaszyn (Częstochowa, Kraków-Silesia Homocline, Poland) consists of high proportions of land-derived particles; aquatic elements (mainly dinoflagellate cysts) are comparatively rare. Terrestrial particles include black opaque phytoclasts, dark brown phytoclasts, cuticle remains and subordinate sporomorphs. The latter are represented by eighty-four taxa of spores and pollen grains. They represent various groups of plants, including Bryophyta, Sphenophyta, Lycophyta, Pteridophyta, Pteridospermophyta, Cycadophyta or Ginkgophyta and Coniferophyta. The most frequent sporomorphs in almost all samples from Gnaszyn are Callialasporites (Araucariaceae), Cerebropollenites and Perinopollenites elatoides (Taxodiaceae) pollen grains, fern spores with triradiate tetrad mark, bisaccate pollen grains belonging to conifers (Pinaceae or Podocarpaceae) and also to Pteridospermophyta.

Quantitative analysis of the palynofacies shows fluctuations of particular element ratios, which correlate with lithology. Clay intervals that contain siderite concretion levels yielded lower amounts of cuticles in relation to sporomorphs (mainly pollen grains) and dinoflagellate cysts. Intervals of monotonous clays and silts are characterized by a higher ratio of cuticles in relation to other elements, especially dinoflagellate cysts. Also, quantitative analysis of the sporomorphs shows changes in frequency of the representatives of various plant communities, which coexisted during the Jurassic: Upland, Lowland, River, Pioneer, Coastal and Tidally-influenced. These changes might have reflected sealevel fluctuations, which affected vegetation growing on adjacent land. However, the dominance of Callialasporites pollen grains, which belong to the Coastal community, indicates that the Gnaszyn assemblage was mainly influenced by the seashore vegetation. The high frequency of Araucariaceae pollen grains and the presence of ferns representing the Osmundaceae, Cyatheaceae, Dicksoniaceae, Schizeaceae, Gleicheniaceae and Matoniaceae indicate a warm climate without large seasonal amplitudes during the deposition of the Gnaszyn succession.


Palynofacies; Sporomorphs; Ore-bearing clays; Bathonian; Middle Jurassic; Palaeogeography; Epicontinental basin; Poland.

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