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Examining Local Climate Variability in the Late Pennsylvanian Through Paleosols: An Example from the Lower Conemaugh Group of Southeastern Ohio, USA

Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio University, 316 Clippinger Laboratories, Athens, OH 45701, USA
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Geosciences 2012, 2(4), 260-276; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences2040260
Received: 14 September 2012 / Revised: 18 October 2012 / Accepted: 29 October 2012 / Published: 1 November 2012
Three temporally close stratigraphic sections were excavated in Glenshaw Formation of Athens County, Ohio. The described units are Upper Pennsylvanian (Gzhelian, 305–302 Ma) and located in the distal portion of the Appalachian foreland basin. Mudstone units interpreted as paleosols were identified across all three sections. Detailed field and micromorphological studies lead to the recognition of two separate paleosols within the profile. The profile consists of a composite paleosol composed of two cumulative paleosols. The lower paleosol is interpreted as a calcic Vertisol which formed in a seasonally dry environment whereas the upper paleosol is interpreted as a gleyed Inceptisol which formed in a seasonally wet environment. The change in paleosol types is the result of increased precipitation which led to saturation of the soil and surface ponding. Pedogenic carbonate nodules are a common feature throughout the entire profile as are stress cutans. A coalesced carbonate horizon (Bk) was observed approximate 120 cm from the top of the profile in all three sections. This carbonate horizon formed in the Vertisol and later served as a barrier which limited the downward movement of surface water. This limited the gleization of the bottom portion of the overprinted Vertisol resulting in a diffuse boundary with the overlying Inceptisol and producing a composite paleosol. View Full-Text
Keywords: soils; terrestrial; continental; paleoclimate; paleopedology soils; terrestrial; continental; paleoclimate; paleopedology
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Dzenowski, N.D.; Hembree, D.I. Examining Local Climate Variability in the Late Pennsylvanian Through Paleosols: An Example from the Lower Conemaugh Group of Southeastern Ohio, USA. Geosciences 2012, 2, 260-276.

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