Reconstruction of the sedimentary environment of phytogenic deposits in the Tomisławice opencast mine (Konin Region, central Poland)

Barbara Słodkowska, Marek Widera


Palynological analysis of the Tomis³awice opencast mine deposits has allowed reconstruction of the plant communities and investigation of the evolution of sedimentary environments at various stages of lignite-forming marsh development, recorded in the composition of pollen assemblages from deposits of the 1st Mid-Polish lignite seam (MPLS-1). Rich pollen communities from an ~9 m thick section has enabled study of the succession of plant communities and of the evolution of phytogenic sedimentation. The pollen succession indicates that the assemblages in the whole lignite seam represent the VIII Celtipollenites verus pollen Zone. Slight differences in the composition of the communities reflect different stages of basin development, depending more on the variable water dynamics than on climatic oscillations. Lignite of the MPLS-1 developed in a continental regime on alluvial plains. Changes in the succession of plant communities in the Tomis³awice section record flooding-drainage cycles caused by groundwater level oscillations. Peat bog accumulation took place in river basins, in which the lack of siliciclastic intercalations within the massive lignite seams points to weak fluvial dynamics. A rise in groundwater level and/or surface water resulted in flooding of the marshes and the formation of an extensive shallow lake basin, as shown by the presence of freshwater algae and pollen of aquatic plants. The section as a whole does not record an increased contribution of thermophilic plant taxa. The flora was generally dominated by warm-temperate and thermophilic species, without the participation of strongly thermophilic vegetation, which indicates that the lignite seam in the Tomis³awice opencast mine was formed in the generally stable conditions of a warm temperate climate.


Palynology; lignite seam; plant communities; palaeofloristic reconstruction; Neogene; central Poland

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