A 90 m-thick coal seam in the Lubstów lignite deposit (Central Poland): palynological analysis and sedimentary environment

Ewa Durska


A 90 m-thick brown coal seam, the result of organic matter deposition in a fault-trough, is exploited in an open cast mine at Lubstów (Central Poland). Palynological analysis was conducted in order to determine which plants were the source of organic matter forming such a thick coal bed. The pollen spectrum is dominated by the gymnosperm pollen Inaperturopollenites, produced by trees closely related to the extant genera Taxodium and Glyptostrobus, the dominant constituents of swamp forests in SE North America and SE Asia today. However, the lack of xylites and preserved tissues in the coal does not support the conception of a swamp forest as the peat-producing community. There is also a significant percentage of angiosperm pollen in the coal, mainly from the groups: Castaneoideapollis, Tricolporopollenites exactus and T. pseudocingulum. The plants producing these pollen were probably the main constituent of the peat-producing community. The community shows signs of a shrub swamp with local tree islands and a low water table. Evidence for this also includes the detrital type of coal, the lack of preserved plant tissues and the presence of fungal remains. These characteristics show the existence of aerobic zones at the time of peat production. The peat was probably derived from angiosperms. Dome-shaped forms in the upper part of the deposit are the remains of tree islands. As detritus accumulation is very rapid on the surfaces of present-day tree islands, a similar rate of deposition may have taken place during peat production at Lubstów. This, combined with subsidence in the fault-trough, explains the great thickness of the coal bed.


Miocene; Konin region; pollen; swamp; tree islands

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