Title

Investigation of a paleocatena across a Late Pennsylvanian landscape comprised of organic and mineral paleosols

Semester

Fall

Date of Graduation

1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MS

College

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Alan C. Donaldson.

Abstract

Exposures of the Pittsburgh coal bed, its seatearth, and correlative rocks at six sites along a 79 mile-long traverse from Morgantown, West Virginia south to near Burnsville, West Virginia comprise a paleocatena of organic and mineral paleosols formed on a coeval landscape. Northern sites were poorly drained leading to weakly developed Inceptisol profiles in the seatearth followed by thick accumulations of organic matter. More highly evolved profiles developed at the better drained sites to the south contain: highly leached, kaolinitic A horizons; slickensided horizons; subsurface accumulation of iron oxide; strong soil structure; in-situ clay production and translocation; and redoximorphic concentrations and depletions. Intermediate sites exhibit characteristics of northern and southern profiles. Genesis of the profiles indicate change from an initial moist savanna climate, to a rainforest-savanna climate, and back to a moist savanna climate. Overlying sediments and paleosols indicate a semi-arid climate.

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