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The present study revolves around the identification of the stratigraphical boundary between Pleistocene formations that formed prior to the first advance of the Scandinavian ice sheet (Early Pleistocene, i.e., the so-called preglacial) and the overlying, glacially derived deposits (Middle Pleistocene). In particular, it focuses on variation in heavy mineral assemblages, which are an important tool for stratigraphers. The Neogene basement, described here, was most often the source of material that was redeposited by Early Pleistocene rivers. The geological structure and Early Pleistocene palaeogeographical scenarios for various Polish regions are discussed. Moreover, comparisons with other European preglacial formations are carried out. The mineral spectrum of Lower Pleistocene deposits is largely dependent of rocks of the Neogene and Mesozoic basement. If the incision of ancient catchments was into terrigenous rocks, the stratigraphical boundary between preglacial and glacial formations is easily determined with the help of a heavy mineral analysis. As a rule, this coincides with a noticeable change from resistant to non-resistant mineral associations. Such cases are noted for successions in central Poland and eastern England. On the other hand, outcrops of igneous or metamorphic rocks exist within preglacial river catchments in most parts of Europe. They were the local sources of non-resistant heavy minerals long before their glacial supply from the Baltic Shield. In these cases, mineralogical analysis fails in the search for the Early/Middle Pleistocene transition.

An international journal of the Austrian Geological Society


The analytic element method (AEM) has been successfully used in practice worldwide for many years. This method provides the possibility of fast preliminary quantitative analysis of the hydrogeological systems or boundary conditions of the numerical models, as it is shown in the case study of groundwater source of the city of Vrbas. The AEM is also applicable for the initial analysis of a hydrogeological system, which is of particular importance in case of excess pollution that cannot be predicted where it could happen. One example of the application of the AEM is presented in this article. The analytical model is calibrated based on the measured data from several drilled monitoring wells, and this was the base for the numerical model of the contaminant transport. In this case, the AEM enabled the quick access to information on the hydrogeological system and effective response to excess pollution.



The Ahmadabad hematite/barite deposit is located to the northeast of the city of Semnan, Iran. Geostructurally, this deposit lies between the Alborz and the Central Iran zones in the Semnan Subzone. Hematite-barite mineralisation occurs in the form of a vein along a local fault within Eocene volcanic host rocks. The Ahmadabad deposit has a simple mineralogy, of which hematite and barite are the main constituents, followed by pyrite and Fe-oxyhydroxides such as limonite and goethite. Based on textural relationships between the above-mentioned principal minerals, it could be deduced that there are three hydrothermal mineralisation stages in which pyrite, hematite and barite with primary open space filling textures formed under different hydrothermal conditions. Subsequently, in the supergene stage, goethite and limonite minerals with secondary replacement textures formed under oxidation surficial conditions. Microthermometric studies on barite samples show that homogenisation temperatures (TH) for primary fluid inclusions range from 142 to 256°C with a temperature peak between 200 and 220°C. Salinities vary from 3.62 to 16.70 NaCl wt% with two different peaks, including one of 6 to 8 NaCl wt% and another of 12 to 14 NaCl wt%. This indicates that two different hydrothermal waters, including basinal and sea waters, could have been involved in barite mineralisation. The geochemistry of the major and trace elements in the samples studied indicate a hydrothermal origin for hematite and barite mineralisation. Moreover, the Fe/Mn ratio (>10) and plots of hematite samples of Ahmadabad ores on Al-Fe-Mn, Fe-Mn-(Ni+Co+ Cu)×10, Fe-Mn-SiX2 and MnO/TiO2 – Fe2O3/TiO2 diagrams indicate that hematite mineralisation in the Ahmadabad deposit occurred under hydrothermal conditions. Furthermore, Ba and Sr enrichment, along with Pb, Zn, Hg, Cu and Sb depletion, in the barite samples of Ahmadabad ores are indicative of a low temperature hydrothermal origin for the deposit. A comparison of the ratios of LaN/YbN, CeN/YbN, TbN/LaN, SmN/NdN and parameters of Ce/Ce* and La/La* anomalies of the hematite, barite, host volcanic rocks and quartz latite samples to each other elucidate two important points: 1) the barite could have originated from volcanic host rocks, 2) the hematite could have originated from a quartz latite lithological unit. The chondrite normalised REE patterns of samples of hematite barite, volcanic host rocks and quartz latite imply that two different hydrothermal fluids could be proposed for hematite and barite mineralisation. The comparison between chondrite normalised REE patterns of Ahmadabad barite with oceanic origin barite and low temperature hydrothermal barite shows close similarities to the low temperature hydrothermal barite deposits.


The Coniacian quartz sandstones (Żerkowice Member, Rakowice Wielkie Formation) that crop out at quarries near Czaple-Nowa Wieś Grodziska (North Sudetic Synclinorium) contain a low-diversity assemblage of trace fossils: Gyrochorte isp., Ophiomorpha nodosa Lundgren, 1891, Ophiomorpha isp., Phycodes cf. curvipalmatum (Pollard, 1981), ?Phycodes isp., Planolites cf. beverleyensis (Billings, 1862), Thalassinoides paradoxicus Woodward, 1830 and ?Thalassinoides isp. Moreover, interesting compound burrow systems, here referred to as Thalassinoides-Phycodes cf. palmatus and ?Thalassinoides-Phycodes, were recognised at the Czaple Quarry. Additionally, ?Gyrochorte isp., Phycodes cf. flabellum (Miller and Dyer, 1878) and ?Treptichnus isp. were encountered at correlative levels in the Rakowice Małe Quarry. Some of these ichnotaxa have not been recorded previously from Coniacian sandstones of the Żerkowice Member. Additionally, in slabs of these sandstones, the gastropod Nerinea bicincta Bronn, 1836 and the bivalve Lima haidingeri Zittel, 1866 were found. These interesting finds, in particular the gastropods, were already noted from the study area in the first half of the twentieth century by Scupin (1912–1913). Ethologically, the trace fossil assemblage is represented by domichnia or domichnia/fodinichnia (Ophiomorpha, Thalassinoides), fodinichnia (Phycodes) and pascichnia (Gyrochorte, Planolites). The compound burrow systems (Thalassinoides-Phycodes) are interpreted as dwelling/feeding structures. The possible tracemakers are crustaceans (Ophiomorpha, Thalassinoides) or worm-like animals (annelids and other) (Planolites, ?Phycodes, Gyrochorte and ?Treptichnus). The assemblage of trace fossils is characteristic of the Skolithos ichnofacies and Cruziana ichnofacies, typical of shallow-marine settings. Ichnological studies, as well as the presence of accompanying fossils (bivalves, gastropods), confirm the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the Żerkowice Member sandstones by Leszczyński (2010). That author interpreted the Coniacian sandstones as bar and storm deposits laid down in a shallow epicontinental sea (mainly the foreshore-upper shoreface; up to the middle shoreface) under normal oxygenation and salinity, in soft substrate, above fair-weather wave base. The deposition of the Żerkowice Member sandstones is linked to a regression that started after uplift of the southeastern part of the North Sudetic Synclinorium.


Possible plate tectonic controls on faunal diversity dynamics have been discussed in the geological literature for around 50 years. The new model of plate tectonic processes is here linked to Jurassic generic diversity (simple α-diversity) of brachiopods. This comparison offers three observations, four hypotheses and three unresolved issues. Most importantly, changes in the global plate root mean square speed coincided with brachiopod diversity dynamics, which can be explained hypothetically by either environmental disturbance triggered by more active plate motion or activity of any process (such as eustasy) tied to plate tectonic mechanisms and with an impact on marine benthic communities. It is also established that global generic diversity dynamics of brachiopods during the Jurassic coincided with the regional picture as established for the Northern Caucasus and the Swiss Jura Alps; this coincidence is difficult to explain with regard to plate tectonics. These and other speculative considerations do not clarify the role of the plate tectonic factor in Jurassic generic diversity dynamics of brachiopods, and, thus, they indicate important issues for further research.


The present study focuses on two Baltic-type peat bogs in Slowinski National Park, namely that at Żarnowskie and at Kluki, located in the Lake Łebsko catchment and both characterised by a centrally located dome with a very marshy fringe area featuring an emerging marshy coniferous forest (Vaccinio uliginosi-Pinetum). The Żarnowskie bog is under active protection. A total of 24 flow barriers were installed in drainage ditches during the years 2006 and 2007. The purpose of these barriers was to put a halt to water outflow. In addition, 30 hectares of young pine forest were cleared in order to decrease loss of water via evapotranspiration.

Kluki peat bog is only partially protected by Polish law. The lack of efforts to prevent outflow via the canal is due to the fact that the canal is utilised to drain meadows in the vicinity of the village of Łokciowe outside of the national park. Peat formation no longer occurs in this peat bog. The hydrological condition of the bog is catastrophic as a result of its main canal, referred to as Canal C9, which is 2.5 to 3.0 m deep and 10 m wide in places.

Both peat bogs are monitored for fluctuations in groundwater. Research has shown that changes in water levels fluctuate based on season of the year and geographical location, which is illustrated quite well using the two studied peat bogs.

The water retention rate of the Żarnowskie peat bog may be considered fairly high and is likely to improve due to protective measures enabled by Polish environmental laws. The water retention rate of the bog is consistently improving thanks to these measures, fluctuations in water level are small and the water level does not drop under 0.5 m below ground level even under extreme hydrometeorological conditions. This yields optimum conditions for renewed peat formation in this area. One potential threat is the Krakulice peat extraction facility, which is located in the southern part of the bog close to the boundary with the national park.