Controls on peat accumulation and depositional environments of a coal-bearing coastal plain succession of a pull-apart basin; a petrographic, geochemical and sedimentological study, Lower Jurassic, Denmark

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    Abstract

    The paralic, Lower-Middle Jurassic Bagå Formation of the Island of Bornholm, Denmark, was deposited in a fault-bounded, subsiding, pull-apart basin. The formation is up to 400 m thick and contains more than 50 coal seams. Twelve of these have been investigated petrographically and geochemically to provide basic information on the composition of the relatively unknown Jurassic coals. The peat-forming environments represented by the seams and the associated siliciclastic sediments are interpreted. The seams represent three types of environments with organic matter deposition. Peat accumulation occurred in low-lying areas situated between river channels in a coastal plain environment undergoing overall transgression. The coals have a relatively uniform, huminite-rich petrographic composition, indicating that the precursor mires were dominated by persistent, water-saturated and anoxic conditions. The swamps were probably occupied by a small-statured flora with cellulose-rich tissues. Significant bacterial activity in the peat swamps is suggested by an abundance of hopanes. Influence from marine water was not common but occurred occasionally. During peat accumulation, the depositional conditions were stable and quiet. The small thicknesses of the seams (8-57 cm thick) indicate relatively short periods of peat formation (average c. 2300 yr), due to continued base-level rise, controlled by subsidence, and an overall eustatic rise, causing repeated changes in the sedimentary regimes. The coal seams are of low rank and were buried to a depth of 1100-1200 m before uplift, due to Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary basin inversion and Neogene uplift.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-129
    Number of pages31
    JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
    Volume27
    Issue number2-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

    Programme Area

    • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate

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