Organic petrology, palynology, and geochemistry of soils from serpentine barrens, Chester and Lancaster counties, Pennsylvania: Notes on maceral development

James C. Hower, Jennifer M.K. O'Keefe, Roger Earl Latham, Shifeng Dai, Luis F.O. Silva, Kevin R. Henke, Jon Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An investigation of the soils developed on ultramafic rocks in the State Line Serpentinite Belt in southeastern Pennsylvania demonstrated that the mineral assemblages are dominated by quartz, with lesser amounts of the serpentine group minerals lizardite and antigorite, and clinochlore, among other minerals. The samples have up to 39.91% MgO, 22,500 μg/g Cr, and 3300 μg/g Ni (ash basis). The light rare earth elements have a significant correlation to MgO/(MgO + SiO2) while the distribution of Cr is random. The organic matter in the soil bears a strong similarity to lignite and subbituminous macerals. Wood-derived macerals showed variations from relatively pristine wood to degraded and attrital forms with evidence of fungal and faunal activity. Macrinite ranged from coprolitic forms to amorphous masses with little or no recognizable structure. The pollen assemblages were dominated by Pinus sp., Quercus sp., and Ribes sp. Analysis of the fungal assemblages and guild structures suggests that the Goat Hill Barrens assemblage differed from the New Texas Barrens and Nottingham Barrens assemblages and that the guild structures encountered are both similar to those encountered in peatlands while also very different, especially in the proportion of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal remains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104532
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Volume289
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Coprolite
  • Maceral
  • Mycology
  • Ophiolite
  • Serpentinite
  • Soil
  • Ultramafic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy

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