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Article: The pre-depositional formation of some leaf impressions

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 20
Part: 4
Publication Date: January 1978
Page(s): 907 912
Author(s): Robert A. Spicer
Addition Information

How to Cite

SPICER, R. A. 1978. The pre-depositional formation of some leaf impressions. Palaeontology20, 4, 907–912.

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The Palaeontological Association (Free Access)


Observations show that an inorganic sedimentary encrustation may be built up on plant leaves within a few weeks after entry into a depositional environment. Such an encrustation may be the basis of a detailed impression fossil. SEM examination and X-ray microanalysis of this encrustation on freeze-fractured, freeze-dried leaves reveals preferential deposition of fine-grained, iron-rich material that faithfully replicates the epidermal surface detail of the leaf. By analysis, fossil-leaf impressions from the Upper Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone of Kansas are shown to have a similar elemental composition. A possible biogenic origin for the surface encrustation is suggested.
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