Swiss Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 3–13 | Cite as

A resin nodule in the Cretaceous Garschella Formation from Langer Köchel (Bavaria, S Germany): possible origin and palaeogeographic provenance

  • Hubert Engelbrecht
  • Karl B. Föllmi
  • Ursula Baumer
  • Johann Koller
Article

Abstract

A resin nodule was found in glauconite-rich detrital sediments of the Cretaceous Garschella Formation (Aptian to Albian) outcropping at Langer Köchel (Bavaria, S Germany). Gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric analyses of the fossil resin revealed dealkylation and the total defunctionalisation of its polycyclic constituents. Besides many unspecific components a specific one, agathalene, has survived. Agathalene also presents a strongly degraded product, but may have been derived from its natural precursor agathic acid, which is a very specific constituent (biomarker) of recent and fossil kauri resin. Although agathalene is a far less specific secondary biomarker, it indicates the botanic origin of the fossil resin nodule. Besides other potential producers of agathic acid, precursors of the present-day conifer species Agathisdammara and A. australis were distributed in a wider palaeophytogeographic range than today and might have been the botanical source of kauri resin. In view of the east–west directed Early Cretaceous surface current system of the Tethys ocean, the palaeogeographic provenance of the Werdenfels resin nodule probably was a mainland positioned further to the east or southeast of the Helvetic shelf, to where it was transported probably by driftwood of the resin-producing Agathis sp.

Keywords

Resin nodule Amber Garschella formation Cretaceous Agathalene Palaeogeography 

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Copyright information

© Swiss Geological Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hubert Engelbrecht
    • 1
  • Karl B. Föllmi
    • 2
  • Ursula Baumer
    • 3
  • Johann Koller
    • 3
  1. 1.MunichGermany
  2. 2.Institut de Geólogie et PaléontologieUniversité de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Doerner InstitutMunichGermany

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