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Re: Dinosaur fossils in Early Cretaceous of Lujiatun, China--volcanic Pompeii or floods?

Ben Creisler

News release from University of Bristol:


Free pdf courtesy of Michael Benton:


On Sat, Mar 28, 2015 at 11:54 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper:
> Christopher S. Rogers, David W.E. Hone, Maria E. McNamara, Qi Zhao,
> Patrick J. Orr, Stuart L. Kearns & Michael J. Benton (2015)
> The Chinese Pompeii? Death and destruction of dinosaurs in the Early
> Cretaceous of Lujiatun, NE China.
> Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance online publication)
> doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.03.037
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018215001686?np=y
> Highlights
> We present a systematic description of the sedimentology of the Lujiatun Unit.
> Our data show multiple fossiliferous horizons within the Lujiatun Unit.
> Most Lujiatun fossils originate from remobilised volcaniclastic sediments.
> Burial events are not necessarily associated with volcanic eruptions.
> Our results provide a basis for understanding the taphonomy of Lujiatun 
> fossils.
> Abstract
> The Lujiatun Unit (Yixian Formation) yields some of the most
> spectacular vertebrate fossils of the Jehol Group (Lower Cretaceous)
> of NE China. Specimens are preserved both articulated and
> three-dimensional, unlike the majority of Jehol fossils, which are
> near two-dimensional compression fossils. The site has been referred
> to as the ‘Chinese Pompeii’ because the dinosaurs and other animals
> were assumed to have been killed and buried by hot, airborne volcanic
> debris and ash in a single event; this has yet to be confirmed. Field
> and laboratory evidence for the sedimentological context of the
> fossils from the Lujiatun Unit is described in detail, and used to
> assess whether the fossil remains correspond to a single depositional
> event and whether this event was the direct result of volcanic
> activity. Fossils of the Lujiatun Unit occur in several horizons of
> volcaniclastic sediments that represent multiple depositional events.
> Petrological analysis shows that the fossil-bearing sediments were
> remobilised and deposited by water. The Lujiatun dinosaurs and other
> fossils were therefore not killed by a single airborne volcanic ash,
> but in multiple flood events with a high load of volcaniclastic
> debris.