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Home / Preservation & Taphonomy / Log Jams and Driftwood Accumulations

Taphonomy in General
Plant Fossil Preservation and Plant Taphonomy
Collecting Bias: Our Incomplete Picture of the Past Vegetation
Pith Cast and "in situ" Preservation
Three-Dimensionally Preserved Plant Compression Fossils
Permineralized Plants and the Process of Permineralization
Petrified Forests
Bacterial Biofilms (Microbial Mats)
Molecular Palaeobotany
Pyrite Preservation
Upland and Hinterland Floras
Abscission and Tissue Separation in Fossil and Extant Plants
Leaf Litter and Plant Debris
Fungal Wood Decay: Evidence from the Fossil Record

! Pseudo Planktonic Organisms Attached on Fossil Plants@
! Riparian Habitats@

Log Jams and Driftwood Accumulations

! Tim B. Abbe and David R. Montgomery (2003): Patterns and processes of wood debris accumulation in the Queets river basin, Washington. PDF file, Geomorphology, 51: 81-107.

! T.B. Abbe and D.R. Montgomery (1996): Large woody debris jams, channel hydraulics and habitat formation in large rivers. In PDF, Regulated Rivers Research & Management.

S. Abe and Y. Watanabe: Behaviour of driftwood in the Saru River during Typhoon No,10(Etau). In PDF.

S.R. Ash and G.T. Creber (2000): The Late Triassic Araucarioxylon arizonicum trees of the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, USA. In PDF.

M.R. Bennett et al. (1996): Dropstones: their origin and significance. Abstract, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 121: 331-339.

D. Bernoulli and P. Ulmer (2016): Dropstones in Rosso Ammonitico-facies pelagic sediments of the Southern Alps (southern Switzerland and northern Italy). Abstract, Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 109: 57–67.
Transportation of rocks by driftwood!

N. Boonchai et al. (2009): Paleontological parks and museums and prominent fossil sites in Thailand and their importance in the conservation of fossils. Carnets de Géologie. See fig. 4!

C.A. Braudrick et al. (1997): Dynamics of wood transport in streams: a flume experiment. PDF file, Earth Surface Process and Landforms, 22: 669-683.

Andrew P. Brooks et al. (2001): Putting the wood back into our rivers: An experiment in river rehabilitation. PDF file, Third Australian Stream Management Conference, Brisbane.

! C. Camporeale et al. (2013): Modeling the interactions between river morphodynamics and riparian vegetation. Reviews of Geophysics, 51. See also here (in PDF).

R.L. Capretz and R. Rohn (2013): Lower Permian stems as fluvial paleocurrent indicators of the Parnaíba Basin, northern Brazil. Abstract.

S.N. Césari et al. (2010): Nurse logs: An ecological strategy in a late Paleozoic forest from the southern Andean region. Abstract, Geology, 38: 295-298. See also here (in PDF).

M. Church and R.I. Ferguson (2015): Morphodynamics: Rivers beyond steady state. Water Resour. Res., 51: 1883–1897.

Fred Clouter, Lower Eocene Fossils of the Isle of Sheppey: Fossil Trees & Logs. Teredo borings. Worth checking out:
! Two photographs of a freshly washed out tree section showing part of an oil rich Jurassic rock in the root system.

H.G. Coffin (1997): The Yellowstone petrified "forests". In PDF.

C.E. Colombi and J.T. Parrish (2008): Late Triassic Environmental Evolution in Southwestern Pangea: Plant Taphonomy of the Ischigualasto Formation. In PDF, Palaios.

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Hartford, CT: Large Woody Debris Fact Sheet. PDF file.
This expired link is available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

A. Crisafulli et al. (2016): In-situ Late Triassic fossil conifer woods from the fluvial channel deposits of the Soturno River (Caturrita Formation, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). In PDF, Gaea, Journal of Geoscience, 9: 37-46.

! V.H. Dale et al. (2004): Effects of modern volcanic eruptions on vegetation. Google books. See also here.

! N.S. Davies et al. (2014) Cross-Bedded Woody Debris From A Pliocene Forested River System In the High Arctic: Beaufort Formation, Meighen Island, Canada. In PDF, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 84: 19-25.

! C.G. Diedrich (2009): A coelacanthid-rich site at Hasbergen (NW Germany): taphonomy and palaeoenvironment of a first systematic excavation in the Kupferschiefer (Upper Permian, Lopingian). In PDF, Palaeobio. Palaeoenv., 89: 67-94.
Mapped taphonomy of plants, invertebrates and fish vertebrates at six different planal levels on a 12 m2 area.

! N.S. Davies et al. (2014) Cross-Bedded Woody Debris From A Pliocene Forested River System In the High Arctic: Beaufort Formation, Meighen Island, Canada. In PDF, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 84: 19-25.

Timothy M. Demko et al. (1998): Plant taphonomy in incised valleys: Implications for interpreting paleoclimate from fossil plants. Abstract, Geology, 26: 1119-1122.

T.M. Demko (1995): Taphonomy of fossil plants in the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation. Dissertation, in PDF. Table of contents on PDF page 8; taphonomic studies of fossil plants introduction on PDF page 27.

H.J. Falcon-Lang (2005): Earliest mountain forests. In PDF. Geology Today, Vol. 21. See fig. 3: A cordaite stump has been transported in an ancient river system from nearby mountains.

H.J. Falcon-Lang and A.R. Bashforth (2005): Morphology, anatomy, and upland ecology of large cordaitalean trees from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Newfoundland. PDF file, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 135: 223-243. See Fig. 11: Whole plant reconstruction of a large cordaitalean tree.

David K. Ferguson, Department of Palaeontology, Geocentre, University of Vienna, Austria: Catastrophic events as a taphonomic window on plant communities. Abstract, International Plant Taphonomy Meeting Chemnitz, 2003.
Snapshot provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

L.C. Fermé et al. (2015): Tracing driftwood in archaeological contexts: experimental data and anthracological studies at the Orejas De Burro 1 Site (Patagonia, Argentina). Abstract, Archaeometry, 57: 175–193. See also here (in PDF).

! F.T. Fürsich et al. (2016): Event beds or condensed unit? Analysis of a wood-log concentration in the upper Jurassic of the Kachchh Basin, western India. Abstract, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.
"The curious features of the Wood-Log Bed result from the interplay of flash floods, general sediment starvation, and the prevailing low oxygen conditions on the sea floor." See also here.

! R.A. Gastaldo and T.M. Demko (2011): The relationship between continental landscape evolution and the plant-fossil record: long term hydrologic controls on preservation. In PDF, Taphonomy.

Robert A. Gastaldo and Carleton W. Degges (2007): Sedimentology and paleontology of a Carboniferous log jam. PDF file, International Journal of Coal Geology, 69: 103-118.

! R.A. Gastaldo (2004):The Relationship Between Bedform and Log Orientation in a Paleogene Fluvial Channel, Weißelster Basin, Germany: Implications for the Use of Coarse Woody Debris for Paleocurrent Analysis. PDF file, Palaios, 19: 587-597.

R.A. Gastaldo (1990): The paleobotanical character of log assemblages necessary to differentiate blow-downs resulting from cyclonic winds. PDF file, Palaios, 5: 472-478.

! M.R. Gibling and N.S. Davies (2012): Palaeozoic landscapes shaped by plant evolution. In PDF, Nature Geoscience, 5. See also here (abstract).

Martin R. Gibling et al. (2010): Log Jams and Flood Sediment Buildup Caused Channel Abandonment and Avulsion in the Pennsylvanian of Atlantic Canada. Abstract, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 80: 268-287.

! R.G. Gillespie et al. (2012): Long-distance dispersal: a framework for hypothesis testing. In PDF, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 27.

Greb, S.F., Eble, C.F., Chesnut, D.R., Jr., Phillips, T.L., and Hower, J.C.: An in situ occurrence of coal balls in the Amburgy coal bed, Pikeville Formation (Duckmantian), Central Appalachian Basin, U.S.A. Palaios, v. 14, p. 433-451; 1999. See also here (via wayback).

A.M. Gurnell et al. (2016): A conceptual model of vegetation–hydrogeomorphology interactions within river corridors. In PDF, River Research and Applications, 32: 142–163. Special Issue: Hydrogeomorphology-Ecology Interactions in River Systems. See also here.

! A. Gurnell (2014): Plants as river system engineers. Abstract, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39. See also here (in PDF).

! A.M. Gurnell et al. (2002): Large wood and fluvial processes. Freshwater Biology, 47: 601-619. See also here (abstract).

! M.E. Harmon et al. (1986): Ecology of coarse woody debris in temperate ecosystems. In PDF, Advances in Ecological Research, 15: 133-302.

Urweltmuseum Hauff, Holzmaden. A driftwood from the Liassic, 12 m long, settled by crinoids.
! See also here (image hosted by

J.J. Hayward and B.W. Hayward (1995): Fossil forest preserved in volcanic ash and lava at Ihumatao and Takapuna, Auckland. In PDF, Tane, 35: 127–142.
Note Fig. 2: Lava mould of tree stumps preserved in-situ at Takapuna reef.

E.J. Hickin (1984): Vegetation and river channel dynamics. PDF file, Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien.

T.L. Hyatt and R.J. Naiman (2001): The residence time of large woody debris in the Queets River, Washington, USA. PDF file, Ecological Applications, 11: 191-202.
Website outdated. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

! A. Ielpi et al. (2014): Role of vegetation in shaping Early Pennsylvanian braided rivers: architecture of the Boss Point Formation, Atlantic Canada. In PDF, Sedimentology, 61: 1659–1700. See also here.
"... A large supply of woody debris triggered channel blockage and avulsion, and active channel margins and islands within the channel belts were initially colonized by pioneer vegetation and subsequently stabilized by large trees. ..."

K.-P. Kelber (2007): Die Erhaltung und paläobiologische Bedeutung der fossilen Hölzer aus dem süddeutschen Keuper (Trias, Ladinium bis Rhätium) (PDF file, in German).- pp. 37-100; In: Schüßler, H. & Simon, T. (eds.): Aus Holz wird Stein - Kieselhölzer aus dem Keuper Frankens. See especially:
Driftwood from the germanotype middle Triassic (Ladinian), shown in fig. 1 (PDF page 4).

K.-P. Kelber et al. (1997): Exotische Kristallingerölle aus dem süddeutschen Schilfsandstein (Mittlerer Keuper, Trias). Exotic Crystalline Pebbles from the Schilfsandstein (Middle Keuper; Triassic) of Southern Germany. Abstract, N. Jb. Geol. Paläont., Abh., 206: 93-131.
Transportation of rocks by driftwood!

! N. Kramer (2016): Great river wood dynamics in Northern Canada. In PDF, Thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

N. Kramer and E. Wohl (2016): Rules of the road: A qualitative and quantitative synthesis of large wood transport through drainage networks. In PDF, Geomorphology.

N. Kramer and E. Wohl (2015): Driftcretions: The legacy impacts of driftwood on shoreline morphology. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42. See also here (in PDF).

E. Kustatscher et al. (2013): Early Cretaceous araucarian driftwood from hemipelagic sediments of the Puez area, South Tyrol, Italy. In PDF, Cretaceous Research, 41: 270-276. See also here (abstract).

E. Lavooi (2010): Origin of anastomosis, upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada. In PDF, MSc thesis, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University.
Log jam created by poles capturing drift-wood on PDF page 36.

Y Liu and R.A. Gastaldo (1992): Characteristics and provenance of log-transported gravels in a Carboniferous channel deposit. PDF file, Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 62: 1072-1083.

U. Lombardo (2017): River logjams cause frequent large-scale forest die-off events in Southwestern Amazonia. In PDF, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss.

A Lucía et al. (2015): Dynamics of large wood during a flash flood in two mountain catchments. In PDF, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1741–1755.

! J.J. Major et al. (2012): After the disaster: The hydrogeomorphic, ecological, and biological responses to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington. PDF file. In: O’Connor, J.E., Dorsey, R.J., and Madin, I.P., (eds.): Volcanoes to Vineyards: Geologic Field Trips through the Dynamic Landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Geological Society of America Field Guide 15: 111–134.

A.C. Mancuso and C.A. Marsicano (2008): Paleoenvironments and taphonomy of a Triassic lacustrine system (Los Rastros Formation, central-western Argentina). In PDF, Palaios, 23: 535–547. See also here. Note the fossil trunk in Fig. 5B.

Y.I. Mandang and N. Kagemori (2004): A fossil wood of Dipterocarpaceae from Pliocene deposit in the west region of Java Island, Indonesia. In PDF, Biodiversitas, 5: 28-35.
"The fossil trunk 28 m in length and 105 cm in diameter was buried in a tuffaceous sandstone layer".

D.J. Martin and L.E. Benda (2001): Patterns of Instream Wood Recruitment and Transport at the Watershed Scale. PDF file, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 130: 940-958.

! C. Maser et al. (1988): From the forest to the sea: a story of fallen trees. In PDF.

! P. Matysová et al. (2010): Alluvial and volcanic pathways to silicified plant stems (Upper Carboniferous-Triassic) and their taphonomic and palaeoenvironmental meaning. PDF file, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 292: 127-143.

Christine L. May and Robert E. Gresswell (2004): Spatial and temporal patterns of debris-flow deposition in the Oregon Coast Range, USA. PDF file, Geomorphology, 57: 135-149.

! D.R. Montgomery and H. Piégay (2003): Wood in rivers: interactions with channel morphology and processes. In PDF, Geomorphology, 51: 1-5.

David R. Montgomery et al. (2003): Influence of debris flows and log jams on the location of pools and alluvial channel reaches, Oregon Coast Range. PDF file, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 115: 78-88. See also here (abstract).

D.R. Montgomery et al. (2003): Geomorphic Effects of Wood in Rivers. PDF file, American Fisheries Society Symposium, 2003.

L. Picco et al. (2017): Dynamics and ecology of wood in world rivers. Citation, Geomorphology, 279: 1–2.
Don´t miss the Editorial (in PDF).
! See especially here (extended abstracts, in PDF).

Geoffrey C. Poole (2002): Fluvial landscape ecology: addressing uniqueness within the river discontinuum. PDF file, Freshwater Biology, 47: 641-660.

Imogen Poole, Department of Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Utrecht University: TAPHONOMY & PRESERVATION OF WOOD. Research projects.
This expired link is now available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

Imogen Poole et al. (2001): Taphonomic observations from a tropical river system: Implications for fossil wood and propagule assemblages. Abstract, The 12th Plant Taphonomy Meeting was held in Altlengbach, Austria.
Snapshot provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

B.R. Pratt and J. van Heerde (2017): An arborescent lycopsid stem fragment from the Palliser Formation (Famennian) carbonate platform, southwestern Alberta, Canada, and its paleogeographic and paleoclimatic significance. In PDF, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 54: 141-145. See also here (abstract).

A. Radwanski (2009): "Phoenix szaferi" (palm fruitbodies) reinterpreted as traces of wood-boring teredinid bivalves from the Lower Oligocene (Rupelian) of the Tatra Mountains, Poland. PDF file, Acta Palaeobotanica, 49: 279-286.

Robert Randell, British Chalk Fossils: Driftwood with Teredo borings.

G.J. Retallack (1995): Permian and Triassic driftwood from the Allan Hills, Antarctica. PDF file, Antarctic Journal of the United States, 30.

G.M. Rex and A.C. Scott (1987): The sedimentology, palaeoecology and preservation of the Lower Carboniferous plant deposits at Pettycur, Fife, Scotland. PDF file, Geological Magazine.

F. Ricardi Branco et al. (2010): Accumulation of Bio Debris and Its Relation with the Underwater Environment in the Estuary of Itanhaém River, Sâo Paulo State. In PDF. See also here.

! Fresia Ricardi-Branco et al. (2009): Plant accumulations along the Itanhaém River Basin, southern coast of São Paulo State, Brazil. PDF file, Palaios, 24: 416-424. See also here, and there (abstract).

J.S. Richardson and R.J. Danehy (2007): A Synthesis of the Ecology of Headwater Streams and their Riparian Zones in Temperate Forests. In PDF, Forest Science.

I. Schalko et al. (2016): Backwater rise due to driftwood accumulation. Poster, Interpraevent 2016.

! J.R. Sedell et al. (1988): What we know about large trees that fall into streams and rivers. In PDF.

A.R.T. Spencer and C. Strullu-Derrien (2017): Photogrammetry: preserving for future generations an important fossil site situated in Maine-et-Loire (France). Poster, in PDF.
Large 1–9m lycoposid stems and branches, rhizomes and leaves, preserved as carbonized adpressions or 3D mold/casts.

! S.C. Sweetman and A.N. Insole (2010): The plant debris beds of the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight, southern England: their genesis and palaeontological significance. In PDF, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 292: 409-424.

J. Szulc et al. (2015): Key aspects of the stratigraphy of the Upper Silesian middle Keuper, southern Poland. In PDF, Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, 85: 557-586.
See fig 15 (PDF page 17): Triassic tree trunk in dark grey mudstones.

J. Szulc et al. (2015): Key aspects of the stratigraphy of the Upper Silesian middle Keuper, southern Poland. In PDF, Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, 85: 557–586.
Please note Fig. 15A: A large tree trunk in dark grey mudstones.

E.L. Taylor and P.E. Ryberg (2007): Tree growth at polar latitudes based on fossil tree ring analysis. PDF file, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 255: 246-264.
Note Fig. 1: Large, permineralized trunk preserved in sandstone, Middle Triassic, Fremouw Peak (ca. 22 m long).
Now recovered from the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

A.G. Toja and C. Bonilla (2012), starting on PDF page 171: Transfer of the grand trunk fossil found in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Geopark (Spain). In PDF, Proceedings of the 11th European Geoparks Conference. AGA – Associação Geoparque Arouca.

! USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory, Vancouver: Mount St. Helens, Washington. May 18, 1980; Devastation Images. Photographs showing trees blown down.
! See also here.

Pim F. van Bergen & Imogen Poole (2001): Accounting for the relative absence of epiphytes and palms in fossil floras? - observations from the modern Peruvian Amazon Basin. Abstract, The 12th Plant Taphonomy Meeting was held in Altlengbach, Austria.
Now provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

! Wang Xiaofeng et al. (2009): The Triassic Guanling fossil Group - A key GeoPark from Barren Mountain, Guizhou Province, China. A colony of Traumatocrinus sp. attached by root cirri to an agatized piece of driftwood! PDF file, from:
Jere H. Lipps and Bruno R.C. Granier (eds.) 2009, (e-book, hosted by Carnets): PaleoParks - The protection and conservation of fossil sites worldwide. Also available from here.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Log Jam.
Treibholz (in German).
Large woody debris.

C.J. Williams et al. (2010): Fossil wood in coal-forming environments of the late Paleocene-early Eocene Chickaloon Formation. PDF file, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 295: 363-375.
Snapshot provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

E. Wohl (2017): Bridging the gaps: an overview of wood across time and space in diverse rivers. Abstract, Geomorphology, 279: 3–26.

! Ellen Wohl, Colorado State University: Bridging the Gaps: Wood Across Time & Space in Diverse Rivers. In PDF.

E. Wohl and D.N. Scott (2017): Wood and sediment storage and dynamics in river corridors. In PDF, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42: 5–23.

! E. Wohl (2013): Floodplains and wood. Abstract, Earth-Science Reviews, 123: 194–212.

E. Wohl et al. (2009): Episodic wood loading in a mountainous neotropical watershed. PDF file, Geomorphology, 111: 149-159.

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This index is compiled and maintained by Klaus-Peter Kelber, Würzburg,
Last updated January 16, 2018

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