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The sedimentology, petrography and geochemistry of some Fraser Delta peat deposits Styan, William Bruce 1982

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THE  SEDIMENTOLOG.Y, PETROGRAPHY OF  SOME FRASER DELTA  AND  GEOCHEMISTRY  PEAT DEPOSITS  by  WILLIAM BRUCE STY AN B.Sc,  The U n i v e r s i t y  of B r i t i s h  Columbia,  1976  A.THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF-.. THE  REQUIREMENTS  FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SCIENCE  i n  THE  FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  DEPARTMENT  We a c c e p t to  THE  OF GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES  this  thesis  the required  as  conforming  standard'.  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  NOVEMBER 1981  ©  William  Bruce Styan,  -1 96  1  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the  the  University  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t  the L i b r a r y s h a l l make  it  and  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference  study.  I further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  be  department o r by h i s o r her  granted by  the head of  representatives.  my  It i s  understood t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not  be  allowed without my  permission.  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date  DE-6  (2/79)  Columbia  written  ii  ABSTRACT  On sition delta  the  plain, and  the  the  positional  the  three  upper  delta  Fraser  distinct upper  plain  contains  River  to  Delta,  settings:  delta  to  peat  the  distal  lower  alluvial  depo-  delta  plain.  Each  de-  a  unique  sequence  of  lithofacies  plain  peats,  although  widespread,  biofacies.  form  a  grass silt  lower  thin, facies.  and  fluvial upward this  The  silty  of  high  of  rodetrinite  Initial oped  from  moderate  turn  natural  peats  overlies  clay  and  sedge-  overlie  a  thin  seams  of  coarsening  precursors  the  coal  will  whereas  near  the  be top  of  high  Peats  base  from  high in  ash  the  comprised of  the  interlaminated cutinite  seam  and v i t -  common.  delta  and  a  clay.  the  be  and  silty  maceral  and  pH  thick  coal of  a  a  The  plain-upper  interdistributary  freshwater  high  coal.  lower  lying  The  to  by  intercalations  lenticular  would  sulphur  numerous  thin  macrinite,  of  the  in  dominated  form  that  tions  network  values.  desmocol1inite,  oxyfusinite,  a  prodelta  will  sulphur  suggest  with  which  of  peat  contain  sulphur  sequence, sequence  mainly  peats  clay,  environment  peat  delta  discontinuous  concentration  and  in  of  transitional  setting  Distal  and  lobe  is occurring  plain,  and  recent  ash  in  sedge-grass levees  brackish these  plain  marshes.  peats  facies  formed.  delta  as  Sphagnum  High  decreased the  peats  delta  dominated  devel-  concentrain  over-  prograded communities  iii  eventually minimal.  succeeded  in areas  Laterally,  however,  sedge-grass  peats  sandy  splay  deposits. A  sand,  silt  prodelta  clay  will  form  will  be  and  and  areas  and  where  concentrations maceral tinite and  and  telenite  grade rich  thin  plain  sedge and  overbank  grass  form  silty  and  to a  sequence  of  was  margins,  overbank fining  of c o a r s e n i n g  coal  seams.  splaying  High  has  occurred.  interbanded  abundant  into  Stumps  of  which  will  seams  channels  seams.  sulphur The  telenite, cu-  i n the base  suberinite,  peats  The  to  be  upward  the deposit. These  widespread  that  and  upward  discontinuous adjacent  peats  of  the  seam  telocollinite,  form  accumulated  sedge-clay cycles  s i l t , and and  massive  and  telenite  of  in freshwater  backswamp  gyttjae  developed  silty clay  peats  sand, of  to  form  form a  thick  liptites and  near then  of  high  i s comprised the base  and  of  primarily  clay  origin.  flood  peats  developed  seam  silt  are horizontally  sedge-grass well  peats  flood  contacts with.bordering  composition  clarite  and  silty  Sphagnum  margins,  clay  will  microlithotype  shift  will  upward  sharp  channel  peats  gillites  clay  c o n f i n e d t o the base  Earliest  fining  active  these  be  vertically  inter laminated  fied at  will  channel  unit  underly  influence  locally.  environments.  lying  clay  extensive  silty  fluvial  thick  possibly  coal.  Alluvial  and  a  silty  cerenite  occur  over  and  fluvial active  with  thin  p r e c u r s o r s suggest  will  will  clay  and  along  intercalate  r e l a t i v e l y thick,  thin  where  Over-  strati-  sediments,  intercalate  with  natural  levees,  quality  coal.  of v i t r i t i c t h e seams,  vitrite  near  The  carbar-  and  will  the top.  iv  Compared less  to  delta  complex.  plain  peats,  maceral  distribution  will  be  V  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i i  LIST OF TABLES 1  viii  LIST OF FIGURES 1  ix  LIST OF TABLES 2  xv  LIST OF FIGURES 2  xvi  LIST OF PLATES 2  xvii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  xviii  INTRODUCTION  •'.  1  PART I : SEDIMENTOLOGY OF SOME FRASER RIVER DELTA PEAT DEPOSITS ABSTRACT  3  INTRODUCTION  5  REGIONAL SETTING  •  8  METHODS  10  RESULTS  13  Boundary Bay  13  Lulu Island  21  P i t t Meadows  44  DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS  59  L i t h o f a c i e s and D e p o s i t i o n a l S e t t i n g  59  B i o f a c i e s and Peat S t r a t i g r a p h y  62  Clay Mineralogy  69  Geochemistry  70  F r a s e r R i v e r D e l t a P e a t s As C o a l D e p o s i t s  77  SUMMARY  80  REFERENCES  84  PART I I : PETROGRAPHY OF SOME FRASER RIVER DELTA PEAT DEPOSITS ABSTRACT  93  INTRODUCTION  96  REGIONAL SETTING  98  METHODS  105  RESULTS  108  Peat D e s c r i p t i o n  108  Sedge-clay Peat  108  G y t t j a Peat  110  Sedge-Grass  Peat  112  Sedge-Wood P e a t  116  Sedge-Sphagnum Peat  118  Nuphar P e a t  121  Sphagnum P e a t  123  E r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum P e a t  126  D e c o m p o s i t i o n a l Pathways  ...128  D e c o m p o s i t i o n o f Juncus spp., Carex spp., and Other Sedge-Grass  Plants  128  D e c o m p o s i t i o n o f Ledum g r o e n l a n d i c u m . K a l m i a a n g u s t i f o l i u r o . V a c c i n i u m spp., and Oxvcoccus quadripetalus  130  D e c o m p o s i t i o n o f Nuphar l u t e a y a r . p o l v s e p a l a ...133 D e c o m p o s i t i o n o f Rhynchospora  alba  134  Decomposition of Pinus contorta  135  D e c o m p o s i t i o n o f Sphagnum spp  137  D e c o m p o s i t i o n o f Other P l a n t T i s s u e s  138  vii  DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS  140  Peat Types  140  M a c e r a l Formation  149  SUMMARY  157  LIST OF REFERENCES  182  LIST  Table  1  Summary  Table  2  Clay  Table  3  Sulphur  of  OF  TABLES  depositional  1  parameters  mineralogy content  i n peat  facies  p.  61  p.  71  p.  74  ix  LIST OF  1. L o c a t i o n  map  FIGURES 1  of study areas,  sediments and  peat d e p o s i t s  showing recent  of the F r a s e r  delta.  2a. An  exposure of Boundary Bay  2b.  r e s u l t e d from the  scale  The  i s 30 cm  sible  earlier  cm.  wide.  peat. The  h i g h l y reducing  beneath the Zostera the  marine  (Z) and  of the  points.  c l a y and 1  sedge-grass peat  peat block  ^_  15  is v i -  environment by  through 14-15  i s 25  i s exposed  just  this footprint.  (P) are  faintly  surface.  to the  sand,  those t i s s u e s which are v i -  visible p >  discontinuous  S t r e e t , Boundary Bay.  pendicular  transgression.  H o r i z o n t a l components are com-  pelecypods  3. c r o s s - s e c t i o n of the  which  p >  sediment s u r f a c e  sediment  112th  Street  stems which have grown v e r t i c a l l y  the  2c. The  recent  decomposed, and  are  6  altered condition  long.  in t h i s block.  pletely  112th  covered with s i l t y  fibrous texture  sible  peat at  h i g h l y eroded and  Peats are p a r t i a l l y the  River p #  shows the has  deltaic  shoreline.  The The  14-15  peat h o r i z o n s  cross  section  numbers are p -  on  at  i s percore 1 8  X  Fig.  4.  Photograph  of core  stratigraphic  Fig.  5.  Peat  sulphur,  Fig.  6.  7.  Isopach  posit, splay  9.  9-  7  showing  p >  shows  the Lulu  and a n a l y s i s  channel  Island  markings  Island  9  types, of  deposit. visible  deposit.  pH,  Dashed from  where  Elongate  channel  lighter  activity .  from  the Lulu  (c) reduce  peat  thickness,  the peat  was  p. 27  B-B'  location  Island  de-  while  succession.  of cross-sections.  Legend  i s in  p. 28  C - C ,  Note  small  C ~ C . Legend  Dashed  D-D'  channel  Fig. 7  from  the Lulu  (c) within  shows  location  Island  peat of  E-E', F-F'  line  on  in  p >  from  section  the Lulu  E-E'  de-  cross-  cross-sec-  i s i n F i g . 3.  cross-sections posit.  1  p. 25  (s) i n t e r r u p t  Cross-sections  tions.  peat  peat  -  section  10.  of  A-A',  channels  posit.  Fig.  long.  latest.  deposits  3  cm  showing  p, 22  regions  cross-sections  F i  Bay,  constituents,  of L u l u  represent  Fig.  Boundary  linear  map  abandoned  8.  i s 30  Iluler  Bay,  photographs.  areas  Fig.  plant  Boundary  and d r y a s h .  show  aerial  Fig.  from  L i t h o f a c i e s map lines  Fig.  units.  profile  macroscopic  from  shows  29  Island  de-  former  peat  Xi.  Fig.  s u r f a c e p r i o r to mining. Note a l s o t r u n c a t i o n of  the  thickest  and  peat  s e c t i o n by  the F r a s e r R i v e r at El,  fire  splay  tion  of c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . Legend  11a.  The  (fs.) i n s e c t i o n F-F'.  F i g . 7 shows l o c a -  i s i n F i g . 3. . 3 0 p  modern b r a c k i s h sedge-grass marsh developed  between the two  arms of the F r a s e r R i v e r on  Lulu  Island.  Fig.  11b.  p.  A peat  scale  s e c t i o n at L u l u I s l a n d . At the base of  (30 cm),  the boundary between Sphagnum  sedge-grass b i o f a c i e s i s v i s i b l e .  Fig.  11c.  A close-up  peats.  of the  T h i s peat  f i b r o u s t e x t u r e of  represents  organic  12a.  Ericaceous  of P i n u s  I s l a n d . Largest P t e r idium and  resulting  Pinus  accumulations p. 32-33  from d r a i n a g e  are between 5 and  Ledum are growing between  12b.  6 m  fine  wide.  Sphagnum peat  f i b r o u s t e x t u r e and  ( L ) . The  tall.  Pinus p >  Ericaceous  peat  block  with  growth  at L u l u  stands.  Fig.  32-33  sedge-grass  Sphagnum community, showing new  contorta  the  and  p.  from environments shown in F i g . 11a.  Fig.  32-33  34-35  the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  f l a t t e n e d stems of Ledum  i s approximately  15  cm p  .  34-35  Fig.  12c.  Erosion  the  Lulu  of  Island  sedge-wood overbank as  Fig.  13  Peat  Fig.  15.  along  deposit  peat,  (o)  the  reveals  units  deposits  of  silty  are  southern a  Pinus  clay  margin stump  from  from  macroscopic  plant  sulphur  dry  m  and  result the  Peat  Island  showing  High  ash  and  from  and  dry  sulphur  at  a  of  this  Note  of  from  dry  at  a  splay  showing  peat  increase  showing  constituents,  result  aerial  Fig.  17.  show  ash  from  and  peat  recent  near  map  of  linear  the  Pitt  channel  Meadows  features  map  of  the  41  of  Meadows  pH,  the  sur-  overbank  deposit.  visible  deposit.  42  Dashed  from p.  Pitt  of  types,  analysis  values  pH,  i n amount  photographs.  lsopach  of  p.  Island,  High  40  types,  and. a n a l y s i s  large  of  sediment  p.  Lithofacies  pH,  depth  deposits.  lines  of  3 m.  Lulu  ash.  core  Island,  constituents,  ash.  plant  and  Lulu  depth  profile  sulphur,  16.  peat  types,  analysis  values  incorporation  peat  p.  sulphur  macroscopic  Fig.  this  peat.  plant  of  in  earlier  i n t e r c a l a t e d with  constituents  ash.  macroscopic  face  Lulu  from  profile  Peat  of  p. 34-35  profile  into  14.  peat  well.  2.5  Fig.  the  46  Darker  x iii  areas  show i n c r e a s e d peat  infilling  Fig.  t h i c k n e s s as a r e s u l t of  of former a v u l s e d  channels.  p. 48  1 8 . C r o s s - s e c t i o n s A-A', B-B' from the P i t t posit.  Note a v u l s e d  i n c r e a s e s peat  channel  Meadows de-  (c) i n c r o s s - s e c t i o n B-B'  t h i c k n e s s , whereas a more  l a r g e r channel has t r u n c a t e d  recent,  the t h i c k e s t peats at  b o t h A and B. F i g . 17 shows l o c a t i o n of c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . Legend i s i n F i g . 3.  Fig.  19. C r o s s - s e c t i o n s C - C , D-D' posit. these  Small  f l o o d channels  p. 49  from the P i t t  Meadows de-  (c) are moire e v i d e n t i n  two c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . F i g . 17 shows l o c a t i o n of  c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . .Lsgend i s i n F i g . 3.  Fig.  p. 50  20. C r o s s - s e c t i o n s E-E', F-F' from the P i t t  Meadows de-  p o s i t . On both c r o s s s e c t i o n s , at E' and F', i n t e r lamination natural  of peat  levee  and overbank s i l t y  c l a y form the  f a c i e s . F i g . 17 shows l o c a t i o n of  c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . Legend i s i n F i g . 3.  Fig.  21. peat  profile  from P i t t Meadows,  p- 51  showing peat  types,  m a c r o s c o p i c p l a n t c o n s t i t u e n t s , and a n a l y s i s of pH, sulphur,  and dry a s h . u n l i k e L u l u I s l a n d , pH  become more a l k a l i n e with depth and sulphur constant.  22.  peat  profile  values remains  p. 55  from P i t t ' Meadows,  showing peat  types,  xi iv  macroscopic  p l a n t c o n s t i t u e n t s , and a n a l y s i s of pH,  s u l p h u r and dry a s h .  F i g . 23. Peat p r o f i l e macroscopic  p. 56  from P i t t  Meadows, showing peat  p l a n t c o n s t i t u e n t s , and a n a l y s i s of pH,  sulphur and dry a s h . T h i s p r o f i l e tural  types,  r e p r e s e n t s the na-  l e v e e , and t h e r e f o r e ash c o n t e n t s a r e very h i g h  as a r e s u l t  of i n t e r c a l a t e d  overbank d e p o s i t s . p. 57  F i g . 24. cummary model of peat  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h other  t h o f a c i e s w i t h i n the d i s t a l  lower d e l t a  plain p. 53  environment.  F i g . 25. Summary model of peat  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with other  t h o f a c i e s w i t h i n the t r a n s i t i o n a l upper d e l t a p l a i n environment.  lower  delta  li-  plain-  Legend f o r diagram i s  i n F i g . 24.  p. 64  F i g . 26. summary model of peat  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with other  t h o f a c i e s w i t h i n the upper d e l t a p l a i n - a l l u v i a l environment.  li-  liplain  Legend f o r diagrams i s i n F i g . 24. p: 65  F i g . 27. p e r c e n t ash versus c a l o r i f i c of major peat b i o f a c i e s .  value p l o t  for analysis p. 76  XV  LIST Table  1  Summary  OF  TABLES  2  of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  of the v a r i o u s  types. Table  2  Some  p. 141-142 plant  (maceral Table  3  Peat  peat  tissues  groups)  types  and the probable  derived  from  and a s s o c i a t e d  coal  them.  coal  macerals  macerals p. 145-146 p. 147-148  X V I  LIST OF FIGURES 2  Figure  1  Figure 2  Peat S u c c e s s i o n a l Sequence  p. 101  Summary: P e t r o g r a p h i c  p. 107  r  Method  X  LIST  OF  PLATES  Plate  1 : Fi gures  1-5  Marine  Plate  2:  Figures  1-5  Brackish  Plate  3:  Figures  1-5  Freshwater  Plate  4:  Fi gures  1-5  Sedqe-Sphaqnum  Plate  5:  Figures  1-5  Sedge-wood  Plate  6:  Figures  1-5  Nuphar  Plate  7:  Figures  1 -5  Sphagnum  Plate  8:  Figures  1-5  Ericaceous  Plate  9:  Figures  1-5  Plate  10:  Figures  1-5  \  2  sedge-grass  peat  P-  163  P-  165  P-  167  P-  169  P-  171  P-  173  P-  175  P-  177  Decomposition  P-  179  Decomposition  P-  181  sedge-grass  peat  sedge-grass  peat  peat  peat  peat peat Sphaqnum  peat  vi i  XV  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .  I s i n c e r e l y thank Dr. tion, assistance, advice, stages  R. and  of t h i s p r o j e c t . I am  for  h i s enthusiasm and  gy,  and  for  scientific  peat e c o l o g y , advice  Marc B u s t i n  for o f f e r i n g d i r e c -  encouragement throughout a l l a l s o g r a t e f u l to Dr.  assistance  G.E.  i n p l a n t anatomy,  and  to Drs. W.C.  Barnes and  and  for c r i t i c a l l y  reading  Rouse  palynolo-  M.A.  Barnes  the manus-  cript.  Appreciation Dr.  L.E.  c l a y m i n e r a l o g y and  sulphur  for their  a n a l y s i s , and  to  the d r a f t i n g and  Finally,  R.  to thank G. Hodge and  Crosby f o r the  I thank my  invaluable help  two  i n the  iri the  fieldwork.  understanding during  search was  a b l e a s s i s t a n t s , Tom  l a b and  the  field.  to R.  Marc  and  Dave,  S c o t t and  Jean  Sandi O l s e n a l s o , patient  the many hours of study. The  Bustin.  for  manuscript.  Suzanne Hebert Styan was  funded by N.A.H.S. (U.B.C.) and  7337) g r a n t s  B. M a r t i n  t y p i n g of the  Carmichael, Jane Shepperd, Jack Styan, and assisted  in  of microtome s e c t i o n s .  I would a l s o l i k e  and  and  J . Maze of the Department of Botany f o r h i s a s s i s t a n c e  the p r e p a r a t i o n  for  L. L a v k u l i c h  Lowe of the Department of S o i l S c i e n c e ,  h e l p with Dr.  i s a l s o extended to Dr.  N.S.E.R.C.  re(67-  iii  1  INTRODUCTION  In  t h e p a s t , most  research into  peat  to c o a l  coal  and  surrounding sediment.  the  study  of modern a n a l o g s .  cently, 1970)  however.  have  partially  pose  decayed  from  surface and  i n peat  and  Ng  al.  (1976,  (1968,  1978,  1974),  (1974),  development studied  1970), its have  Casagrande  from  tropical  formed  throughout nificant  these  and  Park  changed Koch  Siefert  re-  from  (1972),  (1978) have as t h e y  obdecom-  (1978,  models.  Casagrande  Erchull  the  the g e o l o g i c a l  have  Cohen  Ting  led to  i n peat  the  have  been  (1976).  by Koch  have c o n c e n t r a t e d on climates.  warm, m o i s t  p a s t , they a l s o humid  et  Spackman e t  investigations  subtropical  in predominantly  (1964),  1979)  Metals  of  Casagrande  Cohen and  et a l . (1980),  Cohen  and  (1977),  origin  (1977),  and  to  (1966,  macerals  for coal  (1971),  Spackman  and  deposits within  individual  S t u d i e s by A n d e r s o n  studies  and  (1980) and  while Given  and  Miller  the e x c e p t i o n of  a l l of  has  given  d e p o s i t s has  Gleason  Staub  situation  was  implications  of d e p o s i t i o n a l  by  With  and  attention  of  The  1979).  Cohen and  interpretations  to u n d e r l y i n g peats.  and  (1960),  of  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of  b i o c h e m i c a l groups  Casagrande  (1979), Given  (1978), F i s k al.  the  the  Spackman  Casagrande  plants  been documented by and  The  litter,  in specific  living  on  Little  the o r i g i n s  (1970),  changes  sulphur  Cohen and  studied  Casagrande served  concentrated solely  the  temperate  peat  Although  climatic  (1966, depospeats  zones  have p r o d u c e d  sig-  or c o o l c l i m a t e s  2  (Teichmuller delta  peats  thus  provide  velop  and are an  Teichmuller, forming  the  alternative  cies  and  peat  forming  between  first  these  two  to produce  of  sulphur  vironmental  The scribes  ic  stages  of  plant tissues,  then  formation  Spackman utilized of  geochemical  of  this  The  individual ash  c o n d i t i o n s , and i n which to  and  the  various  de-  then  a i d in r e l a t i n g  and  models. peat  three  relationships  determined  geological  biofa-  d e s c r i b e d from  stratigraphic  components a r e  River  models.  thesis  identified  p o r t i o n of the  individual  Cohen and are  and  setting  Fraser  inte-  Measurements  quality  to  en-  setting.  second  chemical  are  others).  temperate  climatic  environments.  grated pH,  section  lithofacies  and  under m o i s t  s e d i m e n t o l o g i c a i and  In  1975  peat  types  thesis  and' d e t e r m i n e s  degradation  through  using petrographic (1972).  identifies  and  the  early  o b s e r v a t i o n of  techniques  coal  These d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l  macerals  biospecif-  modified  from  processes  to provide a h y p o t h e t i c a l b a s i s for  particular  de-  the  and m i c r o l i t h o t y p e s .  3  PART I :  SEDIMENTOLOGY OF  SOME FRASER  RIVER DELTA PEAT DEPOSITS ABSTRACT  Peat ferent River  accumulation  depositional delta:  the  has  a c t i v e l y occurred  settings  on  the  Recent  lobe  plain,  the  distal  lower  delta  and  lower  delta  plains,  tween u p p e r  delta  plain  and  Distal  lower  delta  plain  between u p p e r  preciably salt  and  by  fluvial  brackish  alluvial  marshes.  were c o n t r o l l e d  level  The  rise.  contains of but  sulphur. were  waters. upward  resulting  numerous s i l t y Formation  l a t e r eroded The  sandy  peats overly silt  and  quence of  prodelta  vironment  will  splits  and  form  high  ash  Lower d e l t a developed later  from  fluvially  phur and  ash  and  thin and  developed  influenced from  development and  and  by  fluvial thick  silty  high  clay.  delta  The  network  of  occurred, marine fining  Peats  upward  from  this  seams w i t h  seen-  numerous  concentrations.  plain  i n t e r d i s t r i b u t a r y brackish influenced.  sea  concentrations  facies  unit  these  peat  coarsening  l e n t i c u l a r coal sulphur  widespread  of  transgressing  a  be-  ap-  eustatic  discontinuous  l a m i n a e and  and  Fraser  plain.  compaction  thin  the  transition  altered a  dif-  transition  marsh  plain-upper  i n the  the  of  freshwater  clay  clay  by  thin,  clay of  and  Lateral  marsh f a c i e s  and  p e a t s were not  activity,  in three  peats  were  marshes,  initially but  high concentrations  sedge-grass peats  gradually  were  of  decrease  sulup-  4  s e c t i o n as the d e l t a progrades and n a t u r a l levees are d e v e l oped.  The  t h i c k e s t peats occur i n a r e a s where d i s t r i b u t a r y  channels were abandoned e a r l i e s t . sedge-grass dominated margins,  communities except along a c t i v e  where the l a t t e r  channel  i n t e r c a l a t e s with s i l t y c l a y  bank and sandy s p l a y d e p o s i t s . relatively  Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s r e p l a c e  over-  The peats are u n d e r l a i n by a  t h i n sequence of f i n i n g  upward sand, s i l t ,  and  s i l t y c l a y and then by a major c o a r s e n i n g upward sequence of prodelta s i l t y clay. would be l a t e r a l l y quality.  Coal seams formed  from these peats  e x t e n s i v e but of v a r i a b l e t h i c k n e s s and  Coal near the base of seams would c o n t a i n numerous  s p l i t s and high s u l p h u r c o n c e n t r a t i o n s .  A l l u v i a l p l a i n peats accumulated ments of the f l o o d p l a i n . peats developed over t h i n silt  and c l a y , and  flood o r i g i n . facies f i l l  Earliest  i n back swamp e n v i r o n -  sedge-clay and  gyttjae  f i n i n g upward c y c l e s of s i l t y  sand,  i n t e r l a m i n a t e d c l a y and s i l t y c l a y of  T h i c k e s t peat accumulations occur where these  small a v u l s e d f l o o d c h a n n e l s .  O v e r l y i n g sedge-  grass and Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s are h o r i z o n t a l l y  stratified  commonly form sharp boundaries with f i n e g r a i n e d f l o o d ments.  At a c t i v e channel margins,  prograde v e r t i c a l l y  well developed n a t u r a l l e v e e s . number and  s i z e of c r e v a s s e s p l a y d e p o s i t s .  form a t h i c k ,  isolated  sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n s .  peats form  These l e v e e s reduce both  the  Representing the  c u l m i n a t i o n of a major f i n i n g upward sequence, will  sedi-  however, sedge-grass  t o i n t e r c a l a t e with s i l t y c l a y and  and  these peats  seam of c o a l with low ash  and  5  INTRODUCTION  The most recent lobe of the F r a s e r R i v e r d e l t a  complex  i s the product of a c t i v e p r o g r a d a t i o n of the F r a s e r R i v e r s i n c e the c u l m i n a t i o n of the l a s t ago.  glacial  A l a r g e area of the modern d e l t a  relief,  same age began accumulating environments eustatic 1976;  development of  Peats of approximately the  in several different  depositional  i n response to a marked slowing i n the rate of  sea l e v e l  r i s e around  Rampino and Sanders,  itional  i s of extremely low  and thus conducive t o the i n i t i a l  marsh and r a i s e d bog d e p o s i t s .  stade 11,500 years  environments,  4,500 years B.P. ( F a i r b r i d g e ,  1981).  From these v a r i o u s depos-  peat forming areas at Boundary Bay,  L u l u I s l a n d and P i t t Meadows were s e l e c t e d  f o r study  ( F i g . 1).  At Boundary Bay, peats accumulated  from s a l t and brack-  i s h marshes on an i n a c t i v e p o r t i o n of the d i s t a l plain.  As a r e s u l t ,  these peats were not i n f l u e n c e d  c i a b l y by f l u v i a l a c t i v i t y . upper  lower  delta  appre-  D e p o s i t boundaries of lower-  d e l t a p l a i n peats at L u l u I s l a n d , however, were con-  t r o l l e d by f l u v i a l p r o c e s s e s .  Correspondingly, early  i s h water peats i n these d e p o s i t s were g r a d u a l l y freshwater marsh e q u i v a l e n t s .  Upper d e l t a  p l a i n peats a t P i t t Meadows o r i g i n a t e d marshes, but l i k e  lower-upper  enced c o n s i d e r a b l y by f l u v i a l  brack-  r e p l a c e d by  plain-alluvial  from  freshwater  d e l t a p l a i n p e a t s , were sedimentation.  influ-  The unique en-  vironmental s e t t i n g s of these d e p o s i t s p r o v i d e an e x c e l l e n t  Fig.  1. L o c a t i o n map  d e p o s i t s o f the  o f study  Fraser River  areas, delta.  showing r e c e n t d e l t a i c  sediments and  peat  7  o p p o r t u n i t y to compare r e s u l t i n g d i f f e r e n c e s gy, petrography and geochemistry.  in sedimentolo-  Because peat  i s the pro-  g e n i t o r of c o a l , these d i f f e r e n c e s can be e x t r a p o l a t e d and a p p l i e d to produce models which may  a i d i n the understanding  of a n c i e n t c o a l s and c o a l - b e a r i n g s t r a t a .  8  REGIONAL SETTING  The F r a s e r River  i s more than 1200 km l o n g , and has a  drainage area i n excess of 230,000 km  2  total  sediment  load of between 12 and 30 m i l l i o n  s i s t i n g of equal amounts of s i l t clay,  (Milliman,  1962).  result  the d e l t a by as much as 9 m per y e a r . primarily  from  i n the p r o g r a d a t i o n of The sand i s d e p o s i t e d  i n channels and i n low i s l a n d s at the mouths of  channels.  Part of the sediment  c u r r e n t s t o form shallow b a r s . not i n f l u e n c e d by f l u v i a l out f i n e r  tons, con-  (Mathews and  The sediments, which o r i g i n a t e  Pleistocene g l a c i a l deposits,  A  and sand, and up to 10%  i s c a r r i e d to the r i v e r mouth a n n u a l l y  Shepard,  1980).  i s r e d i s t r i b u t e d by longshore In areas of the d e l t a  s e d i m e n t a t i o n , wave a c t i o n  sediments t o produce sandy t i d a l  and Murray,  1973).  front winnows  f l a t s (Luternauer  S i l t s and c l a y s accumulate w i t h organic  muck i n i n t e r d i s t r i b u t a r y troughs and on the d e l t a  front.  The modern d e l t a p r e s e n t l y c o v e r s an area of 975 km  and  2  has an average t h i c k n e s s of 110 m (Mathews and Shepard, 1962).  T h i s lobe extends 31 km i n t o the S t r a i t  from a narrow  gap i n P l e i s t o c e n e uplands at New  of Georgia Westminster  and forms a perimeter g r e a t e r than 27 km (Luternauer and Murray,  1973) ( F i g . 1).  receiving  sediment  The western p e r i m e t e r i s a c t i v e l y  from two d i s t r i b u t a r y c h a n n e l s .  along the southern margin  However,  from Point Roberts to White Rock, a  broad, shallow t i d a l  f l a t has developed where only minor  iment i s being added  from the S e r p e n t i n e and Nicomekl  sed-  rivers  9  and  erosion  The  broad d e l t a  of  of the P o i n t front  Roberts Peninsula  (Shepperd,  s u r r o u n d i n g the perimeter has a slope  1.5°, and i s cut by a s e r i e s of g u l l i e s l e a d i n g  ky topography  Tidal the d e l t a  1981).  (Mathews and Shepard,  t o hummoc-  1962).  range from mixed t i d e s reaches a maximum of 5 m at front.  This  strong t i d a l  influence  much of the d e l t a throughout the e n t i r e year, during the s p r i n g  freshet  (Milliman,  1980).  is felt  over  especially A s a l t wedge  extends as much as 20 km up r i v e r i n winter, but seldom reaches past when runoff  the d i s t r i b u t a r y mouths between May and J u l y , peaks (Johnston,  1921; Swinbanks,  1979).  10  METHODS  In order t o determine stratigraphy  lithofacies,  b i o f a c i e s , and peat  i n the three d e p o s i t s s t u d i e d , three hundred and  f i f t e e n h o l e s were d r i l l e d , u s i n g a hand-driven Due to v a r i a b i l i t y i n peat composition spaced  100 meters a p a r t i n a l i n e a r  Hiller  and depth,  fashion.  Corer.  cores were  After  surveying  the h o l e s , c r o s s s e c t i o n s were drawn and s t r a t i g r a p h i c tionships established.  For areas which had been d i s t u r b e d by  peat c u t t i n g , s e c t i o n s were r e s t o r e d to t h e i r t h i c k n e s s e s before peat lithofacies  Using  were a l s o  rela-  approximate  i s o p a c h maps were prepared.  identified  Surface  and mapped.  i n f o r m a t i o n from c r o s s sections, and peat  isopach  maps, three uncompressed c o r e s were o b t a i n e d from each of the P i t t Meadows and L u l u I s l a n d d e p o s i t s , while a seventh was collected  from the Boundary Bay peat.  For about the i n i t i a l  meter and o n e - h a l f , peat b l o c k s measuring 20 cm x 150 cm x 50 cm were c u t from the w a l l of a h o l e , using a machete. remainder corer  of the c o r e was o b t a i n e d using a toothed  (Cohen, 1968).  The p i s t o n was greased  and the b a r r e l was pushed s t r a i g h t The core was then t r a n s f e r r e d diameter  and the ends s e a l e d .  avoided compaction  The  piston  before each use  down without  twisting.  t o i r r i g a t i o n pipe of the same T h i s combination  of methods  which r e s u l t e d when other c o r i n g d e v i c e s  were used.  The c o r e s were then logged and the peat  subdivided  into  11  s m a l l e r homogeneous u n i t s .  Samples c o l l e c t e d  ash, and o r g a n i c matter were s t o r e d Water was was  added  f o r moisture,  in p l a s t i c  to s a t u r a t e the samples.  containers.  After  equilibrium  a t t a i n e d , 30 g were p l a c e d i n an oven at 105°C f o r 16  hours.  The  r e s u l t i n g weight l o s s was  mainder  of the sample was ashed  recorded, and the r e -  i n a m u f f l e furnace at  u n t i l no f u r t h e r weight l o s s o c c u r r e d . weight of ash and water  The d i f f e r e n c e i n  from the o r i g i n a l  measure of o r g a n i c matter.  The  sample p r o v i d e d a  remainder of the c o r e , a s i d e  from p o l l e n , s p e c t r o g r a p h s , and c l a y room temperatre f o r 16 hours.  550°C  samples, was  d r i e d at  A f t e r a s i m i l a r p e r i o d of time  in an oven at 105°C the peat was  crushed, mixed, and a p p r o x i -  mately '0.5 g removed f o r d e t e r m i n a t i o n of heat value i n an adiabatic calorimeter. to determine pH  Three grams of t h i s mixture were used  (ASTM D 2976-71).  Sulphur samples  were r e -  ground and s i e v e d at 100 mesh b e f o r e a n a l y s i s on a F i s h e r  ®  Sulphur A n a l y z e r .  The  l e s s than 2yim c l a y f r a c t i o n was  vasse s p l a y , overbank s l i d e was  separated from c r e -  and u n d e r c l a y sediments.  prepared, and the remaining c l a y  t u r a t e d with a 1 M KCl s o l u t i o n  An  f r a c t i o n was  f o r t h r e e days.  prepared.  were s u b j e c t e d to X-ray d i f f r a c t i o n using  r a d i a t i o n and a 002 g r a p h i t e monochromator.  sa-  A f t e r remov-  a l of the KCl s o l u t i o n , another o r i e n t e d s l i d e was Both samples  oriented  CulK^  S l i d e s were  scanned between 3° and  18°2© at 1°2© per minute, with a 2  second time c o n s t a n t .  The K - s a t u r a t e d s l i d e was  to 300°C  f o r 4 hours, c o o l e d , and X-rayed a g a i n .  then heated A similar  12  procedure f o l l o w e d a f t e r r e h e a t i n g the s l i d e t o 550°C. natural  s l i d e was g l y c o l a t e d  before being  analysed  in a desiccator  a final  time.  The  f o r one day  Following i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  of the c l a y m i n e r a l s , the r e l a t i v e abundances were a p p r o x i mated u s i n g the methods of B a y l i s s et ajL. ( 1 970).  Pollen methods.  was i s o l a t e d from peat  After  were b o i l e d  with  samples  f o r 20 minutes and then water washed  T h i s procedure was f o l l o w e d by two a c e t i c  washes and b o i l i n g i n a c e t o l y s i s dride;  standard  s c r e e n i n g w i t h 250 and lOO^um s i e v e s ,  i n 5% KOH  three times.  samples using  concentrated  10% s a f r a n i n  solution  H SO*) f o r 30 minutes. 2  solution,  acid  (9:1 a c e t i c anyP r i o r to s t a i n i n g  the a c e t o l y s i s mixture  was washed  twice with each of g l a c i a l a c e t i c a c i d and water and was neut r a l i z e d with  5% K C 0 2  3  and p o l l e n i d e n t i f i e d .  solution.  S l i d e s were then  prepared  13  RESULTS  Boundary  a.  Bay  L o c a t i o n and  History  The Boundary Bay peat  i s s i t u a t e d on the i n a c t i v e  of the d e l t a between the P o i n t Roberts P e n i n s u l a and Serpentine and Nicomekl 112. S t r e e t  towards Mud  Although not v e r i f i e d , and connect peats  Rivers. Bay  and  with Burns Bog  the  from the foot of  seaward i n t o Boundary  t h i s peat may  a l s o extend  Bay.  shoreward  through a s e r i e s of channel  ( p e r s o n a l communication,  The  I t extends  G.E.  Rouse,  sedge-grass peats at Boundary Bay  margin  fill  1981).  developed on the  c o a s t a l p o r t i o n of the lower d e l t a p l a i n , where i t merged with the d e l t a  front.  f r e q u e n t l y because River f r e s h e t  Prior  of h i g h t i d e s ,  (Shepperd,  s i o n and a l t e r a t i o n  to dyking, t h i s area was f l o o d e d  1981),  r u n o f f from the F r a s e r  and o c c a s i o n a l storms.  Ero-  of the peat have c o n t i n u e d on the seaward  s i d e of the dyke, producing a d i s c o n t i n u o u s h o r i z o n p a r t i a l l y covered by s i l t y  sand  ( F i g . 2A).  In some areas a more recent  s a l t marsh peat has developed over the o l d e r peat, but i t too i s being  The  eroded.  Boundary Bay  K e l l e r h a l s and Murray  tidal  f l a t s have been s t u d i e d by  (1969) and Swinbanks (1979).  The only  e x t e n s i v e study on the p e a t s , however, i s the p a l y n o l o g i c a l  14  F i g u r e 2A. An exposure of Boundary  Bay peat at 112th S t r e e t  shows the h i g h l y eroded and a l t e r e d c o n d i t i o n has r e s u l t e d  from the recent marine  peats are p a r t i a l l y s c a l e i s 30 cm  F i g u r e 2B. The  which  transgression,  covered with s i l t y  c l a y and  long.  f i b r o u s t e x t u r e of the sedge-grass peat at  Boundary  Bay  is visible  in this block,  horizontal  components are completely decomposed, and those sues which are v i s i b l e vertically i s 25 cm  peat, the peat block  wide.  reducing environment  j u s t beneath the sediment  footprint. visible  tis-  are stems which have grown  through the e a r l i e r  F i g u r e 2C. The h i g h l y exposed  sand,  Zostera  at Boundary s u r f a c e by  (Z) and pelecypods (P) are  on the sediment  surface.  Bay i s  this faintly  15  16  work by Shepperd  (1981).  She analysed p o l l e n  assemblages  from the o l d e r peat at 112 S t r e e t , dated at between 3130±50 years bp.  (GSC  3202) and 3910±60 years bp.  (GSC  3183),  and  the much younger s a l t marsh peat at 64 S t r e e t , dated at 320±10 y e a r s bp.  b.  (GSC-3186).  Lithofacies  Peats at Boundary Bay  form l a t e r a l l y  extensive  t i o n s on i n a c t i v e p o r t i o n s of the lower d e l t a front.  Lithofacies  i n c l u d e both marine and  accumula-  plain-delta  f l u v i a l derived  sediments.  T h i c k e s t peat accumulations o v e r l i e c l e a n grey which i s c o n f i n e d p r i m a r i l y d a l areas  ( F i g . 3).  to upper  intertidal  T h i s c l a y grades over 0.5  and m,  silt,  and s i l t y  sand.  suprati-  from an  o v e r l y i n g o r g a n i c r i c h sedge-clay, down i n t o w e l l s i l t y clay,  clay,  sorted  S h e l l d e b r i s i s absent,  and only t r a c e amounts of o r g a n i c matter are p r e s e n t . Beneath  and between t h i n n e r peats i n lower  are grey to brown s i l t y color  sand and  f i n e sand.  intertidal  areas  Variation in  i s c o n t r o l l e d by the r e l a t i v e amount of o r g a n i c matter.  These l i t h o l o g i e s appear variation  in grain  however, f a i n t  s t r u c t u r e l e s s and  s i z e with depth.  show only s l i g h t  D i r e c t l y beneath  peats,  b l a c k laminae of v a r i a b l e t h i c k n e s s o c c u r .  S h e l l fragments  are p r e s e n t , but c o n s t i t u t e a minor  of the sediment. the more shoreward  Contacts between these massive graded u n i t s are sharp.  fraction  units  A well  and  sorted  17  medium much  sand,  of  the  guished seldom  c.  very  rich  upper  in cross exceeds  in oxidized  intertidal section)  20  cm.  zone.  has  The  organic matter,  a  This  variable  basal  (Fig.  biofacies  can  be  distinguished  The  lowermost  grey  clay,  and  represents a  transition  clay  and  clay.  and  silty  both  massive  vertically texture.  oxidized,  leaving  Black  yellow  more  and than  colate  zontal  20  brown  leaves,  bands  Relatively base  of  and  and  is  aligned  thin  tubes  and  roots  but  sharp.  toward  of  cannot  the be  numbers peat,  der  sedge-grass  with  of  base  middle  pollen  unit.  the  assemblage occur  a  and  rims. is  never cho-  grass, form  horiThin  commonly,  is high,  generic pollen  i t s  often  deposit.  less  of  are  light  tissues  and,  grey  tissue  unit  into  the  tan  throughout  brown  sedge  of  to  stem  This  Degradation at  grey  tissues  These  Bay  inorganic  dark  Chenopodiaceae an  a  and  abruptly  identified  while  Gramineae  the  peat.  of  leaf  plant  ( F i g . 2B).  occur  of  oriented  entirely  the  Boundary  from  pervasive.  grades  parallel  and  the  are  composed  Cyperaceae of  grass  Vertically empty  at  i s composed  horizontally  which  large the  Sedge  thick,  sections  material  unit  rootlets  peat,  laminae  upper  plant  cm  stems,  charcoal  the  distin-  thickness,  contact  4).  the  (not  Biofacies  Two  are  unit  covers  and  level. occur  at  dominantly  throughout  the  remain-  7  -=r  8  9  10  II  12  IS  s  -nsr  100m 1m  SCALE  LEGEND - SPHAGNUM - SPHAGNUM-SEDGE - SEDGE-GRASS - GYTTJA - FIRE C H A R C O A L - SEDGE CLAY „ _  _u  - INORGANIC SILT CLAY - ORGANIC SILTY CLAY CO  - BRACKISH-MARINE SILTY SAND Fig.  3. C r o s s - s e c t i o n o f the d i s c o n t i n u o u s  peat h o r i z o n s a t 112th S t r e e t ,  Boundary  Bay.  The c r o s s - s e c t i o n i s p e r p e n d i c u l a r t o the s h o r e l i n e . The numbers are c o r e  points.  19  F i g . 4.  Photograph o f c o r e from Boundary Bay,  u n i t s . R u l e r i s 30 cm  long.  showing peat  stratigraphic  20  e.  Clay Mineralogy  and  Geochemistry  C l a y s u n d e r l y i n g sedge-grass dominated by k a o l i n i t e and on average,  illite,  83% of a l l analyzed  peats at Boundary Bay~are which together  samples  comprise,  (Table 1).  Smaller  amounts of s m e c t i t e , c h l o r i t e and v e r m i c u l i t e are a l s o present. also  A small amount of mixed l a y e r  smectite-chlorite  was  identified.  Sedge-grass peats at Boundary Bay o x i d i z e d by marine water, and posed.  In the core taken  ( F i g . 5), t o t a l sedge-grass  as a r e s u l t are h i g h l y decom-  from  t h i s environment,  sulphur v a l u e s range from 5.2  peat, but decrease  in sedge-clay peat. and vary from  are p r e s e n t l y being  BB1  to 6.1%  in  a b r u p t l y to h a l f t h i s amount  Dry ash v a l u e s are c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y high.,  22 to 51% throughout  the s e c t i o n .  The h i g h e s t  ash content c o i n c i d e s with c h a r c o a l h o r i z o n s at a depth 0.3  meters.  PH v a l u e s , near  those recorded  from  5.8,  freshwater  are more a l k a l i n e  of  than  peats.  Depositional History  Boundary Bay peats have a complex d e p o s i t i o n a l Initial  peats began d e v e l o p i n g between d i s t r i b u t a r y  and were freshwater  in o r i g i n .  A f t e r these channels  abandoned, about 4,500 years B.P. munication, inactive.  history. channels were  (G. Rouse, p e r s o n a l com-  1981), a l a r g e p o r t i o n of the d e l t a margin became B r a c k i s h marshes then developed  i n l o w - l y i n g areas  21  over e x t e n s i v e areas of the lower d e l t a p l a i n . of  eustatic  sea l e v e l  r i s e slowed,  As the rate  b r a c k i s h marsh peats  spread q u i c k l y over p r e v i o u s l y d e p o s i t e d freshwater marsh peats, f l o o d p l a i n growth was  silty  p e r v a s i v e , except  i n f l u e n c e d by t i d a l  Accumulation exceeded  c l a y s , and  sandy marine s i l t s .  i n areas which were c o n t i n u a l l y  activity.  of p l a n t m a t e r i a l  euastatic  sea l e v e l  initially  r i s e , and  l e s c e d to form l a r g e r d e p o s i t s .  kept pace or  i s o l a t e d peats coa-  Freshwater  peats g r a d u a l l y  r e p l a c e d b r a c k i s h water e q u i v a l e n t s i n areas where the s t r a t e had been e l e v a t e d above t i d a l  influx.  intermittently deposited s i l t  i n t o the peat as t h i n d i s c o n t i n u o u s l e n s e s .  sub-  Throughout  accumulation, storm events, F r a s e r R i v e r f r e s h e t s , and treme h i g h t i d e s  Marsh  or s i l t y  peat exclay  E v e n t u a l l y the  slower growth of the freshwater marsh peat, sediment  compac-  tion,  rise  and/or  an  i n c r e a s e d r a t e of e u s t a t i c  sea l e v e l  allowed the peat to be inundated and covered by s i l t s . growth ceased and the peat was wave and t i d a l  Lulu  a.  l a t e r a l t e r e d and eroded  by  action.  Island  L o c a t i o n and  History  The G r e a t e r L u l u I s l a n d Bog of  All  extends  L u l u I s l a n d east to the main arm  (Fig.  1).  from near the centre  of the F r a s e r R i v e r  As p a r t of an e x t e n s i v e network of bogs which de-  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  BB 0  -i  0.2 Q_ UJ O  0.4 0.6 -  PH  3.0 4.0 5.0  *« C  x  Juncti tt«m  X  • a  6.0  0  1  % DRY A S H  2.0 4.0 6.0  0  5  10 15 20  T r  C i r t x slam a.  % TOTAL SULPHUR  4  N  - k_  ±_ *  LEGEND oo o o  l  sedge-Sphagoum peat  o *  Jt  A A]  Sphagnum peat  *  * *«|  o ° D  gyttj« iae Nuphar peat  sedge-grass peat sedge-clay peat  F i g . 5. Peat p r o f i l e constituents,  ):[(-}:/--; :  sand  " • |  petrography sample fire horizon, charcoal  silt  from Boundary Bay, showing peat t y p e s , m a c r o s c o p i c p l a n t  and a n a l y s i s o f pH, s u l p h u r , and dry a s h . ro  23  veloped at approximately two  the same time,  halves by a n o r t h e a s t e r l y - t r e n d i n g channel.  p o r t i o n of t h i s d e p o s i t was s t u d i e d with H i l l e r cores  The  150 hand-driven  bog l i e s on the boundary between lower  summer the area  During  the f r e s h e t  and upper  flow i n s p r i n g and e a r l y  i s i n f l u e n c e d only by f r e s h water.  out the remainder  of the year, r i v e r  s a l i n e bottom waters extend  (Milliman,  The e a s t e r n  ( F i g . 1).  delta plains.  and  i t has been c u t i n t o  1980).  waters are s l i g h t l y  Through-  flow i s r e l a t i v e l y low,  past the L u l u I s l a n d bog  Mixing occurs such that even s u r f a c e b r a c k i s h f o r a p e r i o d of time.  In 1927, Hugo Osvald observed  the bog i n a r e l a t i v e l y  u n d i s t u r b e d s t a t e , and d e s c r i b e d s u r f a c e p l a n t a s s o c i a t i o n s from numerous c o l l e c t i o n s  (Osvald,  1928, 1933, 1970).  Hansen  (1940) s t u d i e d the p a l e o e c o l o g y u s i n g p o l l e n a n a l y s i s from a core i n the western study has o c c u r r e d  p o r t i o n of the bog.  Little  since.  The d e p o s i t was d i t c h e d and subsequently early  i n the c e n t u r y .  Although  the n a t u r a l bog s u r f a c e .  Only  where a c t i v e mechanized mining  mined f o r peat  l a r g e areas of peat were c u t ,  p r i m i t i v e c u t t i n g methods prevented  the peat  scientific  mining  of l a r g e s t r i p s of  i n the northwestern  area,  i s p r e s e n t l y o c c u r r i n g , has  s u r f a c e been d e s t r o y e d c o m p l e t e l y .  However, much of  the e a s t e r n p o r t i o n of the d e p o s i t i s a c t i v e l y being with garbage and dredged f l u v i a l  sand.  covered  To the west and  24  north, b l u e b e r r y use  of the  b.  Lithofacies  The  farms and  n u r s e r i e s make more c o n v e n t i o n a l  bog.  L u l u I s l a n d peat developed  within a  dominated lower d e l t a p l a i n environment. growth the  fluvial  network has  these  Small recognized  Lithofacies  channel i n bog  d e p o s i t s and  channel  grade l a t e r a l l y some channels,  thickness  ( F i g s . 6-10).  into finer  d e p o s i t s are  Most channel  and  are  fills  f l a n k e d by  c l a y which in turn  interdistributary clay units.  however, f i n i n g upward sequences of s i l t  f i n e to medium sand r e p l a c e sedge peat  and  c l a y i n the  facies. i n t e r c a l a t e d  Near the t r a n s i t i o n  f i n e sand to s i l t y  o c c a s i o n a l l y occur.  e x t e n s i v e , becoming t h i n n e r and c e n t e r of the bog.  crevasse  core.  units laterally  g r a i n e d toward  I n t e n s i v e r o o t i n g by  later  tan  to o r g a n i c  These u n i t s are finer  In and  sediments grade upward i n t o h i g h l y rooted  e v e n t u a l l y peat.  ( F i g s . 8-10)  deposited  c r o s s - s e c t i o n s as d e p o s i t i o n a l f e a t u r e s  l e v e e s composed of i n t e r l a m i n a t e d s i l t  c l a y and  fill  of sedge-peat and c l a y ( F i g . 8), and  These c l a s t i c  charac-  changes.  which reduce peat consist  Through d e l t a i c  g r a d u a l l y a c q u i r e d the  t e r i s t i c s of an upper d e l t a p l a i n . reflect  fluvial  the  sedge-grass  communities has destroyed most bedding s t r u c t u r e s and  has  added c o n s i d e r a b l e o r g a n i c c o n t e n t .  a  b a s a l c o n t a c t are s t i l l  visible.  Some g r a d i n g and  sharp  to Fig.  6.  L i t h o f a c i e s map  channel markings  visible  o f the L u l u from a e r i a l  Island deposit. photographs.  Dashed l i n e s  show  linear  26  Large channel d e p o s i t s c o n s i s t i n g of f i n i n g upward and  sand u n i t s c o n f i n e d  the l a t e r a l  development of the bog.  These sediments are mantled by up t o 2 m of s i l t y bounded l a t e r a l l y  c l a y and  by broad n a t u r a l levees c o n s i s t i n g of  i n t e r l a m i n a t e d peat and s i l t y peat and i n turn  silt  i s replaced  clay.  At depth, c l a y  by f i n e sand.  n e l s , h o r i z o n t a l l y r e s t r i c t e d crevasse  replaces  Marginal  to chan-  s p l a y s comprised of  f i n e to medium sand i n t e r r u p t peat d e p o s i t i o n at i r r e g u l a r intervals  ( F i g s . 8-10).  These u n i t s average 15 cm t h i c k and  t h i n r a p i d l y over short d i s t a n c e s w i t h i n  I s o l a t e d l e n s e s of grey o r g a n i c occur  occasionally within  common, and i n c r e a s e fire  splay u n i t s .  g y t t j a , while  sedge peat.  i n density  the peat.  silty  c l a y and c l a y  Charcoal  fragments are  toward the base of these  The b a s a l c o n t a c t  the upper c o n t a c t  i s sharp with  i s h i g h l y rooted  thin  underlying  and grada-  tional.  c.  Biofacies  . Lulu Island b i o f a c i e s depict a natural successional sequence l e a d i n g to the formation (Styan and B u s t i n ,  1981).  initial  from f l u v i a l  transition  Accordingly,  t h i s peat  ganic components.  of an o l i g o t r o p h i c r a i s e d bog  Sedge-clay peat r e p r e s e n t s the t o organic  sedimentation.  i s composed of both organic  The organic  constituents  include  and i n o r alloch-  thonous wood and bark fragments and autochthonous Equisetum and  sedge stem and root t i s s u e s .  A d d i t i o n of these  materials  Fig.  7.  regions  Isopach map  o f the  where channel  Lulu  Island deposit.  a c t i v i t y was  abandoned  Elongate  latest.  lighter  areas  represent  Co  F i g . 8. peat  Cross-sections  thickness, while  shows the  location  A-A',  B-B'  from the  splay deposits  Lulu  I s l a n d d e p o s i t . Channels  (s) i n t e r u p t the peat  o f c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . Legend  is in Fig.  3.  succession.  (c) reduce  Fig.  7.  r-j  Fig. 9 . within  Cross-sections  C-C,  D-D  1  peat i n c r o s s - s e c t i o n C - C .  Legend i s i n F i g . 3.  from the L u l u  Island deposit.  Note small  F i g . 7. shows the l o c a t i o n o f the  channel  (c)  cross-sections.  VD  Fig.  10.  section  Cross-sections  E-E', F-F' from t h e L u l u  E-E' shows former  Island deposit.  peat s u r f a c e p r i o r t o m i n i n g .  the t h i c k e s t peat s e c t i o n by the F r a s e r R i v e r a t E7, F-F . 1  F i g . 7.  Note a l s o t r u n c a t i o n o f  and f i r e  shows l o c a t i o n o f c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . Legend  Dashed l i n e on  splay  i s i n F i g . 3.  (fs) in section  O  31  to  massive  ment.  tan-grey  Most  plant  clay  produces  components  of  a  fibrous  these  to  peats  granular  are  sedi-  highly  decom-  peats  became  posed.  As  fluvial  influence 11A  dominant  (Figs.  fibrous.  Rough  lation  Carex,  bands and  of of  &  B).  Juncus,  charcoal.  11C).  though  of  and  gold are  these  black  to  through  rootlets  attests  the  brown,  by  and as  the  and  accumu-  occasional  well  this  are  than  to  tan  formed  sedges  preserved  matrix  sedge-grass  S c i r p u s stems  vertically  is better  amorphous  are  laminae  and  Culms  Yellow  material  abundant  They  horizontal  Calamogrost i s cut  (Fig.  decreased,  as  Typha  layered  fabric  pervasive.  A l -  in sedge-clay high  degree  peats,  of  de-  composition .  With  the  colonisation  shrubs  replace  sedge-grass  occurs  through  a  of  distinct  small quantities  sues  between  peat  with  across  Sphagnum  well  Eriophorum this  culms  are  well  preserved.  and  ( F i g . 12A).  ericaceous  components.  This  transition  and  pockets  pure  bedding.  a  to  the  some O x y c o c c u s  Sphagnum  stem  peats  Kalmia,  The  addition  and  root  red-brown  Rhynchospora  oriented  Due  Vaccinium,  peat.  Oxycoccus  produces  vertically  including  Ericaceous  spp.,  sedge-Sphagnum  stratification.  tissues,  Sphagnum  Ledum  developed  most  facies  of  of  and  cut  presence and  Ledum  coloured  and obliquely of  Sphagnum,  leaves,  represent climax and  Ledum  tis-  leaves,  are  bio-  32  Figure  11A.  The  between  modern,  brackish  the  arms  two  of  sedge-grass the  Fraser  marsh  River  developed  on  Lulu  Island.  Figure  11B.  A  peat  scale  (30  section cm),  sedge-grass  Figure  11C.  A  from  this  of  peat  environments  Lulu  boundary  biofacies  close-up  peats,  the  at  the  is  Island, between  the  base  Sphagnum  of  the  and  visible.  fibrous  represents shown  at  texture  organic  in Figure  of  sedge-grass  accumulations 11A.  34  Figure  12A. of  Ericaceous Pinus  largest and  Figure  Figure  contorta Pinus  Ledum  12B.  fibrous  (L).  block  the  Erosion Lulu  overbank as  well.  texture  5 and  peat  and  the  peat  deposit  peat,  units  deposits  (0)  6 m  the  with  15  along  cm  the  reveals a of  are  silty  showing  recent  flattened  i s approximately  of  from  between  Sphagnum  Island  sedge-wood  between  growing  Ericaceous  community,  resulting  are  are  fine  12C.  Sphagnum  growth  drainage,  tall.  Pinus  the  new  Pteridium stands.  distinguishing  stems  of  Ledum  wide.  southern Pinus  clay  stump  from  intercalated  margin  of  in  earlier  with  this  peat  36'  r o o t s , and  stems c o n t r i b u t e s i g n i f i c a n t  a matrix of Sphagnum ( F i g . 1 2 b ) .  amounts of l i g n i n  As a r e s u l t  to  of c o n c e n t r a -  t i o n s of these t i s s u e s , c o l o u r s vary from g o l d f o r pure Sphagnum peat to dark brown f o r pure e r i c a c e o u s peat.  Tex-  t u r e s vary a c c o r d i n g l y , from f i b r o u s to g r a n u l a r .  Charcoal  fragments  i n the  form d i s c o n t i n u o u s bands more f r e q u e n t l y  e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s , and are o f t e n c l o s e l y c i a t e d with e r i c a c e o u s l a y e r s . developed.  Bedding  asso-  i s consequently  well  The presence of Sphagnum a s s u r e s good p r e s e r v a -  t i o n except near c h a r c o a l h o r i z o n s .  Nuphar-hollow trital  peats r e s u l t  from the accumulation of de-  p l a n t m a t e r i a l , p r i m a r i l y Pinus and e r i c a c e o u s t i s -  sues, i n w a t e r - f i l l e d d e p r e s s i o n s . t i o n of Sphagnum, Nuphar, and  The growth and  l i v e r w o r t s w i t h i n these p o o l s  adds to the c o m p l e x i t y of the r e s u l t i n g p e a t s . i s almost complete  f o r most t i s s u e s .  The  pended i n the r e s u l t i n g amorphous orange developed microbedding erwort  decomposi-  Degradation  remainder matrix.  are sus-  A poorly  e x i s t s from the presence of l a r g e  liv-  thalli.  Sedge-wood peats develop on the f l a n k s of n a t u r a l l e vees.  These peats c o n s i s t of a l l o c h t h o n o u s B e t u l a stems i n -  terbedded with sedge peat. brous.  Throughout  The  matrix i s dark brown and f i -  t h i s well-bedded  l a r g e P i c e a and Populus  s u b s t r a t e are  stumps i n growth p o s i t i o n  scattered ( F i g . 12C).  Smaller stumps of Pinus r e p l a c e these genera a b r u p t l y as Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s are approached  away from the l e v e e .  Pre-  .37  s e r v a t i o n of l i g n i f i e d  t i s s u e s i s good.  This facies  i s con-  f i n e d to an area where the F r a s e r R i v e r i s p r e s e n t l y eroding peat.  The presence of stumps i s hard to d e t e c t u s i n g c o r e s ,  and as a r e s u l t  sedge-wood peats are p r o b a b l y more e x t e n s i v e  than i s i n d i c a t e d  d.  Stratigraphy  Earliest to  here.  sedge-clay and sedge-grass peats grade downward  u n d e r l y i n g grey s i l t y  c l a y and c l a y over s h o r t d i s t a n c e s .  These peats i n t e r c a l a t e with t h i n , but l a t e r a l l y e x t e n s i v e , crevasse d e p o s i t s of s i l t  and  small channels of dominantly  silty silt  channels have p o s i t i v e r e l i e f , ( F i g s . 8-10).  c l a y , and are broken  and  silty  sand.  These  and thus reduce peat t h i c k n e s s  I n t e r l a m i n a t e d c l a y and  silty  c l a y of overbank  o r i g i n u n d e r l y these peats f o r s e v e r a l tens of meters ally,  along both s i d e s of the c h a n n e l s .  stratified  ever, where sedge-grass  10).  fill  of the peat d e p o s i t , how-  f a c i e s have prograded v e r t i c a l l y  d e p o s i t s , s p l a y s do occur  (Figs..9  These u n i t s are composed of medium to f i n e  thin rapidly tally  and are h o r i z o n -  above these small channel f i l l d e p o s i t s .  Along n o r t h e r n and e a s t e r n margins  l a r g e r channel  i n t o the peat.  Sedge-grass  s t r a t i f i e d along the western  sand,  of  deposits.  edge.of  the peat.  Splay d e p o s i t s are absent  To the south, the main arm  near  and and  f a c i e s are h o r i z o n the bog.  Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s a b r u p t l y o v e r l i e both levee and fill  later-  More r e c e n t f r e s h -  water sedge-grass peats are v o i d of sediment tally  by  from t h i s  Here, channel section  of the F r a s e r R i v e r  33  is  p r e s e n t l y e r o d i n g t h i c k accumulations  e.  Clay M i n e r a l s and  of  peat.  Geochemistry  Clay m i n e r a l s i n L u l u I s l a n d sediments (Table 1) are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the abundance of k a o l i n i t e , smectite. amounts. except  V e r m i c u l i t e and c h l o r i t e are present No  significant  sediments to small amounts  b r a c k i s h i n f l u e n c e d sediments.  Three c o r e s were a n a l y s e d f o r pH, Two  of these c o r e s , LIE  were c o l l e c t e d  r i v e r water d u r i n g h i g h t i d e . and  silty  Sulphur  sand  from  compositions  Sphagnum peats are s i m i l a r  to 0.23%  and  14),  The  third,  face which  t i d e and covered  I t i s o v e r l a i n with  recent f l o o d  events.  f o r L u l u I s l a n d sedge-Sphagnum to those obtained from Values  show no i n c r e a s e with depth.  f o r sedge-grass  with  clay,  peats  range  variation.  Sulphur,  with depth,  a t t a i n i n g v a l u e s of between 3.0  from  Ericaceous  i n core LIE 3 average  show l i t t l e  and  comparable  Sphagnum peats have s l i g h t l y h i g h e r sulphur v a l u e s . content  dry  13 and  environments.  peats at P i t t Meadows d e s c r i b e d l a t e r . 0.15  s u l p h u r , and  sampled from an eroded peat  exposed to the atmosphere at low  silt,  total  1 and LIE 2 ( F i g s .  from u n d i s t u r b e d bog  LIE 3 ( F i g . 15), was was  observed  i n a mixed l a y e r of s m e c t i t e - c h l o r i t e , which i n c r e a s e d  marine and  ash.  and  i n minor  g r a d a t i o n i n abundance was  from t r a c e amounts i n freshwater in  illite,  Sulphur 0.6%,  and  however, i n c r e a s e s markedly and  6.0%  near  the  39  bottom of c o r e s LIE 1 and LIE 2, c o r r e s p o n d i n g rence of b r a c k i s h peat.  to the occur-  Nuphar h o l l o w s c o n t a i n  higher c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of sulphur than  slightly  surrounding Sphagnum  biofacies.  The 0.5  amount of ash  to T.5%.  vertical  Little  variation  section until  ash values reach 4%.  i n Sphagnum peats  sedge-grass  t a i n up t o 48%  p e a t s are reached.  i s 7.5%.  s p l a y s have i n t e r r u p t e d  Sedge-clay  transition  con-  zones con-  ash.  to 4.0  a b l e with the r i s e 3.0  1 and  f o r freshwater  c o a l h o r i z o n s have higher pH  c l i n e to near  Then,  s e c t i o n of LIE 3 the average  Average pH v a l u e s f o r LIE Sphagnum peat  from  E x c e p t i o n a l l y l a r g e amounts of ash  In the.peat  c e n t r a t i o n of ash  ranging  i n the amount of ash occurs i n  occur where e i t h e r c r e v a s s e or f i r e peat growth.  i s low,  LIE 2 range from 3.5 sedge-grass  readings.  peats.  At depths  Char-  correct-  i n sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n , pH values i n these c o r e s .  for  de-  PH measurements from  core  LIE 3 are more a l k a l i n e and do not become more a c i d i c at depth, which i s l i k e l y a r e s u l t of i n v a s i o n and by r i v e r water at the eroded  contamination  peat s u r f a c e .  Depositional History  Sedge-grass peats began accumulating butary s i l t y vironment  above  interdistri-  c l a y s and c l a y s of the lower d e l t a p l a i n  4685 years B.P.  (Teledyne  1-11-742, 1981).  enAs a  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  LIE 1  3.0  0 0.2  o o • -  % TOTAL SULPHUR  PH 4.0 6.0 8.0  0  2.0 4.0 8.0  % DRY ASH 0  5  10  15  20  P U f l d t u m rhliomaa  o o  Laduffl atama and root*  o 0 o °  Omcoceua rvnnara  0  0.4  0*0  o  0.6  C0CCMI !••»•§ "- Pil a a iun roots  - EJmu •••«!•  0.8 1.0  o o  -  largo black aaod  -  Laduffl atama i n d root*  -  Hhyncwoapora and Juneaa  °  1.2 1.4 •  1 f  Juncaa and ,C«ra« eutmt  I I  -  gplraa atom ?  -  Holuli atam Iragmant  2.0  -  M t u k Of Akim wood fragmanl  2.2  -  T»prn 1 atam  r i _• -  -  Typhi entm  *  -  TraM  1.6  •  1.S  2.4 2.0  A  2.8 3.0 3.2 3.4  * _  3.8  Fig.  13. Peat p r o f i l e  from L u l u  Island  showing peat t y p e s , m a c r o s c o p i c  plant  c o n s t i t i u e n t s and a n a l y s i s o f pH, s u l p h u r and dry ash. High ash v a l u e s a t a depth o f 2.5 m r e s u l t  from i n c o r p o r a t i o n  of splay  sediment i n t o the peat.  41  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  LIE 2  3.0  0  o  o  -  0.2  ~ B e l u l a a tarn 7  o  -  OKycoccui  -  Rhynchotpora  o  -  Carat  0.4  o.e 0.8  o  o  F* "S  •.v;;e  1.0  L t d u m and Vaccinium and roots  o  o  n  o  -  t °  1.2  -  4.0  5.0  6.0  2.0  4.0  % DRY 6.0  0  6  10  ASH 16  20  starns  runnara atom  culm r  o  e  |  \  ~~ l a r g e b l a c k s e e d s "~ L a d o m s l a m s  o •  % TOTAL SULPHUR  PH  Pinus needlas O a y c o c c u s leaves leODe culms teres orange C a r e x liverwort thalli Nuphar roots 7  seeds  1.4 Ledum and 0 » y c o c c u s  1.8  Pinus root,  1.8  3 -°  leaves  needle  Ledum stem,  root  Pinus root Betula stem  fragment  Betula  stem  fragments  Juncaa  culm  Care*  culms  2  — i Q_ 111  2.2 H  Q  2.4  O  o o o o  D  O  o  2.6  o»o  2.8 3.0  \  3.2 3.4  -  «  M  \  M  3.6 3.8 4.0 4.2  -  Trlglochln rhizome  7  4.4 4.6  Fig.  14. Peat p r o f i l e  constituents  from L u l u  Island  showing  peat t y p e s , m a c r o s c o p i c  and a n a l y s i s o f pH, s u l p h u r and d r y ash. Note l a r g e  amount o f s u l p h u r a t a depth o f 3 m.  plant  increases i n  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  LE 3  PH  3.o  0.2 -  0.4 -  It  0.8-  ?= a. a  1.0 -j  5.o e;o  0  2.0 4.0 6.0  % DRY ASH 0  5  btoturtMlkm  10 15 20  •88  1 1 1 1 1 1  • 83  t  - Ladum ata«i»a, 8ph*ffiQum - Batuto bar* and root  0.6 E  -  4.0  % TOTAL SULPHUR  1 1 \  p  1.2-I  1.4 1.6  *11  B«tu>a atama. branches X  8p»»a at am Cif«»  1  e i i i  Typha cuan  t  ' Oxycoccua runnar  k  - Patula, atama • Splraa ? atama  28  • 1\  1.8  \  K  •  2.0 J  Fig.  15. Peat p r o f i l e  from L u l u  Island  showing  peat t y p e s , m a c r o s c o p i c  - 48  plant  c o n s t i t u e n t s and a n a l y s i s o f pH, s u l p h u r and d r y ash. High ash v a l u e s near the surface o f t h i s core r e s u l t  from r e c e n t overbank  deposits.  43  r e s u l t of a network of i n t e r v e n i n g channels, e a r l y peats were d i s c o n t i n u o u s and c o n t a i n e d numerous f i n e g r a i n e d splay posits.  de-  The g r a d u a l abandonment of these small channels  c u r r e d as major d i s t r i b u t a r i e s became e s t a b l i s h e d .  oc-  Isolated  peat-forming marshes then c o a l e s c e d , producing continuous peat h o r i z o n s .  The  formation of both l e v e e s along major  channels and an a c i d i c environment the extent of c l a s t i c  w i t h i n the marsh l i m i t e d  material entering  i n t o l a t e r peat f a -  cies.  Because of the i n f l u e n c e of marine and b r a c k i s h water, the t r a n s i t i o n  from sedge-grass  curred only a f t e r  to Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s  the s u b s t r a t e had been r a i s e d  by b r a c k i s h sedge-peat  accumulation.  oc-  substantially  Along northern and  e a s t e r n boundaries of the d e p o s i t , however, sedge-grass  peats  have not been r e p l a c e d by Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s , but have prograded v e r t i c a l l y  i n response  Sphagnum peats are t h i n mantle  to c o n t i n u a l  fluvial  i n these areas as a r e s u l t .  of s i l t y c l a y over c o a r s e r channel f i l l  ther suggests that the channel remained  3000 years B.P.  appears  sediments  fur-  The channel on the  to have been abandoned sooner,  (Teledyne 1-11-743, 1981).  peats have prograded  A thick  a c t i v e at l e a s t  d u r i n g f l o o d p e r i o d s u n t i l very r e c e n t l y . western margin  activity.  over o l d channel f i l l  about  Here Sphagnum d e p o s i t s with  sharp c o n t a c t s .  The growth of the south arm was  of the present F r a s e r R i v e r  c o i n c i d e n t with the abandonment of the major channel to  44  the north and east of the d e p o s i t .  In recent years  channel has meandered s l o w l y northward,  this  c u t t i n g through pre-  v i o u s l y d e p o s i t e d overbank and peat h o r i z o n s and r e p l a c i n g them to the south with coarse g r a i n e d channel  f i l l deposits.  P i t t Meadows  a.  L o c a t i o n and H i s t o r y  The  P i t t Meadows peat d e p o s i t i s s i t u a t e d on the F r a s e r  River a l l u v i a l  p l a i n , east of the c o n f l u e n c e of the P i t t and  F r a s e r R i v e r s ( F i g . 1).  S e v e r a l other peat bogs have d e v e l -  oped w i t h i n t h i s a l l u v i a l  plain  to the n o r t h along the  A l o u e t t e R i v e r and to the east along the F r a s e r R i v e r . are r e l a t i v e l y plain  small peat a c c u m u l a t i o n s ,  sediments.  Most  c o n f i n e d by f l o o d  However, a l a r g e freshwater marsh has de-  veloped south of P i t t Lake, where d e l t a i c  lake  sediments  g r a d u a l l y have been r e c l a i m e d by sedge and grass communities. A lateral  b i o f a c i e s z o n a t i o n can be t r a c e d to the south i n  t h i s d e p o s i t when the peat t h i c k e n s . ilar  to those  Climax  communities  sim-  i n other r a i s e d bogs o v e r l i e areas of maximum  peat t h i c k n e s s .  A r a d i o c a r b o n date of 1860±80 B.P. (WAT 651)  has been o b t a i n e d from the base of t h i s peat at a depth of 140-145 cm (Lyngberg,  1979).  Previous s c i e n t i f i c posit  study of the P i t t  i s l i m i t e d to a single p r o f i l e  and Richardson  (1938).  Meadows peat de-  r e c o n s t r u c t i o n by Rigg  Mining of Sphagnum peat  from t h i s bog  45  occurred  as e a r l y as  around 1960,  up  Bacus, p e r s o n a l  1920.  to 80 cm  When mining was  had  as blueberry  b.  and  cranberry  abandoned  been cut o f f c e r t a i n a r e a s  communication,  margins have been r e c l a i m e d  finally  1980).  (C.  Many areas along  for a g r i c u l t u r a l  use,  the  primarily  farms.  Lithofacies  The  Pitt  Fraser R i v e r o r i g i n but  Meadows peat d e p o s i t has alluvial  plain.  Fluvial  accumulated w i t h i n  the  l i t h o f a c i e s of s i m i l a r  of d i f f e r e n t ages have i n t e r a c t e d to produce a  complex p e a t - f o r m i n g environment.  From a i r photo i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and nants of o l d f l u v i a l channels can much of the d e p o s i t  ( F i g . 16).  accumulations of grey s i l t sequences of erally  from channels and  s i l t s and  l a y e r of s i l t  tances i n t o u n d e r l y i n g  thick  grade  lat-  r e p l a c e d by massive grey  peat i s g r a d a t i o n a l over short d i s t a n c e s  ered by a t h i n  east,  c l a y s which t h i n away  o v e r l y i n g g y t t j a and  In c o n t r a s t , channel f i l l  rem-  surrounding  These d e p o s i t s  u n i t s of dark brown organic  boundary between c l a y and  cores,  s i l t y c l a y cover f i n i n g upward  are e v e n t u a l l y  lenticular  recognized  To the north and  f i n e to medium sand.  i n t o i n t e r laminated  c l a y and  and  be  150 H i l l e r  deposits  clay.  The  sedge-grass  ( F i g . 20).  on the west are  which grades over s h o r t  w e l l - s o r t e d medium and  Along t h i s western margin, i n t e r l a m i n a t e d  coarse  cov-  dissands.  fine-grained sedi-  - ALLUVIAL PLAIN CLAY  Fig.  16. L i t h o f a c i e s map o f t h e P i t t Meadows d e p o s i t .  channel  features  visible  from a e r i a l  photographs.  Dashed l i n e s  show  linear  47  merits are d i s c o n t i n u o u s and a b r u p t l y terminated by c o a r s e r clastic  units  ments c o n s i s t  ( F i g . 18).  of i n t e r l a m i n a t e d s i l t y  thonous wood fragments, silty  clay  To the south, l a t e s t  which grade  levee s e d i -  c l a y , peat, and  at depth to c l a y  allochand  ( F i g . 20).  S e v e r a l smaller channels are r e c o g n i z e d from c r o s s sections  (Figs.  where peat  18,  19, and  20) and  thickness increases along d i s t i n c t  These d e p r e s s i o n s are f i l l e d either  the isopach map  they form ment.  restricted  silt,  are  Coarse  sediments  surrounding  graded, grade  sedi-  they are  laterally  to  Roots are p e r v a s i v e  these s p l a y s where they occur  in peat.  Biofacies  Apart of  silt  stages of peat development, where  c l a y away from c h a r c o a l - r i c h l e v e e s .  c.  clay.  beds of f i n e sand and  i n some p l a c e s i n t e r n a l l y  more commonly massive.  throughout  and  sharp c o n t a c t s with both peat and  Although  bands.  sedge peat, or h i g h l y organic  fining-upward c y c l e s of f i n e sand,  c o n f i n e d to the e a r l i e s t  linear  by s h a r p l y bounded u n i t s of  sedge-clay, g y t t j a , and  Thin, a r e a l l y  ( F i g . 17),  from the absence of Nuphar peats and  the  presence  g y t t j a , P i t t Meadows b i o f a c i e s are s i m i l a r to those  dy d e s c r i b e d f o r the L u l u I s l a n d bog.  Sedge-grass  P i t t Meadows, however, o r i g i n a t e e n t i r e l y rather than b r a c k i s h marshes.  As a r e s u l t  from  alrea-  peats of  freshwater  e r i c a c e o u s shrubs  PITT MEADOWS Fig.  17. Isopach map o f the P i t t Meadows d e p o s i t . Darker  t h i c k n e s s as a r e s u l t o f i n f i l l i n g  o f former  avulsed  areas show i n c r e a s e d peat  channels.  Fig.  18. C r o s s - s e c t i o n s  channel  A-A', B-B' from the P i t t Meadows d e p o s i t . Mote a v u l s e d  ( c ) i n c r o s s - s e c t i o n B-B' i n c r e a s e s . p e a t  l a r g e r channel  has t r u n c a t e d  t h i c k n e s s , whereas a more  recent  t h e t h i c k e s t peats a t both A and B. F i g . 17. shows  the l o c a t i o n o f c r o s s - s e c t i o n s . Legend i s i n F i g . 3.  Fig.  19. C r o s s - s e c t i o n s  channels  C-C,  ( c ) a r e more e v i d e n t  of c r o s s - s e c t i o n s .  D-D  1  from t h e P i t t Meadows d e p o s i t .  i n t h e s e two c r o s s - s e c t i o n s .  Legend i s i n F i g . 3.  Small  flood  F i g . 17. shows l o c a t i o n  Fig.  20. C r o s s - s e c t i o n  E - E , F-F' from t h e P i t t 1  s e c t i o n s , a t E' and F' , i n t e r l a m i n a t i o n natural  levee  facies.  Fig.  Meadows d e p o s i t .  o f peat and overbank  On both  silty  17. show l o c a t i o n o f c r o s s - s e c t i o n s .  cross-  c l a y form t h e  Legend  i s i n F i g . 3.  52  l i k e Ledum and  Spirea c o n t r i b u t e h i g h e r  c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of  woody t i s s u e  to sedge-grass peats.  t r e n d in the  lower p o r t i o n s of Sphagnum peat.  f a c i e s , which i s exposed along I s l a n d , was  not  Ledum c o n t i n u e s The  sedge-wood  the F r a s e r R i v e r at L u l u  recognized at P i t t Meadows, but  e x t e n s i v e l y developed  this  around much of the bog  should  be  perimeter.  G y t t j a peat, which i s a red-brown to black organic muck, o v e r l i e s c l a y or sedge-clay  in l e n t i c u l a r  c i e s r e p r e s e n t s the accumulation pools p r i o r material and  to sedge-grass peat  beds.  This b i o f a -  of p l a n t d e b r i s i n shallow development.  Consequently,  i s so h i g h l y degraded that diatoms and  d e t r i t a l wood  bark fragments are the only components r e c o g n i z a b l e in  microtome s e c t i o n .  d.  Stratigraphy  Cyclic  u n i t s of f i n i n g  underly much of the peat  upward s i l t ,  deposit.  ganic c l a y i n t e r c a l a t e with these but g r a d a t i o n a l c o n t a c t s . transitional Within  both  to f i n e l y  l e n s e s of brown o r -  sediments, forming  To the n o r t h  these  silty  (Figs.  19).  i n c r e a s i n g peat  t h i c k n e s s i n long l i n e a r  of g y t t j a , which f i l l s  filled gyttja,  Both channel  d e p o s i t s grade i n t o o v e r l y i n g sedge-grass and  are  s i l t y clay.  sands or sedge-clay,  18 and  distinct  lithologies  l i t h o f a c i e s are s h a r p l y bounded troughs  sedge-grass peats  exception  c l a y , and c l a y  i n t e r l a m i n a t e d c l a y and  with e i t h e r organic r i c h , and  Thin  silty  fill  Sphagnum peats,  bands.  With the  small depressions  beneath  53  sedge-grass stratified  peats,  later  biofacies  and of n e a r l y  Sedge-grass lithofacies  constant  a n d Sphagnum  along  northern  it.  Here,  surface peats  with  thick  mantles  f i l l  similar  lithofacies  however,  sediments.  these  over  of w e l l  coarsen  s h a r p l y downward.  i s irregular.  fluvial  silty  clays  In the south,  toward  the present  thonous  woody  ments.  In a  similar  tically  near  the channel  Analysis deposits of  reveals  the clay  comprise  vermiculite amounts  I n some  with  areas,  a r e r e p l a c e d near  like  sand  The  channel  zone  position.  peats  f i l l  peats  of  Much  the  which  the west,  sedge-grass  and  intercalaverti-  allochthese  sedi-  prograde  ver-  Geochemistry  underclay  kaolinite present  and c h l o r i t e layer  intercalates  incorporated into  and n a t u r a l  comprises  (Table  of the remainder,  of mixed  coarser  margin.  Meadows  that  minerals  much  channel  manner,  of P i t t  contacts  e x t e n s i v e , and progrades  d e b r i s h a s been  and  overly  to fine  are intercalated.  cally  Mineralogy  medium  of the depos-  D e p o s i t i o n of these  however," i s l a t e r a l l y  Clay  peat  underlying  vertical  which  lithologies  sorted  tion,  e.  clay  short distances.  by  over  margins  nearly  To t h e w e s t ,  surface  units  prograde  sharp,  silty  fine-grained  beds  peats  form  horizontally  thickness.  and e a s t e r n  of grey,  channel  are generally  2).  approximately Illite  but small  are also  and  amounts of  present.  smectite-chlorite  levee  Only  60%  smectite both  trace  are observed.  Near  54  the top of n a t u r a l levee sediments the percentage linite  i n c r e a s e s at the expense of i l l i t e .  Three cores were o b t a i n e d f o r geochemical petrographic  study.  ments, while the t h i r d , natural levee.  from peat-forming  environ-  PM 3 ( F i g . 25), was o b t a i n e d from a  S e v e r a l c e n t i m e t e r s of Sphagnum peat have from the top of core PM 1.  been removed by mining maining  a n a l y s i s and  Two of these c o r e s , PM 1 and PM 2  ( F i g s . 23 and 24), were c o l l e c t e d  for  of kao-  The r e -  upper s e c t i o n of t h i s peat has a l s o been d e s i c c a t e d  extended  p e r i o d s of time because of d i t c h i n g .  PM 2, how-  ever, i s from an u n d i s t u r b e d area of the bog, and r e p r e s e n t s a n a t u r a l peat  Sulphur  section.  c o n c e n t r a t i o n s are l e s s than 0.5% f o r a l l of  these c o r e s , and show o n l y a s l i g h t  In 1.5%  depth.  c o r e s PM 1 and PM 2, ash content v a r i e s from  i n Sphagnum peats and from  peats.  i n c r e a s e with  0.5 t o  1.0 to 3.0% i n sedge-grass  C o n c e n t r a t i o n s up t o 7.0% are recorded  in charcoal  h o r i z o n s w i t h i n h i g h l y e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum peat.  Near the  base of the d e p o s i t ash v a l u e s of between 25.0 and 75.0% occur  in t r a n s i t i o n a l  sedge-clay  Where peat has prograded in PM 3, ash c o n t e n t s average  peats.  over n a t u r a l levee s i l t y 5.0%.  tween 33.0 and 68.0% f o r the f i n e l y silty  c l a y beneath these  zones.  Values  clay  i n c r e a s e t o be-  i n t e r l a m i n a t e d peat and  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  % TOTAL SULPHUR  pH 4.0 5.0  3.0  6.0  0  2.0  4.0  6.0  % DRY ASH 0  5  10  15  / 4  Ledum branches lern rhizomes  i  Rhynchoipora stems Betula branches  T i  • t  Ledum roots and branches  |  Oxycoccus runners Pinus root Kalmla root Vacclnium stems  /I  f  i  i  *  •  Rhynchojpora stems Oxycoccus runners Carex culm  \  ».  Typha culm ? red brown seeds  X \ \  Carex culm  Fig.  21.  Peat  constituents  \  1  Splrea stem and root Equlsetum rhizomes  profile  from  and a n a l y s i s  become more a l k a l i n e  with  Pitt  \  Meadows,  showing  peat  types, macroscopic  o f pH, s u l p h u r and d r y ash. U n l i k e L u l u depth  and s u l p h u r remains  constant.  Island,  plant pH v a l u e s  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  PM 2 0  0.2  PH 3.0  o o o o  -  4.0  5.0  0  6.0  2.0  4.0  % DRY ASH 6.0 1  Ledum stems and roots O x y c o c c u s leaves  >  Carex culm  /  f  »  •  Rhynchoipora stem  0.6  1 \  •• 1  Ledum sterna and roots  0.8  o  1  O x y c o c c u s runners Ledum sTem3 and leaves O x y c o c c u s leaves  1.0  6  I \  >  1.2  Carex and Rhynchoipora culms  1.4  O x y c o c c u s runners and leaves' Rhynchoipora stems dum stems stem and roots  1.6 1,0 *  2.0 A  10  5  - Plnus root  0.4  1.8  % TOTAL SULPHUR  -  Carex Splrea ? stems  -  C a r e x . J u n c a s . stems  -  Equlsatum rhizomes Splrea ? stems  f T  i  A A  2.2  A  A  Equlaetum Splrea ? stems  Fin.  22.  Peat  constituents  profile and  from  analysis  Pitt o f pH,  Meadows, showing s u l p h u r and  dry  peat ash.  types, macroscopic  plant  15  20  MACROSCOPIC CONSTITUENTS  PM 3  % TOTAL SULPHUR  PH 3.0  4.0  5.0  6.0  0  2.0  4.0  % DRY ASH 0  6.0  5  10  15  20  0 lern rhizome ( Pterldlum ap?) 0.2  0.4  r«~»v  X  r-  fX LU  -33  Li  E °-  6  -42 grass stems  o.e - r  i  1.0 1.2  -38  T I i  -t  T T Equlaelum rhizomes  1.4  -44  T i i i  - 36  T  - 68  I I  - 63  •  1.6  Fig.  23. Peat p r o f i l e  from P i t t Meadows, showing peat t y p e s , macroscopic  c o s t i t u e n t s and a n a l y s i s o f pH, s u l p h u r and dry ash. T h i s p r o f i l e natural  l e v e e , and t h e r e f o r e ash c o n t e n t s  overbank d e p o s i t s .  plant  r e p r e s e n t s the  a r e very high as a r e s u l t  of intercalated  58  pH measurements from each of the P i t t Meadows c o r e s show decreased a c i d i t y proaching 5.0.  with depth  Minor  ( F i g s . 21-23),  with v a l u e s ap-  i n c r e a s e s i n pH throughout  the three  c o r e s occur i n c h a r c o a l h o r i z o n s .  Depositional  History  Peats near P i t t Meadows i n i t i a l l y d e p r e s s i o n s and a l l u v i a l plain e a r l y peats was eustatic to  accumulated  small f l o o d channels w i t h i n the e x t e n s i v e of the F r a s e r R i v e r .  The growth of these  l i k e l y c o i n c i d e n t with a d e c l i n i n g  sea l e v e l  rise.  have been a c t i v e  w i t h f i n e sand and  i n the n o r t h g r a d u a l l y began silt,  r a t e of  At t h i s time, channels which  appear  infilling  and were r e p l a c e d to the. south by  the present channel of the F r a s e r R i v e r . of  i n shallow  After establishment  t h i s channel, f l o o d i n g o c c u r r e d l e s s f r e q u e n t l y , thus a l -  lowing p r e v i o u s l y c o n f i n e d peat l e n s e s to spread over the f l o o d  laterally  plain.  Sphagnum c o l o n i z e d the freshwater sedge-grass soon a f t e r t h i s event. by Sphagnum r e s u l t e d boundaries and decomposition.  The h i g h l y a c i d i c  in f l o c c u l a t i o n  c o n d i t i o n s produced  of c l a y m i n e r a l s at bog  i n c r e a s e d peat accumulation through F l u v i a l a c t i v i t y was  marshes  thus f u r t h e r  reduced restricted,  which allowed l a t e r peat b i o f a c i e s to succeed e a r l i e r grass peats and expand the bog environment prograded  over f l o o d sediments  laterally.  on i n a c t i v e boundaries  i n t e r c a l a t e d with d e p o s i t s on a c t i v e margins.  sedgePeats and  L i m i t e d mean-  59.  d e r i n g by the present channel has eroded n a t u r a l levee and peat f a c i e s on the western coarse c l a s t i c  boundary and r e p l a c e d them with  channel f i l l d e p o s i t s . DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION  L i t h o f a c i e s and D e p o s i t i o n a l S e t t ing  Peats began accumulating f e r e n t environments  in quiet  #1-11 742, 1981).  1973; Hebda, 1977;  At p r e s e n t , peat d e p o s i t s extend  over approximately one t h i r d of the d e l t a similarities  dif-  of the F r a s e r R i v e r d e l t a between 4,300  and 4,800 B.P. (Luternauer and Murray, Teledyne  f a c i e s of s e v e r a l  surface.  Although  e x i s t between i n d i v i d u a l d e p o s i t s , l i t h o f a c i e s  exhibit differences resulting  from unique  depositional  set-  t i n g s developed w i t h i n the d e l t a .  Boundary Bay peats have accumulated  on an i n a c t i v e  t i o n of the lower d e l t a p l a i n , m a r g i n a l t o the d e l t a  por-  front.  U n l i k e the peats of P i t t Meadows and L u l u I s l a n d , those of Boundary Bay were not i n f l u e n c e d t o any great extent by f l u vial activity.  Rather, they developed  from s a l t and b r a c k i s h  marshes on the broad expanse of i n a c t i v e t i d a l Coleman and Smith  (1964) have used the term  flats.  'blanket p e a t s '  f o r these e x t e n s i v e but t h i n and d i s c o n t i n u o u s u n i t s . ment compaction trol  the margins  and the r a t e of e u s t a t i c  of i n d i v i d u a l peat h o r i z o n s .  peat accumulation exceeds larger  'peat  sea l e v e l r i s e  islands'  sea l e v e l  rise,  Sedicon-  In areas where  peats c o a l e s c e i n t o  (Staub and Cohen, 1979) dominated  by  60  glycophyte communities. stricted  Otherwise,  peat development  or t e r m i n a t e d by t r a n s g r e s s i v e marine  i s re-  sediments.  A d d i t i o n of s u l p h u r , i n c r e a s e d d e g r a d a t i o n , and p a r t i a l s i o n may  occur p r i o r  Thin  to b u r i a l .  i n t e r c a l a t e d u n i t s of s i l t  throughout  ero-  and  silty  the peat s e c t i o n at Boundary Bay  as a r e s u l t of  interaction  tides.  occurrence of these washover d e p o s i t s i n c r e a s e s  toward  freshets,  occur  the complex The  of s p r i n g  clay  storms,  the base of the peat, where i t grades  fine f l u v i a l  sediments  or coarse d e l t a  front  and  into underlying silty  sand.  Both of these u n i t s o v e r l i e an extremely t h i c k  sequence of  c o a r s e n i n g upward p r o d e l t a s i l t y  (Blunden,  1973),  c l a y and c l a y  ( F i g . 24).  Both L u l u I s l a n d and P i t t Meadow peats have formed i n f l u v i a l l y - d o m i n a t e d environments 1).  Earliest  sequences  peats of these d e p o s i t s o v e r l i e  of s i l t y  sand, s i l t ,  and  fined l a t e r a l l y  by channel f i l l  u n i t s comprised  of f i n e sand,  the base of the p e a t s , though Bay.  ( F i g s . 25 and  silty  sands and  silt,  26 and Table f i n i n g upward  c l a y , and are consilts.  and c l a y  intercalate  near  l e s s commonly than at Boundary  L u l u I s l a n d sedge-grass peats are d i f f e r e n t ,  from those of P i t t Meadows, having accumulated f l u e n c e of b r a c k i s h water and t i d a l a c t i v i t y ment t r a n s i t i o n a l  Thin splay  between upper  and  however,  under the i n -  i n an e n v i r o n -  lower d e l t a p l a i n s .  r e s u l t , p e a t s d e p o s i t e d i n i t i a l l y between d i s t r i b u t a r y n e l s at L u l u I s l a n d are more degraded  As a chan-  and c o n t a i n higher con-  TABLE  Delta  Boundary Bay Front-Lower D e l t a  1:  SUMMARY  Plain  OF DEPOSITIONAL  Lower D e l t a  PARAMETERS  Lulu Island P1 a 1n-Upper D e 1 t a  Plain  Upper  P i t t Meadows D e l t a P1 a 1n-A 11uv1 a 1  Plain  Depos1t1onal SettIng:  t h i n f i n i n g upward sequence o v e r t h i c k c o a r s e n i n g upward p r o d e l t a sediments  t h i c k f i n i n g upward c y c l e o v e r major c o a r s e n i n g upward p r o d e l t a sediments  s e v e r a l small f i n i n g upward c y c l e s i n a major f i n i n g upward sequence  L1thofacles:  interdistributary clays b e a c h sands channel f i l l silts  interdistributary clays natural levee s i l t y c l a y s channel f i l l sands,silts, crevasse splays f i r e splays  interdistributary clays natural levee s i l t y c l a y s channel f i l l sands, s i l t s crevasse splays  Biofacies:  sedge-grass  (fresh)  sphagnum  sphagnum  sedge-grass  (brackish)  nuphar  sedge-sphagnum  sedge-grass  (marine)  (sedge-wood)  sedge-clay  h o i 1ow sedge-sphagnum  sedge-grass  sedge-grass  (fresh)  gyttjae  sedge-grass  (brackish)  sedge-c1 ay  (fresh)  sedge-clay Peat T h i c k n e s s and e x t e n t : P e a t Qua 1 1 t y : Su1phur: Ash:  Clay  Minera1s:  .  l a t e r a l l y extensive t h i n and i r r e g u l a r  l a t e r a l l y extensive thick but v a r i a b l e  laterally restrictive moderately thick - constant  high, pervasive high, pervasive storms - t i d e s wash o v e r d e p o s i t s  high at base o n l y h i g h a t base o n l y crevasse splays f1oods  1 ow low e x c e p t f1oods  mixed layer c h l o r 1te-smect1te common k a o l i n i t e / s m e c t i t e r a t i o lower  mixed l a y e r c h l o r 1 t e - s m e c t i t e at base o n l y kaolinite/smectite r a t i o higher  no  mixed  near  base  l a y e r ch1 o r 1 t e - s m e c t i t e  kaolinite/smect1te  ratio  high  62  c e n t r a t i o n s of both ash and s u l p h u r than analagous peats at P i t t Meadows.  Maximum peat t h i c k n e s s of over 4.0 m  occurs i n i n t e r d i s t r i b u t a r y it,  freshwater  r e g i o n s of the L u l u I s l a n d depos-  where channels were abandoned e a r l i e s t  ( F i g . 25). In  c o n t r a s t , the t h i c k e s t accumulation of P i t t Meadows peat occurs where a v u l s e d f l o o d c h a n n e l s have been f i l l e d with hypautochthonous  plant  material.  Sphagnum dominated  peat  f a c i e s succeed e a r l i e r  sedge-  grass and sedge-Sphagnum peats i n both the P i t t Meadows and Lulu Island deposits.  Although of s i m i l a r g e n e r i c  composi-  t i o n , peats i n each d e p o s i t i n t e r a c t d i f f e r e n t l y with the surrounding  lithofacies.  a c t i v e throughout  At L u l u I s l a n d , where channels were  peat a c c u m u l a t i o n , overbank s i l t y  clays  i n t e r c a l a t e with sedge peat and a r e d i s r u p t e d by o c c a s i o n a l splay events of sand and s i l t y  sand.  rare i n P i t t Meadows peats as a r e s u l t t u r a l l e v e e s along a c t i v e c h a n n e l s margins,  sharp boundaries r e f l e c t  Such f l o o d d e p o s i t s are of w e l l developed na-  ( F i g . 2 6 ) . Along  inactive  the a c t i v e p r o g r a d a t i o n of  Sphagnum l i t h o f a c i e s and the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of a c i d i c bog water i n f l o c c u l a t i n g  suspended  clays  (Staub and Cohen,  1978).  B i o f a c i e s and Peat S t r a t i g r a p h y  The b i o f a c i e s of the L u l u I s l a n d , P i t t Meadows, and Boundary Bay d e p o s i t s a r e r e l a t e d s i o n a l sequence.  through a common succes-  T h i s sequence o r i g i n a t e s  from  either  250 m  -MOm  LEGEND  e3p  Peat Organic Clay Interdistributary Clay Overbank Silty Clay  oo o o  Channel Sand Delta Front Sand  B O U N D A R Y BAY  Prodelta Clay  F i g . 24. Summary model o f peat r e l a t i o n s h i p s distal  lower d e l t a  plain  environment.  w i t h o t h e r l i t h o f a c i e s w i t h i n the  F i g . 25. Summary model o f peat r e l a t i o n s h i p s transitional  lower d e l t a  plain  -upper d e l t a  with other l i t h o f a c i e s w i t h i n plain  environment. Legend  the  f o r diagram  Fig.  26. Summary model o f peat r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r l i t h o f a c i e s  upper d e l t a  plain-alluvial  plain  within  the  environment. Legend-, f o r diagram i s i n F i g . 24.  66  p i o n e e r i n g marine or freshwater sedge grass communities,  and  c u l m i n a t e s with a climax community dominated by Sphagnum, Ledum, and Pinus  (Oswald,  1933).  d i s r u p t the sequence permanently, has done to the sedge-grass they can cause from f i r e s  temporary  E x t e r n a l d i s r u p t i o n s can as the marine t r a n s g r e s s i o n  communities at Boundary Bay,  reversals,  such as those  or  resulting  i n the Sphagnum communities of both L u l u I s l a n d  and P i t t Meadows.  In a l l i n s t a n c e s , sedge-grass  communities  i n i t i a t e the s u c c e s s i o n a l sequence by occupying wet d i s t u r b e d n i c h e s and  forming marshes.  S p e c i e s composition v a r i e s ac-  cording to s a l i n i t y ,  s u b s t r a t e e l e v a t i o n , and pH  1981).  influx  Any  sediment  of stems and tem.  is quickly  i s trapped by the r i g i d  r e s i s t a l l i n t r u s i o n s of sediment-laden t i o n to o r g a n i c s e d i m e n t a t i o n o c c u r s . is sufficient  network  s t a b i l i z e d by the e x t e n s i v e root s y s -  G r a d u a l l y the s u b s t r a t e i s b u i l t  cumulation  (Envirocon,  up s u f f i c i e n t l y  to  water, and a t r a n s i E v e n t u a l l y peat  ac-  to change the regime from b r a c k i s h  to freshwater c o n d i t i o n s and allow the c o l o n i z a t i o n of Sphagnum spp.  The  growth of Sphagnum r e s t r i c t s water flow,  reduces pH and l i m i t s n u t r i e n t  supply.  These c o n d i t i o n s are  unfavourable f o r the c o n t i n u e d development of  sedge-grass  communities, and they are r e p l a c e d by Pinus and e r i c a c e o u s shrubs such as Ledum, Vacc inium, and Kalmia.  Once t h i s  climax stage i s reached,  f i r e c o n t r o l s s p e c i e s composition  and d i s t r i b u t i o n  1977).  (Hebda,  Although most peat variation  f a c i e s are common to each d e p o s i t ,  in thickness, l a t e r a l  e x t e n t , and geometry do  67  occur.  These  climate  and  At  sedimentary  Lulu  Sphagnum a  differences  Island,  was  result,  required  unable  the  to  before  other  biofacies  tidal  water  through  ed  the  development  environment  of  transition base  of  to  the  horizon  to  cumulation.  The almost  activity  cumulation only  produces  margin  vertically tally  along  at  Pitt  i s to  the  stratified,  The mately  alluvial  twice  both  Lulu  peat  surface  the  Island at  marshes  and Pitt  As  peat  were  Lulu  biofacies.  The  deposit to  are  a  near  Boundary Meadows  as  a  near  the  the  peat  ac-  result.  biofacies  occurs  Continual peat  ac-  C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , the  sedge-peats margins  remainder  Pitt  Meadows as  restrict-  allowed  throughout  the  Bay  only  deposit.  A l l other  rainfall  of  freshwater  sedge-grass  margins  to  discontinuous gyttja  thin  Island  have  quickly  sedge-grass  where  to  not  occur  situation.  south.  sufficiently  also  continuous  Meadows  average  sedge-grass  may  allowed  deposit  plain  peats.  c o n t i n u e d movement  peats  similar  water,  The  to  this  brackish  succeed.  also  the  of  raised  m i g r a t i o n of at  delta.  sedge-grass of  in  was  biofacies  prior  changes  substrate  Meadows  but  of  the  influence early  gyttja  Sedge-grass  vertical  the  early  a  Sphagnum  exclusively  fluvial  to  Pitt  develop  result  throughout  colonize  the  deposit,  a  accumulations  of  the  to  the  allow  as  regime  due  thickest  here  arise  the  peats  i s seldom  of  have are the  receives delta  are  prograded horizondeposit.  approxi-  plain,  located.  desiccated  for  where The ex-  68  tended this  periods  deposit  horizons, terial and  of  are  than  and  of  sedge  the to  allow  winter  months,  water  to  depressions unusual  of  deep  Island  deposit  these  peats,  i t may  levee  cessary  to  only  be  provided  oped  natural  small is  amounts  by  (Figs.  levees the Here, of  sedge-wood  be  related  The  large biomass  Lulu  clays  and  nutrients  ash  marginal 22).  highly  sedge-wood  A  conditions material.  were  of  of  to not  bog a  of  and  form  exposure  nutrients  necould  poorly  devel-  have  allowed  facies.  This  peats  Pitt  Meadows  well  conditions band  favourable  to  na-  this  of  biofacies  community  these  narrow  The  of  deposit  combination  the  f i l l  degree  The  at  "In  limited  the  this  into  channels  acidic  facies  supply  Island  content  to  to  severe  plain.  the  flooding.  the  and  plant  the  also  high  debris  of  by  is  1933).  delta  caused  desicca-  occurred  the  occasional  21,  plant  ma-  burning.  has  fire  Sphagnum  deposit  (Oswald,  be  large  in  of  at  the  ash  stricted  vation  of  Peats  natural  levee.  by  15). in  the  levees  confirmed  (Fig. low  support  burning  may  development.  Woody  summer,  extensive  allochthonous  confinement  the  from  observable  plain.  Island  hollows  characteristic  the  Lulu  deep  facies  pervasive  During  laterally  peat  fewer  delta  more  the  Nuphar  Lulu  tural  at  with  the  also  where  accumulate  peats,  comparison,  peats.  and  areas  of  are  surface  produce  Although the  peats  culms  peat  in  preserved,  Sphagnum  enough  with  and  better  those  ericaceous  tion  time,  for  are  developed  may  have  along the  re-  the preser-  69  Clay  Mineralogy  Only within  small v a r i a t i o n s  bog  lithofacies  the  dominant  the  total  occur  clay  Kaolinite ditions, natural  while  mineral  1).  Kaolinite  comprising  composition and  between  illite  and  i s enriched those  i n samples a f f e c t e d  from  underclay,  (Table  i n f l u e n c e d peats  1).  by  crevasse  (LIE P C +  5  ) , w h i c h have  trations  of  kaolinite.  variation  within  the  can  attributed  natural levee  samples  to a  In  those  is  a corresponding  is  most p r o m i n e n t  of  kaolinite,  4Na  more  t h e r e f o r e be  ditions  Al  the as  1 5  response the  decrease  mineral  shown  0 5  and  40%  i n the  Si^0  1 0  equation  (OH)  4  , P  from  been  concen-  content and  3  content,  This  P C 3  fe  )  from  to those  reported  by  (1972).  Pharo  kaolinite. the  montmorillonite  +  Al-  clays  highly acidic  Berner  from  Smectite  I s l a n d bogs and from  there  relationship  marine d e p o s i t e d  less  Lulu  3  assemblages  down u n d e r  Meadows and  P C,  kaolinite  compared  these  and  c o n d i t i o n s ( F i g . 23).  of G e o r g i a  provenance,  Pitt  Mg  Strait  breaking  t o pH  in smectite.  when c l a y  smectite  in kaolinite (PM  largest  environments are  similar  30%  lithofacies  showing  t h e F r a s e r R i v e r and  must  The  con-  However, s e d i m e n t s  c o n d i t i o n s , have s m a l l e r  contain  of  pH  splay  more n e u t r a l pH  though of  85%  low  by  peat-forming  are  chlorite  affected  be  occur  75 and  smectite, vermiculite,  lithofacies  beneath marine  clay  amounts.  including levee  (Table  minerals,  sample,  i n minor  of  con-  forming  (1971):  6H C0 +19H 0 2  3  2  70  3A1 S i 0 £  2  5  (OH)  ( k a o l i n i t e ) + 2Mg* + 2Na ; 6HC0 " + 1 0H SIC\ 2  +  +  3  4  Staub and Cohen (1978) d e s c r i b e a s i m i l a r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n the Snuggedy Swamp, South C a r o l i n a , and Huddle and P a t t e r s o n (1961) and o t h e r s have come to analogous  c o n c l u s i o n s from  study of c o a l d e p o s i t s .  A mixed-layer f l u e n c e d c l a y s and enced  sediments  s m e c t i t e - c h l o r i t e occurs i n b r a c k i s h i n i n c r e a s e s i n abundance i n marine  of Boundary Bay.  T h i s mixed-layer c l a y  noted by both Pharo (1972) and Mackintosh i n sediments c o l l e c t e d  and Gardner  from the F r a s e r R i v e r .  formation of t h i s mixed-layered c l a y may marine c o n d i t i o n s ,  i t is likely  the peat-forming environment  and  influ-  that  was  (1966)  Although  the  be dependent on  i t was  i t too was  a l s o present i n converted to kao-  linite.  Geochemi s t r y  Measurement of pH supports e a r l i e r  i n the t h r e e peat forming  environments  r e s e a r c h by Staub and Cohen (1978, 1979)  and  o t h e r s that near n e u t r a l to s l i g h t l y a l k a l i n e pH c o n d i t i o n s are a s s o c i a t e d with marine i n f l u e n c e d peats freshwater environments,  especially  those which c o n t a i n  Sphagnum, e x h i b i t pH v a l u e s as low as 3.0. c o r e s these v a l u e s become l e s s a c i d i c water sedge-grass peats  ( F i g . 5), whereas  ( F i g s . 21-23).  In P i t t Meadows  in underlying freshHowever, i n cores  from L u l u I s l a n d , t h i s t r e n d stops and r e v e r s e s i t s e l f  once  TABLE  Env 1 ronnient  Samp 1e  70 Kaolinite  2:  CLAY  10" IHIte  MINERALOGY  10"-17 Smectite 0  51  31  13  58  21  10  61  27  63  28  4  69  19  2  49  36  9  46  29  19  58  25  12  bottom bog proper/no o r g a n l c s freshwater brackish  56  27  12  bog bottom t o p b r a c k 1sh  52  28  15  bog b o t t o m b r a c k 1sh  middle  59  27  bog bottom mar 1ne  bottom  53  30  bog bottom top mar 1ne  45  43  bog bottom mar 1ne  middle  45  30  16  bog bottom  bottom  45  4 1  10  38  40  freshwater under  14° Vermlcullte  14" Chlorite  Mixed Layer S m e c t 1 t e - C h l o r 1te  bog p r o p e r / o r g a n l c s  freshwater under  PM P, C,  bog p r o p e r / o r g a n l c s  freshwater PM P, PM P, Ct  LIE  P C,  LIE  P  LIE  LIE  3  3  C  P C, 4  R,C  BB P,  BB  z  P, C  3  AVERAGE  5  natural  levee  bottom  natural  levee middle  natural  levee top  freshwater crevasse splay freshwater overbank crevasse c s e overbank crevasse f i n e  smal 1 PHARO ( 1 9 7 2 ) F r a s e r R i v e r and S t r a i t o f G e o r g i a  t smal 1  smal 1  sma 1 1 12  abundant  abundant  abundant 4 unknown  22  abundant not Iced  7.2  b r a c k i s h water high sulphur peats are reached The  pH decreases  (Figs.  to v a l u e s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of Sphagnum peats  i n areas where sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n i s h i g h e s t . gested that H*  i o n s , r e l e a s e d when H S a  d u c t i o n to form amorphous i r o n increased a c i d i t y . c o r e , BB1  13-15).  I t i s sug-  undergoes f u r t h e r r e -  s u l p h i d e m i n e r a l s , causes  Measurements of pH  the  from the Boundary  ( F i g . 5) show no v a r i a t i o n with  Bay  depth.  T o t a l sulphur a n a l y s i s from the v a r i o u s b i o f a c i e s of the t h r e e peat d e p o s i t s ( F i g s . 5,  13-15, 21-23  and Table 3), i n -  d i c a t e that the l a r g e d i f f e r e n c e s i n sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n observed The  are c o n t r o l l e d by the environment of d e p o s i t i o n .  a s s o c i a t i o n of h i g h sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n s with marine  environments i s w e l l documented The  reason  ( W i l l i a m s and K e i t h , 1963).  f o r such a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s not only the h i g h  c e n t r a t i o n of d i s s o l v e d SQ^. " 2  i n marine water, but a l s o  v a t e d pH c o n d i t i o n s which a l l o w b a c t e r i a l s u l p h a t e ion (Berner,  Sulphur two  1971).  i n marine peats  i s a l s o c o n c e n t r a t e d , o f t e n by  o r d e r s of magnitude above those of freshwater  sulphur from b a c t e r i a l l y (1977),  pH  reduced H S.  peats  Casagrande  from s t u d i e s of Okefenokee peats, suggest  i s the c o n t r o l l i n g parameter i n t h i s p r o c e s s .  a c i d i c c o n d i t i o n s of freshwater peats activity  pyritic  Both C e c i l e_t  2  from s t u d i e s of A p a l a c h i a n c o a l s , and  et a l . (1977),  ele-  r e d u c t i o n of the  (Casagrande et. a l . , 1977), by the c o n t i n u a l growth of  al  con-  of D e s u l f i v i b r i o spp.  Indeed, the  (pH>4.5) decreases  (Zobell,  that  the  1963), c o r r e s p o n d i n g -  73  l y reduces H S  p r o d u c t i o n , and  Z  lowers  sulphur  i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the peat  Sulphur  distribution  the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of  (Casagrande et a_l. , 1980).  i n F r a s e r d e l t a peats  reflects  these  principles.  Samples from marine i n f l u e n c e d p e a t s , core  ( F i g . 5) and  b r a c k i s h i n f l u e n c e d p e a t s , c o r e s LIE  (Figs.  13-14), which had' the l e s s a c i d i c  vironments, tions.  vironments, and  c o r e s PM  highly acidic  1, PM  2, PM  concentra-  freshwater  3, and  1 and LIE 2  d e p o s i t i o n a l en-  have c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y h i g h sulphur  Correspondingly  peat  LIE 3 ( F i g s .  15), have small amounts of s u l p h u r .  s u l p h a t e , Berner  (1971) suggests  strate available  for b a c t e r i a l consumption may  may  and  thus t o t a l  e x p l a i n the decrease  beneath the peat  in t o t a l  at Boundary Bay  en17-19  In l e s s a c i d i c  vironments where pH does not c o n t r o l the amount of  amount of p y r i t i c  BB  en-  reduced  the amount of o r g a n i c sub-  sulphur. sulphur  control  This  the  relationship  i n sediments  ( F i g . 5), where organic  matter c o n c e n t r a t i o n i s much l e s s than  i n the o v e r l y i n g  peats.  Small v a r i a t i o n s  i n sulphur w i t h depth i n  peats of L u l u I s l a n d and  P i t t Meadows can  freshwater  be a t t r i b u t e d  to  differences  i n sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n i n s p e c i f i c  (Table 3).  Sphagnum peats c o n t a i n the s m a l l e s t amount of  sulphur, w h i l e tration.  biofacies  sedge-wood peats c o n t a i n the l a r g e s t  Woody t i s s u e s and c h a r c o a l cause s l i g h t  i n sulphur c o n t e n t .  F i r e s may  simply c o n c e n t r a t e  concen-  increases sulphur i n  ash, but a l s o the more a l k a l i n e c o n d i t i o n s a s s o c i a t e d with the f i r e h o r i z o n s may  promote r e d u c t i o n of S0  4  by  bacteria.  74  Work by Casagrande e_t a l . (1980) suggests sulphur  of freshwater  peats  i s o r g a n i c , with a major  o c c u r r i n g as e s t e r s u l p h a t e . correspondingly peats has  not  low.  t h a t much of  3.  Content  Peat F a c i e s  in Peat F a c i e s  Percent T o t a l Sulphur (Dry Weight)  12 15 14 64 3 21 0. 19 0. 1 3 3. 3 -  0. 0. 0. 0. 5. 0.  Pure Sphagnum E r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum Sedge-grass freshwater Sedge-grass b r a c k i s h Sedge-grass marine Nuphar hollow Sedge-Sphagnum Sedge-clay freshwater Sedge-clay marine  average  ash appear to r e s u l t  0. 1 6 5. 9  Increased  c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of  a l s o from  splay s i l t y c l a y s in sedge-grass b i o f a c i e s . sediments, the sedge-clay  c o n t a i n l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s of  The  peats  from wood or c h a r c o a l i n sedge-Sphagnum  e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s and  t i o n a l to f l u v i a l  0. 1 6 0. 1 9 0. 35 1 .1 2 5. 9 0. 27 0. 19 0. 1 5 4. 3  0. 19 0. 23 0. 77 1 .50 6. 3 0. 32  Meadows and L u l u I s l a n d freshwater  c o n t a i n s m a l l amounts of ash.  and  these  trends.  range  Both the P i t t  are  2  Complete sulphur a n a l y s i s on  Sulphur  fraction  Amounts of p y r i t e and H S  been completed to c o n f i r m these  Table  the  crevasse  Facies and  transi-  gyttja  peats,  ash.  h i g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n of ash  i n the marine d e r i v e d  and  75  i n f l u e n c e d peats of Boundary Bay  was  caused  by the o c c a s i o n a l  f l o o d i n g of t h i s d e p o s i t d u r i n g accumulation. and  silt  were d e p o s i t e d a f t e r  Suspended c l a y  i n u n d a t i o n s by some annual  high  t i d e s , the F r a s e r R i v e r f r e s h e t , and/or extreme storms. lower pH of the marsh environment may d e p o s i t i o n by causing f l o c c u l a t i o n and Cohen, 1978).  have a s s i s t e d  The  i n the  of c l a y m a t e r i a l s  (Staub  High ash c o n t e n t s appear to be a s s o c i a t e d  with h i g h sulphur c o n c e n t r a t i o n s .  Calorific  value depends both on the ash content and  p l a n t composition  of the peat  ( F i g . 27).  the  Woody peats have  the h i g h e s t h e a t i n g v a l u e s , while Sphagnum peats produce the lowest.  Sedge-grass peats vary w i d e l y between these  biofa-  c i e s , and because they c o n t a i n v a r i a b l e amounts of m i n e r a l matter, ues.  they demonstrate the e f f e c t s of ash on h e a t i n g  val-  Sedge peats on an a s h - f r e e b a s i s produce 22,000 KJ/kg  (oven d r i e d ) , which i s comparable t o 25,000 KJ/kg f o r subbituminous  coal  Although energy  based  ( T e i c h m u l l e r and T e i c h m u l l e r , 1966).  Boundary Bay  on the h i g h ash c o n t e n t ,  which of the other two gy.  The  offset  peats would produce the  least  i t is difficult  d e p o s i t s would produce the most  to say ener-  i n c r e a s e d t h i c k n e s s of sedge peats at L u l u I s l a n d i s  by the small amount of wood i n t h i s d e p o s i t compared  with P i t t Meadows.  As w e l l , the sedge-grass  peats of L u l u  I s l a n d c o n t a i n more ash because of numerous crevasse s p l a y s .  76  50  -i  LEGEND •  -  Sphagnum, Ericaceous Sphagnum  » A  40 H  -  • -  Fire  facies  zones  Sedge - grass Woody  facies  zones  30 - p i s ^ ^ g  I  CO  <  -t->»»»:-:-:<-:-:<-^:  20  -i  10-f  mm 4  'i 8  i 10  v 12  ~I 14  r  16  18  22  i 24  r  I 26  KJ/Kgx10' Fig.  27. P e r c e n t ash versus c a l o r i f i c  biofacies.  value p l o t f o r a n a l y s i s  o f major peat  77  F r a s e r R i v e r D e l t a Peats as Coal D e p o s i t s  Fraser River d e l t a peats w i l l c o a l seams. years B.P.,  and which have been covered with up to 15 m of seams of peat up to 15 cm  p e r s o n a l communication,  t i o n r a t i o of approximately coal at  (Ryer and Langer,  1981).  10:1  accumulation  f o r peat  to  d e p o s i t s with a s i m i l a r  p l a n t communities.  f o r the r e c e n t  The  environments s t u d i e d has  s u c c e s s i o n a l sequence of  e f f e c t s of the p h y s i c a l  however, have m o d i f i e d surrounding  lithofacies,  u l t i m a t e l y d e p o s i t s i z e and  shape.  peat d e p o s i t s which have r e s u l t e d w i l l  unique  The  man.  Each of the three peat-forming  graphy, and  thick.  peats  Meadows and L u l u I s l a n d  would c e r t a i n l y have c o n t i n u e d , were i t not  ual  subbituminous  1980), the present t h i c k n e s s of  of peat at both P i t t  i n t e r v e n t i o n of  thick (J.  C o n s i d e r i n g a compac-  L u l u I s l a n d c o u l d produce a c o a l seam 40 cm  produced  into  Peats p r e v i o u s l y d e p o s i t e d on the d e l t a , 8900  sediment have produced Clague,  eventually transform  depositional  settings  environment, peat The  stratiindivid-  ultimately  f o r each of the  form  corresponding  c o a l seams.  Boundary Bay bands of c o a l .  peats w i l l  produce t h i n ,  These bands w i l l  be  interbedded with  u n i t s of f o s s i l i f e r o u s sandy s i l t s t o n e and Coal l e n s e s w i l l laminated  fluvial  become more numerous and mudstone and  discontinuous  silty  thin  mudstone.  t h i c k e n over  s i l t y mudstone, u n t i l  inter-  even-  78'  tually  they  grade  delta  plain.  thick  sequence  stones,  contain  will  be  large  Lulu  relatively contrast  to  the  plain  fluvial  of  channel  of  the  will  of  f i l l  mudstone  which  Seams  will  silty  mudstone  mudstones  cause and  of  ash  better  will  their  ultimately  b r a c k i s h water The  want  origin,  Meadows, a  be  of  exten-  separated  and  sediments  be  thicker  accompanying  number  areas  siltstone.  p a r t i n g s of  of  smaller  along  will  and  be  illite, have  seam  than  those  these  present  at  by  seam t h i c k n e s s .  cresting  the  In  the  laterally  will  will  Bay.  narrow underlain and  high  will  be-  pyrite  contain  coal.  Fluvial much  form  a  produce  Boundary  Pitt  kaolinite  remainder  to  ash and  deposits will  reduce  channels, these  illite  c o n t a i n numerous will  The  pyrite.  sandstone  a p p r e c i a b l y over  between  as  seams  graded  will  predominantly  contents. quality  of  distributary  Coals of  units  a  origin,  sulphur.  minerals  at  will  Individual  be  mud-  freshwater  and  clay  seam  Island  channels  thin  ash  compared  plain  Lulu  of  Meadows  as  will  the  sandstones.  dominantly  Pitt  seams  seams.  silty  by  and  alluvial  to  areas.  occur  units  of  -  those  primarily  proximal  want  unlike  seams  prodelta silty  fine-grained  both  coal  fluvial  upward,  of  Coals  also  thin  amounts  coals  network  and  Island  thick  these  coals,  Sulphur  Both  interdistributary  coarsening  Bay  composed  smectite.  sive  of  siltstones,  will  thick  Underlying  Boundary  delta  into  delta  plain  Boundary  coals Bay.  79  They  will  lying  s t i l l  prodelta  The  Pitt  surrounded  seam  grade  will  by c h a n n e l  f i l l  sandstone  will  siltstone.  into  a nearly  will  be o f b e t t e r  Pitt  Meadows  ly,  i t may  initially stone by  delta  will  plain.  Meadows  marine  a s numerous  contain  contain  no  seam  sandLulu  coals  unless  seam  as they  of  the  Unfortunate-  sequence  within  and  produced  characteristics,  Meadows  of  will  Bay a n d  t o mine.  environments  peat.  and  Concentrations  result,  The t h i c k  of c o a l s  levees  few p a r t i n g s ,  to locate  sediment,  seam,  underlying  and f i n e  of Boundary  thickness.  the P i t t  The formation  unpredictable, Pitt  surround  of finer  siltstones  be t h e e a s i e s t  at surface.  isolated  mudstones  Due . t o s e a m  be t h e h a r d e s t  exposed  sections  t o under-  and a s s o c i a t e d  be l o w , a n d a s a  will  small  of k a o l i n i t e ,  will  constant  quality.  coals  also  which  Meadows  a  bedded  t o t h e seams  of P i t t  and a s h w i l l  form  chiefly  well-sorted  In c o n t r a s t  maintain  sulphur  Thinly  be composed  those  i n comparison  sediments.  downward  Island,  however,  peat  will  stones.  thin,  Meadows  argillaceous the  remain  of  i t  is  sand-  i s not broken  a r e on t h e  this  similar  sequence i s to that at  80  SUMMARY  Three ferent River  depositional delta  inactive from not  peat-forming environments  (Table  portion  widespread influenced  lateral  settings 1).  of  result,  an  and  of  of  marsh  thin  veloped,  containing  and  concentrations  high  either vial  fining  origin  origin. sening  upward  Peat delta  deposits  plain  ments.  The  derlain  by  have  a  those  accompanying  peats  of  tary  these  brackish  zons  underlain  and  distal  grained  silty  by  these  clay,  in  of  having  thin  are  silty  of  dominated  large  upward confined  lower  de-  laminae  of  and  flu-  coar-  upper  environ-  however,  un-  similar  peats.  to  Earliest  interdistribu-  of  sulphur  Individual sequence  a  silt.  sediments  amounts  As  major  and  from  a  marine  is a  fluvial  developed  the  by  clay  the  plain  were  overlie  between  delta  peats  clay  silty  are,  the  network  peats  clay  units  on  rise.  peat  sand  Fraser  allowing  level  units  silty  deposits.  fining  and  and  prodelta  lower  splay  sea  silty  fluvial  contain  a  and  the  controlled  These  silt  prodelta  sequence  marshes,  fine  silt,  fine  thin  deposits,  numerous are  sand,  accumulated  thick  t o be  intercalated  transitional  relatively  activity,  dif-  developed  These  discontinuous  of  of  marshes.  sulphur.  of  plain  but  silty  sequence  delta  fluvial  from  accumulated  eustatic  of  both  lobe  and  homogeneous  Underlying  have  facies  numerous  upward  or  by  studied  Recent  lower  brackish  compaction  extensive  the  which  distal  appreciably  development  combination  Peats  the  salt  on  were  of  laterally  and  peat  hori-  fine  sand,  by  silt  and  81  silty  clay  occur  in areas  Except  near  gressive place less  of  small where  the  between  delta  fewer  alluvial  of  a.major  plain  sediments  been low  and  by  and of  natural  restricting channels. clay  them On  with  where  levees  upper  or  reduces  peats  the  represent  sequence.  Unlike  upward  origin.  the  These  and  The  peats  as  a  number  and  cycles peats  of  size  of  peats  prograde  over  and  channels  have  sedge-grass  present  i n each  of  related  through  a  three  common  freshwater  sedge-grass  communities  niches  modify  sufficiently  contain  active  in  silty belts  filled  with  peat.  the  is initiated  been  not  splays,  boundaries,  occur  silty  well-devel-  other  Thickest peats  of  have  to  contacts.  cul-  prodelta  result,  presence  the  overlie  marginal  them  contain  lower  of  peats  sequence  re-  boundary  sedge-grass  gyttja,  and  later  plain  fining  sulphur.  sedge-clay,  The  trans-  gradually  near  sedge-grass  flood  flood  quence.  marine  u n d e r l y i n g sequence  clay  avulsed  are  delta  upward an  small  vironments  These  peats  earliest.  to  sharp  Biofacies  or  biofacies  b r a c k i s h water,  c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of  abandoned  channels  developed  Initial  clay  influenced  oped  have  environments,  silt,  Thickest  splays.  and  i s absent.  were  upsection.  fining  interlaminated•silt sand,  active  dominated  d e p o s i t s which  the  mination  and  peats  channels.  channels  of  Sphagnum  sedge-grass  Peat  these  margins  areas,  sulphur  distributary  when  successional  en-  se-  p i o n e e r i n g marine  occupy to  peat-forming  wet,  restrict  or  disturbed clastic  sedi-  82  mentation.  Provided  brackish  water  Sphagnum  soon  creates  Pinus  influence colonizes  acidic,  acidophiles  the s u b s t r a t e has by  accumulating  the h a b i t a t .  oligotrophic  to survive.  c o n t o r t a , form  been  raised  organic  Once  the balance  matter,  established, i t  c o n d i t i o n s which  Ericaceous  above  shrubs,  allow  only  P t e r i d i u m and  of the climax  successional  stage.  In peats  upper  delta  originate  equires  little As  posits  a r e much  delta  exclusion  from  extensive will  plain  accumulation  Distal  of a l l u v i a l facies only  of d e l t a peats  i s able  i n Sphagnum  plain  results  from  activity  but t h i n  and  lenticular  in addition  splits.  Consequently,  in pooled  coal  to large  ash contents both  will  from  quality  pre-  from  niches.  laterally  These  coals  c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of  resulting coal  seams.  Their  prevents  water  produce  on  greater  tidal  peats  de-  and  peats.  d e p o s i t s because  plain  colo-  originating  are absent  delta  to  plain  peats  high  be  occur  where  the substrate  Gyttja  sulphur,  will  plain  region.  peats  similar  peats  environments  Sphagnum  of organic matter  lower  contain,  before  biofacies  alluvial  plain  marshes,  sedge-grass  Nuphar  in this  delta  freshwater  t h i n n e r than  Sphagnum  cipitation  the  result,  plain.  ericaceous  lower  from  modification  nize.  the  a  plain-alluvial  numerous  pyritic  thin  and c a l o r i f i c  value  low.  Numerous  thick  coal  seams  will  be  developed  from  transi-  33  tional  lower  seams w i l l  delta plain-upper delta p l a i n peats.  be separated by channel  fill  Individual  d e p o s i t s , with c o a l s  being t h i n n e d a p p r e c i a b l y by numerous s p l i t s marginal t o these channels  and by smaller channel  the remainder of the seam. is  ever, w i l l  The remaining  units  throughout  Coal q u a l i t y a t the base of seams  poor, comparable t o that present  plain coals.  fill  in d i s t a l  lower  delta  upper p o r t i o n of the seam, how-  c o n t a i n only small amounts of both  sulphur and  ash.  A l l u v i a l p l a i n peats w i l l produce i s o l a t e d t h i c k c o a l s surrounded  by channel  nearly constant  fill  throughout,  sands.  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Spackman, W., Cohen, A.D., Given, P.H., and Casagrande, D.J., 1974.  The comparative study of the Okefenokee Swamp and  the Everglades Florida.  mangrove swamp-marsh complex of southern  F i e l d Guide Book f o r G e o l o g i c a l S o c i e t y of  America Meeting, Miami, p.  265.  Staub, J.R. and Cohen, A.D., 1978.  Kaolinite-enrichment  beneath c o a l s : A modern analog, Carolina.  Journal  Snuggedy Swamp, South  of Sedimentary P e t r o l o g y ,  v. 48, pp.  203-210.  Staub, J.R. and Cohen, A.D., 1979. The Snuggedy Swamp of South C a r o l i n a : a b a c k - b a r r i e r environment.  coal-forming  of Sedimentary P e t r o l o g y ,  v. 49,  Styan, W.B. and B u s t i n , R.M., 1981. Sedimentology,  petro-  pp.  Journal  estuarine  133-144.  graphy and geochemistry of some peat d e p o s i t s of the F r a s e r River D e l t a . 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Pergamon  93  PART I I :  PETROGRAPHY OF SOME FRASER RIVER DELTA PEAT DEPOSITS ABSTRACT  I n t e g r a t i o n of the d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l h i s t o r y of i n d i v i d u a l p l a n t components with peat ting  s t r a t i g r a p h y and d e p o s i t i o n a l  i n t h r e e peat forming environments  set-  has allowed the pre-  d i c t i o n of maceral p r e c u r s o r s and subsequent  microlithotype  di s t r i b u t ion.  Thin sedge-grass peats developed on i n a c t i v e p o r t i o n s of the d i s t a l  lower d e l t a p l a i n .  These peats were i n f l u e n c e d by  marine c o n d i t i o n s near the base and freshwater c o n d i t i o n s higher  i n the s e c t i o n .  A h i g h r a t i o of c e l l u l o s e t o l i g h i n  i n marsh p l a n t s and l i m i t e d exposure i c c a t i o n and o x i d a t i o n produce  of these t i s s u e s t o des-  primarily  desmocollinite.  Smaller amounts of c e r e n i t e , c u t i n i t e , and a l g i n i t e from a l g a l and sedge l i p i d s .  In the t r a n s i t i o n  originate  to freshwater  peats, o x y f u s i n i t e , p y r o f u s i n i t e and m i c r i n i t e p a r t i a l l y r e p l a c e former  e x i n i t e and v i t r i n i t e  group macerals.  a l t e r a t i o n by t r a n s g r e s s i n g marine waters process.  The l a t e r a l l y  Later  further aids  this  e x t e n s i v e but t h i n and d i s c o n t i n u o u s  c o a l seams which would d e v e l o p w i l l c o n t a i n v i t r i t e  bands  near the base and w i l l grade u p s e c t i o n i n t o i n t e r laminated d u r i t e and v i t r i n e r t i t e .  Peats d e p o s i t e d between originate  upper and  from b r a c k i s h water.  lower d e l t a  As such, e a r l i e s t  plain peat  hori-  94  zons  contain  tered  in distal  splays along  disrupt channel  waters, in  similar  maceral  delta  compositions  plain  gradational margins.  deposits. changes  common  cutinite grass places  from  precursors Stumps  After  Vitrite  for suberinite,  with  form  In t h i s  shrubs  thin  upper  upsection and  laminae  neutral  bands  by l a t e r  pH  result  interrupt of l i p t i t e  and  rich  provide  telenite.  banded  and lenses  portions of the thick  sedge-  , lignin  contorta  these  telenite,  clarite re-  b y Sphagnum  and Pinus  of  and  will  freshwater  biofacies,  telocollinite,  telenite  fire  and v i t r i n e r t i t e s  Interbedded  colonization  ericaceous  of massive  and  macrinite, sclerotinite,  a r e produced  accumulations.  durite.  tissues  will  microlithotypes.  encoun-  of desiccation,  Interlaminated durites  and c e r e n i t e  peat  in fabric  periods  i n c r e a s e s of i n e r t o d e t r i n i t e ,  form  Crevasse  F l o o d i n g by o x y g e n a t e d ,  f o l l o w e d by e x t e n d e d  oxyfusinite.  t o those  macerals.  of  clarite  and l a t e r a l l y  extensive  seams.  Unlike from  delta  freshwater  flect  this  resistant  plain  environments.  difference. bark  peats,  and stem  Initial  plain  Earliest  macerals  channel  fragments,  lites  containing suberinite,  Algae  and c u t i c l e s  with  alluvial  produce  collinite,  i n the overlying  bands  of c l a r i t e .  sequence,  these  m i c r o l i t h o t y p e s grade  peats.  of macerals  similar  The d i s t r i b u t i o n  Because  t o those  peats,  peat  vertically  of the c l a r i t i c  rich in carbargi-  vitrodetrinite.  o f a common  found  originate  formed r e -  vitritic  and  gyttja  thin  semblage  f i l l  peats  form  liptite  successional into  in delta  and v i t r i t i c  an a s plain ma-  95  cerals w i l l , of  however, be l e s s complex  the a l l u v i a l  plain.  i n the i s o l a t e d seams  96  INTRODUCTION  The  p e t r o g r a p h i c f a b r i c and composition of peat  i s de-  pendent on the types of p l a n t communities, the c l i m a t e , the e c o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n s of the environment, decomposition. initial  Although  c h a r a c t e r and  and  s p e c i e s composition  the degree  i n f l u e n c e s the  f a b r i c of a peat, i t i s the e f f e c t of  the p h y s i c a l environment  on the e a r l y d i a g e n e s i s of the com-  munity t h a t g r e a t l y m o d i f i e s the f i n a l product  After  of  b u r i a l , the e f f e c t s of temperature,  (Stach, 1975).  and to a  l e s s e r e x t e n t p r e s s u r e , govern a s e r i e s of b i o c h e m i c a l and chemical r e a c t i o n s which p r o g r e s s i v e l y t r a n s f o r m peat coal.  D u r i n g t h i s geochemical  the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  into  stage of o r g a n i c metamorphism,  s t e p s through which o r g a n i c compounds are  condensed and e l i m i n a t e d are p r e d i c t a b l e to a c e r t a i n extent (Flaig,  1968).  The products of these r e a c t i o n s are, however,  c o n t i n g e n t upon the i n i t i a l from the a l t e r a t i o n formation.  r e a c t a n t s , which are  of s p e c i f i c  p l a n t t i s s u e s d u r i n g peat  T h e r e f o r e b i o c h e m i c a l processes s t r o n g l y  ence the u l t i m a t e f o r m a t i o n of c o a l  In  determined  the past c o a l petrography  macerals.  and a s s o c i a t e d spore  p o l l e n assemblages were s t u d i e d i n an attempt  to  the a n c i e n t peat-forming environment  1968;  Teichmuller, et  a l . , 1967;  pathways and  1958,  1968;  Smith,  (Moore,  T i n g and Spackman, 1965;  1962,  influ-  and o t h e r s ) .  and  understand  Hacquebard  Decompositional  t i s s u e degradation were e x t r a p o l a t e d from  peat  97  ( c o a l ) b a l l s and  stages of p a r t i a l l y c o a l i f i e d  lignites.  Products r a t h e r than p r o c e s s e s were s t u d i e d , and l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n was  p a i d t o modern a n a l o g s .  More r e c e n t l y , t h e - p e t r o g r a p h i c study of modern peat  has  g r e a t l y added to the understanding of the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of peat to c o a l .  These s t u d i e s have l a r g e l y been c o n f i n e d to  s u b t r o p i c a l and t r o p i c a l (Cohen, 1968, Carolina 1973).  1970;  swamp environments  in Florida  Cohen and Spackman, 1977,  (Staub and Cohen, 1978,  1980),  South  1979), and Georgia  The one e x c e p t i o n i s the study by A l l e n  some c o a s t a l marsh peats from Delaware.  These  (Cohen,  (1978) of investigations  have enabled a b e t t e r understanding and a p p l i c a t i o n of the p r o c e s s e s l e a d i n g to the formation of c o a l macerals c a l and  subtropical climates.  in t r o p i -  They are l i m i t e d , however, i n  the r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of p a l e o e c o l o g y and paleogeography c i e n t c o a l seams formed  i n temperate  of an-  or s u b a r c t i c e n v i r o n -  ments such as the C a r b o n i f e r o u s to Permian c o a l s of Gondwanaland.  E x t e n s i v e marshes developed on the F r a s e r R i v e r d e l t a between 4350 and 4850 years B.P. Murray,  1969;  Shepperd,  1981;  (Hebda, 1977;  Kellerhals  and t h i s study),. c o i n c i d e n t  with a d e c l i n e i n the r a t e of e u s t a t i c  sea l e v e l  (Mathews e_t a l . , 1970;  Anastomosed  channels  Clague,  (Smith and Smith,  1975).  1980)  resulting  rise river  from t h i s  rise  allowed accumulations of t h i c k peats to occur in s e v e r a l tinct depositional  settings.  and  These peats thus p r o v i d e an  dis-  93  i d e a l o p p o r t u n i t y to d e s c r i b e the c h a r a c t e r , petrography, and decomposition  of temperate  peat d e p o s i t s i n a v a r i e t y of en-  vironments.  The purpose  of t h i s paper  ponents, d e s c r i b e f a b r i c types i n d i f f e r e n t living  i s t o i d e n t i f y peat com-  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and determine  environments;  t i s s u e s with peat  peat  t o compare and c o n t r a s t  i n v a r i o u s stages of decomposition  in order t o e s t a b l i s h d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l pathways; and f i n a l l y to h y p o t h e s i z e as t o the u l t i m a t e formation of c o a l  macerals  ( p r e c u r s o r s ) f o r the d i f f e r e n t peat t y p e s .  R e g i o n a l S e t t ing  Peat d e p o s i t i o n has a c t i v e l y areas of the F r a s e r R i v e r d e l t a ional settings,  o c c u r r e d over e x t e n s i v e  in several d i s t i n c t deposit-  i n c l u d i n g the d i s t a l  lower d e l t a p l a i n at  Boundary Bay, the t r a n s i t i o n between upper and lower p l a i n s at L u l u I s l a n d and the upper p l a i n at P i t t Meadows. 4,300 t o 4,800 B.P. 1977;  Teledyne  plain-alluvial  The ages of these d e p o s i t s range  (Luternauer and Murray,  from  1973; Hebda,  #1-11.742, 1981) and c o r r e s p o n d to a slowing  in the r a t e of e u s t a t i c Rampino and Sanders,  Thin  delta  delta  sea l e v e l  rise  ( F a i r b r i d g e , 1976;  1981).  ( l e s s than h a l f a meter), d i s c o n t i n u o u s sedge-grass  peats have accumulated  on the i n a c t i v e p o r t i o n of the d e l t a  between P o i n t Roberts and Mud Bay.  The Boundary Bay peat  99  c o n s i s t s of remnants of t h i s peat shore of the t i d a l peats  which a r e exposed along the  f l a t at the foot of 112th S t r e e t .  These  were f l o o d e d o c c a s i o n a l l y throughout t h e i r development  by storms, h i g h  t i d e s , and s p r i n g f r e s h e t s .  high c o n c e n t r a t i o n s (Styan and B u s t i n ,  of both ash and sulphur 1981).  As a r e s u l t , were  A marine t r a n s g r e s s i o n has h a l t e d  growth, and i s p r e s e n t l y a l t e r i n g and eroding Laterally  transported  Roberts p e n i n s u l a (Shepperd,  Vast ered with  introduced  silt  and s i l t y  these  peats.  sand from the P o i n t  i s c o v e r i n g much of the d e p o s i t as w e l l  1981).  expanses of the F r a s e r River d e l t a p l a i n a r e covt h i c k peat  deposits.  Abandoned d i s t r i b u t a r y  n e l s at the base of these  d e p o s i t s reduce peat  siderably  B r a c k i s h sedge-grass peats  i n some a r e a s .  chan-  t h i c k n e s s conaccumu-  l a t i n g between the channels c o n t a i n h i g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of sulphur  and, because of numerous c r e v a s s e  amounts of ash as w e l l .  Larger  splays, large  f l u v i a l channels,  which  became dominant a f t e r the numerous d i s t r i b u t a r y channels were abandoned, c o n f i n e the d e p o s i t s l a t e r a l l y . sandy s i l t  S i l t y c l a y and  form l e v e e s , and o c c a s i o n a l l y s p l a y s a r e i n t e r c a -  l a t e d with peat  along  most o f t e n p r e s e n t  these margins.  here,  as they migrate v e r t i c a l l y  sponse t o a c t i v e s e d i m e n t a t i o n . horizontally  stratified.  Sedge-grass peats are  Otherwise peat  The L u l u I s l a n d peat  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the d e l t a p l a i n p e a t s . rounded on t h r e e  accumulation.  f a c i e s are deposit i s  The d e p o s i t  s i d e s by f l u v i a l channels,  throughout most of the peat  in re-  i s sur-  which were a c t i v e On the f o u r t h  100  s i d e , peat  i s p r e s e n t l y being eroded by the main channel of  the F r a s e r R i v e r .  I s o l a t e d t h i c k peats have accumulated oped n a t u r a l levees on the a l l u v i a l these d e p o s i t s a r e o f t e n complex. formed  i n t h i s environment,  delta plain.  plain.  p l a i n u n i t s of s i l t  The P i t t Meadows d e p o s i t  where it merges with the upper  over o l d n a t u r a l levee and f l o o d  and c l a y , while on the southern boundary,  peats a r e i n t e r c a l a t e d with n a t u r a l  levee s i l t y c l a y depos-  An e r o s i o n a l c o n t a c t was produced  d e r i n g on the western stant.  The margins of  On the i n a c t i v e n o r t h e r n and e a s t e r n margins of  the d e p o s i t , peats prograde  its.  behind w e l l d e v e l -  margin.  through channel mean-  Peat t h i c k n e s s i s almost  con-  T h i c k e r zones do occur, however, where sedge-clay and  g y t t j a peats f i l l  small a v u l s e d c h a n n e l s .  Crevasse s p l a y s  are not common, and the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of both ash and sulphur i s low.  Peat  throughout  f a c i e s maintain h o r i z o n t a l  stratification  much of the d e p o s i t (Styan and B u s t i n ,  1981).  The accumulation of these d e p o s i t s i n a v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t environments  i s u n i f i e d by a n a t u r a l s u c c e s s i o n of  s i m i l a r peat types ( F i g . 1 ) . Open sedge-grass marshes produce low moor peats, which accumulate a high nutrient  supply.  quickly  These marshes modify  i n response t o the environment  s u f f i c i e n t l y d u r i n g t h e i r development t o r e s t r i c t supply except d u r i n g f l o o d or storm events. Cyperaceae,  sediment  Gramineae and  the p r i n c i p a l p e a t - f o r m i n g f a m i l i e s , have exten-  s i v e root systems,  which q u i c k l y  s t a b i l i z e any sediment  101  FIG1. PEAT S U C C E S S I O N A L  fire  ericaceous Sphagnum  SEQUENCE  Nuphar  fire  Sphagnum  BOG  PEATS  sedge  Sphagnum  freshwater sedge grass  MARSH  PEATS sedge wood  brackish sedge grass  marine sedge grass  marine sedge clay  brackish sedge clay  freshwater sedge clay  102  trapped by t h e i r numerous v e r t i c a l these two  stems.  V a r i a b i l i t y within  p l a n t groups a l l o w s s e v e r a l n i c h e s t o be c o l o n i z e d .  A s a l t marsh community of S a l i c o r n i a v i r g i n i c a , p a t u l a , Di s t i c h l i s  s p i c a t a , Elymus m o l l i s , and  maritimum i s a c t i v e l y  Atriplex Triglochin  forming peat at Boundary Bay  (Shepperd,  1981), w h i l e freshwater s p e c i e s l i k e Typha l a t i f o l i a , Calamogrost i s sp. " S c i r p u s spp., and Carex  l y n g b e i are  cing similar  Polder  1979).  o r g a n i c accumulations  at P i t t  produ-  (Lyngberg,  Hebda (1977) r e c o g n i z e d a b r a c k i s h water e q u i v a l e n t  of these two  n i c h e s on the d e l t a  f r o n t between the south  and  north arms of the F r a s e r R i v e r .  The  sedge-grass  marshes are the i n i t i a l  plex h y d r o s e r a l s u c c e s s i o n . sition, minimize  stage i n a com-  Accompanying s i l t  and c l a y depo-  they e v e n t u a l l y r a i s e the s u b s t r a t e s u f f i c i e n t l y t h e . e f f e c t s of any marine i n f l u e n c e .  they e s t a b l i s h q u i e t  In doing so  freshwater n i c h e s i n t o which woody  shrubs and  Sphagnum spp. can  soon a f t e r  the c e s s a t i o n of i n o r g a n i c s e d i m e n t a t i o n .  ever, where s a l i n i t y sedge-grass can  peat  to  invade.  is initially  Colonization  occurs How-  h i g h , s e v e r a l metres of  i s r e q u i r e d to accumulate  b e f o r e Sphagnum  develop.  Once e s t a b l i s h e d , Sphagnum r e s t r i c t s water flow lowers both n u t r i e n t  supply and pH  (Moore and Bellamy,  E r i c a c e o u s genera, which are a b l e to t o l e r a t e low supply, q u i c k l y groenlandicum  and  r e p l a c e freshwater marsh s p e c i e s .  1974).  nutrient Ledum  i s the dominant e r i c a d of t h i s community, which  103  together w i t h Vaccinium polifolia, mocks.  spp., Andromeda p o l i f o l i a ,  and Sphagnum spp., have l o c a l l y  Kalmia  formed broad hum-  W a t e r - f i l l e d d e p r e s s i o n s of v a r i o u s depths occur  tween these r a i s e d a r e a s .  Deeper p o o l s , averaging 0.5  be-  m in  depth, are f l o o r e d with a dense bottom l a y e r of Sphagnum apiculatum, or l i v e r w o r t s , and are covered by a l u x u r i a n t stand of Nuphar l u t e a v a r . p o l y s e p a l a (Nymphaea, Oswald, 1933).  Such d e p r e s s i o n s , r e f e r r e d  lows, are g r a d u a l l y f i l l e d  to h e r e i n as Nuphar h o l -  by d e t r i t a l  plant material.  In  shallow d e p r e s s i o n s , S c i r p u s s u b t e r m i n a l u s , Rhynchospora a l b a and Oxycoccus q u a d r i p e t a l u s appear t o g e t h e r and with Sphagnum spp.  Subsequently,  these s p e c i e s are  by e r i c a c e o u s shrub communities. c o n t o r t a grow inward  from around  p l e t e the climax community  In  independently succeeded  Small groups of Pinus the bog perimeter to com-  (Hebda,  1977).  the e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s , the f i n a l  stage of  the s u c c e s s i o n a l sequence, f i r e c o n t r o l s both s p e c i e s composition  and bog e v o l u t i o n .  e l e v a t i o n , pH,  and n u t r i e n t  s i o n a l sequence may lized  As a r e s u l t  of changing s u b s t r a t e  supply, components of the succes-  be absent or r e p e a t e d .  Hebda (1977) u t i -  the i n f l u e n c e of a f i r e to e x p l a i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  hummocky topography  i n Burns Bog.  The  stratigraphic  sequence  p r e d i c t e d by h i s model: c h a r c o a l , f o l l o w e d by a t h i n l a y e r of gyttja, peat was  sedge, Sphagnum peat, and observed  throughout  finally  the bog.  e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum  Pure Sphagnum peat  a l s o seen t o o v e r l i e d i r e c t l y c h a r c o a l h o r i z o n s .  In these  s i t u a t i o n s . p r o l o n g e d burning must have formed d e p r e s s i o n s  was  104  w e l l below the water t a b l e . tually  The p o o l s of water which even-  formed were conducive only to Sphagnum growth.  Stag-  nant d i t c h e s observed i n the bogs at the present time have a l u x u r i a n t growth of Sphagnum c o v e r i n g the bottom.  Nuphar  hollows a r e formed i n a s i m i l a r manner, but only d u r i n g the h o t t e s t and most prolonged burns.  The extent to which any  f i r e burns i s dependent upon the l e v e l of the water t a b l e at that time.  105  METHODS  L i t h o f a c i e s , b i o f a c i e s , and peat s t r a t i g r a p h y were determined  i n the t h r e e peat-forming environments  t o t a l of 300 h o l e s with a H i l l e r  Corer.  by d r i l l i n g a  In order to c h a r a c -  t e r i z e the p e t r o g r a p h i c v a r i a b i l i t y w i t h i n the d e p o s i t s , three r e p r e s e n t a t i v e c o r e s from each of the L u l u I s l a n d and P i t t Meadows bogs and one from Boundary Bay were taken f o r detailed  study.  Due t o the f i b r o u s nature of the upper  peat  s e c t i o n , a h o l e was dug and peat b l o c k s , 50 cm x 20 cm x 10 cm, were c u t o f f . the w a l l to prevent compaction.  The remain-  der of the peat s e c t i o n was taken u s i n g a p i s t o n c o r e r modified  from Cohen (1968).  c o r i n g and shoved  s t r a i g h t down without t u r n i n g .  and c o r e s were s t o r e d ture  The p i s t o n was greased p r i o r t o  in airtight  Both b l o c k s  c o n t a i n e r s t o prevent mois-  loss.  From each c o r e , b l o c k s measuring and p l a c e d i n s o l d e r e d copper and s i z e  2 cm a s i d e were c u t  gauze h o l d e r s of s i m i l a r  (Cohen, 1968; Cohen and Spackman, 1972).  were o r i e n t e d with r e s p e c t t o s t r a t i g r a p h i c then f i x e d  ting solutions  10% a c e t i c  a s e r i e s of dehydra-  ( F i g . 2). After gradually  i n c r e a s i n g the  ethanol c o n c e n t r a t i o n i n a s e r i e s of water/ethanol a pure e t h a n o l endpoint was reached. c l e a r e d by a s i m i l a r  The b l o c k s  t o p , l a b e l l e d and  i n a s o l u t i o n of 10% formaldehyde,  a c i d , and 80% e t h a n o l b e f o r e undergoing  shape  solutions,  The samples were then  s e t of e t h a n o l / t e r t i a r y b u t y l  alcohol  s o l u t i o n s b e f o r e being t r a n s f e r r e d to those c o n t a i n i n g t e r -  106  t i a r y b u t y l a l c o h o l and p a r a f f i n .  Three t o s i x hours were  allowed between s u c c e s s i v e s o l u t i o n s p l e t e impregnation (Gray, 1958).  i n order to a t t a i n com-  The f i n a l  c a r r i e d out i n an oven at 58° t o 60°C. been p l a c e d  i n 100% p a r a f f i n ,  three steps were  When the sample had  i t was l e f t  an a d d i t i o n a l 12  hours at e l e v a t e d temperatures p r i o r to e v a c u a t i o n and c o o l ing i n a vacuum apparatus. copper gauze  The block was removed from the  upon c o o l i n g , and c u t i n t o q u a r t e r s with a d i a -  mond saw, and then microtomed. was mounted.  Only one of the four b l o c k s  A l l s e c t i o n s were v e r t i c a l l y  to a t h i c k n e s s of 15yun.  o r i e n t e d and cut  Due t o n a t u r a l c o l o r a t i o n , no s t a i n  was n e c e s s a r y .  For comparative purposes, a p p r o x i m a t e l y 17 p l a n t common t o bog and marsh environments were c o l l e c t e d . r o o t , stem, and l e a f of these p l a n t s were then with p a r a f f i n peat.  The  impregnated  f o l l o w i n g the same procedure as d e s c r i b e d f o r  Thirty-five  s e c t i o n s were cut 15yum t h i c k and s t a i n e d  with both s a f r a n i n and f a s t  green.  Each s e c t i o n was examined under tion.  genera  100X and 250x m a g n i f i c a -  Samples were not spaced r e g u l a r l y down the c o r e s be-  cause of the nature of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n . were chosen  Rather,  samples  from r e p r e s e n t a t i v e peat types and the a p p r o x i -  mate percentage of each c o n s t i t u e n t was e s t i m a t e d .  FIG 2. SUMMARY : P E T R O G R A P H I C  METHOD  kill and fix  10% formaldehyde  dehydrate  90% water  10% ethanol  80%  20%  60%  40%  40%  60%  20%  80%  10%  90%  5%  95%  0%  100%  clear  10% acetic acid  1  90% ethanol  10% tertiary butyl alcohol  80%  20%  60%  40%  40%  60%  20%  80%  10%  90% 95%  5%.  100%  0% impregnate  80%ethanol  80% tertiary butyl alcohol  20% paraffin  60%  40% 60%  40%  j  0%  100%  12 hours at 60~C then cool under vacuum  I  cut into four  I  mount and microtome to 15 p m prepare  slide  108  RESULTS  Eight d i s t i n c t  peat types are r e c o g n i z e d and d e s c r i b e d  from the t h r e e peat-forming nomenclature Cohen and dation  used  environments.  Enough v a r i a t i o n  t o l o g y and peat  stratigraphy  degra-  partial  to be o u t l i n e d .  The  sedimen-  (Styan and B u s t i n , 1981)  composition of the three  allow  environments  determined.  Peat  Sedge-Clay  a.  10 genera  i n f o r m a t i o n with the r e s u l t s from  the p o t e n t i a l maceral to be  in t i s s u e  i n these peat types to allow the  d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l pathways of s y n t h e s i s of t h i s  descriptive  i s s i m i l a r to that of Cohen (1968) and  Spackman (1977).  i s present  The  Description  Peat  Petrographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  Sedge-clay  peat c o n s i s t s of a mixture of both o r g a n i c  and m i n e r a l components.  K a o l i n i t e - r i c h mud  the i n t e r b e d d i n g of wood, bark  fragments,  i s m o d i f i e d by  and  sedge.stems i n  h o r i z o n t a l o r i e n t a t i o n and by the v e r t i c a l p e n e t r a t i o n of sedge, g r a s s , and Equisetum r o o t l e t s are p e r v a s i v e . organic m a t e r i a l ,  stems.  yellow  Depending on the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of  t h i s peat grades  to a fragmental l i g h t  Small black and  from a g r a n u l a r tan grey  c h o c o l a t e brown u n i t .  109  In and in  microtome s e c t i o n , h i g h l y o x i d i z e d and degraded grass  sedge remains are i n t e r l a m i n a t e d with t h i n c l a y levee d e p o s i t s or c u t i r r e g u l a r l y  material  horizons  through massive c l a y  in a l l u v i a l plain deposits.  Sedge and grass r o o t -  l e t s are a l s o v i s i b l y degraded w i t h i n the c l a y u n i t , but t o a much l e s s e r degree than m a t e r i a l which has been exposed.  The periderm  r a t i o of framework t o m a t r i x fragments and red-orange  fragments a r e v i s i b l e  cell  i n the abundant  Diatoms are common i n t h i s peat composition genera  i s low. Except f o r inclusions,  few c e l l  matrix.  type, but the s p e c i e s  v a r i e s with environment.  Concentric  diatom  seemed t o be c o n f i n e d t o marine and-brackish  Ostracods.and  f o r a m i n i f e r s a r e common.  waters.  Their d i s t r i b u t i o n i s  s i m i l a r t o sedge grass p e a t s .  A few f u n g a l spores a r e p r e s e n t , but hyphae are absent. Charcoal h o r i z o n s are common i n l e v e e d e p o s i t s ; however, only detrital  fragments occur  elsewhere.  P o l l e n assemblages a r e e n t i r e l y dependent on the s u r rounding environment, but S a l i x , B e t u l a , and Alnus a r e o f t e n abundant.  b.  C l a y and f i n e d e t r i t a l q u a r t z are common.  Environment of D e p o s i t i o n  Sedge-clay  peats r e p r e s e n t the i n i t i a l  establishment of  1 101  a permanent organic component vially  in the t r a n s i t i o n  i n f l u e n c e d environment.  Sedge and  up the s u b s t r a t e by t r a p p i n g and clastic  sediment.  The  bark m a t e r i a l d u r i n g  f l o o d s may  a l s o be  i c c a t i o n and  o x i d a t i o n may  sition.  composition  In freshwater and  grasses,  i n t r u s i o n of wood and  significant  to the'  Between f l o o d events,  des-  f u r t h e r decompose matter which  v a r i e s with  has  S a l i x are present  while  the environment of depo-  communities, Typha, S p i r e a , B e t u l a , i n a d d i t i o n to sedges  S a l i c o r n i a , A t r i p l e x , and  pioneering  genera in the t r a n s i t i o n  (Shepperd,  1981).  a.  build  been exposed to h i g h l y oxygenated f l o w i n g water.  Species  Gyttja  species  a d d i t i o n of a l l o c h t h o n o u s  of organic m a t e r i a l .  Alnus,  grass  b i n d i n g any  accumulation  already  from a f l u -  and  T r i g l o c h i n are  from s a l t  the  water  Peat  Petrographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  No  macroscopic fragments are v i s i b l e  to i n t e n s e d e g r a d a t i o n . t i o n y i e l d a yellow muck.  The  i n hand sample,  r e s u l t i n g products  brown to b l a c k ,  of decomposi-  fine granular  Upon o x i d a t i o n , t h i s mixture of peat  due  and  organic  water  turns  black.  In microtome s e c t i o n , r o o t l e t s of sedges and the only  i d e n t i f i a b l e p l a n t organs.  They are  grasses  are  'floating' in  111  abundant yellow-brown amorphous m a t e r i a l which about 90 t o 95% of the sample. throughout  comprises  A l s o s c a t t e r e d randomly  the matrix are small periderm c l u s t e r s and  of c u t i c l e .  Few  cell  i n c l u s i o n s are. observed.  pieces  Diatoms are  abundant, e s p e c i a l l y near the t r a n s i t i o n with i n o r g a n i c s e d i ments.  F o r a m i n i f e r a and o s t r a c o d s are r a r e , p r o b a b l y  indica-  t i n g a low pH d u r i n g d e p o s i t i o n or d i a g e n e s i s .  D e t r i t a l c h a r c o a l fragments are uncommon. phae, when observed, ticles.  Fungal  spores are more common, but not abundant. of Pinus, Alnus, and S a l i x , with some  Cyperaceae and Gramineae. a high percentage  b.  hy-  are a s s o c i a t e d with degraded grass cu-  P o l l e n c o n s i s t s mainly  sedge-clay  Fungal  F i n e d e t r i t a l q u a r t z and  of the matrix  near  the t r a n s i t i o n  clay  form  with  peats.  Environment of D e p o s i t i o n  Gyttja  i s the f i n a l product  plant t i s s u e  i n ponded water.  of i n t e n s e d e g r a d a t i o n of  Because t h i s g y t t j a was  formed  from a freshwater marsh assemblage, the c o n t r i b u t i n g p l a n t genera  are Carex, Juncus,  During  f l o o d events, a l l o c h t h o n o u s gymnosperm bark and wood  f i b r e s may  Typha, C a l a m o g r o s t i s , and S p i r e a .  a l s o have been added to the biomass.  Material  must have decomposed v i a b a c t e r i a l m e t a b o l i c pathways, s i d e r i n g the p a u c i t y of f u n g a l hyphae.  con-  1 1 2  Sedge-Grass  Peat  In hand granular.  On  samples,  sedge-grass peats are f i b r o u s to f i n e  f r e s h l y exposed  from a l i g h t yellow-brown  surfaces their color  varies  to a dark c h o c o l a t e brown, but a l l  s u r f a c e s e x h i b i t a dark brown t o black c o l o r upon o x i d a t i o n . Large orange Carex seeds, small black bean-shaped  seeds,  Carex culms and blades, Ledum, B e t u l a , and grass stem ments are the only r e c o g n i z a b l e p l a n t h i g h l y degraded mass of t i s s u e . terial ler,  frag-  remains i n an otherwise  Although much of t h i s  i s h o r i z o n t a l and hypautochthonous  ma-  i n o r i g i n , a smal-  l e s s degraded component has v e r t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n .  Small  p i e c e s of c h a r c o a l occur throughout, and are p a r t i c u l a r l y abundant  near the top of the p e a t .  M i c r o s c o p i c a l l y , g r a s s , sedge, l e a f , stem, and root t i s s u e are randomly o r i e n t e d material  (Plates  1-3).  i n a matrix of amorphous yellow  Minor framework components, Ledum  stems and r o o t s , and B e t u l a stems show no p r e f e r r e d  orienta-  t i o n e i t h e r , and as a r e s u l t , microbedding i s p o o r l y d e v e l oped.  Roots dominate over sedimentary framework fragments.  The r o o t s are l e s s decomposed, and hence  show a s m a l l e r  amount of compaction than the remainder of the framework.  The r a t i o of framework to matrix i s v a r i a b l e , on the environment  depending  i n which the peat was d e p o s i t e d .  m a r i n e - i n f l u e n c e d peats at Boundary of d e g r a d a t i o n , the r a t i o  In the  Bay, due to a h i g h degree  i s very low  (Plate  1, F i g s .  3,4,5).  113  It  i n c r e a s e s i n the b r a c k i s h and freshwater sedge-grass  of  L u l u I s l a n d and P i t t Meadows.  Most c e l l  i n c l u s i o n s a r e secondary  i n o r i g i n , with the  e x c e p t i o n of primary red brown i n c l u s i o n s terial.  The i n c l u s i o n s appear  gums, and t a n n i n s . lings  peats  i n e r i c a c e o u s ma-  t o be g l o b u l e s of r e s i n s ,  They occur as y e l l o w brown c e l l  infil-  i n root endodermis and p e r i c y c l e and as i n d i v i d u a l  orange  t o brown g l o b u l e s i n the m a t r i x .  i n f l u e n c e d peats have darker orange  Marine  G l o b u l e s i n marine  red c o l o r s .  sedge-grass peats a r e d i s t i n g u i s h e d  from those of  freshwater o r i g i n by the o c c u r r e n c e of c o n c e n t r i c  diatoms,  r e t i c u l a t e t o spiny o s t r a c o d s , and a g g l u t i n a t e d f o r a m i n i f e r s . In  b r a c k i s h water peats, c o n c e n t r i c diatoms  and a g g l u t i n a t e d  f o r a m i n i f e r s are present, but r e t i c u l a t e o s t r a c o d s are r e p l a c e d by smooth-shelled  varieties.  Fungal hyphae and spores a r e common i n freshwater grass p e a t s , but decrease ish  t o marine o r i g i n .  evident  in density  i n those peats of brack-  In a l l environments,  hyphae are l e s s  than sporangia and s p o r e s .  C h a r c o a l fragments small and rounded.  occur i n a l l environments,  Most fragments  but are  a r e c o n f i n e d t o the upper,  more emergent s e c t i o n s of t h i s p e a t . coal  sedge-  Those p i e c e s of char-  found at lower l e v e l s of the peat are c o n s i d e r e d to have  an a l l o c h t h o n o u s o r i g i n .  - 1 1 4  P o l l e n assemblages three environments. boreal p o l l e n , spores.  v a r y c o n s i d e r a b l y between each of the  Cyperaceae p o l l e n  i s the dominant  nonar-  f o l l o w e d by Gramineae p o l l e n and monolete  fern  In marine dominated p e a t s , S p i r e a p o l l e n are absent  and are r e p l a c e d by Chenopodiceae  pollen,  and S a l i c o r n i a  (Shepperd, 1981).  Other h a l o p h y t e p o l l e n are  also present.  B r a c k i s h water  to  such as A t r i p l e x  sedge-grass peats are s i m i l a r  freshwater p e a t s on the b a s i s of p o l l e n a l o n e , a l t h o u g h  both gramineae water  and Typha p o l l e n are more abundant  in fresh-  assemblages.  Thin u n i t s of s i l t y  c l a y and s i l t ,  representing crevasse  s p l a y s , are i n t e r b e d d e d w i t h t h i s peat type lower i n the stratigraphic  s e c t i o n s of both the L u l u I s l a n d and  Meadows d e p o s i t s . cant s i l t  The peat at Boundary  Pitt  Bay c o n t a i n s  signifi-  and c l a y , but they are f i n e l y d i s p e r s e d throughout  the  s e c t i o n and d i f f i c u l t  b.  Environment  t o see m i c r o s c o p i c a l l y .  of D e p o s i t i o n  Sedge-grass peats accumulate u n a f f e c t e d by f l u v i a l  sedi-  ment except near channel margins, where the i n t r u s i o n of c r e vasse s p l a y d e p o s i t s are common.  These s h a r p l y bounded u n i t s  grade from t h i c k d e p o s i t s of f i n e sand near the c h a n n e l margin to t h i n s i l t y c l a y d e p o s i t s i n d i s t a l tary peats.  interdistribu-  S p l a y s are m o d i f i e d by the growth of sedge  grass, stem and l e a f t i s s u e v e r t i c a l l y  and  through the sediment.  11 5  As an emergent b i o f a c i e s , numerous environments. sent an accumulation  sedge-grass marshes develop i n  Boundary Bay  sedge-grass peats  of marsh d e b r i s near s a l t water.  r e s u l t , p l a n t d e b r i s i s h i g h l y degraded and high sulphur  repre-  concentrations  (Styan and  As a  a l t e r e d , with  B u s t i n , 1981).  Recent  s a l t marshes comprise only a small percentage of the d e l t a s u r f a c e , and  are  at Boundary Bay  isolated  i n narrow bands on Roberts Bank  ( P l a t e 1, F i g . 1).  The  typical  and  species,  Di st i c h y l i s s p i c a t a , S a l i c o r n i a v i r g i n i c a , A t r i p l e x p a t u l a , Gr i n d e l i a with  integr i f o l i a ,  respect  (Shepperd,  to s a l t  1981).  and  t o l e r a n c e and  substrate elevation  Elymus m o l l i s and  other common peat-forming and  T r i g l o c h i n maritima are zoned  species.  Juncus b a i t i c u s are Abundant woody m a t e r i a l  numerous l a r g e l o g s have been washed up and  i n t o these  s a l t marsh environments.  B r a c k i s h water sedge-grass peats present  time on  south  saltier  F i g . 2), while Carex l y n g b e i higher  E l e o c h a r i s sp.,  (Plate  consider-  Sc i rpus amer icanus  lower reaches ( P l a t e 2,  forms almost e x c l u s i v e  in the marsh ( E n v i r o c o n ,  the  Islands  s p e c i e s which vary  t o l e r a n c e to s a l i n i t y .  growth i s c o n f i n e d to the  Sea  at  arms of the F r a s e r River  T h i s niche c o n t a i n s  ably in t h e i r  are developing  the western s i d e s of L u l u and  between the north and 2, F i g . 2 ) .  incorporated  1981).  S c i r p u s maritimus, and  stands  Other s p e c i e s Typha  include  latifolia  (Hebda, 1977).  Freshwater marshes produce the  l e a s t decomposed  peats.  116  P r e s e n t l y they are forming i n narrow  e n c l a v e s a l o n g the P i t t  R i v e r and on the broad f l a t s of P i t t  Polder (Plate  Fig.  1).  3,  T y p i c a l s p e c i e s c o m p o s i t i o n i n c l u d e s Equisetum  spp., S c i r p u s v a l i d u s , S c i r p u s m i c r o c a r p u s , Typha  latifolia,  Carex c o s t r a t a , and Calamogrost i s sp. ( E n v i r o c o n ,  1981).  Sphagnum spp. o f t e n occurs as dense growths between these sedge g r a s s communities  (Lyngberg,  1979).  Sedge Wood Peat  a.  Petrographic  Characteristics  T h i s peat has s i m i l a r c o l o r and t e x t u r e to sedge-grass peats.  However, i t c o n t a i n s t h i n h o r i z o n s composed  exclus-  i v e l y of B e t u l a stem and branch fragments and abundant stumps ( P l a t e 3, F i g . 1).  The l a r g e r  tree  stumps a r e a mixture of  P i c e a s i t c h e n s i s and Populus t r i c h o c a r p a , while the smaller ones can be i d e n t i f i e d as Pinus c o n t o r t a .  A l l of the stumps  appear to be i n growth p o s i t i o n , and hence  autochthonous,  whereas some stem and branch fragments have been  The peat i s dominated roots, Betula  by a mixture of Ledum stems and  stems, and Carex stems,  ( P l a t e 5, F i g s . 3-5).  rootlets  stems can a l s o be  identified  ( P l a t e 5, F i g . 2), but comprise a s m a l l e r  percentage of the framework. are  r o o t s , and  Juncus r o o t l e t s , g r a s s stems, Sphagnum  l e a v e s and stems, and Oxycoccus microscopically  transported.  H i g h l y degraded l e a f  common, but cannot be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d .  tissues  11 7  Leaf and stem t i s s u e s a r e s l i g h t l y o r i e n t e d , but only t h i n n e r components l i k e microbedding.  sedge and Sphagnum produce  B e t u l a stems i n p a r t i c u l a r a r e compressed  elongate a l o n g the p l a n e . compaction  The  distinct  Roots and r o o t l e t s show  little  and no o r i e n t a t i o n .  r a t i o of framework to matrix  i s h i g h , and only s m a l l  pockets of y e l l o w t o y e l l o w orange amorphous g e l a r e v i s i b l e . Within these p o c k e t s , minor l e a f parenchyma, periderm, c u ticle,  and v a s c u l a r bundle  sheath c e l l  small amount of amorphous matrix degree of decomposition  fragments occur.  The  i s i n c o n s i s t e n t with the  of some t i s s u e s .  Some degraded ma-  t e r i a l must t h e r e f o r e have been leached by water.  Red  primary  cell  i n c l u s i o n s occur  i n the p i t h  Ledum and Oxycoccus stems, whereas brown primary s i o n s occur  r e g i o n of  cell  i n the p i t h of B e t u l a and the secondary  inclu-  phloem of  Ledum and Oxycoccus r o o t s and stems.  Irregularly  brown secondary  i n the p a l i s a d e of de-  composed l e a f matrix.  cell  i n c l u s i o n s occur  fragments,  Yellow  the xylem of B e t u l a , and the peat  brown c e l l  mis and c o r t e x of sedge  inclusions also f i l l  hyphae and spores o c c u r .  the endoder-  rootlets.  A few diatoms and smooth-shelled m i n i f e r a , were observed  shaped r e d  i n t h i s peat.  o s t r a c o d s , but no f o r a However, both  They are most abundant  the matrix and near decomposing l e a f  tissue.  fungal  throughout  S m a l l , rounded  c h a r c o a l fragments a r e common h i g h e r i n the s e c t i o n , but a t  1 18  depth are r a r e .  b.  M i n e r a l matter was not observed.  Environment of D e p o s i t i o n  Sedge-wood peats d e v e l o p on the f l a n k s of n a t u r a l l e vees.  Such an environment, through annual f l o o d events, sup-  p l i e s the abundant biomass.  n u t r i e n t s n e c e s s a r y t o support a l a r g e  At the same time, the levee a l s o r e s t r i c t s any  l a r g e i n t r u s i o n of m i n e r a l matter i n t o the peat.  Populus  t r i c h o c a r p a and P i c e a s i t c h e n s i s occupy the more s t a b l e t i o n s on the levee f l a n k and t o p . ally  i n t o B e t u l a spp. and f i n a l l y  boundary  These genera grade  later-  Pinus c o n t o r t a near the  of the Sphagnum b i o f a c i e s .  C l o s e to a c t i v e chan-.  n e l s , Populus and P i c e a g i v e way t o a narrow and S a l i x .  posi-  f r i n g e of Alnus  The u n d e r s t o r y c o n s i s t s of Pter idium,  Lysichiton,  Typha l a t i f o l i a , and Carex spp.  The small amount of c h a r c o a l  i n t h i s environment  gests that e i t h e r the peat seldom d r i e s s u f f i c i e n t l y or  that water  sugt o burn  flow has s e l e c t i v e l y winnowed out the c h a r c o a l .  As Betula stem fragments and degraded m a t e r i a l have a l s o been t r a n s p o r t e d , the l a t t e r a l t e r n a t i v e seems more p l a u s i b l e .  Sedge-Sphagnum Peat  a.  Petrographic  Characteristics  Sedge-Sphagnum peat r e p r e s e n t s a g r a d a t i o n a l but d i s -  11 9  tinct  f a c i e s i n the t r a n s i t i o n  dominated  peats.  from sedge-grass t o Sphagnum-  I t . i s red-brown and has a f i b r o u s  texture.  The  framework i s composed p r i m a r i l y of Sphagnum ssp. Due t o  the  low degree of decomposition, h o r i z o n t a l l y a l i g n e d stems  of  Ledum groenlandicum, Kalmia m i c r o p h y l l a , and Oxycoccus  q u a d r i p e t a l u s and v e r t i c a l l y o r i e n t e d culms of  Rhynchospora  and Carex a r e v i s i b l e .  M i c r o s c o p i c a l l y , Ledum, Kalmia, and Oxycoccus  l e a v e s and  sedge, g r a s s , and Ledum r o o t s a l s o can be i d e n t i f i e d 4, F i g s . 2-5).  Sphagnum and sedge t i s s u e s comprise between  50% and 80% of the framework m a t e r i a l . degraded  Sphagnum leaves and  sedge l e a f t i s s u e and the o r i e n t a t i o n of e r i c a c e o u s  l e a v e s form a w e l l d e f i n e d microbedding. tion  (Plate  Very l i t t l e compac-  i s observed i n stem and r o o t t i s s u e and, as a r e s u l t ,  they do not a i d i n the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of bedding.  The  r a t i o of framework t o m a t r i x i s lower than f o r pure  Sphagnum peat, but h i g h e r than t h a t of e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum peat.  M a t r i x comprises  extremely v a r i a b l e .  10% t o 25% of the t o t a l peat, and i s  The m a t r i x forms t h i n , elongate l e n s e s ,  which are composed of equal p r o p o r t i o n s of yellow-brown g e l and c e l l ual  fragments.  Periderm, p a l i s a d e l a y e r s , and i n d i v i d -  parenchyma c e l l s are a l l r e c o g n i z a b l e components.  E r i c a c e o u s stem p i t h and secondary phloem t i s s u e s cont a i n red-brown to brown primary c e l l of  sedge and grass r o o t l e t s  is filled  inclusions.  Endodermis  with yellow-brown se-  1 20  condary  cell  sions f i l l  inclusions.  S i m i l a r orange to red-brown  some spongy mesophyll, p a l i s a d e , and  t i s s u e s i n p a r t i a l l y degraded  Diatoms and smooth-shelled  inclu-  epidermal  ericaceous leaves.  f o r a m i n i f e r a are not p r e s e n t , whereas  o s t r a c o d s are common.  Fungal hyphae and the sedge-grass  spores are a s s o c i a t e d p r i m a r i l y  and matrix components of t h i s peat.  Even  though f u n g a l s c l e r o t i a are common c o n s t i t u e n t s , they only about rare and,  1 to 2% of the t o t a l peat volume. where p r e s e n t , i s i n t i n y rounded  with  form  Charcoal i s fragments.  Sphagnum spores are the most abundant palynomorphs. They occur  i n d i v i d u a l l y and  ( P l a t e 7, F i g . 2 ) . Cyperaceae,  i n c l u s t e r s of t h i r t y or more  Monolete f e r n , E r i c a c e a e , Pinus,  and Gramineae palynomorphs are a l l p r e s e n t , but  minor c o n t r i b u t o r s to the p o l l e n assemblage. mineral matter  b.  in this  There  i s no  peat.  Environment of D e p o s i t i o n  Sedge-Sphagnum peats r e p r e s e n t a t r a n s i t i o n a l e n v i r o n ment.  E r i c a c e o u s shrubs and  sedge-grass  p e a t s , and  become i s o l a t e d  Sphagnum g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e wet  i n doing so cause  from n u t r i e n t  the environment  sources, the pH to d e c l i n e ,  the p r e s e r v a t i o n of p l a n t t i s s u e s to i n c r e a s e . become r e s t r i c t e d by lowering of the pH,  As  to and  bacteria  f u n g i assume the  121  r o l e of dominant decomposer. groundwater  as the n u t r i e n t  Rainwater  r e p l a c e s runoff  and  source.  Nuphar Peat  a.  Petrographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  M e g a s c o p i c a l l y , Nuphar peat i s golden orange The peat framework i s composed of a heterogeneous l e a f and stem  fragments, which produce  in color. mixture of  a granular texture.  s e r i e s of h o r i z o n t a l bedding p l a n e s are marked by the growth of l a r g e l i v e r w o r t t h a l l i needles, Sphagnum stems, identified  throughout  ( P l a t e 6, F i g . 4 ) .  A  lateral Pinus  and Carex culms and seeds can be  the matrix of the peat.  Charcoal i s  absent.  Ledum groenlandicum,  Kalmia p o l i f o l i a ,  q u a d r i p e t a l u s stem and l e a f  and  Oxycoccus  fragments and Pinus c o n t o r t a  needles are r e c o g n i z a b l e i n microtome s e c t i o n .  The  orienta-  t i o n of some l e a v e s . i s the o n l y s u g g e s t i o n of microbedding. The  remainder  of the framework components occur d i s s e m i n a t e d  throughout a yellow-orange amorphous matrix c o m p r i s i n g between 40% and 60% of the peat. the  upper  Oxycoccus,  Roots are absent, except near  t r a n s i t i o n with Sphagnum peat. and Rhynchospora  There, Ledum,  r o o t s are abundant.  The matrix c o n t a i n s a l a r g e number of c e l l ( P l a t e 6, F i g . 4).  fragments  E p i d e r m a l , p e r i d e r m a l , and p a l i s d a d e  122  cells  from e r i c a c e o u s leaves and  stems as w e l l as Nuphar  tri-  chomes and a s t r o s c l e r e i d s are the degraded remnants of i n tense b i o d e g r a d a t i o n  ( P l a t e 6, F i g . 5 ) .  ments of both Ledum and Kalmia, epidermis a r e decomposed.  The  p l a n t s show l e s s d e g r a d a t i o n ,  spongy mesophyll stem and  but  cell  similar  red c e l l  partially  i n c l u s i o n s are e v i d e n t  phloem, and metaxylem elements. inclusions  and  frag-  lower  root t i s s u e s of  secondary  c a l c e l l s are t h i n n e d , broken, and  Primary  In l a r g e r l e a f  xylem and  these  corti-  replaced.  in ericaceous pith,  Pinus needles  also contain  i n the t r a n s f u s i o n t i s s u e .  Fol-  lowing p a r t i a l d e g r a d a t i o n ,  brown to yellow-brown  cell  i n e r i c a c e o u s l e a f p a l i s a d e and  i n c l u s i o n s are evident  upper e p i d e r m i s , needle  i n e r i c a c e o u s stem phloem, and  secondary  i n Pinus  mesophyll.  Small whorled f o r a m i n i f e r s , diatoms  ( N a v i c u l a spp.)  and  d i n o f l a g e l l a t e c y s t s are e v i d e n t .  Fungal  hyphae are p e r v a s i v e throughout  never a t t a i n h i g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n s . sporangia and m i n e r a l matter dominate. also  Large  spores are more common. i s present.  Nuphar and  the matrix,  but  partially-filled  N e i t h e r c h a r c o a l nor Cyperaceae p o l l e n  Gramineae, E r i c a c e a e , monolete f e r n , and Pinus  observed.  are  123  b.  Environment of D e p o s i t i o n  Nuphar peats are d e p o s i t e d  i n shallow,  p r e s s i o n s of s m a l l a r e a l e x t e n t .  w a t e r - f i l l e d de-  The p o o l s are covered  a dense growth of Nuphar l u t e a v a r . p o l y s e p a l a ( Osvald,  Nymphaea  1933) ( P l a t e 6, F i g . 1), and s h a r p l y bounded by Ledum  -Sphagnum communities. erworts  with  The pool bottom i s l a y e r e d with  or Sphagnum apiculatum,  d e t r i t a l plant material.  liv-  and g r a d u a l l y accumulates  L i v e r w o r t s e v e n t u a l l y are r e p l a c e d  with sedge-grass and f i n a l l y  Sphagnum  capillaceum-papillosum  commun i t i e s .  The  origin  of t h i s peat  type,  from w a t e r - f i l l e d  depres-  s i o n s , e x p l a i n s the lack of c h a r c o a l , the i n t e n s e decomposit i o n , and the p e c u l i a r assemblage of p l a n t  remains.  Sphagnum Peat  a.  Petrographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  Megascopically,  Sphagnum peat  v a r i e s from golden  to orange brown, and i s c o a r s e l y f i b r o u s .  The peat  yellow  i s only  s l i g h t l y degraded, and Pinus c o n t o r t a stumps, r o o t s and stems, Rhynchospora a l b a stems, and Oxycoccus q u a d r i p e t a l u s runners  and l e a v e s can be i d e n t i f i e d .  partings define individual Oxycoccus runners  l i e along  Distinct horizontal  l a y e r s of compressed Sphagnum. these planes  i n no p r e f e r r e d  o r i e n t a t i o n , while Rhynchospora stems cut o b l i q u e l y through  124  them.  In microtome s e c t i o n , - r o o t l e t s of Rhynchospora can identified  i n a d d i t i o n t o those p l a n t  in hand sample.  Sphagnum stem and  be  fragments r e c o g n i z a b l e  l e a f t i s s u e s comprise  tween 80 to 90% of the framework i n most peat.  Their  be-  golden  brown t i s s u e s appear  lighter  e t s of yellow-orange  amorphous g e l which occurs between them  ( P l a t e 7, F i g . 5).  The  than the small l e n t i c u l a r  pock-  shape of these pockets a l o n g with the  small amount of compression  of Sphagnum t i s s u e s produce a  w e l l developed microbedding  ( P l a t e 7, F i g . 4)  The  r a t i o of framework to matrix i s high.  c e p t i o n of Pinus rhytidome, Primary c e l l  few c e l l  i n c l u s i o n s are found  fragments  With are  i n the p i t h and  the ex-  visible. secondary  phloem of Pinus and Oxycoccus stems where they occur as small red to brown g l o b u l e s . sions f i l l  Yellow-brown secondary  cell  inclu-  the endodermis of Rhynchospora roots and the  sade mesophyll of p a r t i a l l y  S e v e r a l smooth-walled f o r a m i n i f e r a or diatoms  degraded  Oxycoccus l e a v e s .  o s t r a c o d s were observed, but  were seen.  pali-  The r e l a t i v e l y  no  few fungal  hyphae which are p r e s e n t i n t h i s peat type are c o n c e n t r a t e d in g y t t j a pockets and between Sphagnum l e a v e s . fragments,  although p r e s e n t , are r a r e .  ceous p o l l e n occur.  Charcoal  Small pods of  These p o l l e n masses probably r e s u l t  flowers f a l l i n g onto the peat and l a t e r decomposing F i g . 2).  erica-  I n d i v i d u a l P i nus, Sphagnum, monolete  fern,  from  (Plate  7,  12 5  Gramineae,  and Cyperaceae  throughout  the peat.  b.  Environment  Pure charcoal a  ericaceous pressions this  occurs,  shrubs spp.  deep  appear  following  fires  must  like  enough  be c a p a b l e  Ledum  ponded  nutrients.  Once  sufficiently  Fig.  1).  After  a  t h e Sphagnum  rise  well  above  slower-accumulating  tial  ponded  ericaceous  Where is  combined  fungal above posed.  Sphagnum  not only  of  destroying  produces  the peat  Sphagnum  hummocks  7;  that  ericaceous  d r y enough  to  smaller  the transition  (Plate  from  allow the  ini-  Sphagnum  to  peat.  the highly  acidic  nature  a water-dominated  degradation  ericaceous.  alba  surrounding  The  When  a l l but  Rhynchospora  1977).  with  as w e l l .  established,  c o l o n i s a t i o n (Hebda,  Sphagnum  but of c r e a t i n g de-  water  become  the shorter  represent  initiate  peats  area,  to  to  to exclude  and  time,  later  major  t o outcompete  quadripetalus  ericaceous  observed.  In order  and Kalmia,  spp. a r e a b l e  the niche  peats.  were  are considered  Oxycoccus  Sphagnum  distributed  c o n s i s t e n t l y above  fires.  to hold  Sphagnum  for recycled  modify  grains  and t h e r e f o r e  stage  shrubs  mineral  peats  horizons,  sequence,  are also  Deposition  Sphagnum  pioneering  this  of  No  pollen  a r e low.  surface  Only  for lengthy  o f t h e Sphagnum niche,  material periods  both  substrate  bacterial  which  and  remains  of time  i s decom-  126  Ericaceous  a.  Sphagnum  Petrographic  Ericaceous depending On  on  exposure  The  peat  ture,  to a i r , i t oxidizes  from  (Plate  red-brown  coal  band  leaf,  stem,  Most  Small  tex-  Kalmia  pieces of  peats  composed  Often  beneath  fungal  common  hyphae  (Plate  Ledum.  by  8,  section,  bands of  F i g . 5).  ericaceous debris,  and d e c o m p o s i t i o n  a charcoal  i s accentuated  and  8,  ericaceous  are interbedded  l e a v e s and t h i n  band  a l l that  granular g e l , through  but disrupted  Eriophorum,  of abundant  i s variable,  i n microtome  fragments  (Plate  peat  to dominantly  often,  Sphagnum  amorphous m a t e r i a l  microbedding tissue,  Sphagnum  and root  compressed  of orange-red  abundant  pure  F i g . 4).  h o r i z o n s a r e more  vanced.  to fibrous  groenlandicum,  spp . m a t r i x .  tissue.  c h o c o l a t e brown.  fragmental  o f Ledum  red-brown,  and root  o f e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum  almost  8,  moderately  In  to  stem  t o a dark  and has a  and Vaccinium  composition  ericaceous with  bedded,  t o the abundance  ranges  debris  i s yellow-brown  a r e abundant.  The and  peat  t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f woody  microphylla, charcoal  Characteristics  Sphagnum  i s well  due  Peat  which  F i g . 3).  by t h e i n t e n s e  more a d remains are  In these  the collapse rooting  char-  dispersed regions,  of degraded of  i s a  stem  Rhynchospora,  12 7  Sphagnum l e a v e s are more abundant c o n f i n i n g f u n g a l hyphae t o t h i n  i n unburned  zones,  r e g i o n s around e r i c a c e o u s  fragments where pH c o n d i t i o n s are more a l k a l i n e .  As a r e -  s u l t , most t i s s u e s are l e s s degraded, and l e a v e s , as w e l l as stems, are r e c o g n i z a b l e  ( P l a t e 8, F i g . 2 ) .  Throughout  these  l a y e r s Oxycoccus, Vaccinium, Ledum, and Pinus r o o t s are s c a t tered.  The r a t i o of framework to matrix i s h i g h i n unburned Sphagnum-rich r i c h zones.  zones, but c o n s i d e r a b l y  lower i n e r i c a c e o u s -  Amorphous l e n s e s c o n t a i n abundant  phloem and rhytidome c e l l  Primary c e l l  secondary  fragments.  i n c l u s i o n s occur i n p i t h ,  secondary phloem,  and protoxylem of most e r i c a c e o u s stems and root These  i n c l u s i o n s a r e red t o red-brown,  shapes.  Those  brown c e l l  of secondary o r i g i n  fillings  tissue.  and have s p h e r i c a l  i n c l u d e brown and r e d -  i n e r i c a c e o u s l e a f epiderm and  palisade,  stem p i t h , and secondary phloem and root secondary phloem. Some Sphagnum stems a l s o show d e p o s i t i o n of secondary  cell  material.  Diatoms  are absent, whereas c h i t i n i f e r o u s  foraminifers  and smooth-shelled o s t r a c o d s are present i n minor  b.  Environment  amounts.  of D e p o s i t i o n  E r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum peat develops best i n the dry n i c h e s  128  of  the climax s u c c e s s i o n a l stage.  a f f e c t e d more e x t e n s i v e l y by f i r e  As a r e s u l t , t h i s peat i s than the surrounding  Sphagnum or Nuphar peats which form pressions.  Unless a f i r e  pure  i n the i n t e r v e n i n g de-  i s s e v e r e , bog  r e c y c l e d to be used by the f i r e - r e s i s t a n t  l i t t e r i s simply e r i c a c e o u s genera.  Numerous f i r e s , however, i n c r e a s e pH,  allow f o r g r e a t e r bac-  terial  slow peat  In  decomposition,  and as a r e s u l t  time the surrounding peat  ceous l e n s e s . cessional  The  result  accumulation.  types r i s e above these  erica-  i s a g r a d u a l r e v e r s a l of the suc-  sequence composition and change i n peat  types  (Hebda, 1977).  Decompositional  Decomposition  Pathways  of Juncus spp., Carex  spp., and Other  Sedge-  Grass Marsh P l a n t s  Although marsh p l a n t s are very p r o d u c t i v e i n terms of biomass, the p a u c i t y of r e c o g n i z a b l e stems and  leaf  fragments  in microtome s e c t i o n a t t e s t s to the e f f i c i e n c y of b a c t e r i a l decay w i t h i n the marsh  Juncus,  Carex  environment.  and Grass  Leaves  C u t i c l e s , epidermal parenchyma with s i l i c a and v a s c u l a r bundle and  sedge t i s s u e s  randomly o r i e n t e d  inclusions,  sheaths are the only r e c o g n i z a b l e grass  (Plate  1, F i g . 4).  i n an orange-yellow  These components are to tan-brown amorphous  129  material. served, into  No  and  transitional  decomposition  Carex  The  and  middle  decomposition vascular mains  gel.  bules slight  and  (Plate  3,  thinning  cell  to  incorporation  3,  filled  with  Grass  F i g . 4). of c e l l  have  stems  remain. decomposed  remain  eventually  from  Ca rex  epidermal  root  cells  tissue  degrades  small granular yellow-tan  glo-  pith  and  epidermis  show o n l y  Eventually a l l tissues  of  which  have  are r e c o g n i z a b l e .  epidermal  remainder  but  to a granular gel  fragments  inclusions  above g r o u n d  re-  converts  the metaxylem  are converted  prior  tissues,  ini-  primarily The  with  amorphous g r a n u l a r y e l l o w - t a n  Some e n d o d e r m a l  fragments,  complete  epidermal  and  initial  decompose  walls.  cell  pith,  cortex tissues  Both  cuticle  secondary  a l l that  likely  Middle  r e p l a c e d by  F i g . 5).  stem  inclusions  i s t h i n n e d by  f o r o u t e r c o r t e x and  thins  i n the m a t r i x .  t h e e p i d e r m i s and (Plate  Except  w a l l s t o an  manner. are  The  o u t e r c o r t e x , and  cell  unchanged  tially,  as  prior  of J u n c u s  F i g . 4).  decomposition  Secondary  a similar  2,  however.  further  remain  are  occur  ob-  Roots  cortex tissue  bundles,  remaining  Grass  (Plate  intact,  cells,  in  must  were  the p e a t s u b s t r a t e .  Juncus,  the  s t a g e s of d e c o m p o s i t i o n  and  cuticle  the c e l l  to i n c o r p o r a t i o n  tissue,  tissues  into  f o r l e n g t h y p e r i o d s of  the  most peat,  time.  1 30  Decomposit ion of Ledum qroenlandicum, Kalmia a n g u s t i f o l i u m , Vaccinium  spp.,  and  Oxycoccus q u a d r i p e t a l u s  E r i c a c e o u s shrubs are adapted to the harsh c o n d i t i o n s of r a i s e d bog  environments.  Thin l e n t i c u l a r  beds of stems and  r o o t s are found, throughout Sphagnum, e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum, and sedge-Sphagnum peats.  Leaves are best preserved  i n very  wet  pure Sphagnum peats.  E r i c a c e o u s Stems  If for  ericaceous  any  stems are exposed to s u r f a c e c o n d i t i o n s  l e n g t h of time,  they decompose q u i c k l y to form an  u n s t r u c t u r e d orange-brown m a t e r i a l which has a f i n e  granular  texture.  resin  Periderm  and  rhytidome t i s s u e and primary  i n c l u s i o n s d e r i v e d from p i t h and recognizable c e l l products  i n n e r phloem are the only  remains i n t h i s g e l .  are i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the peat  These h i g h l y degraded as small g y t t j a e  pockets.  However, should e r i c a c e o u s stems be i n t o Sphagnum peat, by a h i g h l y a c i d i c can  tolerate.  sists  swiftly  they decompose s l o w l y , being environment, pH  If the  relatively  f u n g a l decay, i s c r a c k e d ,  incorporated surrounded  3.0-4.0, which few  t h i c k bark, which a l s o r e decomposition  is facilitated.  Initially,  secondary xylem elements are thinned with  alteration  of other t i s s u e s .  pletely  to form a yellow-white  fungae  little  These t i s s u e s break down comamorphous m a t e r i a l ( P l a t e  10,  13 1  Fig.  3).  sions,  The  inner p i t h r e g i o n , with primary  i s l e s s decomposed, p a r t i c u l a r l y  ( P l a t e 9, F i g . 3).  to a g r a n u l a r  m a t e r i a l e a r l y in the decomposition  periderm  and  and  form s m a l l t i s s u e  yellow-orange  t a n n i n s , are  particularly  t i s s u e than  do  Only when inner t i s s u e s  they c o l l a p s e , f r a c t u r e ,  fragments.  Kalmia and Vacc in ium  stems have t h i n n e r  peridermal  Ledum, and are t h e r e f o r e l e s s r e s i s t a n t  to a t -  As a r e s u l t , they are seen l e s s o f t e n i n s e c t i o n , a l -  though they a l l have s i m i l a r d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l  Oxycoccus stems are w e l l - p r e s e r v e d , ning of secondary xylem c e l l Fig.  vascu-  to decay because of the h i g h t a n n i n c o n c e n t r a t i o n  have been decomposed completely  tack.  The  h i s t o r y as w e l l .  ( P l a t e 9, F i g . 4; P l a t e 10, F i g . 2 ) .  and  sheath  secondary phloem t i s s u e s , which act as  storage c e n t e r s for waste o i l s resistant  the medullary  ( P l a t e 10, F i g . 1).  cambium commonly i s converted  The  inclu-  It decomposes e v e n t u a l l y to f r e e the r e -  sinous g l o b u l e s to the matrix lar  cell  2).  The  extremely  wet  and  histories.  only minor  w a l l t i s s u e s occur  thin-  ( P l a t e 8,  niche of the p l a n t prevents  any  degradation.  P a r t i a l l y charred e r i c a c e o u s  stems are w e l l  preserved.  E i t h e r the c h a r c o a l c o a t i n g or the w a t e r - f i l l e d depression i n which i t accumulates r e t a r d s the d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l  process.  132  E r i c a c e o u s Leaves  Ledum, Kalmia, Oxycoccus, and Vaccinium l e s s w e l l than corresponding  stem fragments.  leaves preserve Although  they  are seldom eaten by i n s e c t s , l e a v e s remain on p l a n t s s e v e r a l years and become h i g h l y degraded b e f o r e f a l l i n g . they  form  The l i t t e r  i s e a s i l y decomposed or burned i n f i r e s .  Leaves  which are p r e s e r v e d are commonly wedged between Sphagnum l a y e r s i n wet d e p r e s s i o n s .  Ledum and Kalmia  can be p r e s e r v e d with h a i r s s t i l l a t -  tached t o the underside of l e a v e s ( P l a t e 4, F i g . 3 ) . More commonly, both the lower  epidermis and the h a i r s a r e decom-  posed t o a red-brown g r a n u l a r g e l .  In the next phase of de-  composition,  t h i n and break down to  spongy mesophyll  cells  produce comparable amorphous m a t e r i a l s , while p a l i s a d e c e l l w a l l s t h i c k e n with a secondary F i g . 4).  When decomposition  l a y e r s are e i t h e r p a r t i a l l y cell  red-brown m a t e r i a l ( P l a t e 8,  i s almost filled  complete,  the p a l i s a d e  with c l e a r orange-brown  i n c l u s i o n s and/or orange-brown amorphous m a t e r i a l ( P l a t e  8, F i g . 5 ) .  Both c u t i c l e and upper epidermal c e l l s are w e l l  p r e s e r v e d a t t h i s stage, and o f t e n o u t l i n e sue.  V a s c u l a r bundles  lower  epidermis.  former  leaf  decompose at the same time as the  Ledum l e a v e s are l a r g e , and are more e a s i l y broken the more compact ones of Kalmia they are l e s s l i k e l y  tis-  and Oxycoccus.  t o be p r e s e r v e d .  than  As a r e s u l t ,  133  Ericaceous roots  E r i c a c e o u s r o o t s are u s u a l l y w e l l p r e s e r v e d , and show only minor decomposition the secodary xylem correspondingly. xylem degrades  ( P l a t e 5, F i g . 5).  C e l l walls in  o f t e n t h i n , but epidermal c e l l s t h i c k e n I f decomposition  i s extreme, the  secondary  t o amorphous b r i g h t yellow g e l .  Decomposit ion of Nuphar l u t e a v a r . p o l y s e p a l a  Although complete  leaf,  stem, and root t i s s u e s were  never observed  i n e i t h e r hand sample or microtome  the appearance  of Nuphar p o l l e n l e d to the r e c o g n i t i o n of  s e v e r a l undecomposed t i s s u e s .  section,  These t i s s u e s were found  fil-  l i n g a l a r g e d e p r e s s i o n i n Sphagnum peat, along with Pinus needles and stems, Carex  culms and  seeds, and  large  liverwort  thalli.  Nuphar  Leaves  Decomposition  of l e a f  tissue  i s almost complete;  only r e c o g n i z a b l e c e l l  fragments  (Plate 6, F i g . 5 ) .  i n t e r m e d i a t e stages i n the  No  the  remaining are trichomes degrada-  t i o n a l h i s t o r y were e v i d e n t .  Nuphar R o o t l e t s  S e v e r a l r o o t l e t s were observed, and are comparable t o  134  those seen by Cohen and Spackman ( 1 9 7 7 ) . and  The  xylem, c o r t e x ,  endodermis are u n a l t e r e d , while the phloem and  cell  w a l l s have been p a r t i a l l y  Decomposition  thinned.  of Rhynchospora a l b a  Rhynchospora i s one  of s e v e r a l sedges which grow i n  w a t e r - f i l l e d d e p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n Sphagnum peat. cies,  such as Eriophorum c a l l i t h r i x  s u b t e r m i n a l i s , may tiated tion of  epidermal  in thin  Other  and S c i r p u s  a l s o be p r e s e n t , but were not  section.  that might a f f e c t  The  spe-  manner and  differen-  extent of decomposi-  these sedges would be s i m i l a r to those  Rhynchospora, c o n s i d e r i n g both p l a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p and  ilar  environmental  niche.  only t i s s u e s observed  sim-  Rhynchospora r o o t l e t s were the  microscopically, indicating  that the  other p l a n t organs had decomposed p r i o r to t h e i r i n c o r p o r a tion  i n t o Sphagnum peat.  Rhynchospora  In  rootlets  the i n i t i a l stages of decomposition,  a t t a c k the outer epidermis, producing yellow to tan g r a n u l a r m a t e r i a l . of  the c i r c u l a r  preserved  small amounts of  shape has o c c u r r e d .  of o t h e r s i s decomposed.  inclusions f i l l  with golden  t o dark  fine  As y e t , l i t t l e a l t e r a t i o n Some r o o t l e t s  remain  i n t h i s c o n d i t i o n ( P l a t e 4, F i g . 2), while  c u l a r bundle dary c e l l  f u n g a l hyphae  the.vas-  Simultaneously,  the endodermis of these  brown amorphous m a t e r i a l .  secon-  rootlets  I f t h i s does  135  not occur,  the c i r c u l a r  other r o o t s and composition  root i s c o n t o r t e d by the growth of  is f i l l e d  e n t i r e l y by f u n g a l hyphae.  As  c o n t i n u e s , the cortex r e g i o n i s c o n v e r t e d  de-  to an  amorphous yellow-brown m a t e r i a l , l e a v i n g j u s t an endodermal ring. cell  Other s p a t i a l l y w a l l s , and  Decomposition  Although in  r e l a t e d r o o t l e t s have t h i c k e n e d brown  show no evidence  of  of Pinus c o n t o r t a  stumps of t h i s s p e c i e s are f r e q u e n t l y  Sphagnum and  e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum peat,  sues are not common i n t h i s peat. both and  fire  Pinus  tis-  branch  (periderm and  corporated  fragments remain exposed at the  l e n g t h of time, the secondary  broken down by moulds and  These remaining  preserved.  Branch Fragments  stem and  s u r f a c e f o r any  If  root  Needles are abundant i n  d e p r e s s i o n s , where they are w e l l  Pinus Stem and  the bark  stem and  observed  h o r i z o n s , where they appear as s e m i f u s i n i t e s h e l l s ,  i n wet  If  degradation.  fungi.  This process  xylem t i s s u e i s l e a v e s only  outer phloem complex) u n a l t e r e d .  t i s s u e s become dry and  f r a c t u r e , and are i n -  i n t o the peat as small rhytidome t i s s u e  fragments.  fragments become e n c l o s e d i n Sphagnum or f a l l  water-filled  d e p r e s s i o n s , p r e s e r v a t i o n i s more l i k e l y  occur.  If cracks  i n the rhytidome  through  the periderm  to secondary  into to  (outer bark) c o n t i n u e phloem t i s s u e , the  cambial  136  l a y e r undergoes r a p i d decomposition to an phous m a t e r i a l . ther, All  and  walls  ciably  Bark elements are  of  tracheids,  all  vessels,  fur-  tissues.  parenchyma t h i n appredecomposition.  d e g r a d a t i o n c o n t i n u e s , pockets of amorphous l i g h t  10,  Figs.  replace  4,5).  cell  mary c e l l  structure  completely  except the p i t h i s c o n v e r t e d to a g e l .  During t h i s d e s t r u c t i o n a l i n c l u s i o n s are  wall  These pockets c o n t i n u e to grow u n t i l  internal structure  cell  and  t h i s e a r l y phase of  tan-brown m a t e r i a l (Plate  then able to f r a c t u r e  s e p a r a t e e n t i r e l y from secondary xylem  following  If  orange-brown amor-  phase, i r r e g u l a r brown secondary  added, together with small round red  i n c l u s i o n s a l r e a d y present  i n the  pith.  phloem t i s s u e s a l s o accumulate these brown c e l l which may  be  altered  pri-  Secondary  inclusions,  tannins.  Pinus needles  Pinus n e e d l e s which have accumulated i n w a t e r - f i l l e d d e p r e s s i o n s such as Nuphar hollows are hypodermis, e p i d e r m i s and ( P l a t e 9,  Fig.1  tissue exhibit until  the  released.  ).  or p a r t i a l ther  preserved.  t h i c k c u t i c l e show no  Inner bundles of v a s c u l a r  thinning  of  c e l l s collapse Material  accumulates i n the  well  the  and  cell  walls.  produced as a r e s u l t of mesophyll as e i t h e r  secondary c e l l  r e s i n d u c t s nor  inclusions  alteration  and  This  s m a l l round c e l l  transfusion continues  inclusions  endodermis show any  are  decomposition  thickened c e l l  (Plate  The  9,  walls  F i g . 2).  appreciable d i f -  Nei-  137  ference from modern t i s s u e .  Pinus Roots  Due  to a t h i c k periderm and  secondary phloem, only t h i n -  n i n g of the secondary xylem elements  has o c c u r r e d .  Other-  wise, no d e g r a d a t i o n has o c c u r r e d i n the microtome s e c t i o n studied.  Decomposition  of Sphagnum spp.  Sphagnum i s the dominant genus i n l a t e stages of a r a i s e d bog.  As a bryophyte,  i t c o n t a i n s no com-  p l e x v a s c u l a r t i s s u e s , and thus i s l i m i t e d i s well adapted to moist environments  successional  in s i z e .  of low n u t r i e n t  Sphagnum influx.  The  r h i z o i d s of t h i s p l a n t are a b l e t o exchange hydrogen  for  mineral cations  the  pH of the environment  (Moore and Bellamy,  1974).  ions  As a r e s u l t ,  i s extremely a c i d i c , pH 2.9-3.5,  and when combined with the e f f i c i e n t  water-holding capacity  of  t h i s p l a n t , c r e a t e s a n i c h e which  f a v o u r s the p r e s e r v a t i o n  of  plant  tissue.  Sphagnum Stems  Initial the  of stem  t i s s u e occurs j u s t  beneath  s u r f a c e of the peat, where i t takes on a h o r i z o n t a l  tude. tion  compression  No c e l l  atti-  w a l l f r a c t u r i n g o c c u r s from t h i s e a r l y compac-  ( P l a t e 7, F i g . 4).  Stem t i p s exposed  at the surface i n  138  dry  environments  tissue  thin  phous  an  become  are  cell  leaf  leaf  Such  The  Typha  tion  and  any  further  thin  fungi  Sphagnum, Fine  of  stem  yellow  stage, cell  however,  walls  of  amortis-  f i l l  these  with  secon-  degeneration.  and  hyphae  matrix  as  red-brown  cell  is a  few  with  decomposition  possibly  Other  both  plants  start  decom-  material  is  decompose  (Plate  cell  fragments  scat-  of  through  within  leaf the  stem  material. migration  of  fluids.  Tissues  is a  rotundifolia,  in microtome  acidic  walls  inclusions  linked  Plant  which  the  than  granular gel.  in c e l l  the  faster  avoid  eventually  increase  l a t if o l i a , Drosera  fracture  initially  granular  red-brown  are  of  recognized of  as  decompositionally resistant  Decomposition  not  this  light  Impregnation  walls  the  a  coincides  specific  of  brown  final'product  gradual  processes  peat,  of  throughout  tissue  cell  throughout  The  halts  tissues.  F i g . 5).  tered  light  Although  microenvironment  7,  to  After  granular gel.  components.  produced  s m a l l amounts  Cellwalls  Leaves  Sphagnum  posing  tan  inclusions  Sphagnum  stem  as  in color.  produced.  darker  orange-brown  dary  browner  slightly  material  sues  are  component common  section.  i s nearly  complete  to  of  Sphagnum  Although at  sedge-grass  the  the peat  peat,  were  decomposisurface,  139  the root and culm of Typha should be p r e s e r v e d .  The  lower  d e n s i t y of these p l a n t s , combined with the s m a l l sample may  account  f o r t h i s anomaly.  size,  1 40  DISCUSSION AND  CONCLUSIONS  Peat Types  Six of the  ten peat types d i s t i n g u i s h e d  i n marsh h a b i t a t s . clay,  These e a r l y p e a t s , r e p r e s e n t e d by  sedge-grass, sedge-wood and  been i n f l u e n c e d vironment.  have accumulated  g y t t j a e b i o f a c i e s , have  to a l a r g e extent by  the d e p o s i t i o n a l  V a r i a b i l i t y between d e p o s i t i o n a l  produced d i f f e r e n t generic acteristics  (Table  1)  and  compositions.  settings  enhas  Petrographic  char-  d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l pathways w i t h i n  i n d i v i d u a l peat f a c i e s are  Sedge-clay and  sedge-  therefore  g y t t j a peats are  unique.  h i g h l y decomposed as a  r e s u l t of p e r i o d i c exposure to oxygenated waters of near neut r a l pH.  The  advanced s t a t e of decomposition  petrographically absence of c e l l l a r g e amounts of  by a low  r a t i o of  fragments and  granular  framework matrix and  inclusions.  The  f i n e sediment a t t e s t to the  thonous o r i g i n f o r much of the  i s observed  organic  appearance of these p e a t s .  the  presence of  hypauthoch-  matrix and  Marine and  explain brackish  sedge-grass peats e x h i b i t s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , but r e l a t i v e l y more f i b r o u s and  better preserved.  the  In the  are transi-  t i o n to freshwater sedge-grass p e a t s , i n c r e a s i n g l y a c i d i c environments r e s t r i c t allowing r a t i o s of  both b a c t e r i a l and  better preservation  and  framework to m a t r i x .  fragments and  fungal  correspondingly Increasing  inclusions also occur.  activity, higher  numbers of  cell  Analogous t r a n s i t i o n s  TABLE  Peat  Type  sedge-clay peat  1:  SUMMARY OF THE C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S  Dom1nant P1 a n t s  Gram 1neae Equ1setum  gyttja peat  OF THE V A R I O U S  Ratio to  Col or  Texture  tan grey to 11ght brown  granular to f ragmenta1  1 ow  y e 11ow b r o w n to black  f Ine granular  1 ow  Framework Matrix  PEAT  TYPES  Ce11s and Cel1 Fragments  Cel 1 I n c l u s 1ons  few  few  few  sa1twater sedge-grass  E1ymus Tr 1 q1och1n D 1 s t i c h l Is Sa 1 1 c o r n 1 a  brown to dark brown  fibrous to f1ne granular  1 ow  b r a c k 1sh sedge-grass  S c i r p u s om. Carex 1yn, Typha 1 at 1fol1a E1eochar1s  y e 11ow b r o w n to brown  fibrous to fine granular  1 ow t o moderate  common t o abundant  freshwater sedge-grass  Ca1amoqrost1s Carex cost. Typha 1 at 1fol1a Equ1setum  yellow brown to gold  fibrous to f1ne granu1ar  moderate  abundant  sedge-wood  Popu1 us Carex Betu!a P 1 cea  yellow brown to dark brown  fibrous to fragmenta1  high  common  sedge Sphagnum  Sphagnum Rhynchospora Oxycoccus Er1ophorum  y e 11ow t o r e d brown  f1brous  high  few  few  Nuphar  Nuphar 1 1 verwort  go 1 den orange  granu1ar  1 ow  abundant  few  Sphagnum  Sphagnum Oxycoccus Ka1m i a  golden y e 11ow  f 1 brous  h 1 gh  few  few to common  Eri caceous Sphagnum  Ledum Oxycoccus Ka1m1 a Sphagnum P 1 nus  red red  fibrous to fragmenta1  var1ab1e, moderate  yellow brown  to  few  abundant  Table  Peat  1  (cont'd)  Type  Amorphous Debris Fine Granular  to  Foram1n1fera  D1 a t o m s  Pollen  SalIx  common  Gram 1neae  a 11ochthonous  P1nus S a l Ix  rare a 11ochthonous  high  gyttja peat  high  rare  common  saltwater common sedge-grass  high  agglutinated  concentric  some  common  brackish sedge-grass  moderate  agglutinated few c h t 11 n o u s few  common  freshwater sedge-grass  moderate to low  ch111 nous few  few  commc  rare  few  A 1nus  Charcoal or Fus i n i t e  ch111 nous  sedge-clay abundant peat  moderate  Funga1 Debr1s  A1nus  M1 n e r a 1 Matter  rare  few  Chenopod1aceae Cyperaceae  a 11ochthonous  Cyperaceae greater than Gram 1neae  very some  little  few  Cyperaceae less than Gram 1neae  few  common  absent  sedge-wood rare  rare  1 ow  absent  sedge Sphagnum  1 ow  absent  absent  Nuphar  moderate  few  few  Nuphar and Cyperaceae  absent  Sphagnum  1 ow  absent  absent  Sphagnum Er I c a c e a e P 1 nus  absent  Ericaceous Sphagnum  variable moderate  few  absent  Sphagnum Er Icaceae Pinus  absent  Cyperaceae  absent  Sphagnum Er 1 c a c e a e  var1able moderate  143  occur and  i n the  i n the  amount  Sedge-wood natural peats  composition  peats  creased  be  Larger  p r e s e r v a t i o n of that  lize  effects  the  sional  flood  The Nuphar, bog  Sphagnum  these  determine these  a  peat  Nuphar peats  allow  so  produced  U n l i k e marsh influenced  do,  assemblages present.  facies  and  marginal  sediment  in  setting;  cannot.  marginal  It  is  to  these  the  in-  suggested,  peat  facies  neutra-  waters  during  occa-  have  burning  the  are  are  (Styan  found  lowered and  sedge-Sphagnum  the  bog  because that and  of  the  are  associated  Eriophorum  and  present.  to  result, and Small  variation. plain in  summer  1981).  represent peats  acidic  genera  are  a  in delta  biofacies  wet  As  sufficiently  These  In-  sufficiently  climatic only  in  been  compositions  Bustin,  environment.  have  environments.  sequence.  they  from  developed  biofacies  generic  wherever result  have  environment  similar  and  Carex  bog  successional  tables  Sphagnum  sedge-Sphagnum,  depositional  modify  f o r example,  preserved  Rhynchospora,  biofacies,  peats,  by  however,  water  deep  by  wood  e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum,  compositions  within  well  and  biofacies  Sphagnum niches  of  oxygenated  peat  predictable  peats, where  four  biofacies  petrographic differences  matter  freshwater  peats  from  highly  mineral  pollen  depositional  these  acids  of  remaining  slightly  stead,  the  and  events.  habitats.  only  to  humic  from  anounts  e x p l a i n e d by  however,  microfauna  c h a r c o a l and  originate  levees.  can  of  of  like  easily  are  wet commonly  conditions Oxycoccus,  identified.  In  144  c o n t r a s t , e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum peats have accumulated a r e a s of the bog. of  charcoal,  l a r g e r amounts  fungal s c l e r o t i a and are more decomposed than  Sphagnum p e a t s . cell  Consequently, they c o n t a i n  A lower r a t i o of framework t o m a t r i x , fewer  fragments, and  peats r e f l e c t  i n c r e a s e d amorphous m a t e r i a l  and  alloch-  p l a n t components d e p o s i t e d t o g e t h e r i n w a t e r - f i l l e d  depressions. the  i n these  the d i f f e r e n c e s .  Nuphar peats c o n s i s t of both autochthonous thonous  in d r i e r  P r e s e r v a t i o n v a r i e s a c c o r d i n g to the o r i g i n of  component.  M a t e r i a l remaining exposed  on the peat  sur-  face f o r some time before accumulating i n the pond i s h i g h l y altered  i n comparison  to autochthonous  peat with abundant c e l l work to m a t r i x  different  precursors  A granular  fragments but a low r a t i o of  frame-  results.  Decomposition of  tissue.  of i n d i v i d u a l p l a n t  environments  tissues in a variety  produces a d i v e r s e range of maceral  ( T a b l e s 2 and 3).  Although the p r e d i c t i o n of  ma-  c e r a l p r e c u r s o r s from o b s e r v i n g d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l pathways in modern environments  is hypothetical,  the c r i t e r i o n  f o r the  formation of s p e c i f i c c o a l macerals has been e s t a b l i s h e d (Teichmuller,  1975;  Cohen and Spackman, 1980,  and  others).  TABLE  2:  SOME  PLANT  TISSUES  AND THE P R O B A B L E C O A L  Vitrinlte  Plant  Organ  ' Mlcrlnlte Telocol11nite  Tellnite  MACERALS  (MACERAL  GROUPS)  DERIVED  FROM  Inertlnlte Oxyfusinite Macrlnite  THEM  ExiMte  Resinite  Cutlnlte  red brown c e l l Inclusions of p e r i d e r m a n d s e c o n d ary phloem  ce11 wa11s of outer cortex epidermis and endoderm 1 s  xylem phloem perlcule Inner c o r t e x cel1 contents  cel1 wal1s of epidermis, phloem and [ p i t h ] c a p c e l I s ( x y 1 em)  cel1 wal1s of x y l e m . cambium  Ledum groenlandlcum Root  ce11 wa11s of ep i derm i s , endoderm1s  c e l 1 w a l I s of xylem and cortex  Ledum q r o e n 1 a n d 1 cum Stem  ce11 wa11s of phloem, epidermis and [ p i t h ]  c e l 1 wa11s of xylem and cambium  Sphagnum cap i11aceum Leaf  cel1  Sphagnum cap i11aceum S tern  cel1  Ledum groenlandlcum leaf  ce11 wa11s of pa 111sade and upper epidermis  cel1 wal1s of mesophyl1, phioem and cambium cel1 contents  after fires and prolonged exposure prior to burial  secondary red-brown I n c l u s i o n s 1n x y l e m and pa 111sade parenchyma  cut  icle  P i nus contor ta needle  c e l 1 wa11s of epidermis, hypodermis a n d mesophy11 r e s i n ducts  ce11 wa11s of xylem, phloem transfusion tissue  after fires and prolonged exposures p r i o r to b u r i a l  secondary yellow brown i n c l u s i o n s mesophyl1 and resin ducts  cut  icle  Carex Root  ce11 wa11s of outer cortex and epidermis  ce11 wa11s of pith, inner & middle c o r t e x , xylem, phloem and endodermis cel1 contents  P i nus Root  P 1 nus Stem  contorta  contorta  spp.  cel1  contents  after fires and prolonged exposure prior to burial  spher1ca1 cel1 of p i t h - r e d and red secondary  orange  red brown p e r i d e r m , cell inclusions w/c  after fires and prolonged exposure p r i o r to b u r i a l  red brown periderm cell Inclusions w/c rounded red red/brown 1n t h e p i t h a n d s e c o n d ary phloem c e l l s  wal1s  wa!1s  cel1  contents  cel1  contents  secondary tan brown Inclusions in cel1 wal1s  in  Rhynchospora Root  c e l 1 wal 1 s o f endodermis and outer cortex  c e l 1 wal1s of p i th xylem, phloem inner and m i d d l e c o r t e x epidermis •  brown secondary cel1 Inclusions endoderm1s  Juncus Root  spp.  c e l l wal1s of endoderm i s ep1 derm i s outer cortex  ce11 wa11s of p i t h , xylem, phloem inner and m i d d l e cortex  red secondary c e l l i n c l u s i o n s of the endodermis and in the cortex  Nuphar Leaf  sp.  ce11 wa11s o f epidermis and a s t r o s c l e r e i d s  ce11 wa11s of palisade, mesophyll and c e l 1 contents of  of  hypodermi s c u t i c l e and tr ichomes red c1rcu1ar c e l l i n c l u s i o n s in cortex  Oxycoccus Root  spp.  cel1 wal1s epidermis,  of endodermis  cel1 walIs x y 1 em  Oxycoccus Stem  sp.  cel1 wal1s epidermis, and p i t h  of phloem  cel1 wal1s of cambium and x y 1 em  round r e d ce11 inclusions in p i t h and secondary xylem  Oxycoccus Leaf  sp.  ce11 wa11s ep1 derm i s ,  of pa 1i s a d e  cel 1 wal1s mesophyl1  secondary inclusions in pa 11sade parenchyma - s m a l l , Irregular brown  of  cuticle  TABLE  Peat  Type  Gyttja  Peats  3:  PEAT  TYPES  AND A S S O C I A T E D  COAL  Ericaceous Sphagnum P e a t s  Sphagnum P e a t s  MACERALS  Nuphar  Peats  Freshwater Sedge-Grass Peats  1 i p t o d e t r ini te macr i n i t e sc1erot inite cut i n i t e  telocol1ini  c u t 1ni t e teloco11inite  suber i n i t e desmoco11i n i te s c l e r o t ini te  telinite, pyrofus inite desmocol1inite ceren1te  v 1 tr i te  1 ipt i te clarite  clarite with th1n 1nterbanded I n e r t i n i t e and vi tr 1 t  dom i n a n t coa1 'macera1s  1 l p t o d e t r ( n i te a 1g i n i t e cu t i n1te desmoco11inite  suber i n i t e telinite t e l o c o l 1 i n i te pyrofus inite  telinite r e s i n i te t e l e n i te cut 1n1te  minor coal macera1s  i ner todet r i n i t e m i c r i n i te  desmoco11inite oxyfus inite cut i n i te sc1erot inite resinite sporon1te  dom1nant m1crol1thotypes  1ipt i te and thin clarite bands  v i tr i te w i t h bands of clarite 1enses of liptite and dur i te  '  and  te  Peat  Type  Levees  B r a c k i s h Water Sedge-Grass Peats  Marine Saltwater  or Peats  Sedge-Wood P e a t s  Natural  dom1nant coa1 macera1s  suber1n1te teloco111n1te cut1n1te  macrInite oxyfuslnlte pyrofus inite  ceren1te t e l o c o l 1 i n i te desmoco!1inite cut inite  ceren1te  minor coal macera1s  telin1te oxyfus inite  suber i n i t e desmocol1inite v1trodetr inite  p y r o f u s 1n1te oxyfusInite macr i n i t e macr I n i t e sclerotInite humodetrIni te  1 i p t o d e t r ini te sporon1te a 1g1ni te  dominant m1cro11thotybes  v t t r l t e bands with durite and m1 n o r clarite  d u r 1 t e and v i t r 1 n e r t 1te 1 n t e r 1 am 1 n a t e d  cutlnic clarite and i n t e r l a m i n a t e d dur1te  cutinlc clarite some d u r i t e  desmocol1Inite cut 1n1te  149  Maceral  The of  formation of p a r t i c u l a r c o a l macerals  the composition  t e r i a l and  and  is a function  s t r u c t u r e of the i n i t i a l  plant  1968).  B i o c h e m i c a l degradation  both by the c l i m a t e and  the peat-forming  and,  by the p h y s i c a l parameters of  to a l e s s e r extent, p r e s s u r e  w i t h i n the c o a l - f o r m i n g s t r a t a . c e s s e s can be reduced  through  The  complexity  of these  to  I f the r e a c t a n t s are known, then  p r e s s u r e s and  i t becomes p o s s i b l e for d i f f e r e n t  temperatures.  As the i n i t i a l  compositions  and  s t r u c t u r e s have a l r e a d y  been r e s o l v e d f o r most p l a n t groups (Robinson, Northcote,  e i t h e r geochemical  the peat-forming  study, the i n i t i a l peats.  kedly d i f f e r e n t  Bonner,  the pro-  T h i s can be done  through  a n a l y s i s or p e t r o g r a p h i c examination  wide v a r i e t y of peat-forming  sedge-grass  1963;  1977), i t remains to understand  cesses of b i o c h e m i c a l d e g r a d a t i o n .  In  con-  f a c t o r s i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of organic metamor-  p r e d i c t a s e r i e s of a l t e r n a t i v e products  1976;  pro-  the r e a l i z a t i o n that the pro-  ducts of b i o c h e m i c a l d e g r a d a t i o n are the r e a c t a n t s or  phism.  i s con-  environment, whereas o r g a n i c metamorphism i s  r e g u l a t e d by temperature  trolling  ma-  subsequent b i o c h e m i c a l d e g r a d a t i o n and o r g a n i c  metamorphism ( F l a i g , trolled  Format ion  of a  environments.  environments d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s  stages of formation are dominated by The  composition  i n each a r e a ,  of the community i s mar-  i n response  to widely v a r y i n g  1 50  physio-chemical  parameters.  decompositional  rates  precursors  When peats,  can  be  plant  predicted  geochemical  tion  plant  flood  events  As  much  pathways bogs, ic  plant  changes.  The  deposits,  however.  and  in the  differences  Correspondingly,  sedge-grass Variations  Bay  a  as  result  fabric  of  by  marine  Peats  at  Boundary  the An  colonization abundance  of  of  composiFire  soil  by  and  in  the  processes  decompositional  Island  of  and  Meadows  Amounts  are  i n both  and  Pitt  lateral  of  these,peats distribution  sedge-grass  peats  to  the  species composition  specif-  facies  different  species  in comparison  initial  alteration  and  the  peats  cause  Boundary  its,  regulated  species"  is similar.  types  i n maceral  maceral  sedge-grass  variations  climate  Lulu  in the  changes  of  environment.  local  because  d e c o m p o s i t i o n a l pathways  tinct  control  variation.  slightly  basal  the  the  totally  Instead,  only  composition  differ  variety  succeed  s u c c e s s i o n and  analogous  maceral  macerals  but  also  3).  significant  long-term  of  are  the  cause  wide  longer  parameters.  sequence,  influence  i s no  parameters  a  stages  succession modify  may  successional can  (Table  community  external  these  pathways,  Sphagnum-dominated  the  and  and  As  between  composition to  show  of  dis-  macerals.  show  marked  other  depos-  and  later  waters.  Bay  recent  chenopod  represent delta  pollen  the  earliest  sediments at  the  base  stages  (Shepperd, of  the  in  1981).  peat  con-  151  firms are  its origin  replaced  marsh  from  with  species  as  occurs,  peat  accumulation Not  quire  salt  by  marine  conducive plant  water  marsh  brackish  water  and  the  this  tion.  salt  peat  nutrient  only marsh  the  Near  bacterial  material  are  Microtome  below  but  from  number  of  and  algal,  initial  lack  forms  of  this  humodetrinite  and  throughout  thin  in  (cutinite),  sedge  the  lignin  c e l l u l o s e in  fine  pH  of  amorphous  tissue spersed  to of  peat,  lenses  detrital  cutinite.  blebs  of  rate  of  compacac-  is altered  environment rates  of  of  the  the  and  The  the  areas  cerenite, small  which  cell  with  are  of  Because  of  the  concentration are  primarily  Scattered cuticles masses The  Cyperaceae  often root  preserved  Pyrofusinite,  leaf  debris,  (sporinite).  which  amounts  degraded  high  of  small  structure-  plant  formed  remains  hydrogen-rich  grasses  telenite.  and  desmocollinite.  are  A  this  deposit.  macerals  peats  material.  correspondingly  spore-rich  of  altered  Marine-derived  ultimately  precursors  sedges  an  When  again  section  stems  paraffins associated  related  peat  within  and' g r a s s  base  and  float  concentrations maceral  the  sediment  the  highly  and  the  influence.  decomposition  (liptodetrinite), of  freshwater  and  produces  and  roots  recognizable.  largely  of  grass  Rarely,  are  of  entire  these  yellow-orange  fragments  rate  plants  high.  abundant  matrix.  tidal  reduced,  the  growth,  reveal  less  the  neutral  sections  sedge  above  are  These  eventually  composition  affinity,  waters. to  supplies  falls  does  builds  species.  is and  high are  spatially stem  form  sclerotinite,  interand  152  macrinite  tion the  are  rare.  In  the  transition  of  the  peat,  maceral  placed  upsection  by  and  platelets  of  cerenite,  which  the  i s an  are  to  fragmental  not  associated  of  cutinite,  the  fabric.  with  both  gradual  of  por-  change  macrinite  in  reand  pyrofusinite.  and  during  non-marine  is continually  lenses  bands  oxidized  throughout  the  accompanying  interlaminated  thin  are  marine  Desmocollinite  liptodetrinite,  randomly  fragments  there  composition.  oxyfusinite  occur  from  Thin  associated  periodic Tiny  desiccation,  sclerotinite  oxyfusinite  and  pyrofu-  sinite.  The in  the  sors  trend  upper  toward  marine  analogous  to  Sedge-grass peat  also  sence  of  have  Plant  likely  to  served, rotome As  a  been  no  section,  result,  increases  diatoms, and  by  marsh  brackish  the  no  attests  composition and  those  itself  maceral  precur-  attain  dominance.  of  Lulu  the  water,  as  Island the  is  to  minor  at  pollen  Bay  was  indicated.  of  indi-  Boundary  better  are ob-  In  mic-  preservation. a  mixture  macrinite.  becomes  pre-  foraminifera,  chenopod  consists  marsh  reverses  dinoflagellate cysts  development  less matrix  tellinite,  base  agglutinated  but  and  again  the  s i m i l a r to  salt  as  peat,  base  numerous  present,  upsection  inertinites  the  near  been  maceral  desmocollinite,  the  influenced  communities  have  and  at  of  components  rhizomes,  cate.  portion  those  concentric  Triqlochin  increasing  emergent  The and  of  latter is  de-  153  siccated  for  oxyfusinite  longer and  periods  of  pyrofusinite  platelets  of  fine  grains  inertodetrinite,  sive  and  As  c o n t r i b u t e to  freshwater  ish  water,  areal  for  extended  pense  of  do  so  levees,  sinite  and  i n the rapid  and  sequence  is  fire  duce  and  collinite.  much  the  year.  further areas,  in  the  as  these  the  by  of  may  perva-  while  are  of  na-  pyrofuhigher  expected  peat  exand  to  both  areas  natural  the  telenite  of  are  out  Macrinite,  Marginal  amounts  brack-  dry  increase at  more  pockets  of  telenite  f r e q u e n t l y as of  above  successional  or  as  Pockets and  disseminated  colonisation bacteria.  peat,  grass  and  In  thin  tellocollinite, of  detrital  patches  Suberinite i s a s s o c i a t e d with  Sphagnum  Sphagnum  until  cerenite, are  those  marshes  compositions  sclerinite.  bands  strips  gradation  occurs  u n d e r l a i n by  thicker  dering  maceral  of  reattained.  Pyrofusinite are  occur,  splays  succeed  depressions.  increases  Similar  crevasse  linite,  peats  during  wetter  in  transition.  liptodetrinite  i n c r e a s e s and  time  this  increase  texture.  telocollinite  oxyfusinite  elevation.  These  and  desmocollinite in drier  alginite tural  of  similar  associated blebs  banded  exposure  and  with  sedge-grass  periods  sclerotinite^  a  A  accompanies  Thin  of  cutinite  time.  fine  reduces  of the  microbands. desmocolwood  internal bands,  as  protelobor-  granules.  both  desiccation  the  transition  to  sedge  components  are  and  de-  ericaceous better  pre-  15 4  served  and  cutinite. tannin  The  with  eventual  the deposit  peat.  Although  before  being  telenite gions,  lenite are  of  i n both  resin  scattered  horizons pockets  dered, wood  of  extreme  pyrofusinite,  isolated  interspersed  pith,  occur  more  telenite  granules  sur-  of  both  and p e r i d e r m r e inclusions,  telenitic  pockets  matrix.  Thin  microlaminae  and  abundant  ericaceous  massive, roots  Confined  and t e l l o c o l l i n i t e  lenses.  exinite-poor and  thin  to thin l a -  are less  are large  add  and t e -  but small  between  and p y r o f u s i n i t e  throughout  to the  enough  the s u b e r i n i t e  desmocollinite.  sclerotinite  lignin  fabric,  desmocollinite,  resinous  contorta  are destroyed  bounded  mas-  components.  tissues  the t e l e n i t e  into  a  of  charcoal-rich  grade  form  and P i n u s  secondary  telenites  with conditions.  would  sedge  i s uncommon,  through  macerals  resinous  and  Sporinite  suberinitic  both  Stem,  walls  and  amounts  the peat  throughout  and r e p r e s e n t  with of  Randomly  and stem  primary  randomly  these  under  shrubs  or s u b e r i n i t e  droplets  oxyfusinite,  minae,  leaf  of e x i n i t e - r i c h  such,  o f woody  by c e r e n i t e  cell  exinite-rich  add s i g n i f i c a n t  cutinite  sclerolinite, As  growth  many  fractions.  laminae  except  and t e l o c o l l i n i t e .  rich  abundant  o f Sphagnum  incorporated into  t o form  surrounded  lenses of t e l o c o l l i n i t e  f o r t h e more  within  vive  threads  gelification  small  framework  The  telenite  impregnation  prevents  Telenite sive  form  common.  suberinite-borderived  from  the  Pinus.  Closely  associated  with  thick  pyrofusinite  bands,  Nuphar  155  hollows tion  produce  of r e s i n o u s Pinus  these  depressions  suberinite, sition, a  form  thin  detrital  bottom  assemblage.  lenses Due  stem  of t e l e n i t i c  liptodetrinite  tissue  of  in  decompo-  a r e suspended  and  by a t h i n  accumula-  cutinite,  levels  components  i s bordered  The  and l e a f  to the high  framework  of i n t e r s p e r s e d  depression  maceral  and E r i c a c e a e  and r e s i n i t e .  these  matrix  The  a distinct  in  desmocollinite. band  of  massive  telinite.  The and  combined  Populus  increase  stumps  and B e t u l a  sinous  and s u b e r i n o u s  active  levee  rinite, around  oxyfusinite,  Pitt Earliest  Meadows stages,  represent is  when  peats  tually texture  which  a common  have  no b a n d i n g is  Above  result,  and a c q u i r e  and m i c r i n i t e undergone  freshwater  i s present  wet, and  initial  i n these  mac-  flows  marshes. probably  plant  material  the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s cutinite,  Variability  replace  periods  of banded  i s common.  alginite,  assemblage.  along  and c u t i n i t e  from  Picea,  increases re-  matrix  are extremely As a  Pinus,  dramatically  Sclerotinite  Liptodetrinite,  inertodetrinite  areas  masses  originate  from  horizons  intervening  bodies.  water.  form  tissue  inertodetrinite,  to gyttjae,  coals.  mocollinite  The  however,  ponded  decomposed  boghead  in  rigid  stem  telenite  margins.  these  i n woody  liptinic  and  des-  occurs macerals  of d e s i c c a t i o n . macerals,  of  and a  Virmassive  produced.  this  generally  thin  band,  sedge-grass  peats  form  1 56  macerals  similar  t o those  However,  because  of the early  Pitt  Meadows,  places  desmocollinite  sedge-grass as  material  in equivalent  colonisation  i s better t o some  contain  more  well-developed  natural  levees  with  vitrodetrinite  clay  parable tified  horizons  at Pitt  pyrofusinite  Meadows,  peats  equivalents  and  layers  Although of Lulu  i t probably  Highly  ref-  interlaminate  a  biofacies  Island  exists  of  oxyfusinite  are approached.  i n the levee.  Island.  and t e l e n i t e r e -  Lateral  and s u b e r i n i t e  t o t h e sedge-wood  at Lulu  o f Sphagnum a t  preserved,  extent.  peats  lective  peats  was  within  com-  not  iden-  the exten-  sive  Sphagnum sets  of macerals  greater thick  rainfall  peats  cerals  such  at Pitt  Meadows,  and thus  on L u l u fire  Island.  horizons  pyrofusinite  as c u t i n i t e  and r e s i n i t e  and  are less  uniform Pinus  common  appearance  contorta  t e l e n i t e and  as a  suberinite.  Due t o a r e not as common.  Liptinitic  inertinitic  result.  as w e l l .  tissues  similar  i s less  reason.  from  resinous  formed  produce  f o r t h e same  a more  material  Sphagnum p e a t s  are absent  oxyfusinite  quires  of  t o those  o r as numerous,  Nuphar  like  and ericaceous  raises  The  macerals  seam a c -  Increases the  ma-  i n woody  concentration  157  SUMMARY  The ponents and  decompositional has  been  integrated  depositional  settings  deposits.  Observations  prediction  of  lithotype mation  both  aid  coal-bearing  Thin ual of  i n the  from  freshwater,  are  of  tidal  marine  those  nutrients,  slower  accumulation  periodic of  pH  tions  by  This  inforand  of  The  in  thin  seldom  for extended  periods  rates  i s preserved  section,  exposed  growth  to of  appears  indicating  desiccation time.  rising  are  that and  Under  a  the period  sea  level  section  is  enhanced  yellow  by  to  accumulating  oxidizing  such  ac-  of  cause  After  whole  those  species  Lack  fires  a  to  grad-  rapid  marsh  peats.  section.  waters.  which  and  a  substrate  affinity.  allows  marine  of  the  salt  growth  whose  base  initial  builds  occurs,  represent the  The  grass-dominated  rate  Bay  desiccation,  bacteria  material  yellow-orange was  slower  peats  freshwater  g r a d u a l l y . t r a n s g r e s s the altered  section.  of  to  debris  seams.  the  micro-  ancient coals  Boundary  this  time,  Plant  of  As  of  higher  coal  peat  allowed  subsequent  c o n d i t i o n s near  i n the  influence.  this  at  sedge-dominated  marine  the  delta  s y n t h e s i s have  resulting  com-  stratigraphy  River  p r e c u r s o r s and  peats  higher  replaced with  then  peat  plant  strata.  transition  above  this  the  Fraser  understanding  sedge-grass  cumulation  individual  both  three  from  in  of  with  in  maceral  distribution  may  history  condi-  circumstan-  158  ces,  the  high  ratio  desmocollinite. diatoms, exinite trend tion  macerals  will  an  micrinite  ite.  Only  this  trend  exinite  near  macerals  laterally  will  consist  continuous clarite tion, of  more  of  from  and  thick  laminae durite  of  coal  lenses  minor  durite  will  increase  marine  margin.  abundance  Lower lated  of  sections  between  of  fluvial  peat  base  of  also  with  the  seam.  The  those  coals  may  cause  midsecamount  formed  from  Corre-  toward an  dis-  of  occur  landward.  units  thin  will  decrease  pro-  these  replacement  will  by  will  Gradual  of  in  and  banded  as  discon-  vitrodetrin-  clarite  approached  drainage  durite  The  a  desicca-  the  vitrinite  this  top  microlithotype Local  the  are  and  oxidation  vitrinertite  the  In  reversal  quality,  slightly  f r e s h w a t e r marshes  prevent  a  again.  of  the  pyrofusinite,  and  dominant  vitrite.  continue to  this  cutinite,  seams.  of  between  and  poor  sedges,  vitrinite  Oxyfusinite,  erosion  will  spondingly,  and  later  and  solely  exinite  will  of  and  oxidation  section  becoming  from  alginite.  prevalent  will  primarily  amounts  the  waters  extensive of  with  top Then,  thin  duce  of  forms  lipids  and  environment,  become  marine  of  cutinite,  inertinites.  the  lignin  significant  demoscollinite,  occur.  Although  add  replacement  with  of  transgressing  algae  the  to  concentrations  cerenite,  will  bands  cellulose  emergent  cause  macerals  tinuous  High  other  toward  group and  and  of  the  increase  in  lenses.  the  Lulu  Island  distributary  peat  channels.  deposit The  accumu-  brackish  159  water to  environment  those  of  fabrics, water  and  associated  Boundary  including  niches,  events the  the  and  those  will  be  internal  channels  and  flooding  by  poorly  produced  maceral  desiccation  pockets  of  inertodetrinite, The  cutinite-rich of  interlaminated  Freshwater brackish primary  water  sinite fluvial  influence  freshwater  tite  and  vitrite,  Eventual influx  changes  as  replace  the  of  the  a  will  pH  result,  in and  sedge-grass  environment,  splays  will  disrupt  near d i s t r i b u t a r y  waters  In  and  these  later  formation  of  extended  sclerotinite,  and  oxy-  between a  fabric  vitrinertites.  peats  are  decomposed  Desmocollinite  by  areas  numerous  produce  the  fresh-  flood  eventually  will and  be  the  often  peats  than  still  be  with  Sphagnum  with  at  periods  pyrofuBay,  desiccation  bands  of  in  iner-  microlithotype.  spp.  environment.  reduces  Plant and  Due  increased  to  tissues  both  nu-  composition  shrubs  lignin-rich  the  with  Boundary  of  thin  prevalent  community.  will  less  interlaminated  less  ericaceous  these  However,  will  Clarite,  the  toward  levees.  the  extended  colonisation and  pH  trend  macerals  Unlike  be  maceral  inertinite  cerenite,  habitat.  the  result,  these  It  prevents  a  fire  macrinite,  equivalents. however.  similar  the  natural  cause  and  sclerotinite.  this  trient  bands  durites  cutinite,  and  of  sedge-grass  maceral,  telenite,  will  increase clarite  and  neutral  of  by  are  distribution  developed  oxygen-rich,  As  community  identical.  crevasse  periods  fusinite.  peat.  nearly  subsequent  simple  Bay  plant  Pinus  are  contorta acidity  well  pre-  1 60.  served.  Suberinite,  macerals  will  lenses cut  of  form  clarite  obliquely  masses. below  large  Durite  and  and  thin  of  bands  as  suberinite, clarite  and  and  with  bands  they  will will  will  filled  telinite.  These  mixtures  telenite  pervasive Stumps  homogeneous  been  liptite  and  liptite.  pockets  These  have  of  large  vitrinertite  which  vitrite  laminae  Occasionally  depressions  form  telocollinite,  bands  horizons.  upsection.  tinite, will  large  across  pyrofusite  quency  resinite,  vitrite  occur  above  increase  be  in  associated  with  have  a  and fre-  with  resinite,  exinite-rich  and  will  cuunits  massive  texture.  Duroclarite where  sedge-grass  gins.  On  appear  The  earliest  organic-rich upward  cycles  flanks  peats  channel-fill of  fine  the  silt,  abundant  resistant  thonous  origin.  Autochthonous  form  Due  vitritic  to  the  high  bark  carbargilites  and  sedge  rich  near  channel  Large  bands  vitrite  at  Pitt  clay.  stem  in  and  by  subernite,  are  fining  sediments of  roots  these  will  levees.  fragments  culms  content,  The  peats  allochare  phases  of  these  collinite,  channel-fill deposits  also  will  vitrodetrinite.  Later  mar-  stumps  Meadows  characterized  and  mineral  clarite  better-developed  deposits  sand,  and  clarodurite  accumulate  contain  common.  and  mudstone.  of  to  vitrite  vertically  durite  overbank  the  for  prograde  levees,  with  on  substitute  peats  natural  interlaminate will  will  conta i n  and  16  abundant  gyttja  tually  covers  active  channel  algae,  and  bands  of  inate  with  banded  whole  margins  clarite.  The  of  in the  this  However, and  an  the  ferent.  Vitrite  liptite  and  plexity  will  are  of  relative  to  both  Rich form  of  with  i t will grading  to  sedge-grass those  Nuphar  abundances  s m a l l amounts  even-  in diatoms,  levees,  vertically  type  vertically  liptite  of  of  will  hollows of  and  the  increases in Pinus  components  decrease  near  peat  near other  thin  interlaminto  a  vitrite.  similar  due  will  while  and  types  absence  deposit,  unit  This  migrates  south.  Laterally,  clarite  peats  origin.  d e p o s i t , and  clarodurites,  maceral  dominated  tissue  the  sedge-grass  cuticles,  coal  posit.  of  1  Lulu and  in the  macerals  increase at  inertite.  considerably.  Sphagnum Island  de-  ericaceous Pitt  will  be  Meadows dif-  the  expense  of  Internal  maceral  com-  162  PLATE  1  Marine  Fig.  Fig.  or  1-1.  salt  water  Development  of  modern  peat  salt  Triglochin  and  S a l i c o r n i a are  species  the  tidal  1-2.  of  1-3.  the  at  Boundary  initial  Bay.  pioneering  develop  on  decaying  eelgrass  mounds.  Photomicrograph  (ol)  marsh  flat.  S a l i c o r n i a clumps  Zostera  Fig.  sedge-grass  i n more  showing  f r e s h w a t e r and  highly  oxidized  emergent  layers  sedge-grass  hor i zons.  Fig.  1-4.  Fabric  stem phous  Fig.  1-5.  and  of  sedge-grass  degraded  leaf  peat  showing  fragments  scattered  ( s t and  If)  in  grass amor-  material.  Photomicrograph  remains  in a  highly  of  vertically  rooted  oriented  amorphous  grass  material.  stem  164  PLATE 2 B r a c k i s h sedge-grass peat  F i g . 2-1.  A b r a c k i s h sedge marsh on L u l u I s l a n d composed of  a mosaic  F i g . 2-2.  of Carex, Juncus, Typha and  Scirpus•  Sc i rpus sp. i s common i n modern b r a c k i s h  environ-  ments .  F i g . 2-3.  Photomicrograph  g r a s s peat, showing  of the g e n e r a l f a b r i c  of  sedge-  p o o r l y developed microbedding of  g r a s s stems ( s t ) and amorphous g r a n u l a r d e b r i s (gd).  F i g . 2-4.  Photomicrograph  sp.  of a w e l l p r e s e r v e d stem of Juncus  Such w e l l p r e s e r v e d t i s s u e s are r a r e i n t h i s  peat type.  F i g . 2-5.  Sedge-grass peat c o n t a i n s abundant  matrix and c e l l d e b r i s . tion  amorphous  Holes r e p r e s e n t l a t e r o x i d a -  of r o o t l e t s and stem t i s s u e ( o ) .  165  PLATE 2  166  PLATE 3 Freshwater  Fig.  3-1.  sedge-grass peat  Freshwater marsh at P i t t  P o l d e r with Calamogrostis,  Carex and Spi r e a .  Fig.  3-2.  Close-up of a c r o s s - s e c t i o n of a sedge r o o t l e t  surrounded by h i g h l y degraded few  fungal hyphae.  (ci)  Fig.  3-3.  filling  tered  fragments and a  Note secondary c e l l  endoderm  Photomicrograph  cell  cells.  of the amorphous t e x t u r e encoun-  i n pockets of h i g h l y decomposed c e l l  few c o l l a p s e d grass stems are v i s i b l e c e n t e r of the  Fig.  3-4.  ( s t ) near the  Note the breakdown of the c e n t r a l p i t h  Photomicrograph  sedge-grass peat. tinct  A  of a c r o s s - s e c t i o n through a Carex  area and the r e l e a s e of primary c e l l  3-5.  debris.  photograph.  Photomicrograph  sp. stem.  Fig.  inclusions  illustrating  inclusions ( c i ) .  the g e n e r a l f a b r i c of  L a m i n a t i o n s are formed  by the d i s -  banding of g r a s s stems ( s t ) and l e a v e s with  amorphous m a t e r i a l  (am).  168  PLATE  4  Sedge-Sphagnum  Fig.  4-1.  peat  Depression  cies  surrounded  Sphagnum  Fig.  Fig.  4-2.  by  Photomicrograph  Rhynchospora  and  sedge-grass  peat.  4-3.  4-4.  Ledum  sedge  sedge-Sphagnum  stems  4-5.  hummocks  showing  leaf.  of  peat.  Rhynchospora  Close-up  surrounded  Pinus  of by  the  and  biofa-  ericaceous  pervasive rootlets  near  through  interlaminated and  of  sedge-Sphagnum  a  the  transition  fractured  The  leaf  and  of  from  folded  i s surrounded  but by  debris.  Photomicrograph  debris  zoned  Eriphorum  Photomicrograph  amorphous  with  biofacies.  undecomposed  Fig.  filled  a  the A  well-preserved fabric  few  with  pockets Sphagnum  of  amorphous  leaves  ( l v ) and  roots ( r t ) .  w e l l - p r e s e r v e d Rhynchospora  Sphagnum  of  leaves.  rootlet  170  PLATE 5 Sedge-wood  peat  Fig.  Picea  5-1.  stump i n g r o w t h  position  surrounded  by a  sedge-grass matrix.  Fig.  5-2.  Photomicrograph  showing  pervasive rooting  highly  decomposed,  slightly  peat.  Darker  c o n t a i n s more h i g h l y  zone  laminated  in  sedge-grass oxidized  ma-  terial.  Fig.  5-3.  Photomicrograph  showing  pervasive rooting  highly  decomposed,  slightly  peat.  Darker  c o n t a i n s more h i g h l y  zone  saminated  in  sedge-grass oxidized  ma-  terial.  Fig.  5-4.  C l o s e - u p of an  dermis  Fig.  5-5.  unidentified cuticle  (ep) w i t h i n  Photomicrograph  preserved  Oxycoccus  amorphous  debris.  of a c r o s s - s e c t i o n stem.  ( c u ) and e p i  through a  well-  171  PLATE 5  172  PLATE 6 Nuphar peat  Fig.  6-1.  Nuphar c o v e r i n g the s u r f a c e of a shallow pond.  Fig.  6-2.  Allochthonous  needles  Fig.  6-3.  and p a r t i a l l y  Photomicrograph  showing a c r o s s - s e c t i o n through a ( I t ) . T h i s s t r u c t u r e i s l i k e l y the  only autochthonous t i s s u e  6-4.  Floating c e l l  in t h i s peat  Fig.  6-5.  Close-up  Nuphar  Pinus  (Pn) and grass stems ( s t ) in c e l l d e b r i s .  liverwort thallus  Fig.  fusinitized  shown.  d e b r i s produces an u n o r i e n t e d  fabric  type.  of h i g h l y decomposed  a s t r o s c l e r e i d s (as) and  t i s s u e , with only  trichomes rema i n i ng.  173  PLATE 6  174  PLATE 7 Sphagnum peat  F i g . 7-1.  Sphagnum c a p i l l a c e u m and Rhynchospora sp.  primary peat-forming p l a n t s of t h i s peat  F i g . 7-2.  Photomirograph  stem  F i g . 7-4.  type.  Sphagnum spores commonly occur as undispersed  pockets w i t h i n the peat  F i g . 7-3.  Are the  fabric.  of uncompressed Sphagnum l e a f and  tissue.  F a b r i c of Sphagnum peat showing w e l l preserved and  laminated Sphagnum stems and l e a v e s .  F i g . 7-5.  Photomicrograph  shows pockets of h i g h l y  degraded  and o x i d i z e d m a t e r i a l between Sphagnum t i s s u e s . Rhynchospora r o o t l e t section.  i n the upper  p o r t i o n s of the  Note  176  PLATE 8 Ericaceous  Sphagnum peat  Fig.  Kalmia a n g u s t i f o l i u m , one of s e v e r a l E r i c a c e a e to  8-1. be  Fig.  8-2.  found  i n F r a s e r R i v e r bog peats.  C r o s s - s e c t i o n of a Vacc inium  ming m a t r i x . w i t h i n these  Fig.  8-3. ly  Fig.  8-4.  sp. stem with  Only minor decomposition  has o c c u r r e d  tissues.  Photomicrograph of fungal hyphae which are commonfound  between Sphagnum l a y e r s .  Photomicrograph of p a r t i a l l y  degraded Ledum,  Kalmia and Oxycoccus l e a v e s i n a matrix leaves. cells  8-5.  confor-  Note the t h i c k e n i n g s i n the p a l l i s a d e l a y e r  and the s e p a r a t i o n of the e p i d e r m i s .  F a b r i c of e r i c a c e o u s Sphagnum peat  developed leaf  of Sphagnum  microlamination  and stem  tissue.  showing w e l l -  and h i g h l y degraded e r i c a d  177  PLATE 8  178  PLATE 9 Decomposition  Fig.  9-1.  Cross-section  of an  undecomposed Pinus  contorta  needle found in Nuphar peat.  Fig.  9-2.  Cross-section  contorta sfusion within  Fig.  9-3.  needle.  A small amount of t h i n n i n g of  t i s s u e ( t t ) and the p a l i s a d e  a corresponding  layer  of a Ledum stem.  r e g i o n with  (pi) has  tran-  thickening  occurred.  dermis, has  9-4.  Note the w e l l preserved  primary c e l l  mainder of the  i n c l u s i o n s ( c i ) . The  stem, e x c l u d i n g  been converted  the periderm and  to a g r a n u l a r  stem r e s u l t s i n the  i n c l u s i o n s i n t o the amorphous m a t r i x .  derm  (pd)  9-5.  by h i g h l y degraded and  losed.  epi-  an  The  peri-  i s unaltered.  Photomicrograph of an  terial.  re-  r e l e a s e of primary  cell  region  pith  gel.  Complete decomposition of the p i t h r e g i o n of  ericaceous  Fig.  decomposed Pinus  Photomicrograph through a l o n g i t u d i n a l c r o s s - s e c -  tion  Fig.  through a s l i g h t l y  unaltered  anther  o x i d i z e d sedge and  surrounded grass  Note the numerous p o l l e n g r a i n s s t i l l  maenc-  179  PLATE 9  180  PLATE 10 Decomposition  Fig.  10-1.  Photomicrograph  showing  t h i n n i n g of protoxylem  ( p i t h ) elements and r e l e a s e of primary c e l l sions  Fig.  10-2.  ( c i ) of  tissue  10-3. and  Fig.  10-4.  decomposition of xylem and  to a f i n e g r a n u l a r d e b r i s  periderm  Fig.  Oxycoccus.  C r o s s - s e c t i o n of an e r i c a c e o u s stem  complete  (pm)  (gd).  Only the  walls  thinning  forming rounded  masses of g r a n u l a r g e l (gg).  Photomicrograph  of a c r o s s - s e c t i o n through a  w i t h i n are undergoing  Photomicrograph  normal  light.  the  secondary phloem  Close-up of e r i c a c e o u s xylem c e l l  ghter areas are c e l l u l o s e ,  10-5.  showing  remains u n a l t e r e d .  Pinus c o n t o r t a stem under  Fig.  inclu-  crossed p o l a r i z a t i o n .  Li-  w h i l e the darker patches  decomposition.  i d e n t i c a l to 10-4  except  under  Xylem elements are b e g i n n i n g to a l t e r  to pockets of g r a n u l a r g e l . ever, remains u n a l t e r e d .  The o u t e r periderm, how-  181  PLATE 10  1 82  LIST OF REFERENCES  A l l e n , E.A.D., 1978. Holocene  Petrography and s t r a t i g r a p h y of  c o a s t a l - m a r s h d e p o s i t s along the western  of Delaware Bay. Geology  U n i v e r s i t y of Delaware Department of  Ph.D. t h e s i s ,  287 p.  Bonner, J . F . and Varner, J . E . , e d i t o r s , Biochemistry.  1975.  Plant  925 p.  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