Commune: Stąporków (pow. konecki, woj. świętokrzyskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Terrestial deposits of Zagaje Formation of the Permian-Mesozoic cover of the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mts.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Ichnofauna (footprints of dinosaurs), other fossils, sedimentary structures and jetcoal in fluvial and lacustrine deposits.

Comparative assessment justification:
Sołtyków is the only site presenting sedimentary structures, paleoflora and paleofauna (dinosaurs footprints) of the first Early Jurassic transgressive sequence in the region. It is well described and very illustrative, compared with several Early Jurassic sites representing later terrestial episodes in the Early Jurassic of the Świętokrzyskie Mts (Zapniów, Gliniany Las).

Protection status and accessibility:
Nature reserve “Gagaty Sołtykowskie” (since 1997), accessible, dinosaur tracks are exposed in the exhibition pavilion.

Character of site: Abandoned open pit.

Area: 13.33 ha

Altitude: 295-308 m a.s.l.

Lithology: sandstones, conglomerates, breccias, silstones, claystones

Discipline: Palaeobiology, Palaeoenvironment, Mineralogy

Process Age: Jurassic, *all periods

Bedrock Age: Jurassic, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
The sediments outcropped in the abandoned open-pit represent lowermost, terrestrial section of transgressive sequence of Lower Jurassic (of the south-eastern part of the Danish-Polish Through). The sequence is composed of claystones and siltstones with sandstone and conglomerate inserts. The silty-clayey rocks were deposited on floodplain and ephemeral lakes, whereas the coarser-grained ones represent meandering river and crevasse sediments. Structures typical for the floodplain (desiccation cracks, etc.) are observed on the bedding planes. Dinosaur footprints have been identified here as ichnospecies (new taxon). On the sandstone bedding plane representing paleo-floodplain tracks of two adult sauropods, four young sauropods as well as two theropods were found. Study of the dinosaur tracks enables interpretation of their size and behaviour. In the upper part of the sequence the largest footprint of theropod in Poland have been found recently. Elipsoid structures (nodules) found in the vicinity of the tracks are supposed to represent relics of dinosaur eggs. Also the remnants of insects – burrows and fossil beetles were studied here. Rhizoids and other plant remains enable reconstruction of flora, which was typical for warm and humid climate. Elevated fragments of the paleo-valley were covered by forest of coniferous trees of Hirmeriella and bushes of Podozamites, whereas in lower fragments of the valley Neocalamites prevailed. In the sediments also leaves of ferns as well as interesting remnants (cupules) of Stachyopitys (Ginhgophyta) were found. The open pit is also the site of coal jet (gagate) occurrence.


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