Description / Table of Contents:
PREFACE The Lower Triassic Buntsandstein in Middle Europe which originated in mainly continental fluvla] environment in the Mid-European Triassic Basin is a famous terrestrial red bed sequence that is discussed in the geological literature since more than 200 years. Much of the earlier work had been devoted to stratigraphical, palaeogeographical and petrographical problemsof the Buntsandstein. The sedimentological analysis and deposltional modelling in the German-type facies, however, is the youngest branch of Buntsandstein investigation and started only a few decades ago. During the last ten years when I began to concentrate on the interpretation of the genesis of the Buntsandstein, much work has been carried out and has already been documented in numerous papers that focussed on various aspects of sedimentology, particularly on reconstruction of fluvial and aeolian depositional mechanisms, significance of palaeosols, importance of fluvial conglomerates, palaeoecology of the fossils, interdisciplinary sedimentology, diagenesis of heavy minerals and origin of the red colour. A summary of the present knowledge in the western part of the German Basin is given in a compilation of regional articles together with general discussions and comparative contributions and especially with an extensive colour photographic documentation in an earlier book (reference on p. 12). In the last few years when more and more material became available not only from the Buntsandstein s. str. (Lower Triassic Scythian) in the Mid-European Triassic Basin, but also from correlative sequences in adjoining areas and even older or younger series of similar facies and origin, it became more and more evident that a synthesis of the state of the art would be necessary, if not inevitably for outlining the general frame and illustrating the diversification of facies associations in numerous temporal and spatial scales. That is why I decided to edit an international proceedings volume on the Buntsandstein which is to compile contributions from many regions and different stratigraphic units with emphasis on various aspects of fluvia] sedi~ntation, but stressing also the importance of the distribution of associated environments such as aeolian dunes and calcrete palaeosols. In spite of my own enthusiasm for the Buntsandstein continental red bed formation (the Lower Triassic red rocks seem to have a very special flavour for being so attractive for me) and regardless of the expansion of my investigations from my original Eife] area (where I learnt how to assess the facies assoCiations in terms of depositional modelling and where I collected an enormous amount of data that served as a valuable base for the production of various case studies which were published during the last years) to several other regions, it was without any doubt that it would not be possible for me alone to finish such an overregional proceedings book within a reasonable time, but that I had to beg various colleagues for their collaboration by writing papers on the Buntsandstein in their investigated areas for this volume. Although the response to my first and second circulars soon showed that it would not be possible to publish a compilation of articles from almost all the studied regions, formations and aspects within a reasonable time with avoiding too much delay of appearance for early contributors, I am very happy that finally many colleagues provided me with papers from almost all the countries in Europe where Buntsandstein is cropping out at the surface. In spite of the tremendous editorial work which was necessary to polish the English, to improve the contents of text and drawings and to put the sequence of papers into a general stream line, I would like to thank all my colleagues who contributed to this volume for their support of the project and particularly for their understanding of my editorial task, especially in case of my frequently serious intervention into their early manuscripts and illustrations. Looking for a publisher in the early stages of planning the volume, I found immediately support by Dr. W. Engel (Department of Geological Sciences of the Springer- Verlag) who generously offered me to take the book into the newly founded series "Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences". From the beginning of organization, writing and editing, I appreciated very much the close cooperation with Dr. Engel who always had an ear for my problems and gave me the necessary freedom to finish the volume along the lines of my intention. Although the preparation of the camera-ready manuscript leaves nearly all the work and responsibility with the author, I am especially grateful to Dr. Engel for his guarantee of almost immediate publication after receipt of the final manuscript which allowed me to polish and incorporate latest ideas up to the very terminal moment. Writing on a subject like the Buntsandstein which has proven to be considerably diversified in terms of sedimentary processes and depositional mechanisms, it became soon apparent that a full discussion along my original intention would easily end up with several thousands of pages in size and would consume much more than a few years. Having already rePeatedly experienced in the past that during course of incorporation of nearly all the relevant literature, the reference l i s t of the final paper is often longer than the whole first draft of the article after one or two years collection of data and ideas, there was no other way than to decide to keep the bibliography short. In order to restrict the book to an economical frame and not to frighten the readership to death, but especially to avoid drowning of the red line through the volume, many contributions had to be written as summary presentations without detailed discussion of the literature. Speaking particularly for the articles that have been written by myself either alone or together with friends, I can assure that this is by no means the result of proud neglectance of other works, but only the necessity of streamlining of the book, and that much of the detailed discussion of comparative examples from the literature has to be done in subsequent special papers. It is impossible to acRnowledge all the people that helped me to arrive at the present goal. Special merits, however, deserve those who stimulated my interest for the Buntsandstein. I am especially indebted to Prof. Dr. G. Fuchs (Landessammlungen fur Naturkunde, Karlsruhe) who proposed me ten years ago to work on the Eifel Buntsandstein for my M.Sc. Thesis, and who later supervised together with Prof. Dr. W. Dachroth (Department of Geology and Palaeontology, University of Heidelberg) the preparation of my Ph.D. Thesis. The good luck of the former to choose the Eifel for me as a starting region (which later proved to have a key position for approaching the evolution of fluvial sedimentation in many other Buntsandstein areas), and the earlier investigations of the latter (although largely unpublished and even only briefly touched in his contribution to this volume) triggered my love of the Buntsandstein which has reached a preliminary climax with the present book. It is my pleasure to dedicate this volume to my two former supervisors with very many thanks for their support and in honour of their merit to have lighted the fire. It is my sincere wish to acknowledge again all the people who contributed with articles to this volume for their help to prepare this summary of the state of the art of Buntsandstein fluvial sedimento]og~y. I also want to sincerely thank all friends and colleagues who supplied ideas and facts in oral or written form and who guided me in the field during course of my comparative investigations that helped me considerably in proceeding with the interpretation of the Buntsandstein. Thanks are also due to Helmut Mader (my father) and Martha Herrmann (my aunt) for their support. I am further indebted to those who have been involved in the various technical aspects of the preparation of the manuscript from the beginning of word processor typesetting of the text and reprography of the illustrations to the final printing. I do hope that the compilation of articles on fluvial aspects of the Buntsandstein in this book will stimulate the interest of many people in the topic of sedimentological modelling of terrestrial red bed sequences and will internationally highlight the position of the Buntsandstein as an extraordinarily attractive case history of fluvial deposition.
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