Above: Photograph of the delegates who attended the Rhynie conference, taken in the grounds of King's College, University of Aberdeen, 18th September 2003.
Over forty delegates attended this international conference and workshop, which provided a forum for discussion of all aspects of research on the Early Devonian Rhynie hot spring complex, Aberdeenshire Scotland. As well as from UK and European universities, delegates also came from the US, Australia and New Zealand.
A wide variety of areas of research were covered by oral and poster presentations, and are listed at the bottom of this page. Palaeontological aspects included both review papers and descriptions of new elements of the biota from the Rhynie and Windyfield cherts. Other areas covered included a history of Rhynie research, geology, mineralisation and dating of the Rhynie deposits. Various topics relating to modern hot spring analogues were also explored. These included taphonomy and preservation of biota, sinter formation and facies variation in hot spring environments, silica maturation and sinter diagenesis, together with the role of microbes in silicification, sinter formation and the precipitation of metals.
For the conference, with permission from Scottish Natural Heritage, a trench was excavated through part of the Rhynie chert-bearing unit, revealing a 12 metre sequence of cherts and chert-cemented sandstones interbedded with weathered carbonaceous sandstones, siltstones and shales (see inset below right). For the first time oriented blocks of chert were recovered from in situ chert beds, and will provide material for future work on the palaeoecology of the deposit. The trench was visited by the conference delegates on Saturday 20th September as the main part of a field excursion looking at the geology of the Rhynie area
|On Sunday 21st September,
Drs. Nigel Trewin and Clive Rice gave a talk on the geology and
palaeontology of the Rhynie hot spring complex at the school in Rhynie,
which was attended by over two hundred people from the village and the
surrounding area! Following the presentation members of the public were
invited to view the trench excavated through part of the Rhynie
chert-bearing sequence (see inset right).
We would like to thank Scottish Natural Heritage, who own the Rhynie chert SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for their cooperation and allowing the excavation to take place. Jim Duncan is also thanked for his help in excavating the trench.
Right: Members of the public viewing the trench excavated through part of the Rhynie chert-bearing sequence at Rhynie.
The following contributions were given during the conference, and the abstracts may be viewed here.
and framework geology
research on the geology and palaeontology of the Rhynie area,
setting of the Rhynie Hot Spring System.
age and underlying cause of hot spring activity at Rhynie.
review of the sporophytes of embryophytes in the cherts at Rhynie. D. Edwards
(University of Cardiff)
chert plants and adaptations to their substrates.
Assimilation and transpiration capabilities of rhyniophtic plants and implications for palaeoatmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. W. Konrad and A. Roth-Nebelsick (Institut für Geowissenschaften der Universität Tübingen)
spore assemblages from the Lower Devonian sequence of the Rhynie
in the Rhynie chert: a view from the dark side.
algae from the Rhynie Chert. R. Kelman (University of
Aberdeen), M. Feist (
R. Kelman (University of Aberdeen), M. Feist (Université de Montpellier), N. H. Trewin (University of Aberdeen) and H. Hass (Westfalische Wilhelms Universität, Munster)
review of the palaeoenvironments and biota of the Windyfield chert.
harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones) from the Early Devonian Rhynie
crustacean with cladoceran affinities from the Early Devonian (Pragian)
chert. and H. Hass (Westfalische
and H. Hass (Westfalische Wilhelms Universität, Munster)
feeding habits of Lower Devonian terrestrial fauna; evidence from an
of coprolites preserved in the Rhynie chert.
taphonomy: silicification of plants in Yellowstone hot spring
on silica sinter maturation, preservation and depositional
Island, New Zealand.
silicification of microbes in hot spring settings: implications for
interpretation of ancient silicified microbes.
facies and development of sinter terraces. R. W. Renaut
Saskatchewan), B. Jones (University of Alberta) and R. B. Owen (Hong
of possible metal precipitation pathways resulting from microbial
present in metalliferous hot springs in New Zealand.
silicification: Experimental field and laboratory studies. Liane
G. Benning (University
of Leeds) and
Bruce W. Mountain
Research Centre, Taupo, New Zealand)
Meet Medusa: silicification of arthropods in a modern-day, terrestrial, hot-spring system. L. I. Anderson (National Museum of Scotland), A. Channing (National Museum of Wales), N. H. Trewin (University of Aberdeen) and S. Sturtevant (Billings, Montana).
wetland dominated by
unconsolidated chemically precipitated silica sediment: A window on
deposition in Palaeozoic geothermal environments?
Rhynie chert: Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, Collection. P. G. Davis (Natural History Museum)
A new crustacean from the Pragian Rhynie chert, Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. S. R. Fayers and N. H. Trewin (University of Aberdeen)
The Rhynie chert - a web-based teaching and learning resource. N. H. Trewin, S. R. Fayers (University of Aberdeen) and L. I. Anderson (National Museum of Scotland)
Devonian Disaster ~
lahars and lagoons in northern New Brunswick.
magmatic-hydrothermal systems in Cenozoic arc basalts, South Shetland
between 3 boreholes,
drilled within the Rhynie SSSI, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. E.
Wilson and N. H.
Trewin (University of Aberdeen)
Old Red Sandstone Life Beyond the Litter: Devonian Terrestrial Arthropods Outside of Rhynie and Gilboa. Heather M. Wilson (University of Maryland)