The Triassic-Jurassic flora of Jameson Land (NE Greenland) is one
of the most important floras of this age in the world. This paleoflora
has a high degree of preservation, as well as a high systematic diversity
(see the revised systematic list - large
HTML file). It is a typical compressive flora, with plants belonging
to Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, Gymnospermophyta and Incertae sedis. The
first paleobotanist who studied in detail the paleoflora of Jameson
Land was Thomas M. Harris, a British paleobotanist who provided a
substantial monograph (Harris, 1926, 1931, 1932a, b, 1935, 1937, 1946).
He was followed by Raunsgaard K. Pedersen (1976, 1984), Pedersen and
Lund (1980) and Pedersen et al. (1989), and by Jennifer McElwain (in
McEwlain et al, 1999).
The first trip to Greenland (2002)
In 2002, a team funded by the National Geographic Society collected
fossil plants from Jameson Land, more than 70 years after the first
paleobotanical field trip of Thomas M. Harris. Our trip was amazing,
Greenland proving to be a fascinating place, not only for paleobotany
and for geology, but also for its beauty. The team members were Dr.
Jennifer McElwain (the Field Museum, Chicago), Professor Finn Surlyk
(University of Copenhagen, Geological Institute), Dr. Stephen Hesselbo
(Oxford University), Matthew Haworth (Oxford University) and myself.
We camped in Ranunkeldal and Astartekloeft, close to two exquisite,
gigantic outcrops, and we could collect a great deal of fossil plants.
The 2002 team (wihout the photographer) in Ranunkeldal.
From left to right: Matthew Haworth, Stephen Hesselbo, Jennifer McElwain
and Finn Surlyk.
The second trip to Greenland (2004)
In 2004, a new paleobotanical and sedimentological field trip
was organised in Jameson Land, funded by NASA, including this time Professor
Finn Surlyk, Dr. Stephen Hesselbo, Dr. Ian Glasspool (the Field Museum),
David Sunderlin (University of Chicago), and myself. Planning and organizing
the field trip was supervised by Dr. Jennifer McElwain who could not
join us in 2004. Rebekah Hines (the Field Museum) was also a key person
for organizing both trips. The working areas were Kap Stewart (at Kap
Stewart, Tancredia and Raevekloeft), and Primulaelv, both very rich
in fossil plants. In spite of six days of rain, the trip was a great
The 2004 team in Kap Stewart. From left to right:
myself, Finn Surlyk, Stephen Hesselbo, Ian Glasspool, David Sunderlin.
In the background, to the right, the Tancredia hills.
A beautiful website
at the Field Museum deals with more details regarding our field trips
in Jameson Land, including site descriptions and photos, Recent and
fossil flora, tools, daily life aspects, and much more.
|Genus and species
Harris, T.M., 1926. The Rhaetic flora of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland.
Saertryk af Meddelelser on Gronland, LXVIII.
Harris, T.M., 1931. The fossil flora of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. Part
1: Cryptogams (exclusive of Lycopodiales). Meddelelsler om Gronland, 2, Kobenhavn,
Harris, T.M., 1932a. The fossil flora of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. Part
2: Description of seed plants Incertae sedis together with a discussion of
certain cycadophyte cuticles. Meddelelser om Gronland, 85, Kobehavn, 1-112
Harris, T.M., 1932b. The fossil flora of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. Part
3: Caytoniales and Bennettitales. Meddelelser om Gronland, 85, Kobenhavn,
Harris, T.M., 1935. The fossil flora of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. Part
4: Ginkgoales, Coniferales, Lycopodiales and isolated fructifications. Meddelelser
om Gronland, 112, Kobenhavn, 1-176 pp.
Harris, T.M., 1937. The fossil flora of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. Part
5: Stratigraphic relations of the plant beds. Meddelelser om Gronland, 112,
Kobenhavn, 1-114 pp.
Harris, T.M., 1946. Liassic and Rhaetic plants collected in 1936-1938 from
East Greenland. Meddelelser om Gronland, 114, Kobenhavn, 1-36 pp.
McElwain, J.C., Beerling, D.J. and Woodward, F.I., 1999. Fossil Plants and
Global Warming at the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary, Science, pp. 1386-1390.
Pedersen, R.K., 1976. Fossil floras of Greenland. In: Escher and Watt (Editors),
Geology of Greenland. Geological Survery of Greenland, Copenhague, pp. 519-535.
Pedersen, R.K., 1984. Den fossile flora fra Scoresby Sund, Ostgronland. Fauna
och flora, 79: 161-168.
Pedersen, R.K. and Lund, J., 1980. Palynology of the plant - bearing Rhaetian
to Hettangian Kap Stewart Formation, Scoresby Sund, East Greenland. Review
of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 31: 1-69.
Pedersen, R.K., Crane, P.R. and Friis, E.M., 1989. The morphology and phylogenetic
significance of Vardekloeftia Harris (Benettitales). Review of Palaeobotany
and Palynology, 60(1989): 7-24.