Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 16
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


BEATY, Melissa Clare, Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, COHEN, Arthur D., Geological Sciences, Univ of South Carolina, 701 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208 and WILLOUGHBY, Ralph H., South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey, 5 Geology Road, Columbia, SC 29212,

The Middle Pleistocene (?) Camelot site, a fossil locality yielding abundant vertebrate remains (e.g. Paleolama, Hemiauchenia, Smilodon, Megalonyx, Tapirus, and others), overlies the Upper Eocene Harleyville Limestone within the Giant Cement quarry, an area adjacent to Four Hole Swamp in the Lower Coastal Plain of South Carolina. A 3.5 meter section of sediments associated with this locality was measured and subdivided into 21 units, ranging in thickness from 3cm to 1.23m. Each unit (labeled A-U in ascending order from the base) was lithologically described.

Twenty-eight sediment samples (collected on the basis of sediment character and unit thickness) were processed for pollen and examined for the purpose of paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Based on initial findings, deposition involved several sequences transitioning between low- and high-energy fluvial environments, including a series of flaser-like beds containing lenses of organic-rich clay and fine quartz sand.

In the basal 0.7m of the section, several such transitions exist. Unit C, directly above the weathered limestone, contains remains from freshwater aquatic plants, such as Pediastrum, Nuphar, and Myriophyllum. Unit D, characterized by subrounded quartz sands, exhibits abundant marine dinoflagellates (presumably weathered from the surrounding limestone) along with highly degraded arboreal pollen, suggesting a shift toward more swiftly moving water. Abundant plant tissue fragments and remains from Taxodium and Sphagnum in unit E suggest a change into a lower-energy river swamp environment. Unit F is lithologically and palynologically similar to unit D and is overlain by a peat unit (G) that contains abundant Taxodium and pteridophyte remains. The overlying 15 units exhibit varying concentrations of arboreal and non-arboreal pollen and spores, including Pinus, Carya, Quercus, Liquidambar, Corylus, grasses, composites, and pteridophytes. Differing concentrations and degrees of preservation of these and other remains (e.g. marine dinoflagellates, tissue fragments, and charcoal) will provide further information about the environments of deposition associated with this sequence of sediments.