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Gominpal Belgica Dcouvertes gologiques, minralogiques et palontologiques

en Belgique.


Additional Contributions to the Knowledge of the Sediments, Taphonomy,

Ichnofossils, Bacteria, Invertebrata,Vertebrata, Algae, Plantae and Fungi

of the Sint Niklaas Phosphorite Bed in

its type locality: Sint Niklaas (Eastern Flanders, Belgium)

Part One

Location, Sediments, Taphonomy, Ichnofossils, Pre-Oligocene Fossils and Bacteria


Jacques Herman1, Hilde Van Waes

1, Hugues Doutrelepont

2, Lutgaerde Kenis


Julien Van Nuffel3, Jacqueline Cloetens

& Marcel Vervoenen4

1Herman J. & Van Waes H. : Mail:, 2Doutrelepont H. & Kenis L. : Mail:,

3Van Nuffel J. & Cloetens J.: Rue Jules Lahaye 203, 1090 (Jette, Belgium)

and 4Vervoenen M.: Beekstraat 35, 9300, (Aalst, Belgium).

BELSELE: S.V.K. Clay Pit 4: B.G.S. Archives: N: 42 W 394

Oligocene: Sint Niklaas Phosphorite Bed

Four multi-coloured agate fragments. Magnification x 10.

Photographs M. Jatte. Laboratory Dr. Deliens (U.C.L., Belgium).

HERMAN Jacques Editor H



This work is dedicated to the memory of Ir. Jan Trommelmans


President of

the Koninklijke Oudheidkundige Kring van het Land van Waas


Technical Director of

the Company Scheerders Van Kerkhove te Belsele-Sint-Niklaas,

Their friends, Jacques Herman and Hilde Van Waes


to the memory of Michel Girardot:

Silkscreen printer, artist and

one of the first field partners

of the senior-author,

Their friends, Jacques Herman, Hilde Van Waes, Julien Van Nuffel and Jacqueline Cloetens

at Beigem, 8 August 2012

Jacques Herman, Hilde Van Waes,

Julien Van Nuffel and Jacqueline Cloetens


Plan of this Publication

1. Summary Rsum Samenvatting Kurzfassung - : p.: 5 2. Introduction: p.: 7

3. Introduction: p.: 7

4. Introductie: p.: 8

5. Subdivisions of Gominpal Belgica 5: p.: 8

6. Geographical location and Age of the sediments: p.: 9

6.1. Present location: p.: 9

6.2. Ancient location: p.: 12

6.3. Justification of the name of this Stratigraphical Unit: p.: 14

7. Sediments: Sand and glaucony grains, pebbles, kaolinite bullets,

adopted methods and volume of the sifted sediment: p.: 14

8. Taphonomic observations: p.: 15

8.1.Preliminary: p.: 15

8.2.Operations succeeding the extraction and the removal of one block: p.: 15

9. The nature and the possible origin of the pebbles: p.: 17

10. The concretions: p.: 17

10.1. Concretions of biological origin: p.: 17

10.2. Faeces, called coprolites when fossilised: p.: 18

10.3. Concretions of biochemical origin: p.: 19

11. Glaucony grains, kaolinite fragments and presence of loess particles: p.: 19

11.1.The glaucony grains: p.: 19

11.2.The kaolinite fragments: p.: 19

11.3.The loess particles: p.: 20

11.4. The important difference between the sedimentological signification and the mineralogical signification of the term Clay: p.: 20

12. Some significant absences: p.: 21

13. Possible origins of the different elements constituting the sediments: p.: 21

14. The range of the dimensions of the diverse fossils and choice of sieves: p.: 21

14.1. Generalities: p.: 21

14.2. Details: p.: 22

15. Geographical extension of the Sint Niklaas Phosphorite Bed: p.: 22

16. Systematic list of the Bacteria, Ichnofossils and Pre-Oligocene Fossils found

in the Sint Niklaas Phosphorite Bed: p.: 22

16.1. Bacteria: p.: 22

16.2. Ichnofossils: p.: 24

16.3. Pre-Oligocene Fossils: p.: 27

17. Additional remark concerning some ichnofossils found in different valves

of Pycnodonte callifera discovered in this Horizon p.: 31

18. Intensity of the decalcification during the formation of this conglomerate: p.: 31

19. General conclusions about the Oligocene deposits at S.V.K.

based on the study of the different Ichnofossils and mineralogical elements: p.: 31

19.1. Before the lixiviation phase, the Eocene - Oligocene transition: p.: 31

19.2.The successive Oligocene deposits at S.V.K. : p.: 32

20. List of the taxa representing new records for

Bacteria and Ichnofossils of the Belgian Lower Oligocene: p.: 33 21. Some biological observations realised in the S.V.K. Clay Pit 4: p.: 34

22. Additional explanations to Gominpal Belgica Special Paper: p.: 35

22.1. Geographical position of SVK Clay Pit 4 during the sedimentation

of the Ruisbroek Sands Formation: p.: 35

22.2. Photosynthesis 650 million years ago: p.: 35

22.3. Original extension of areas affected by Tectonic Events: p.: 36

22.4. Position of the North Pole during the sedimentation of the Sint Niklaas Phosphorite Bed: p.: 36

22.5. Forgotten ancient Naturalists and contemporary Naturalists: p.: 36

22.6. Reflexions concerning the longevity of one vertebrate taxon: p.: 36 23. Plates 1 to 64 : p.: 41-104

24. Comments of the Plates: p.: 105

25. Bibliography: p.: 118. 26. Acknowledgements: p.: 131


The Social and Cultural impact of the S.V.K. Direction

in Eastern Flanders (by Jacques Herman)

Before World War One, only two private Flemish Companies proposed to their workmen 75% of their last monthly (or

weekly) incomes as a pension: Het Laatste Nieuws, a daily Paper (Brussels) and S.V.K., a Clay Pit Exploitation


Those two Companies also offered free medical assistance to all their employees (staff and workmen). S.V.K. Direction

also sustained, financially, the Sint Niklaas Cultural Society: de Oudheidkundige Kring van het Land van Waes, by the

free printing of their Annals.

S.V.K. had also transformed its first excavation pit into a Public Bath, open to all the Sint Niklaas citizens and their



1. Summary - Rsum - Samenvatting - Kurzfassung


In the first of the four parts of this Study, sedimentological, mineralogical, taphonomical data, ichnofossils and the

geological age of all the fossils discovered in this Horizon are re-examined, and consequently, the geological age of this

Horizon itself is reconsidered.

The slow and progressive formation of this irregular conglomerate is detailed. Its formation can be explained by the

continuous action of a subaquatic stream.

A short emersion succeeded the initial phase of the formation of this conglomerate. Marine waters came back, but the

environment remained coastal to intertidal.

The successive phases of the sedimentation of the upper part of the Sands of Ruisbroek, of the Sint Niklaas Phosphorite

Bed, the lower and upper parts of the Boom Clay Formation (sensu stricto) are examined and detailed.

Keywords: Belgium, Oligocene, Rupelian, Sands of Ruisbroek, Sint Niklaas Phosphorite Bed, Boom Clay Formation,

Ichnofossils, Bacteria, Invertebrata, Vertebrata, Algae, Plantae, Systematics, Parasystematics, Evolution, Genetics, Plate

Tectonics, Geophysics, Van Allen Rings, Taphonomy, Sedimentology, Paleoclimatology, Astrophysics.


Dans la premire des quatre parties de cette Etude, les donnes sdimentologiques, minralogiques, taphonomiques et lge rel de tous les fossiles dcouverts dans cet Horizon sont rexamins, et par consquent, lge gologique de cet

Horizon est reconsidr.

La formation lente et progressive de ce conglomrat irrgulier est minutieusement dtaille. Elle peut sexpliquer par

laction continue dun courant subaquatique, changeant sporadiquement de direction.

Une brve mersion succda la phase initiale de la formation de ce conglomrat. Les eaux marines revinrent, mais

lenvironnement resta littoral intertidal. Les phases successives de la sdimentation de la partie suprieure des Sables

de Ruisbroek, de lHorizon des Phosphorites de Sint Niklaas, des parties infrieure et suprieure de lArgile de Boom

(sensu stricto) sont examines et dtailles.

Mots-cls: Belgique, Oligocne, Ruplien, Sables de Ruisbroek, Horizon Phosphorites de Sint Niklaas, Formation de

lArgile de Boom, Ichnofossiles, Bacteria, Invertebrata, Vertebrata, Algae, Plantae, Systmatique, Parasystmatique,

Evolution, Gntique, Tectonique des Plaques, Gophysique, Ceintures de Van Allen, Taphonomie, Sdimentologie,

Paloclimatologie, Astrophysique.


In het eerste van de vier delen van deze Studie worden, de sedimentologische, mineralogische, tafonomische gegevens

en de werkelijke geologische ouderdom van al de fossielen gevonden in deze Horizon herzien, en bijgevolg ook de

werkelijke geologische ouderdom van deze Horizon zelf.

De langzame en progressieve formatie van dit onregelmatig conglomeraat wordt zorgvuldig gedetailleerd. Zijn formatie

wordt verklaard door de permanente actie v