Geological Society of London
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Integrated stratigraphy and palaeoclimate history of the Carnian Pluvial Event in the Boreal realm; new data from the Upper Triassic Kapp Toscana Group in central Spitsbergen (Norway)

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-06-21, 11:54 authored by Steven Mueller, Mark W. Hounslow, Wolfram M. Kürschner

The Late Triassic climate is characterized by arid conditions interrupted by a humid phase known as the Carnian Pluvial Event (CPE). This wet phase is well documented in the Tethyan realm, but evidence from the Boreal realm is scarce. Here we present evidence from quantitative palynology for the CPE from the Kapp Toscana Group on central Spitsbergen integrated with organic carbon isotope data linked to the geomagnetic polarity time scale. Our data reveal an early to mid-Julian-1 age for the Tschermakfjellet Formation. The transition to the Julian-2 is located in the De Geerdalen Formation and the Isfjorden Member is confirmed as mostly Tuvalian-3 in age. The Aulisporites astigmosus pollen assemblage zone that marks the base of the CPE in the Tethys realm at the base of the Julian-2 is assigned to the Julian-1 in the Boreal region. Palaeoclimate proxy data inferred from principal component analysis indicate wetter conditions from the Julian-2 onwards, which is in agreement with the establishment of local swamp vegetation on top of a delta plain. The palaeotemperature curve indicates a period of cooler climate during the early Julian-1 followed by warming during the late Julian-1.