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Book Chapter

Terrestrial Economic Deposits

January 01, 1986


Coal, kaolinite, bauxite, and lateritic iron ores are deposited in terrestrial environments and evaporites in terrestrial or marginal terrestrial environments. All these economic deposits are dependent to some degree on rainfall. Evaporites generally are indicative of dry environments, in which evaporation greatly exceeds precipitation, whereas coal, kaolinite, latente, and bauxite are formed under wet conditions. Terrestrial deposits generally have been placed in a zonal paleoclimatic context by workers concerned with their paleoclimatic implications, for example, Briden and Irving (1964), Drewry et al. (1974), and Hallam (1984). For the most part, the zonal model is adequate for describing the distribution of terrestrial paleoclimatic indicators. However, attempts to define the zones in which the deposits should occur have been confounded by “noise” in the data. Some of the noise is attributable to inaccurate dating or to the use of data from too long an interval of time. However, other problems are inherent in the limitations of the zonal model. For this reason, it is appropriate to introduce the sections on terrestrial deposits with a discussion of the effects of the supercontinent, Pangaea, on circulation, because the zonal model is least effective for Pangaean time.

Pangaea was a single land mass whose size was unequaled during the Phanerozoic. After its assembly, the continent gradually drifted northward and, in the Triassic, was symmetrically positioned about the equator (Fig. 35; J.M. Parrish et al., in press), stretching nearly from pole to pole. Robinson (1973) recognized that this geography was likely to have had a striking

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SEPM Short Course Notes

Paleoclimates and Economic Geology

Judith Totman Parrish
Judith Totman Parrish
Branch of Oil and Gas Resources U.S. Geological Survey, MS 971 Box 25046, Denver Federal Center Denver, CO 80225-0046 U.S.A.
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Eric J. Barron
Eric J. Barron
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science University of Miami Miami, FL 33149 U.S.A.
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
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January 01, 1986




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