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40Ar/39Ar age constraints on the Haifanggou and Lanqi formations: When did the first flowers bloom?

By
Su-Chin Chang
Su-Chin Chang
1
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
2
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Nanjing 210008, China
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Haichun Zhang
Haichun Zhang
2
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Nanjing 210008, China
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Sidney R. Hemming
Sidney R. Hemming
1
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
3
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, NY 10027, USA
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Gary T. Mesko
Gary T. Mesko
3
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, NY 10027, USA
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Yan Fang
Yan Fang
2
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Nanjing 210008, China
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

Well-preserved Mesozoic terrestrial fossils were discovered in the Haifanggou Formation and the overlying Lanqi Formation (or their correlative strata) in NE China. The recent discoveries of Schmeissneria sinensis and Xingxueanthus sinensis from the middle and upper Jurassic Haifanggou Formation provide evidence that the origin of angiosperms could be predate the Early Cretaceous. In addition to the finding of pre-Cretaceous angiosperms from the Haifanggou Formation, the overlying Lanqi Formation yields a rich and varied terrestrial flora. The high diversity and abundance of the palaeoflora from these formations provide a unique window to understand floral evolution and its diversification in the Mesozoic. Two tuff samples and one andesite sample collected from the Haifanggou and Lanqi formations near Beipiao City, Liaoning, NE China yield robust 40Ar/39Ar age results. Our 40Ar/39Ar age of 166.7 ± 1.0 Ma for plagioclases from one tuff interbedded in the fossiliferous horizons of the middle Haifanggou Formation provides accurate age calibration for the pre-Cretaceous angiosperms for the first time. Moreover, our age results for these fossil-bearing formations will improve our knowledge of the Jurassic environment in general, including the link between plants and atmospheric CO2.

Supplementary material:

Details of analysis procedures, Ar isotopic data corrected for blanks, mass discrimination, radioactive decay and J values are available at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18575.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Advances in 40Ar/39Ar Dating: From Archaeology to Planetary Sciences

F. Jourdan
F. Jourdan
Curtin University, Australia
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D. F. Mark
D. F. Mark
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, UK
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C. Verati
C. Verati
University of Nice, France
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Geological Society of London
Volume
378
ISBN electronic:
9781862396623
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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