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Abstract

A well-justified stratigraphical correlation of continental successions and new palaeogeographic reconstruction of Pangaea reveal new insights into the northern Pangaean climate development influenced by palaeogeography, palaeotopography, glacio-eustatic sealevel changes and ocean currents. The overall Permo-Carboniferous aridization trend was interrupted by five wet phases. These are linked to the Gondwana icecap. The aridization and weakening of wet phases over time were not only caused by the drift of northern Pangaea to the arid climatic belt, but also by the successive closure of the Rheic Ocean, which caused the expansion of arid/semi-arid environments in the Lower/Middle Permian. The end of the Gondwana glaciation rearranged ocean circulation, leading to a cold, coast-parallel ocean current west of northern Pangaea, blocking moisture coming with westerly winds. The maximum of aridity was reached during the Roadian/Wordian. The Trans-Pangaean Mountain Belt was non-existent. Its single diachronous parts never exceeded an average elevation of 2000 m. The maximum elevation shifted during time from east to west. The Hercynian orogen never acted as an orographic east-west barrier, and the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone was widely displaced, causing four seasons (dry summer/winter, wet spring/autumn) at the equator and a strong monsoon system.

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