A geomagnetic polarity timescale for the Permian, calibrated to stage boundaries
The reverse polarity Kiaman Superchron has strong evidence for at least three, or probably four, normal magnetochrons during the early Permian. Normal magnetochrons are during the early Asselian (base CI1r.1n at 297.94±0.33 Ma), late Artinskian (CI2n at 281.24±2.3 Ma), mid-Kungurian (CI3n at 275.86±2.0 Ma) and Roa"dian (CI3r.an at 269.54±1.6 Ma). The mixed-polarity Illawarra Superchron begins in the early Wordian at 266.66±0.76 Ma. The Wordian–Capitanian interval is biased to normal polarity, but the basal Wuchiapingian begins the beginning of a significant reverse polarity magnetochron LP0r, with an overlying mixed-polarity interval through the later Lopingian. No significant magnetostratigraphic data gaps exist in the Permian geomagnetic polarity record. The early Cisuralian magnetochrons are calibrated to a succession of fusulinid zones, the later Cisuralian and Guadalupian to a conodont and fusulinid biostratigraphy, and Lopingian magnetochrons to conodont zonations. Age calibration of the magnetochrons is obtained through a Bayesian approach using 35 radiometric dates, and 95% confidence intervals on the ages and chron durations are obtained. The dating control points are most numerous in the Gzhelian–Asselian, Wordian and Changhsingian intervals. This significant advance should provide a framework for better correlation and dating of the marine and non-marine Permian.
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The Palaeozoic Era ends with the c. 47-million-year-long Permian Period. This was a major juncture in Earth history when the vast Pangean supercontinent continued its assembly and the global biota suffered the most extensive biotic decimation of the Phanerozoic, the end-Permian mass extinction. It was also the time of accumulation of vast mineral and energy deposits, notably of salt and petroleum. The temporal ordering of geological and biotic events during Permian time is, therefore, critical to the interpretation of some unique and pivotal events in Earth history. This temporal ordering is based mostly on the Permian timescale, which has been developed and refined for nearly two centuries. This book reviews the history of the development of the Permian chronostratigraphic scale. It also includes comprehensive analyses of Permian radioisotopic ages, magnetostratigraphy, isotope-based correlations, and timescale-relevant marine and non-marine biostratigraphy and biochronology.