A review of the palynostratigraphy of Gondwanan Late Carboniferous to Early Permian glacigene successions
Published:January 01, 2008
Michael H Stephenson, 2008. "A review of the palynostratigraphy of Gondwanan Late Carboniferous to Early Permian glacigene successions", Resolving the Late Paleozoic Ice Age in Time and Space, Christopher R. Fielding, Tracy D. Frank, John L. Isbell
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The Late Carboniferous to Early Permian dominantly nonmarine, glacigene sequences of Gondwana contain a number of basic palynostratigraphic trends, including the appearance and diversification of (1) monosaccate pollen; (2) cheilocardioid spores (such as Microbaculispora); (3) Cycadopites pollen; and (4) taeniate and non-taeniate bisaccate pollen, and these and other changes mean that palynology can be used to correlate the sequences from basin to basin and interregionally. Early Permian Western Australian, Arabian, and South African sequences can be correlated using taxa such as Converrucosisporites confluens and Pseudoreticulatispora pseudoreticulata. Thus, for example, palynostratigraphy shows that the Dwyka Group of the northern Karoo Basin, South Africa, correlates with part of the Stockton Formation and the Collie Coal Measures of the Collie Basin, Western Australia. In Western Australia, an associated marine fauna allows the ranges of these and other palynomorphs to be dated approximately with the standard scale; thus, for example, Converrucosisporites confluens probably ranges within the Sakmarian. Radiometric dating of associated volcanic layers also allows palynozones to be calibrated; for example, part of the Vittatina costabilis palynozone of the Paraná Basin may be Asselian in age. It is generally difficult, however, to correlate Gondwana palynological assemblages precisely to the Russian type areas because of scarcity of marine fauna in Gondwana and dissimilarity with assemblages of these type areas, which are paleoequatorial. Thus, the Carboniferous-Permian boundary cannot be precisely correlated in Gondwana by palynology.