Skip to Main Content

No major stratigraphic gap exists near the Middle-Upper Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian-Missourian) boundary in North America

Howard J. Falcon-Lang, Philip H. Heckel, William A. DiMichele, Bascombe M. Blake, Cary R. Easterday, Cortland F. Eble, Scott Elrick, Robert A. Gastaldo, Stephen F. Greb, Ronald L. Martino, W. John Nelson, Hermann W. Pfefferkorn, Tom L. Phillips and Steven J. Rosscoe
No major stratigraphic gap exists near the Middle-Upper Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian-Missourian) boundary in North America
Palaios (March 2011) 26 (3): 125-139


Interregional correlation of the marine zones of major cyclothems between North America and eastern Europe does not support assertions that a major stratigraphic gap exists between the traditional regional Desmoinesian and Missourian stages in North America. Such a gap was previously proposed to explain an abrupt change in megafloral assemblages in the northern Appalachian Basin and by extension across all of North America. Conodont-based correlation from the essentially complete low-shelf Midcontinent succession (distal from the highstand shoreline), through the mid-shelf Illinois Basin, to the high shelf of the Appalachian Basin (proximal to highstand shoreline) demonstrates that all major approximately 400 kyr cyclothem groupings in the Midcontinent are recognizable in the Illinois Basin. In the Appalachian Basin, however, the grouping at the base of the Missourian is represented only by paleosols and localized coal. The immediately preceding grouping was removed very locally by paleovalley incision, as is evident at the 7-11 Mine, Columbiana County, Ohio, from which the original megafloral data were derived. At the few localities where incised paleodrainage exists, there may be a gap of approximately 1000 kyr, but a gap of no more than approximately 600 kyr occurs elsewhere in the Appalachian Basin at that level and its magnitude progressively decreases westward into the Illinois ( approximately 300 kyr) and Midcontinent (<200 kyr) Basins. Thus, while a gap is present near the Desmoinesian-Missourian boundary in North America, it is typically more than an order of magnitude smaller than that originally proposed and is similar to the gaps inferred at sequence boundaries between cyclothems at many horizons in the Pennsylvanian of North America.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 26
Serial Issue: 3
Title: No major stratigraphic gap exists near the Middle-Upper Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian-Missourian) boundary in North America
Affiliation: Royal Holloway University of London, Department of Earth Sciences, Egham, United Kingdom
Pages: 125-139
Published: 201103
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 118
Accession Number: 2011-032762
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., 1 table, sketch map
N40°34'60" - N40°55'00", W81°04'60" - W80°31'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Iowa, USA, United StatesSmithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, United StatesWest Virginia Geological Survey, USA, United StatesNortheastern Illinois University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Kentucky, USA, United StatesIllinois State Geological Survey, USA, United StatesColby College, USA, United StatesMarshall University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Pennsylvania, USA, United StatesUniversity of Illinois, USA, United StatesHardin-Simmons University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201119
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal