Devonian Climate, Sea Level and Evolutionary Events
The geological and palaeontological records of climate change and evolutionary events reflect Earth’s widely fluctuating climate systems. Past climates hold the clues to understanding future developments. In this context, research on linked climate, biodiversity and sea-level fluctuations of the Devonian contributes to the general knowledge of deep-time climate dynamics. A fruitful co-operation between the International Geoscience Programme IGCP 596 and the International Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy (SDS) addressed the complex succession of climate-linked Devonian global events of varying magnitude. The primary goal of IGCP 596 was to assess mid-Palaeozoic climate changes and their impact on marine and terrestrial biodiversity using an interdisciplinary approach. The focus of SDS includes a revision of the eustatic sea-level curve and the integration of refined chrono- and biostratigraphy with modern chemo-, magneto-, cyclo-, event- and sequence stratigraphy. This enabled the much improved dating and correlation of abiotic perturbations, evolutionary changes, organism and ecosystem ranges. Results by 37 authors are presented in 14 chapters, which cover the entire Devonian.
Greenhouse to icehouse: a biostratigraphic review of latest Devonian–Mississippian glaciations and their global effects
Published:January 01, 2016
J. A. Lakin, J. E. A. Marshall, I. Troth, I. C. Harding, 2016. "Greenhouse to icehouse: a biostratigraphic review of latest Devonian–Mississippian glaciations and their global effects", Devonian Climate, Sea Level and Evolutionary Events, R. T. Becker, P. Königshof, C. E. Brett
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The latest Devonian–Mississippian interval records the long-term transition from Devonian greenhouse conditions into the Late Palaeozoic Ice Age (LPIA). This transition was punctuated by three short glaciation events in the latest Famennian, mid-Tournaisian and Visean stages, respectively. Primary evidence for glaciation is based on diamictite deposits and striated pavements in South America, Appalachia and Africa. The aim of this review is to assess the primary biostratigraphic and sedimentological data constraining diamictite deposits through this transition. These data are then compared to the wider record of eustasy, mass extinction and isotope stratigraphy in the lower palaeolatitudes. Precise age determinations are vital to integrate high- and low-palaeolatitude datasets, and to understand the glacial control on wider global changes. Palynological techniques currently provide the best biostratigraphic tool to date these glacial deposits and to correlate the effects of glaciation globally. This review highlights a high degree of uncertainty in the known history of early LPIA glaciation as much of the primary stratigraphic data are limited and/or unpublished. Future high-resolution stratigraphic studies are needed to constrain the history of glaciation both spatially and temporally through the latest Devonian and Mississippian.