Abstract

Palaeomagnetic and biostratigraphic data were obtained for the latest Ladinian and most of the Carnian (Botneheia Formation to basal Kapp Toscana Group), from two sections in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard archipelago). Thermal and alternating field (AF) demagnetization reveals a magnetization of both normal and reversed polarities. The mean directions pass reversal and fold tests and are similar to other European Late Triassic palaeopoles. One of the sections displays 15° of vertical-axis, clockwise, tectonic rotation on a décollement in the underlying Botneheia Formation. The magnetostratigraphy is dominated by normal polarity in the uppermost Botneheia Formation and into the Tschermakfjellet and basal De Geerdalen formations. A substantial hiatus characterizes the Ladinian–Carnian boundary in central Spitsbergen, so reverse magnetozones, identified in Tethyan sections near this boundary, are absent. Magnetostratigraphic correlation, along with palynostratigraphic constraints, indicates that most of the De Geerdalen Formation is Lower Carnian. The magnetostratigraphy and palynology indicates that the Isfjorden Member (upper unit of the De Geerdalen Formation) is probably mid-Carnian in age. Change in the lithological architecture in the Isfjorden Member, compared with the underlying parts of the De Geerdalen Fm, suggests a hiatus near the base of the member, which may represent a mid-Carnian unconformity, not previously recognized on Spitsbergen.

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