Abstract

Terrestrial palynomorphs from the siliciclastic rocks of the Hørbyebreen and Mumien formations in the Birger Johnsonfjellet area, Spitsbergen are documented, providing new knowledge of the stratigraphical ranges of the recorded taxa. Together with a reassessment of previous palynological work in the light of recent advances in palynology, the definitions of three informal palynological assemblages are established. These are correlated to the Carboniferous miospore biozones of Western Europe but differences in the stratigraphical ranges are recorded, as Spitsbergen is located in a different paleofloristic province. Paucity of palynological data from the Arctic areas, as well as lack of independent age control, hampers exact age assignment of the palynological assemblages described. Two age alternatives of the lower part of the Hoelbreen Member are discussed, with the most plausible age for the studied section being mid to late Visean in age. A more consistent and up-to-date correlation of the Mississippian palynofloras in the Arctic region is provided, demonstrating similarities to other Arctic regions. The new age reassessment also improves knowledge of stratigraphical breaks in the succession, providing better understanding of the tectono-stratigraphical history of the region.

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