Abstract

Lower Permian sedimentary cycles of the North American Midcontinent consist predominantly of very shallow marine and paralic facies and well-developed stacked paleosol profiles. Although recording glacio-eustatic sea level fluctuations, these cycles also contain evidence of cyclic climate change. This evidence includes the repeated carbonate-to-clastic facies pattern observed for meter-scale cycles, and the regionally consistent change from calcic to vertic paleosols within the variegated mudstones of most cyclothems. Climates are interpreted to have fluctuated from arid or semiarid conditions to seasonally wet/dry conditions during the course of a single cyclothem. Furthermore, within the Midcontinent, drier conditions appear to have characterized times of sea-level rise and highstand, whereas wetter more seasonal conditions characterized times of sea-level fall and lowstand. This relationship is interpreted to have resulted from variations in the intensity of a Pangean monsoon generated by glacial-interglacial cycles.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.