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Aridification across the Carboniferous–Permian transition in Central equatorial Pangea: the Catalan Pyrenean succession (NE Iberian Peninsula)

Mujal, Eudald, Fortuny, Josep, Marmi, Josep, Dinarès-Turell, Jaume, Bolet, Arnau, Oms, Oriol
Sedimentary geology 2017
Carboniferous period, Permian period, arid zones, drought, fossils, paleoecology, soil science, wet environmental conditions, Iberian Peninsula
The Carboniferous–Permian terrestrial successions record a global climatic shift from icehouse to hothouse conditions. Our multidisciplinary study documents an aridification trend throughout the ~1000m thick composite terrestrial succession of the western Catalan Pyrenees (NE Iberian Peninsula), representing this time period. The detailed stratigraphic framework integrates sedimentology, paleopedology, biochronology (plant fossils and tetrapod footprints) and geochronology (paleomagnetism). Additional absolute age correlation is also carried out. The new and reviewed data show that the late Carboniferous wet environments (with short drought periods) progressively changed to a strong seasonal semi-arid and arid climate (with short humid periods) through the early Permian. This paleoclimatic trend supports the previously suggested aridification of the Pangean pan-tropical belt, and supports the hypothesis of the influence of the recurrent climatic fluctuations in Central Pangea, being tentatively correlated to the Southern Gondwanan glaciation-deglaciation periods. Therefore, the Carboniferous–Permian terrestrial succession from the Catalan Pyrenees emerges as a continuous record that can help to constrain late Paleozoic paleoenvironmental events.