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Anachronistic facies and carbon isotopes during the end-Permian biocrisis: Evidence from the mid-Tethys (Kisejin, Iran)

Maaleki-Moghadam, Mahdi, Rafiei, Behrouz, Richoz, Sylvain, Woods, Adam D., Krystyn, Leopold
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2019 v.516 pp. 364-383
Permian period, Triassic period, carbon isotopes, carbonates, extinction, microparticles, China, Iran, Turkey (country)
Late Permian mass extinction (LPME) research has focused primarily on Tethyan sections because it is believed that these successions are more complete than those from other localities, and provide a more comprehensive record of the largest, most devastating extinction event in Earth history. The Kisejin section, a previously undocumented mid-Tethyan, Upper Permian-Lower Triassic succession located in the Central-Iran Plate. The Kisejin section contains a continuous Permian-Triassic sequence with only small breaks in sedimentation and was examined in order to determine sedimentologic, biostratigraphic, and carbon isotopic trends across the Permian-Triassic transition. Abnormal (anachronistic) carbonates developed in the study area following the LPME, and include microbialites, edgewise conglomerates, sparitic microspheres, and microbially-coated grains; microbialites occur as thrombolites, stromatolites, and as agglutinated forms. Renalcis-type calcimicrobes are documented for the first time from Permian-Triassic boundary microbialites (PTBMs) of Iran. Coated grains fall into two groups, and include pre-PTBM ooids, which are dense and cloudy, and possibly microbial in origin, and post-PTBM cortoids with destructive and constructive micrite envelopes. Latest Permian conodonts (H. praeparvus, M. ultima), coupled with carbon isotopic values, place the Permian-Triassic boundary within the lowermost thrombolite unit, about 2.1 m above the boundary between the Nessen Formation and the Elika Formation, and indicate that microbialite growth began during the latest Permian. Our study of this previously unknown section shows that, unlike other well-known PTB sections from Iran, the microbialite pattern is complicated, and is more similar to PTBM successions from Turkey. In addition, we note a similarity between the unusual facies of the Kisejin section and those of eastern Tethyan sections from China (i.e. sparry microspheres and Renalcis-type calcimicrobes); these unusual facies have not been previously reported from other well-known Iranian sections, including Julfa and Abadeh, which are thick and have been extensively studied.