Integrated multi-stratigraphic study of the Coll de Terrers late Permian–Early Triassic continental succession from the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Iberian Peninsula): A geologic reference record for equatorial Pangaea

Eudald Mujal, Josep Fortuny, Jordi Pérez-Cano, Jaume Dinarès-Turell, Jordi Ibáñez-Insa, Oriol Oms, Isabel Vila, Arnau Bolet, Pere Anadón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The most severe biotic crisis on Earth history occurred during the Permian–Triassic (PT) transition around 252 Ma. Whereas in the marine realm such extinction event is well-constrained, in terrestrial settings it is still poorly known, mainly due to the lack of suitable complete sections. This is utterly the case along the Western Tethys region, located at Pangaea's equator, where terrestrial successions are typically build-up of red beds often characterised by a significant erosive gap at the base of the Triassic strata. Henceforth, documenting potentially complete terrestrial successions along the PT transition becomes fundamental. Here, we document the exceptional Coll de Terrers area from the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Iberian Peninsula), for which a multidisciplinary research is conducted along the PT transition. The red-bed succession, located in a long E-W extended narrow rift system known as Pyrenean Basin, resulted from a continuous sedimentary deposition evolving from meandering (lower Upper Red Unit) to playa-lake/ephemeral lacustrine (upper Upper Red Unit) and again to meandering settings (Buntsandstein facies). Sedimentary continuity is suggested by preliminary cyclostratigraphic analysis that warrants further analysis. Our combined sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical data infer a humid-semiarid-humid climatic trend across the studied succession. The uppermost Permian strata, deposited under an orbitally controlled monsoonal regime, yields a relatively diverse ichnoassemblage mainly composed of tetrapod footprints and arthropod trace fossils. Such fossils indicate appropriate life conditions and water presence in levels that also display desiccation structures. These levels alternate with barren intervals formed under dry conditions, being thus indicative of strong seasonality. All these features are correlated with those reported elsewhere in Gondwana and Laurasia, and suggest that the Permian–Triassic boundary might be recorded somewhere around the Buntsandstein base. Consequently, Coll de Terrers and the whole Catalan Pyrenees become key regions to investigate in detail the Permian extinction event and the Triassic ecosystems recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-60
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume159
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Orbital forcing
  • Permian-Triassic transition
  • Stratigraphy
  • Tetrapod footprints
  • Western Tethys
  • X-ray diffraction

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