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Title: Permian-Triassic Boundary Microbialites (PTBMs) in southwest China, implications for paleoenvironment reconstruction
Authors: Kershaw, SJ
Tang, H
Hong, L
Xiucheng, T
Fei, L
Guang, H
Cheng, H
Lichao, W
Chengbo, L
Ling, L
Xuefei, Y
Keywords: Permian – Triassic boundary microbialites (PTBMs);Conodont;Anoxic upwelling;Redox condition;Early Triassic recovery;Yudongzi;Southwest China
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Citation: Facies, (2016)
Abstract: Permian-Triassic Boundary Microbialites (PTBMs) are commonly interpreted to be a sedimentary response to upwelling of anoxic alkaline seawater and indicate a harsh marine environment in the Permian-Triassic transition. However, recent studies propose that PTBMs may instead be developed in an oxic environment, therefore necessitating the need to reassess the palaeoenvironment of formation of PTBMs. This paper is an integrated study of the PTBM sequence at Yudongzi, northwest Sichuan Basin, which is one of the thickest units of PTBMs in south China. Analysis of conodont biostratigraphy, mega- to microscopic microbialite structures, stratigraphic variations in abundance and size of metazoan fossils, and total organic carbon (TOC) and total sulphur (TS) contents within the PTBM reveals the following results: 1) the microbialites occur mainly in the Hindeodus parvus Zone but may cross the Permian-Triassic boundary, and are comprised of, from bottom to top: lamellar thrombolites, dendritic thrombolites and lamellar-reticular thrombolites; 2) most metazoan fossils of the microbialite succession increase in abundance upsection, so does the sizes of bivalve and brachiopod fossils; 3) TOC and TS values of microbialites account respectively for 0.07 wt.% and 0.31 wt.% in average, both of which are very low. The combination of increase in abundance and size of metazoan fossils upsection, together with the low TOC and TS contents, is evidence that the Yudongzi PTBMs developed in oxic seawater. We thus dispute the previous view, at least for the Chinese sequences, of low oxygen seawater for microbialite growth, and question whether it is now appropriate to associate PTBMs with anoxic, harsh environments associated with the end-Permian extinction. Instead we interpret those conditions as fully oxygenated.
ISSN: 1612-4820
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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