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Intercalibration of Boreal and Tethyan timescales: the magneto-biostratigraphy of the Middle Triassic and the latest Early Triassic from Spitsbergen, Arctic Norway

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Polar Research
Issue number3
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)469-490
<mark>Original language</mark>English


An integrated bio-magnetostratigraphic study of the latest Early Triassic to the upper parts of the Middle Triassic, at Milne Edwardsfjellet in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard, allows a detailed correlation of Boreal and Tethyan biostratigraphies. The biostratigraphy consists of ammonoid and palynomorph zonations, supported by conodonts, through some 234 m of succession in two adjacent sections. The magnetostratigraphy consists of ten substantive normal–reverse polarity chrons defined by sampling at 150 stratigraphic levels. The magnetization is carried by magnetite and an unidentified magnetic sulphide, and is difficult to fully separate from a strong present-day like magnetization. The bio-magnetostratigraphy from the late Olenekian (Vendomdalen Member) is supplemented by data from nearby Vikinghøgda. The early and mid-Anisian has a high sedimentation rate, comprising over half the ca. 140-m thickness of the Botneheia Formation, whereas the late Anisian and lower Ladinian is condensed into about 20 m. The two latest Boreal Ladinian ammonoid zones are absent due to erosional truncation below the Tschermakfjellet Formation. Correlation to Tethyan bio-magnetostratigraphies shows the traditional base of the Boreal Anisian (base of G. taimyrensis Zone) precedes the base Anisian (using here definitions based on the Desli Caira section in Romania). The Boreal upper Anisian G. rotelliforme and F. nevadanus ammonoid zones correlate to most of the Tethyan Pelsonian and Illyrian substages. The base Ladinian defined in the Tethyan global boundary stratotype and point (GSSP) is closely equivalent to the traditional base of the Boreal Ladinian at the I. oleshkoi Zone. The latest Olenekian to early Anisian magnetic polarity timescale is refined using the Spitsbergen data.

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