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Magnetostratigraphy of the Lower Triassic beds from Chaohu(China) and its implications for the Induan–Olenekian stage boundary.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date30/03/2009
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Journal number3-4
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


A magnetostratigraphic study was performed on the lower 44 m of the West Pingdingshan section near Chaohu city, (Anhui province, China) in order to provide a magnetic polarity scale for the early Triassic. Data from 295 paleomagnetic samples is integrated with a detailed biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy. The tilt-corrected mean direction from the West Pingdingshan section, passes the reversal and fold tests. The overall mean direction after tilt correction is D=299.9º, I=18.3º (κ=305.2, α95=1.9, N=19). The inferred paleolatitude of the sampling sites (31.6ºN, 117.8ºE) is about 9.4º, consistent with the stable South China block (SCB), though the declinations indicate some 101o counter-clockwise rotations with respect to the stable SCB since the Early Triassic. Low-field anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility indicates evidence of weak strain. The lower part of the Yinkeng Formation is dominated by reversed polarity, with four normal polarity magnetozones (WP2n to WP5n), with evidence of some thinner (<0.5 m thick) normal magnetozones. The continuous magnetostratigraphy from the Yinkeng Formation, provides additional high-resolution details of the polarity pattern through the later parts of the Induan into the lowest Olenekian. The magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data shows the conodont marker for the base of the Olenekian (first presence of Neospathodus waageni) is shortly prior to the base of normal magnetozone WP5n. This provides a secondary marker for mapping the base of the Olenekian into successions without conodonts. This section provides the only well-integrated study from a Tethyan section across this boundary, but problems remain in definitively relating this boundary into Boreal sections with magnetostratigraphy.