Middle and late pennsylvanian cyclothems, American midcontinent: Ice-age environmental changes and terrestrial biotic dynamics

C. Blaine Cecil, William A. DiMichele, Scott D. Elrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Pennsylvanian portion of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age was characterized by stratigraphic repetition of chemical and siliciclastic rocks in the equatorial regions of the Pangean interior. Known as "cyclothems", these stratigraphic successions are a 105 yr-record of glacial waxing and waning, superimposed on longer term, 106 yr intervals of global warming and cooling and a still longer term trend of increasing equatorial aridity. During periods of maximum ice-minimum sea level, the interior craton was widely exposed. Epicontinental landscapes were initially subjected to dry subhumid climate when first exposed, as sea level fell, but transitioned to humid climates and widespread wetlands during maximum lowstands. During interglacials (ice-minima) seasonally dry vegetation predominated. The wetland and seasonally dry biomes were compositionally distinct and had different ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalComptes Rendus - Geoscience
Volume346
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Coal
  • Cyclothem
  • Paleoecology
  • Pennsylvanian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Middle and late pennsylvanian cyclothems, American midcontinent: Ice-age environmental changes and terrestrial biotic dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this