Interregional correlation of the marine zones of major cyclothems between North America and eastern Europe does not support assertions that a major stratigraphic gap exists between the traditional regional Desmoinesian and Missourian stages in North America. Such a gap was previously proposed to explain an abrupt change in megafloral assemblages in the northern Appalachian Basin and by extension across all of North America. Conodont-based correlation from the essentially complete low-shelf Midcontinent succession (distal from the highstand shoreline), through the mid-shelf Illinois Basin, to the high shelf of the Appalachian Basin (proximal to highstand shoreline) demonstrates that all major ∼400 kyr cyclothem groupings in the Midcontinent are recognizable in the Illinois Basin. In the Appalachian Basin, however, the grouping at the base of the Missourian is represented only by paleosols and localized coal. The immediately preceding grouping was removed very locally by paleovalley incision, as is evident at the 7-11 Mine, Columbiana County, Ohio, from which the original megafloral data were derived. At the few localities where incised paleodrainage exists, there may be a gap of ∼1000 kyr, but a gap of no more than ∼600 kyr occurs elsewhere in the Appalachian Basin at that level and its magnitude progressively decreases westward into the Illinois (∼300 kyr) and Midcontinent (<200 kyr) Basins. Thus, while a gap is present near the Desmoinesian-Missourian boundary in North America, it is typically more than an order of magnitude smaller than that originally proposed and is similar to the gaps inferred at sequence boundaries between cyclothems at many horizons in the Pennsylvanian of North America.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics