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A unique Permian-Triassic boundary section from the Neotethyan Hawasina Basin, Central Oman Mountains
Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology
650KR PALAEOGEOGR PALAEOCLIMATOL
In the Wadi Wasit area (Central Oman Mountains), Dienerian breccias are widespread. These breccias consist mostly of Guadalupian reefal blocks, often dolomitised, and some rare small-sized blocks of lowermost Triassic bivalve-bearing limestones. A unique block, with a size of about 200 m(3), including Permian and earliest Triassic faunas has been studied in detail. The so-called Wadi Wasit block consists of three major lithological units. A basal unstratified grey limestone is rich in various reef-building organisms (rugose corals, calcareous sponges, stromatoporoids) and has been dated as Middle Permian. It is disconformably overlain by well- and thin-bedded light grey to yellowish coloured limestones rich in molluscs. Two major lithologies (Coquina Limestone respectively Bioclastic Limestone unit) characterise the shelly limestones, their contact seems gradual. These two units are well-dated; they are of Griesbachian age and contain three conodont zones, the Parvus Zone, the Staeschei Zone and the Sosioensis Zone, and two ammonoid zones, the Ophiceras tibeticum Zone and an 'unnamed interval'. The third unit consists of a grey marly limestone containing Neospathodus kummeli (basal Dienerian). It is the first record of well-dated basal Triassic sediments in the Arabian Peninsula. The Coquina Limestone is dominated by the bivalve Promyalina with some Claraia and Eumorphotis. This bivalve association is interpreted as a pioneering opportunistic assemblage. Towards the top of the Bioclastic Limestone unit, the faunal diversity increases and contains probably more than 20 taxa of bivalves, microgastropods, crinoids, brachiopods, ammonoids, echinoid spines, ostracods and conodonts. The generic diversity of this biofacies exceeds by far any other Griesbachian assemblage known. Our data give new evidence for the geodynamical history for the distal carbonate shelf bordering the Hawasina Basin. A break in the sedimentation characterises the Late Permian. The basal Triassic shows a steady transgression and the breccias may record a distinct gravitational collapse of platform margins linked with sea-level low stand at the end of Induan time (late Dienerian-basal Smithian). delta(13)C(carb) isotopic analyses were performed and yield typical Permian values of around 4parts per thousand for the Reefal Limestone, with a strong negative shift across the Permian-Triassic boundary. During the Griesbachian values shift positively from 0.5 to 3.1parts per thousand parallel to an increase in faunal diversity and probably primary productivity. The detailed faunal analysis and the discovery of an unexpected diversity give,us a new understanding of the recovery of the Early Triassic marine ecosystem.
Oman Permian Triassic Neotethys biodiversity bivalves conodonts carbon isotopes mass extinction paleoecology limestones carbonates evolution conodonts aftermath recovery margin facies
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