Climate changes and cyclic sedimentation in the mid-late Permian: Kennedy Group, Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia

Lever, Helen (2004) Climate changes and cyclic sedimentation in the mid-late Permian: Kennedy Group, Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia. Gondwana Research, 7 (1). pp. 135-142.

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Abstract

Climate has an important direct and indirect influence of sedimentation, and especially on the development of cyclic sedimentation. Climate influences both accommodation and supply, the major controls on the architecture of sedimentary sequences. The Permian paleoclimate is the subject of increasing controversy, giving rise to numerous differing models developed and an expanding database of fossil evidence for climatic conditions.

Western Australian basins, in particular the Carnarvon Basin, are unique among nearby Gondwanan basins in that they do not have extensive coal measures within their Permian successions. The Kennedy Group, the uppermost unit in the onshore Carnarvon Basin Permian succession, has a detrital composition indicative of arid weathering conditions. Within the Kennedy Group, even lagoonal and very nearshore sediments are devoid of plant debris or indications of the nearby presence of extensive flora. Presumed surfaces of subaerial exposure do not show paleosol development or root-traces. There has been little development of clay and chemical grain degradation is almost entirely related to diagenetic cementation and dissolution phases, rather than transport and source weathering. Nearby basins, at similar latitudes, in India and East Australia contain coal measures, consistent with the humid climates that are predicted for this latitude. It is suggested therefore that the inferred aridity in the climate of the Carnarvon Basin and other Western Australian Basins is due to local climatic effects, probably related to an interruption in atmospheric circulation caused by tectonic rifting and uplift to the west.

Cyclicity in the Kennedy Group indicates regular Late Permian, Milankovitch scale eustatic sea-level change, and may signify the presence of some ice at the poles. The development of cycles may have been enhanced by shifting climate belts controlled by Milankovitch cyclicity.

Item ID: 13884
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1342-937X
Keywords: climate, Permian, paleoclimate, Milankovit
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2011 04:29
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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