Carnian (Late Triassic) magnetostratigraphy from the Germanic Basin allowing global correlation of the Mid-Carnian Episode

Yang Zhang, James G. Ogg, Matthias Franz, Gerhard H. Bachmann, Michael Szurlies, Heinz Gerd Röhling, Mingsong Li, Christian Rolf, Karsten Obst

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12 Scopus citations


The Stuttgart Formation (traditionally called the Schilfsandstein) in the Germanic Basin (or Central European Basin) is a sand-rich episode representing the Mid-Carnian Episode within the gypsum-rich clayey semi-arid Keuper facies. That regional Mid-Carnian Episode is now recognized to be a manifestation of a significant global disruption of Earth's climate-ocean-biological system during the early Late Triassic. In order to provide an accurate time frame and means for high-resolution correlations among continental and marine records, we obtained a composite magnetostratigraphy spanning the entire Carnian from three boreholes in the Germanic Basin. This composite shows a good consistency with earlier published magnetostratigraphy results from South China and enables the construction of a complete Carnian polarity time scale. The upper Carnian (Tuvalian substage) portion implies that: (1) The lower quarter of the Tuvalian is dominated by a reversed-polarity magnetozone; (2) The termination of the Yangtze Platform is coeval with deposition of the Stuttgart Formation in the Germanic Basin; (3) The radiolarian-rich green-colored clay horizon of the Pignola-2 section in south Italy that is below a volcanic ash bed dated as ca. 231 Ma correlates with the D pulse of siliciclastics in Dibona section of north Italy in the middle of the Tuvalian; (4) The upper three-fourths of the Tuvalian is a major normal-polarity-dominated magnetozone; and this interval correlates with the basal E1-E6 portion of the Newark magnetic polarity reference series according to the favored correlation option; (5) The base of the Arnstadt Formation of the Germanic Basin, which had been traditionally assigned as the Carnian/Norian boundary, instead begins within the lower portion of Newark reversed-polarity zone E8r of earliest Norian according to the favored age model, although pending future verification; (6) The polarity patterns of portions of the upper Carnian from the western Tethys sections of Lower Trench at Silická Brezová in Austria and Pizzo Mondello in Italy are verified. This Carnian composite is an enhanced polarity time scale for calibration of other global Carnian successions and events, such as the appearance of the earliest dinosaurs in fossiliferous beds of South America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116275
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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