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A palaeoenvironmental analysis of Permian sediments in Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) with new palynological and megafloral data

Abstract : Plant fossils are rarely preserved within the Upper Permian of western Europe as the majority of continental deposits consists of siliciclastic redbeds. Because organic matter such as plant debris and palynomorphs is destroyed by oxidizing conditions, these red sedimentary facies were often considered as "devoid of life". This paper presents new palaeobotanical data from the Upper Permian strata of Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). In addition, a rich and diverse "Thuringian" palynoflora was recovered from the Permian sediments, and several megafloral taxa are recorded. Additionally, a detailed sedimentological analysis of the studied section is provided. The Permian succession shows a general evolution from a ponded floodplain environment to sand-sheet rivers flowing across a semi-arid alluvial plain. Additionally, new palaeobotanical elements, added to the study of palaeosols, allow reconstruction of Late Permian plant growth within the terrestrial environment, as well as a palaeoenvironment reconstruction of the preserved sedimentary interval. At the transition between ponds and alluvial plain deposits, root systems surprisingly similar to those known in extant mangroves are described for the first time within Permian deposits. As there are no other palaeobotanical remains preserved in association, the type of plant that inhabited this environment remains conjectural.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00562463
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 1:20:20 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 11:50:04 AM

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Antoine Bercovici, Jose Diez, Jean Broutin, Sylvie Bourquin, Bastien Linol, et al.. A palaeoenvironmental analysis of Permian sediments in Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) with new palynological and megafloral data. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Elsevier, 2009, 158 (1-2), pp.14-28. ⟨10.1016/j.revpalbo.2009.07.001⟩. ⟨insu-00562463⟩

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