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The Permian-Triassic transition and the onset of the Mesozoic sedimentation at the northwestern peri-Tethyan domain scale : Paleogeographic maps and geodynamic implications

Abstract : The main aim of this paper is to review Middle Permian through Middle Triassic continental successions in European. Secondly, areas of Middle­Late Permian sedimentation, the Permian­Triassic Boundary (PTB) and the onset of Triassic sedimentation at the scale of the westernmost peri-Tethyan domain are defined in order to construct palaeogeographic maps of the area and to discuss the impact of tectonics, climate and sediment supply on the preservation of continental sediment. At the scale of the western European peri-Tethyan basins, the Upper Permian is characterised by a general progradational pattern from playa-lake or floodplain to fluvial environments. In the northern Variscan Belt domain, areas of sedimentation were either isolated or connected to the large basin, which was occupied by the Zechstein Sea. In the southern Variscan Belt, during the Late Permian, either isolated endoreic basins occurred, with palaeocurrent directions indicating local sources, or basins underwent erosion and/or there was no deposition. These basins were not connected with the Tethys Ocean, which could be explained by a high border formed by Corsica­Sardinia palaeorelief and even parts of the Kabilia microplate. The palaeoflora and sedimentary environments suggest warm and semi-arid climatic conditions. At the scale of the whole study area, an unconformity (more or less angular) is observed almost everywhere between deposits of the Upper Permian and Triassic, except in the central part of the Germanic Basin. The sedimentation gap is more developed in the southern area where, in some basins, Upper Permian sediment does not occur. The large sedimentary supply, erosion and/or lack of deposition during the Late Permian, as well as the variable palaeocurrent direction pattern between the Middle­Late Permian and the Early Triassic indicate a period of relief rejuvenation during the Late Permian. During the Induan, all the intra-belt basins were under erosion and sediment was only preserved in the extra-belt domains (the northern and extreme southern domains). In the northern domain (the central part of the Germanic Basin), sediment was preserved under the same climatic conditions as during the latest Permian, whereas in the extreme southern domain, it was probably preserved in the Tethys Ocean, implying a large amount of detrital components entering the marine waters. Mesozoic sedimentation began in the early Olenekian; the ephemeral fluvial systems indicate arid climatic conditions during this period. Three distinct areas of sedimentation occur: a northern and southern domain, separated by an intra-belt domain. The latter accumulated sediments during the Early­Middle Permian and experienced erosion and/or no-deposition conditions between the Middle­Late Permian and the beginning of Mesozoic sedimentation, dated as Anisian to Hettangian. At the top of the Lower Triassic, another tectonically induced, more or less angular unconformity is observed: the Hardegsen unconformity, which is dated as intra-Spathian and is especially found in the North European basins. This tectonic activity created new source areas and a new fluvial style, with marine influences at the distal part of the systems. During the Anisian and Ladinian, continental sedimentation was characterised by a retrogradational trend. In other words, the fluvial system evolved into fluvio-marine environments, attesting to a direct influence of the Tethys Ocean in the southern and northern domains. Both at the end of the Olenekian (Spathian) and during the Anisian, the presence of palaeosols, micro- and macrofloras indicate less arid conditions throughout this domain.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 10:41:17 AM
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Sylvie Bourquin, Antoine Bercovici, José López-Gómez, J.B. Diez, Jean Broutin, et al.. The Permian-Triassic transition and the onset of the Mesozoic sedimentation at the northwestern peri-Tethyan domain scale : Paleogeographic maps and geodynamic implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Elsevier, 2011, 299 (1-2), pp.265-280. ⟨10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.11.007⟩. ⟨insu-00609809⟩



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