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Permian continental paleoenvironments in Southeastern Asia: New insights from the Luang Prabang Basin (Laos)

Abstract : In Laos (Southeastern Asia), Late Paleozoic sediments were identified by early French explorations across Indochina during the late 19th century (Pavie missions), but little work was undertaken to characterize the sedimentological and stratigraphical context until now. From detailed sedimentological and paleontological studies, we propose an interpretation of the depositional environment and of the stratigraphic context of series located on the right bank of the Mekong River in the Luang Prabang Basin where three main formations were described. The silicoclastic Red Claystone Formation, attributed to alluvial plain environment, contains large fragments of unidentified dicynodonts. The Limestones and Sandstones Formation preserves a new macrofloral assemblage displaying affinities with Middle to Late Permian Cathaysian floras of South China. This assemblage occurs as an intercalation within marine calcareous sandstones that have yielded a marine fauna, including the ammonoid Pseudotirolites sp. which indicates a Late Permian (Changhsingian) age. The well-developed Purple Claystones Formation yielded an abundant and well preserved Late Permian fauna composed of a carnivorous amphibian and numerous Dicynodon cranial and postcranial elements. This formation shows a vertical evolution from braided river to alluvial plain with sheet-flood sand bed and bed-load rivers, with a constant supply of volcanic clasts. Results from the analysis of the paleontological associations in the Luang Prabang Basin suggest that a continental communication between Laurussia and the Indochina Block existed during the Permian, allowing for migration of the terrestrial Dicynodon fauna.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 11:00:15 AM
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Antoine Bercovici, Sylvie Bourquin, Jean Broutin, Jean-Sébastien Steyer, Bernard Battail, et al.. Permian continental paleoenvironments in Southeastern Asia: New insights from the Luang Prabang Basin (Laos). Journal of Southeast Asian earth sciences, Elsevier, 2012, 60, pp.197-211. ⟨10.1016/j.jseaes.2012.08.019⟩. ⟨insu-00779406⟩



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