Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pollen Evidence of a Drying Climate in Albian Cretaceous Australia/Gondwana

High latitude Albian climate variability: palynological evidence for long-term drying in a greenhouse world


1. Barbara E. Wagstaff (a)
2. Stephen J. Gallagher (a)
3. Martin S. Norvick (a)
4. David J. Cantrill (b)
5. Malcolm W. Wallace (a)


a. School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia

b. National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia


Detailed “Quaternary-style” quantitative spore-pollen counts, with a pollen sum based on total gymnosperms, from a southern high palaeolatitude (66°) terrestrial sequence in Gippsland, southeast Australia has revealed strong vegetation and climate variability during the Albian. This variability is more pronounced than previously suggested in global Early Cretaceous vegetation and climate reconstructions. The quantitative spore-pollen record shows drying throughout the Albian based on upward decreasing total ferns and variation in podocarp and total Alisporites/Vitreisporites pollen. This record suggests that although global climate during the Albian is considered to have been warm, stable and equable, regional factors such as water availability and continentality were the main drivers of this vegetation change.

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