Wednesday, April 06, 2016

WILDFIRES! in Lopingian Permian Brazil!

Evidence for palaeo-wildfire in the Late Permian palaeotropics — Charcoal from the Motuca Formation in the Parnaíba Basin, Brazil


Kauffmann et al


The Permian deglaciation of Gondwana caused a global icehouse/greenhouse transition, leading to increased aridity over large parts of this continent during the Lopingian, contributing to the overall scarcity of plant bearing localities. Despite a continuous increase of reports of fossil charcoal as direct evidence for palaeo-wildfires from Late Palaeozoic deposits, such records from low-latitude and arid to semi-arid areas are still rare. In order to contribute to the discussion about palaeoenvironmental conditions that dominated low latitudinal portions of the globe during that period and especially the occurrence of wildfires, the present contribution reports on charcoal recovered from sandstones from the Andradina Outcrop, Late Permian (Lopingian), Motuca Formation, in the Parnaíba Basin, Northern Brazil. This locality is part of the Northern Tocantins Petrified Forest, which is classified as one of the most important Permian assemblages of permineralized plant remains from warm temperate palaeobiomes of the Southern Hemisphere. The results presented here provide the first evidence for the occurrence of palaeo-wildfires in the western part of the Gondwanan palaeo-tropics during the Lopingian.

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