Southwestern Gondwana’s Permian climate amelioration recorded in coal-bearing deposits of the Moatize sub-basin (Mozambique)

Annette E. Götz, P. John Hancox, Andrew Lloyd

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    Abstract

    The postglacial climate history of Gondwana represents the most prominent climate amelioration in the Phanerozoic, ranging from severe icehouse conditions in the Late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) to extreme hothouse conditions in the Early Triassic. Here we report new sedimentological and palynological data from a 350 m thick coal-bearing succession intersected by borehole 945L_0022, drilled in the eastern Tete Province of Mozambique, which documents southwestern Gondwana’s Permian postglacial climate amelioration. Palynofacies data further support the environmental reconstructions interpreted from the sedimentary succession. Changes in the palynomorph assemblage document a shift from cold, to cool-temperate, to warm-temperate climatic conditions. This climate signature corresponds with observations from other depositional environments elsewhere in southern Africa, and thus enables correlation on a regional to interregional scale. Thick lacustrine deposits are described within the lower coal-bearing succession, reflecting the final glacial retreat, with melt waters supplying fresh water to the incipient lacustrine system. Lakes as characteristic postglacial sedimentary sinks are excellent palaeoclimate archives and the high Total Organic Carbon content of these fine-grained clastic sediments also makes them potential source rock targets for oil and gas.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPalaeoworld
    Early online date23 Aug 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusEarly online - 23 Aug 2018

    Keywords

    • Palaeoclimate
    • sedimentology
    • palynology
    • Permian
    • Moatize sub-basin
    • Mozambique

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