Gradual changes in the Olenekian-Anisian continental record and biotic implications in the Central-Eastern Pyrenean basin, NE Spain



Downloads per month over past year

Lloret, Joan and Horra del Barco, Raúl de la and Gretter, Nicola and Borruel Abadía, Violeta and Fernández Barrenechea, José María and Ronchi, Ausonio and Diez, José B. and Arche, Alfredo and López Gómez, José Trinidad (2020) Gradual changes in the Olenekian-Anisian continental record and biotic implications in the Central-Eastern Pyrenean basin, NE Spain. Global and Planetary Change, 192 (103252). ISSN 0921-8181

[thumbnail of Gradual changes in the Olenekian-Anisian continental record and biotic implications in the Central-Eastern Pyrenean basin, NE Spain.pdf] PDF
Restringido a Repository staff only


Official URL:!


This work focuses on the Olenekian-Anisian (Early-Middle Triassic) continental record of the Central-Eastern Pyrenean basin (NE Spain), a near-equator (10°-14°N) basin located in the western peri-Tethys margin, inside the Variscan fold-belt. Due to the mass mortality of the end-Permian and the subsequent Smithian-Spathian Boundary (SSB) crisis, the Early Triassic and its transition to the Middle Triassic was a time period with intermittent stages of environmental instability that affected fauna and flora intensely. Compared to other crisis, a remarkable feature is the longer time required to achive life recovery during this time-interval and the fact that continental environments have been less globally studied than their marine counterparts. Furthermore, in SW Europe there is almost no sedimentary continental record from the beginning of the Triassic. This multidisciplinary study, embracing sedimentology, mineralogy, palaeontology, palaeopedology and palaeogeography, of 10 complete and well dated Early-Middle Triassic field sections has allowed (1) the location and characterization of the oldest Mesozoic sedimentary record in the basin, which is of late Smithian age and overlies the late-middle Permian continental rocks and of (2) the Smithian-Spathian transition (SST), (3) the timing of life recovery during the late Spathian-Anisian, (4) the characterization of the first incursion of the Tethys sea into the basin, and (5) the comparison of the evolution of this basin with other basins of the same age in SW Europe.

The SST coincides with hyper-arid climate conditions, evolving to semi-arid in the late Spathian and semi-arid to semi-humid in Anisian times. Poorly sorted breccias and conglomerate alluvial sheets with aeolian reworking dominate the SST, as a result of these environmental changes and tectonicsA broader comparison, based on stratigraphic studies by other authors, indicates less aridity in the basin studied compared to other SW Europe basins in the same period, maybe due to its greater proximity to the equator. Sedimentary characteristics changed during the late Spathian, when sandy braided fluvial systems developed and the first dispersed plants, pollen assemblages and paleosols appeared. Well-developed floodplains and associated paleosols and plants developed during the early Anisian, when more humid conditions prevailed. The occurrence of aluminium phosphate-sulphate (APS) minerals might be considered as evidence of environmental acidification during the Olenekian with an amelioration during the early Anisian, as described in neighboring basins, although in the Pyrenean basin this acidification was probably less intensive. The first incursion of the Tethys sea reached the Central-Eastern Pyrenean basin during the Anisian-Ladinian transition, about 3 My later than in neighbouring Southwestern Europe basins.

General comparison with other Early-Middle Triassic continental records of Western Europe basins indicates contrasting trends of climate and sedimentary evolution, probably related to the still prevailing great paleorelief of the Variscan foldbelt, where part of the study basin could constitute an elevated area during some time-intervals, possibly related to the so-called Ebro High.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Smithian, Spathian, Early Triassic recovery, Pyrenean basin, Olenekian, Smithian-Spathian Transition
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:61392
Deposited On:07 Jul 2020 10:51
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 09:21

Origin of downloads

Repository Staff Only: item control page