Early Permian palynostratigraphy of the northern Heimefrontfjella mountain range, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

Sofie Lindström

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Abstract

Permian rocks from five localities in the northern Heimefrontfjella have been investigated palynologically and identifiable palynomorphs are present in samples from three of them, namely A and C in Milorgfjella and Lidkvarvet in Sivorgfjella. Eighty palynomorph taxa are recognized and two new combinations are proposed, Converrucosisporites gradegranulatus (Anderson) Lindstrom, comb, nov, and Cannanoropollis bilateralis (Tiwari) Lindstrom, comb. nov. Seventeen taxa are placed in open nomenclature.
The assemblages from Locality A and Lidkvarvet are moderately well-preserved, taxonomically diverse, and are indicative of palynofloras deposited in periglacial, cold-climate, freshwater environments. They contain many typical Early Permian Gondwana taxa such as: lycopod spores Jayantisporites pseudozonatus and J. conatus; pterophyte spores Leiotriletes spp., Microbaculispora tentula, Horriditriletes spp., Verrucosisporites andersonii, Cyclogranisporites spp. and Punctatisporites gretensis; and gymnospermous pollen-grains Plicatipollenites spp., Cannanoropollis spp., Scheuringipollenites spp., Pteruchipollenites gracilis, Protohaploxypinus spp. and Cycadopites cymbatus. The presence of these: along with the pterophyte spore Pseudoreticulatisport a confluens enables correlation with the P. confluens Zone or Late Stage 2 of Australia and equivalents in other Gondwana continents, indicating an Asselian-Tastubian age for these two localities. Assemblages assigned to the Pseudoreticulatispora confluens Zone have previously not been encountered within Antarctica.

The assemblage from Locality C is poorly preserved with low taxonomic diversity, and contains only one species which is not present in the assemblages from the other two localities, namely Microbaculispora trisina. This suggests correlation with the M. trisina zone or Stage 3b palynofloras of Australia and equivalents elsewhere in Gondwana, and an age no older than Artinskian.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-415
JournalReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Volume89
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geology

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