Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:40 AM
Permian and Triassic Plate Tectonic, Paleogeographic and Paleoclimatic Reconstructions and Animation
The Permian and Triassic periods span exactly 100 million years. The continent-continent collisions that formed western half of Pangea were mostly completed by the early Permian and a Himalayan-sized, Central Pangean Mountain Range stretched across its tropical-subtropical waistline. One of the last continents to collide was Kazakhstania. Post-collisional stresses associated with the assembly of Pangea may have been responsible for the end Permian, West Siberian flood basalt eruptions. Though the continents that comprised western Pangea (North America, Europe, Kazakhstan, Siberia and the southern hemisphere continents of Gondwana continents) remained intact throughout the Permian and Triassic, extensive volcanic eruptions in the Central Atlantic region heralded the breakup of Pangea (~200 Ma). The tectonic history of the eastern half of Pangea is a more complicated story. During the early Permian much of what is now the Middle East, Tibet, and Southeast Asia was located off the Indo-Australian margin of Gondwana. During the Permian and Triassic this association of continental fragments (called Cimmeria) crossed Tethys and collided with the Cathaysian (N. and S. China) continents along the southern margin of central Asia. With the exception of China and the Middle Eastern margins of Tethys, the continents were high and dry during the Permian and Triassic. We present a computer animation illustrating plate motions during Permian and Triassic, as well as three plate tectonic and paleogeographic reconstructions for the Permian (early Sakmarian, 280 Ma; Wordian, 270 Ma; and Capitanian/Wuchipingian, 265 Ma), three for the Triassic (Ladinian, 230 Ma; Carnian, 225 Ma; and Norian, 210 Ma), and a reconstruction for the earliest Jurassic (Hettangian,195 Ma). Paleoclimate simulations (FOAM) for the early Permian and late Triassic will also be presented. These maps are part of a digital atlas of Late Precambrian and Phanerozoic plate tectonic and paleogeographic maps produced by the PALEOMAP Project.