LATE PERMIAN PALEOENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS EXPOUNDED THROUGH ANALYSIS OF A FOREST-FLOOR PALEOSOL PROFILE, KAROO BASIN, SOUTH AFRICA
The greenish-grey (5GY 6/1) paleosol is an iron-stained siltstone with intervals of bedded very-fine sand to silt. The paleosol has a maximum thickness of 70 cm, with a coarser interval at ~30 cm depth. The litter horizon is concentrated in the upper 20 cm of the profile, and includes remnants of poorly preserved Glossopteris leaves and Vertebraria roots. Rooting structures penetrate to ~70 cm depth. Tuffite is interspersed in and caps the paleosol.
Primary structures in petrographic section include ripples, parallel bedding, and small-scale soft-sediment deformation. These are partially destroyed due to phytoturbation and bioturbation. All paleosol sites examined contain an identifiable tuffite, characterized as a mix of well-rounded to angular, transparent clasts. These are distributed as irregular pockets cross-cutting bedding and as dispersed isolated clasts within the fine matrix. TOC:TON, in addition to geochemical data obtained using ICP, are pending. Analytical results will be presented and discussed.