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Carboniferous-Permian Periods


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Carboniferous: Laurasia and Gondwana, Mississippian,
Facies, Fauna, Flora, Crinoids, Permian life, Formation of Pangea,

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Carboniferous-Permian Periods

  1. 1. The Carboniferous 354 to 290 Million Years Ago • Duration: 60 Million Years • Maximum thickness: 75,000 feet • The Carboniferous Period occurred from about 354 to 290 million years ago during the late Paleozoic Era. • The term "Carboniferous" comes from England, in reference to the rich deposits of coal that occur there. These deposits of coal occur throughout northern Europe, Asia, and midwestern and eastern North America. • The term "Carboniferous" is used throughout the world to describe this period, although this period has been separated into the Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous) and the Pennsylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) in the United States. This system was adopted to distinguish the coal-bearing layers of the Pennsylvanian from the mostly limestone Mississippian, and is a result of differing stratigraphy on the different continents
  2. 2. Carboniferous Forest : The Carboniferous Period is famous for its vast coal swamps, such as the one depicted here. Such swamps produced the coal from which the term "Carboniferous", or "carbon-bearing" comes
  3. 3. • In addition to having the ideal conditions for the beginnings of coal, several major biological, geological, and climatic events occurred during this time. • One of the greatest evolutionary innovations of the Carboniferous was the amniote egg, which allowed for the further exploitation of the land by certain tetrapods. • The amniote egg allowed the ancestors of birds, mammals, and reptiles to reproduce on land by preventing the desiccation ‫جفاف‬ of the embryo inside. • There was also a trend towards mild temperatures during theCarboniferous, as evidenced by the decrease in lycopods and large insects and an increase in the number of tree ferns. • Geologically, the Late Carboniferous collision of Laurussia (present-day Europe and North America) into Gondwanaland (present-day Africa and South America) produced the Appalachian mountain belt of eastern North America and the Hercynian Mountains in the United Kingdom. A further collision of Siberia and eastern Europe created the Ural Mountains.  The Carboniferous: Facies Two main facies could be introduced: 1-Marine: dominates the lower Carboniferous; mainly L.S.,shales, calcareous shales argillaceous clastics. 2-Terrestial (non-marine) :more developed in the Upper Carboniferous; mudstones, ironstone, sandstone, conglomerates grits and shales with seams of coal.The sandstones and conglomerates are commonly lenticular and cross-bedded.
  4. 4. • The) extends from about 363 mya until 323 mya. • In Europe, the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian Periods are joined into a single period called the Carboniferous, and can be quite naturally be subdivided into three epochs. • In the U.S., this timespan can only be divided into two subgroups, subdivided by a withdrawl of seas from the North American continent. • The Mississippian fossil record is almost entirely marine. Shallow, warm-water seas covered much of the North American continent, which was equatorially located at the time. Significant Events Laurasia and Gondwana During the Carboniferous, the world's continents were combined into two large supercontinents. The northernmost, extending across the equator and into subtropical northern latitudes has been called Laurasia. The current continents of North America, Europe and Asia made up this body. The southern supercontinent, extending from southern subtropical latitudes to almost antarctic latitudes has been named Gondwana, and was comprised of what was to become South America, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctia The Age of Crinoids •The Mississippian has sometimes been called the "Age of Crinoids," due to the numbers of fossils of these stalked echinoderms found in the strata of the period. Crinoids were filter feeders that lived in the warm water surrounding Laurasia.
  5. 5. Mississippian Graphics  Crinoid  Crinoid
  6. 6. •In the United States, the Carboniferous Period is generally divided into the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian Periods. The name "Carboniferous" refers to the abundance of coal found in strata of this age. •The Pennsylvanian Period (from the state of Pennsylvania, where many fossils of this age are found) stretched from about 323 mya until 290 mya. The warm, moist climate of the Carboniferous was ideally suited for the dense forests that left their remains, and also for the amphibians and insects that diversified and radiated throughout the world during the time. Significant Events Orogeny The Pennsylvanian was a time of mountain building. The Appalachians in the eastern U.S. began to rise, an uplift that continued into the Permian. The Ancestral Rockies rose in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, and another mountain chain along the New Mexico/Arizona border. Coal Swamps During most of the Pennsylvanian, a large portion of North America supported lush, swampy forests. Lycopods, scale trees, made up the largest component of these forests, with some of these trees reaching 100 feet in height. Some ferns grew to 50 feet. Insects and amphibians thrived in this environment. Meter- long amphibians were common, as well as a dragonfly with a 75 cm wingspan and a 4-inch cockroach First Reptiles The first reptiles are found in Upper Mississippian/Lower Pennsylvanian rocks in Nova Scotia. By creating the amniote egg, with a strong, waterproof shell, reptiles were able to fully leave the aquatic environment to live entirely on
  7. 7. Pennsylvanian Graphics Lepidodendron Sigillaria  Amphibian
  8. 8.  Pennsylvania n forest  Dragonfly  Fern
  9. 9.  Pecopter  Plant stem Lepidodend ron
  10. 10. Subdivisions of the Carboniferous: The chart at left shows the major subdivisions of the Carboniferous Period.The Lower Carboniferous of Europe corresponds roughly to the Mississippian of North America, and the Middle and Upper Carboniferous are roughly equivalent to the Pennsylvanian. This chart is mapped, to allow you to travel back to the Devonian orforward to the Permian. The Carboniferous Period is part of thePaleozoic Era.
  11. 11. Classification of the Carbonifeous
  12. 12. Carboniferous: Stratigraphy • In North America, the Carboniferous is divided into two subsystems: the Mississippian (early Carboniferous from 354-323 mya) and the Pennsylvanian (late Carboniferous from 323-290 mya). • This nomenclature is different in Europe and China, where different names and divisions have been made to the Carboniferous. • Upper and Lower subdivisions were used to separate the coal measures dating from the late Carboniferous from the limestone strata of the early Carboniferous. • In Europe, the Lower Carboniferous is called the Dinantian and the Upper and Middle Carboniferous are together called the Silesian. • The boundary between the Upper and Lower subdivisions in Europe is known to be below the boundary between the Pennsylvanian and the Mississippian subsystems in North America. Within these subsystems there are further subdivisions based on the evolutionary successions of fossil groups. The series used in Eastern Europe, and which the United States Geological Survey follows, are (from early to late) Tournaisian, Visean, Serpukhovian, Bashkirian, Moscovian, Kasimovian, and Gzelian. An alternative series occasionally used in the United States are the Kinderhookian, Osagean, Meramecian, Chesterian, Morrowan, Atokan, Desmoinesian, Missourian, and the Virgilian
  13. 13. Subdivisions of the Carboniferous: The chart at left shows the major subdivisions of the Carboniferous Period. The Lower Carboniferous of Europe corresponds roughly to the Mississippian of North America, and the Middle and Upper Carboniferous are roughly equivalent to the Pennsylvanian. This chart is mapped, to allow you to travel back to the Devonian or forward to the Permian. The Carboniferous Period is part of the Paleozoic Era.
  14. 14. • The appearance or disappearance of fauna usually marks the boundaries between time periods. • The Carboniferous is separated from the earlier Devonian by the appearance of the conodont Siphonodella sulcata or Siphondella duplicata. Conodonts are a series of fossils that resemble the teeth or jaws of primitive eel- or hagfish-like fish. • • The Carboniferous-Permian boundary is distinguished by the appearance of the fusulinid foram Sphaeroschwagerina fusiformis in Europe and Pseudoschwagerina bee. • • dei in North America. • Fusulinids are giants among protists and could reach a centimeter in length. • They were abundant enough to form sizable deposits of rock, known as "rice rock" because of the resemblance between fusulinids and rice grains • The Mississippian is differentiated from the Pennsylvanian by the appearance of the conodont Declinognathodus noduliferus, the ammonoid genus Homoceras, and the foraminifers Millerella pressa and Millerella marblensis. • The markers of these boundaries apply only to marine deposits. The distinction between the Pennsylvanian and Mississippian subsystems may also be illustrated by a break in the flora due to transistional changes from a terrestrial environment to a marine one and as a result of a change in the climate
  15. 15. • The stratigraphy of the Lower Carboniferous is distinguished by the shallow-water limestones. These limestones are composed of parts of organisms, mostly the remains of crinoids. These thrived in the shallow seas of the Lower Carboniferous. Other limestones include lime mudstones and oolithic limestones. Lime mudstones are composed of the carbonate mud produced by green algae. Oolithic limestones are composed of calcium carbonate in concentric spheres that were produced by high wave energy. Sandstones (sedimentary rock composed of quartz sand and cemented by silica or calcium carbonate) and siltstones (rock composed of hardened silt) are also found in the Lower Carboniferous strata, though not in as great abundance than the L.S. • Coal beds, which can be up to eleven to twelve meters thick, characterize the Upper Carboniferous. Deposits reflect the transgression and regression of the seas over the continents. The layers consist of sandstone, shale, "freshwater" limestone, underclay, and a coal bed. The forests of seedless vascular plants that existed in the tropical swamp forests of Europe and North America provided the organic material that became coal. Dead plants did not completely decay and was turned to peat in these
  16. 16. • The type localities for the Mississippian Period are Kinderhook, Illinois; the Meramec River, southeastern Michigan; and the Chester district, southwestern Illinois. All three type localities are in the upper Mississippi Valley. Other type localities for the different series within the Mississippian Period occur throughout Europe and North America, some of which are the Avon Gorge section in Bristol, England and the Pocono Group in the Appalachian region of North America. The type locality for the Pennsylvanian Period occurs in central West Virginia in the United States. Others occur in the Jackfork and Johns Valley shales of Oklahoma and Arkansas and the Supai Group in the Grand Canyon. In Europe the type localities for the Upper Carboniferous include the Millstone Grit and the Coal Measures in England. • Index fossils are the remians of plants and animals that characterize a well-defined time span and occur over a wide range of geography. Fossils of marine life characterize the Mississippian Period, as shallow epicontinental seas covered the United States at that time. These fossils include solitary corals and Syringopora, tubular colonial corals. Other fossil colonial corals include Stelechophyllum and Siphonodendron. Because conodont fossils are distributed all over the world, they are utilized internationally to date Mississippian rocks. • Index fossils used for the Pennsylvanian Period are fusulinid foraminifers and the pollen and spores from the coal forests prevalent during that time. The Mississippian- Pennsylvanian boundary is marked by the appearance of the fusulinid Pseudostaffella antiqua. • Other fossils used to identify the early Pennsylvanian Period are the three ammonoid cephalopod genera: Gastrioceras, Daiboloceras, and Paralegoceras, found in marine deposits.
  17. 17. The History of the Carboniferous:- 1- At the beginning of the Carboniferous period a great transgression invaded all Britain to the north west. Thus marine formations as limestone followed the (O.R.S.St.). This limestone constituts the Dinantian which is well developed in the Ardennes and along the southern border of the O.R.S.St. continent. This limestone was divded into zones on the bases of the Corals or brachiopods. 2- In this case the Dinantian can be differentiated into a lower Tournasian and an upper Vesian. The shore of this Dinantian sea is recorded in Scotland where the calcareous facies found in the south are here replaced by lagoonal beds with carbonaceous beds or gypsum 3-In the Rhenish Massife, the Dinantian is represented by shales with Goniatites. The area, where the Carboniferous limestone had been depoited, was uplifted by the beginning of the Hercynian Orogeny producing lacustrine basins and coastal plains showing muds with marine shells alternating with lacustrine or continental fossils. These formations includes Coal Beds either in fresh water (limic) or marine coal (Paralic) in the Swamps. 4-The Subdivision of the sediments is mainly based on: the plants, fresh water pelecypods (Anthracomya) and the alternating fossils. This enables to divide the Carboniferous into: A) lower Westphalian (in Westphalia) with the Namuriah at the base. B )The Stephanian forming the end of the Carboniferous system. At the end of the Devonian, there were two natural regions:- • The Old Red Sandstone region represents the continental mass, in parts desert and lagoons covering all Brtain except Cornwell. This (O.R.S.St.) also extended to Brabant in Belgium and included all the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. • The southern region which included the Mesogean sea ( the ancestor of the Mediterranean sea) shows variable marine facies.
  18. 18. 5-Carboniferous beds were later followed in Westen Europe, by Conglomerate, Arkose, Sand or Shale, red green or violet in colour , known as New Red Sandstone (N.R.S.St.) which is similar to the (O.R.S.St.) without clear marine fauna. The climate changed from humid to dry producing evaporates, gypsum and salts. 6-At Autun , a transition zone is found between the humid Carboniferous and the arid Permian. This zone shows black shales with sandy beds rich in plants ( Bituminous shales) forming the Autunian stage. 7-The New Red Sandstone proper is found in the Saxonian stage in Germany. 8-The end of the Permian an interior sea spread over all of the northern Germany and Britain, depositing dolomitic limestone followed by saline formation to which the German geologists give the name Zechstein
  19. 19. Life of the Carboniferous • The beginning of the Carboniferous generally had a more uniform, tropical, and humid climate throughout the year than exists today. Seasons if any were indistinct. • These observations are based on comparing the morphology of the plants that exist in the fossil record with plants that are present today. • The morphology of the Carboniferous plants resembles the plants that live in tropical and mildly temperate areas today. • Many of them lack growth rings, suggesting a uniform climate. This uniformity in climate may have been the result of the large expanse of ocean that covered the entire surface of the globe except for a small, localized section where Pangea, the massive supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Triassic, was forming during the Carboniferous. Flora: Scale trees ( Lycopod plants) were the most plants of the forests. Most of them belonged to: Sigillaria , Calamites Lindleyi Lepidodendron sternbergii Gymnosperms, (the Cordaites( Fauna: Fusulina cylindrica Zaphrentis delanoui Productus semireticulatus Pentremites sp. Rhynchonella sp. Spirifer striatus Bellerophon tenuifascia Anthracomya adamsii Goniatites sphaericus
  20. 20. • Near the end of the Mississippian, uplift and erosion of the continents occurred, causing an increase in the number of floodplains and deltas present. The deltaic environment supports fewer corals, crinoids , blastoids, cryozoans, and bryzoans, which were abundant earlier in the Carboniferous. Freshwater clams first appear along with an increase in gastropod, bony fish, and shark diversity. • At first glance, it may seem that the marine habitat has grown allowing the diversity of marine life to increase, but in actuality, the movement of the continents to form one large continental mass decreased the sea coast area. • The amount of space available for marine life declined, and the sea levels all over the world fluctuated because of the presence of two large ice sheets at the southern pole which suck up large amounts of water and lock it away from the water cycle as ice. Because so much water is taken out of the water cycle, • The sea levels drop leading to the mass extinction of shallow marine invertebrates, the gradual decline of swamps, and the increase in terrestrial habitat. These effects are reversed when the glaciers start to recede, releasing the water that they had stored as ice back into the oceans, flooding the swamps again and the floodplains. • Carboniferous rock formations often occur in patterns of stripes with shale and coal seams alternating, indicating the cyclic flooding and drying of an area.
  21. 21. Out with the old : Though many spectacular plant forms dominated the Carboniferous, most of them disappeared before the end of the Paleozoic. On the left, Neuropteris, a leaf form associated with the Medullosan seed-ferns. These early seed plants had fern-like leaves. On the right, terminal branches from Lepidodendron sternbergii, one of the great scale trees, most of which went extinct at the Westphalian - Stephanian boundary in the Late Carboniferous.
  22. 22. In with the new : Many groups that appeared in the Carboniferous would give rise to groups that dominated the Permian and Mesozoic. On the left is Amphibiamus lyelli, an early temnospondyl. These amphibian-like early tetrapods grew to the size of crocodiles in the Permian and Triassic. On the right, Lebachia, an early relative of the conifers.
  23. 23. • The uplift of the continents caused a transition to a more terrestrial environment during the Pennsylvanian period. • Swamp forests as well as terrestrial habitats became common and widespread. In the swamp forests, the vegetation was marked by the numerous different groups that were present. • Seedless plants such as lycopsids were extremely important in this community and are the primary source of carbon for the coal that is characteristic of the period. The lycopods underwent a major extinction • event after a drying trend, most likely caused by the advance of glaciers, during the Westphalian-Stephanian boundary in the Pennsylvanian period. • Ferns and sphenopsids became more important later during the Carboniferous, and the earliest relatives of the conifers appeared. • The first land snails appeared, and insects with wings that can't fold back such as dragonflies and mayflies flourished and radiated. These insects, as well as millipedes, scorpions, and spiders became important in the ecosystem. • The trend towards aridity and an increase in terrestrial habitat lead to the increasing importance of the amniotic egg for reproduction. The earliest amniote fossil was the lizard-like Hylonomus, which was lightly built with deep, strong jaws and slender limbs. The basal tetrapods became more diverse during the Carboniferous. Fish-like bodies were replaced with large predators with long snouts, short sprawling limbs and flattened heads such as temnospondyls, like Amphibiamus shown above. Anthracosaurs (basal tetrapods and amniotes with deep skulls and a less sprawling body plan which led to increasing agility) appeared during the Carboniferous and were quickly followed by diapsids which divided into two groups: the marine reptiles, lizards, and snakes versus the archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs, and birds). The synapsids also made their first appearance, and presumably the anapsids did as well, although the oldest fossils for that group are from the Lower Permian.
  24. 24. Carboniferous:Localities Carboniferous localities on this server: (see map above) Joggins - Located in Nova Scotia, Canada, the site includes scale trees and early tetrapods. Mazon Creek - One of the more important and famous localities, this site in Illinois, USA, is known for its fine fossils in concretions. Carboniferous in Egypt:- 1-Gebel Oweinate, in the south western corner of the Western Desert. 2-Wadi Araba, in the northern part of the Eastern Desert. 3-Wadi Abu Darag. 4-Um Bogma in Western Sinai.
  25. 25. • Carboniferous: Climate • Warm and mild climate prevailed over extensive part of the world. Alternation of seasonal rainfall and periods of aridity.Owing to the long duration of the Carboniferous period there may have been important climatic fluctuation. • In some regions it was moist and warm being favourable for the development of tropical plants which were the origin of Coal seies. • Towards the end of the period there was local glaciations (glacial in the Gondwana – land continent). • Carboniferous: Orogeney • Important crustal movements marked the close of the period in Western Europe. As a result of folding of the rocks, mountains were formed from North- Eastern France to Eastern Germany. This is regarded as an early phase of so-called Variscan( Hercynian) Revolution. • At the close of the period chiefly elevation in Britain with much faulting and separation of the coalfields. • Accompanying this deformation, extensive lava flows in the Scottish midland valley. Mainly very much different from the Devonian periods. Some parts of the land emerged during the Middle Carboniferous in Asia. • Paleogeography of the Carboniferous
  26. 26. All fossils in the Carboniferous Juresania nebrassensis Linoproductus prattenianu
  27. 27. Archimedes © 2003 Caninia torquia © 1998
  28. 28. Zaphrentis © 2004 Agaricocrinus americanus © 2005
  29. 29. Crinoidea © 2004 Cyathocrinites iowensis © 2005
  30. 30. Erisocrinus typus © 1998 Macrocrinus mundulus © 2005
  31. 31. Saccosomopsis insperatus © 2005 Zeacrinites wortheni © 2004
  32. 32. Annularia © 2001 Megalopteris © 2003
  33. 33. Annularia © 1995 Calamites © 2004
  34. 34. Lepidodendron © 2004 Sigillaria © 2004
  35. 35. Pentremites © 2000 Pentremites godoni major © 1998
  36. 36. Pentremites obesus © 1998 Helicoprion nevadensis
  37. 37. Comptonaspis swallowi © 2005 Pseudobradypus sp © 2005
  38. 38. Lobatopteris lamuriana (formerly called Pecopteris lamuriana) Alethopteris sp. © 2005
  39. 39. • Duration: 55 million years. • Maximum thickness:19,000 feet. • The Permian Period (from Perm, a Russian province) began approximately 290 million years ago and ended catastrophically some 250 million years ago. The largest extraterrestrial object ever to strike the Earth ended the Permian Period, and with it the Paleozoic Era, taking 96% of all species with it . • Towards the close of Carboniferous time, a period of considerable folding commenced.  Permian :Facies • Two main facies could be introduced: 1-Marine 2-Non-marine The latter including Red Sandstone & siltstones beds with salt and gypsum. • The Permian strata are largely marine in the Lower part, being of sandstones and shales together with limestone and coal beds. • In the Upper part, they are shaly with salt beds. The overlying series are composed of series of Red Sandstones and together with gypsum beds, mostly non -marine
  40. 40. Significant Events  Formation of Pangaea During the entire Permian all the world's landmasses were congregated into one large supercontinent that scientists call Pangaea, almost bisected by the equatorial Tethys Sea.  Therapsid Development Mammals are in a direct line of descent from the pelycosaurs. Late in the Permian, some of the pelycosaurs developed into the ancestors of mammals, the therapsids. Therapsids were meat-eaters, with mammal-like skulls, differentiated teeth, and separate nasal openings.  Mass Extinction At the close of the Permian, fully 96% of all species were wiped out. This included 75% of all amphibian families, and 80% of all reptile families. While the supposed extraterrestrial impact may very well have accounted for most of these annihilations, it is probable that loss of near-shore habitat with the joining of the continents was also responsible for species loss.
  41. 41. Permian Graphics  Permian Eryops and
  42. 42. Eryops Dimetrodon
  43. 43.  Permian Seafloor Cooperoceras 
  44. 44.  Permian Sponges  Permian Seafloor
  45. 45. Brachiopods and Coral Omphalotroch us
  46. 46.  Girtyocoelia  Permian
  47. 47. The name Permian was given from the Russian Province of Perm. In Europe it consists of red S. St. marls ,Conglomerate, breccias with limestone and dolomite. The Permian in Germany: The Permian outcrops in Germany were divided into two divisions (Days): 1-An upper Zechstein. 2- A lower Rothliegende(Red Sandstone).It is used to call them the Days(two formations) as opposed by Triassic. The three divisions in Germany are as follows: 1-Autunian (Unterrothliegende) It show a transition between the Stephanian of the Carboniferous and the Red Sandstone of the next stage.It is known in the localities near the Coal fields , in Saar, Saxony, Thuringia. 2-Saxonian (Oberrothliegende) The last Hercynian movement was active. The new land appeared with the deposition of Conglomerate, red sands similar to those of the Old Red Sandstone was given.There was a great subsidence produced by the Hercynian movement followed by a stable period which can be considered as the boundary between the Primary and Secondary.] 3-Thuringian (Zechstein) In the depression formed during the Saxonian , lagoons were developed with the deposition of the followings:- a) A lower Conglomerate, followed by b) Bitumenous shales c) Zechstein proper with dolomitic limestone including Schizodus obscures, etc. d) Salt – bearing formation salts were developed due to the dry up of the Zechstein sea . They form
  48. 48. The Permian 290 to 248 Million Years Ago• The Permian period lasted from 290 to 248 million years ago and was the last period of the Paleozoic Era. • The distinction between the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic is made at the end of the Permian in recognition of the largest mass extinction recorded in the history of life on Earth. It affected many groups of organisms in many different environments, but it affected marine communities the most by far, causing the extinction of most of the marine invertebrates of the time. • Some groups survived the Permian mass extinction in greatly diminished numbers, but they never again reached
  49. 49. • the ecological dominance they once had, clearing the way for another group of sea life. • On land, a relatively smaller extinction of diapsids and synapsids cleared the way for other forms to dominate, and led to what has been called the "Age of Dinosaurs". • Also, the great forests of fern-like plants shifted to gymnosperms, plants with their offspring enclosed within seeds. Modern conifers, the most familiar gymnosperms of today, first appear in the fossil record of the Permian. In all, the Permian was the last of the time for some organisms and a pivotal point for others, and life on earth was never the same again.
  50. 50. • The global geography of the Permian included massive areas of land and water. By the beginning of the Permian, the motion of the Earth's crustal plates had brought much of the total land together, fused in a supercontinent known as Pangea. Many of the continents of today in somewhat intact form met in Pangea (only Asia was broken up at the time), which stretched from the northern to the southern pole. Most of the rest of the surface area of the Earth was occupied by a corresponding single ocean, known as Panthalassa, with a smaller sea to the east of Pangea known as Tethys.
  51. 51. • Models indicate that the interior regions of this vast continent were probably dry, with great seasonal fluctuations, because of the lack of the moderating effect of nearby bodies of water, and that only portions received rainfall throughout the year. The ocean itself still has little known about it. There are indications that the climate of the Earth shifted at this time, and that glaciation decreased, as the interiors of continents became drier.
  52. 52. Subdivisions of the Permian: The chart at left shows the major subdivisions of the Permian Period. Use the arrows to back to the Carboniferous, or go forward to the earliest Mesozoic Era, the Triassic Period. The Permian Period is part of the Paleozoic Era. Subdivisions of the Permian: Germany Upper Permian= Thuringian Middle Permian= Saxonian Lower Permian= Autunian
  53. 53. Permian:Stratigraphy • A standard global correlation of the Permian period has been undertaken only in recent years (Jin et al., 1994), since there are difficulties in correlation, especially within relatively newer strata. Until recently, there was little consensus on the order of strata in the Upper Permian. Since the upper strata of various locations lack numbers of fossils, correlation via index fossils must involve different fossils that are in some cases native only to the local regions
  54. 54. • where they were found, and older work had to use assumptions that have changed in more recent years (Menning, 1995; Jin et al., 1994). Even though knowledge of the Permian has increased, study of stratigraphic correlation still yields relatively new conclusions (Jin et al., 1994). • Older classifications relied on the Ural stratigraphy. An example of a recent effort to formulate a worldwide stratigraphy of the Permian period by Jin, et al. (1994) has four series: the Uralian, the Chihsian, the Guadalupian, and the Lopingian.
  55. 55. • These epochs include two or three stages each (ten in all). The names are derived from local areas -- the Uralian is named for the Urals, the Chihsian and the Lopingian are named for Chinese localities, and the Guadalupian is named for the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico, U.S.A.
  56. 56. • Examples of localities noted for their Permian strata are found over several continents (Jin et al., 1994, Ross and Ross, 1995) • Urals: This area, for which the Permian is named (Perm is a region in the Urals), includes the traditional standard series: the Asselian (290-282 mya), Sakmarian (282-269), and Artinskian (269-260 mya); the Kungurian (260-256 mya), Kazanian (256-252 mya), and Tatarian (252-248 mya). The standard series work well until the late Permian, when the paucity of fossils makes correlations more difficult.
  57. 57. • Southwestern North America: Permian stratigraphy in North America has its standard in the Glass Mountains, Texas, where the strata are classified into the Wolfcampian (which includes the Nealian and the Lenoxian) (~295-280 mya), the Leonardian (Hessian and Cathedralian) (~280-270 mya), the Guadalupian (Roadian, Wordian, and Capitanian) (~270-258 mya), and the Ochoan (~258-250s mya), named for localities in the area. The Glass Mountains are part of a larger region of Permian strata called the Permian Basin, and other areas of North America also contain Permian strata.
  58. 58. • China: China contains the Mapingian or the Chuanshanian (which includes the Zisongian and the Longlinian), and which corresponds to the Wolfcampian, the Chihsian (Luodianian and Xiangboan), which corresponds to the Leonardian, theMaokouan (Kuhfengian and Lengwuan), which corresponds to the Guadalupian, and the Wuchiapingian and the Changhsingian, which correspond to the Ochoan in the North American series.
  59. 59. • Permian shale, sandstone, siltstone, limestone, sands, marls, and dolostones were deposited by sea-level fluctuations. The fluctuation cycles can be seen in the layers of rock (Ross and Ross, 1995). Only a relative few sites lend themselves to direct radioactive dating, so the age of intermediate strata is often estimated (Menning, 1995). Radiometric dating may be used for certain sites, but other sites are not of sufficient quality to permit accurate dating, and other layers are dated in between layers where datable sites are located.
  60. 60. • Permian fossils that have been used as index fossils include brachiopods, ammonoids, fusilinids, conodonts, and other marine invertebrates (Menning, 1995), and some genera occur within such specific time frames that strata are named for them and permit stratigraphic identification through the presence or absence of specified fossils
  61. 61. Permian:Localities Permian localities on this server: (see map above) Glass Mountains, Texas - The Permian fossils of the Glass Mountains are shallow, warm-water marine life, like the kinds expected in a modern-day coral reef. Permian Deposites in Egypt • In Sinai ( southern part of Sinai)- East of Gulf of Suez. • Eastern Desert (West of Gulf of Suez and Galala).
  62. 62.  Permian: Orogeny • The late Pennsylvanian orogeny which affected parts of central and western Europe, continued with great force through the Permian time. • This was third and last phase of the Variscan revolution • The Ural mountains were also formed by folding and uplifting during Permian time. The marginal epeiric sea gradually sank by the weight of the huge thickness of the Paleozoic deposits, thus producing a geosyncline. This process near the close of the Permian, causing the lateral compression of the Paleozoic strata in an Appalachian Revolution resulting , in highly folded and faulted mountains. • This revolution was accompanied by tremendous Granite intrusions and some dykes  Paleogeography of the Permian • At the beginning of the Permian, the sea regressed from many land tracks as in central Russia, N. Africa and S. America. • As a results , series of lakes sometimes with local fresh water condition were formed. • Red beds consisting of sandstones , shales, marls, salt and gypsum together with some coal beds were formed in there inland water bodies.. • Another featues of special interest is the large amount of igneous rocks in the form of Lava flows, tuffs and dykes in the lower Permian, particulary in the British Isles, Germany, France, and the
  63. 63. The Permian Mass Extinction - Permian Period (286-248 million years ago) - Fast Facts - Terrestrial faunal diversification occurred in the Permian - 90-95% of marine species became extinct in the Permian Geological Setting • With the formation of the super-continent Pangea in the Permian, continental area exceeded that of oceanic area for the first time in geological history. • The result of this new global configuration was the extensive development and diversification of Permian terrestrial vertebrate fauna and accompanying reduction of Permian marine communities • Among terrestrial fauna affected included insects, amphibians, reptiles (which evolved during the Carboniferous), as well as the dominant terrestrial group, the therapsids (mammal-like reptiles). The terrestrial flora was predominantly composed of gymnosperms, including the conifers. • Life in the seas was similar to that found in middle Devonian communities following the late Devonian crisis. Common groups included the brachiopods, ammonoids, gastropods, crinoids, bony fish, sharks, and fusulinid foraminifera. Corals and trilobites were also present, but were exceedingly rare.
  64. 64. Species Affected • about 248 miThe Permian mass extinction occurred llion years ago and was the greatest mass extinction ever recorded in earth history; even larger than the previously discussed Ordovician and Devonian crises and the better known End Cretaceous extinction that felled the dinosaurs. • Ninety to ninety-five percent of marine species were eliminated as a result of this Permian event. The primary marine and terrestrial • victims included the fusulinid foraminifera, trilobites, rugose and tabulate corals, blastoids, acanthodians, placoderms, and pelycosaurs, which did not survive beyond the Permian boundary. • Other groups that were substantially reduced included the bryozoans, brachiopods, ammonoids, sharks, bony fish, crinoids, eurypterids, ostracodes, and echinoderms .  Permian: Climate • During the Perman there was remarkable variations in the climatic conditions, from widespread extreme aridity to an abundance of rainfall, and from tropical heat to cold. It was not uniform. • Local aridity is marked by the presence of Red Beds with salt and gypsum. • Climate was probably damp and moderately hot in parts of Europeand N. America where coal – seams of the early Permian are recorded as a continuation to the Pensylvanian conditions..
  65. 65. Speculated Causes of the Permian Extinction • Although the cause of the Permian mass extinction remains a debate, numerous theories have been formulated to explain the events of the extinction. • One of the most current theories for the mass extinction of the Permian is an agent that has been also held responsible for the Ordovician and Devonian crises, glaciation on Gondwana. • A similar glaciation event in the Permian would likely produce mass extinction in the same manner as previous, that is, by a global widespread cooling and/or worldwide lowering of sea level.  1-The Formation of Pangea Another theory which explains the mass extinctions of the Permian is the reduction of shallow continental shelves due to the formation of the super-continent Pangea. Such a reduction in oceanic continental shelves would result in ecological competition for space, perhaps acting as an agent for extinction. However, although This is a viable theory, the formation of Pangea and the ensuing destruction of the continental shelves occurred in the early and middle Permian, and mass extinction did not occur until the late Permian.
  66. 66.  2-Glaciation • A third possible mechanism for the Permian extinction is rapid warming and severe climatic fluctuations produced by concurrent glaciation events on the north and south poles. In temperate zones, there is evidence of significant cooling and drying in the sedimentological record, shown by thick sequences of dune sands and evaporites, while in the polar zones, glaciation was prominent. This caused severe climatic fluctuations around the globe, and is found by sediment record to be representative of when the Permian mass extinction occurred.  3-Volcanic Eruptions • The fourth and final suggestion that paleontologists have formulated credits the Permian mass extinction as a result of basaltic lava eruptions in Siberia. • These volcanic eruptions were large and sent a quantity of sulphates into the atmosphere. • Evidence in China supports that these volcanic eruptions may have been silica-rich, and thus explosive, a factor that would have produced large ash clouds around the world. • The combination of sulphates in the atmosphere and the ejection of ash clouds may have lowered global climatic conditions. The age of the lava flows has also been dated to the interval in which the Permian mass extinction
  67. 67. Permian life • It was a time of a rapid evolution, great specialization and constant changes . • The net result was the disappearance of many of characteristics group of the Paleozoic life. • The increase of salinity of the enclosed basins led some groups to gradual death. The Permian was a time of rapid evolution and greatest specialization, and major change in the recorded of life. In the cut –off seas which under drastic conditions become increasingly saline, the fauna were restricted and finally were killed off. Some groups evolved steadily into higher types others become gradually extinct. -Foraminifera : Fusulines continued as rock builders. -Corals : disappearance of tetracorals and first appearance of Hexacorals. Bryozoa: forming important local reef builders. Brachiopods:making the greatest bulk of the fauna. Most of the characteristic Paleozoic forms died out before the end of the Permian. Echinoderms:rare,Cystoids, Blastoides and many of crinoides group disappeared. Molluscs : Gastropods and Pelecypods progressed steadily and they replaced by the Braciopods during the late Paleozoic. Cephalopods flourished in more opened seas and were subjected to rapid evolutionary change. Trilobites: become extinct and died out ( Tetracorals, Cystoid, Blastoids , Grptolites and most of crinoids became extinct and died out). Fishes: their remains are largely found in rocks deposited on the land streams. Amphibia: were much like those of the Pensylvanian. Reptiles:abundant, their abundance in this period strongly suggest their earlier rapid evolution from the Pensylvanian Amphibia. Land Plants : decline of the Carboniferous flora. By the close of the period the great scale trees were almost extinct. In Southern hemisphere, S. America , Africa and India Permian tongue ferns were well developed , Ex.
  68. 68. All fossils in the Permian Neospirifer cameratus Bayhaium merriamorum © 2004
  69. 69. Helicoprion © 2005 ©2003Edaphosauridae
  70. 70. Neomultithecopora providensis © 2004 Bellerophon hilli © 2004