Jurassic Paleoclimates in Argentina, a review

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Wolfgang Volkheimer
Oliver W. M. Rauhut
Mirta E. Quattrocchio
Marcelo A. Martinez


New paleoclimatic evidence from palynologic and vertebrate proxies provides more detailed data on climatic change during the Jurassic in Argentina. Comparison with paleomagnetic data shows that the Neuquén basin shifted from the highest paleolatitudes (50ºS), by the end of the Triassic until the end of the Sinemurian. During the Pliensbachian-Toarcian it moved northward, reaching the lowermost paleolatitudes (25ºS), and subsequently (Middle to Late Jurassic) the area moved again and attained eventually a position similar to its present-day position (30ºS). These movements are reflected in the Jurassic palynofloras. The high frequency of the pollen genus Classopollis (Cheirolepidiacean gymnosperms) is of special paleoclimatic importance in the Argentinian Jurassic, as it is indicative of seasonal aridity or semiarid conditions during large intervals of this Period. During the shift of the South American continent to the northernmost position, the arrival of an important group of Araucariaceae, represented by Callialasporites spp., in the Toarcian could indicate an amelioration related to more humid conditions. Jurassic dinocyst assemblages studied in the Neuquén basin have proved to be useful paleoclimatic and paleobiogeographic proxies. Abundant remains of marine crocodiles in the Mid- and Late Jurassic of the Neuquén basin indicate warm water temperatures for this basin, probably in excess of 20° C. The occurrence of abundant turtles and other ectothermic vertebrates in the Middle Jurassic Cañadón Asfalto Formation of Chubut is in general accordance with the warm climate indicated for this unit by geologic evidence.

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Volkheimer, W., Rauhut, O. W. M., Quattrocchio, M. E., & Martinez, M. A. (2008). Jurassic Paleoclimates in Argentina, a review. Revista De La Asociación Geológica Argentina, 63(4), 549-556. Retrieved from https://revista.geologica.org.ar/raga/article/view/1315

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