The Carboniferous World: Assembly of Pangae and Onset of Late-Paleozoic Glaciations
The session will provide a forum for discussion of the most relevant topics on Carboniferous geology, paleontology, and environments including: the terrestrial Carboniferous World, paleoceanography, glaciations and interglacials, assembly of Pangaea, reefs and carbonate mounds, and the biota.||The Carboniferous (358.9 - 298.9 Ma), comprising the Mississippian (Tournaisian, Viséan and Serpukhovian) and Pennsylvanian (Bashkirian, Moscovian, Kasimovian and Gzhelian), was a period of profound change. Continents were assembled forming Pangaea with continent-continent collisions and subduction causing magmatism, and emplacement of orebodies. From the earliest Mississippian into the late Viséan (Middle Mississippian), marine environments prevailed over vast regions on the continental plates, but from the latest Viséan through the Pennsylvanian, continental environments became progressively more extensive. After Late Devonian extinctions, invertebrate groups recovered substantially and crinoid abundance peaked, contributing vast amounts of debris. Stromatoporoids never recovered but new reef builders evolved and, along with submarine cements, constructed mounds and shallow-water reefs. Components of many major phyla became fully terrestrialized as recorded by the establishment of extensive coal swamps and upland forests, appearance of reptiles, and evolution of diverse assemblages of amphibians and nonmarine invertebrates. The increasing continentality resulted largely from orogenic and epeirogenic uplift associated with the assembly of the supercontinent Pangaea but oscillatory, low sea levels resulting from the waxing and waning of alpine and continental ice sheets were a major factor. After the latest Famennian glaciation, greenhouse conditions predominated until the late Viséan onset of high-frequency glaciations and interglacials on southern Gondwana that continued into the Permian.