Gondwanan palaeogeography and pal˦oclimatology

  • Scotese C
  • Boucot A
  • McKerrow W
  • 168

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Abstract

Lithological indicators of climate, such as coals, evaporites, bauxites, and tillites, can be used to map the past position of the major climatic zones (Humid Tropics, Dry Subtropics, Warm and Cool Temperate, and Polar) that crossed the supercontinent of Gondwana. The early proponents of continental drift (Wegener, 1912; du Toit, 1937) recognised this fact and inferred that apparent climatic changes (e.g. Late Ordovician tillites in the Sahara Desert) were actually the result of Gondwana’s movement across these climatic belts. It is now known that the changing width and location of these climatic zones reflects both: (I 1 Gondwana’s latitudinal movement; and (2) changes in global climate from Ice House to Hot House conditions. This paper presents seven palasogeographic maps and seven palaeoclimatic maps illustrating Gondwana’s changing climate.

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Authors

  • C.R. Scotese

  • A.J. Boucot

  • W.S. McKerrow

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