Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/39417
Title: Palaeoenvironments during a terminal Oligocene or early Miocene transgression in a fluvial system at the southwestern tip of Africa
Authors: Roberts, D. L.
Neumann, F. H.
Cawthra, H. C.
Carr, A. S.
Scott, L.
Durugbo, E. U.
Humphries, M. S.
Cowling, R. M.
Bamford, M. K.
Musekiwa, C.
MacHutchon, M.
First Published: 30-Jan-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Global and Planetary Change, 2017, 150, pp. 1-23
Abstract: A multi-proxy study of an offshore core in Saldanha Bay (South Africa) provides new insights into fluvial deposition, ecosystems, phytogeography and sea-level history during the late Paleogene-early Neogene. Offshore seismic data reveal bedrock topography, and provide evidence of relative sea levels as low as − 100 m during the Oligocene. 3D landscape reconstruction reveals hills, plains and an anastomosing river system. A Chattian or early Miocene age for the sediments is inferred from dinoflagellate taxa Distatodinium craterum, Chiropteridium lobospinosum, Homotryblium plectilum and Impagidinium paradoxum. The subtropical forest revealed by palynology includes lianas and vines, evergreen trees, palms and ferns, implying higher water availability than today, probably reduced seasonal drought and stronger summer rainfall. From topography, sedimentology and palynology we reconstruct Podocarpaceae-dominated forests, Proto-Fynbos, and swamp/riparian forests with palms and other angiosperms. Rhizophoraceae present the first South African evidence of Palaeogene/Neogene mangroves. Subtropical woodland-thicket with Combretaceae and Brachystegia (Peregrinipollis nigericus) probably developed on coastal plains. Some of the last remaining Gondwana elements on the sub-continent, e.g., Araucariaceae, are recorded. Charred particles signal fires prior to the onset of summer dry climate at the Cape. Marine and terrestrial palynomorphs, together with organic and inorganic geochemical proxy data, suggest a gradual glacio-eustatic transgression. The data shed light on Southern Hemisphere biogeography and regional climatic conditions at the Palaeogene-Neogene transition. The proliferation of the vegetation is partly ascribed to changes in South Atlantic oceanographic circulation, linked to the closure of the Central American Seaway and the onset of the Benguela Current ~ 14 Ma.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.01.007
ISSN: 0921-8181
Links: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818116303022
http://hdl.handle.net/2381/39417
Embargo on file until: 30-Jan-2018
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, Elsevier. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geography

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