A new vertebrate fossil-bearing layer in the Rhætelv Formation (Kap Stewart Group) of central East Greenland: evidence of a Hettangian marine incursion into the continental Jameson Land Basin

Lars B. Clemmensen, Sofie Lindström, Octávio Mateus, Malte Mau, Jesper Milàn, Dennis V. Kent

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The Kap Stewart Group (Rhaetian-Sinemurian, Triassic–Early Jurassic) of the Jameson Land Basin in central East Greenland has traditionally been regarded as a strictly continental unit with delta and perennial lake sediments. New finds of plesiosaur bone remain in a thin storm deposited sandstone bed in the middle part of the Rhætelv Formation of the Kap Stewart Group, however, indicates a likely period of marine influence. At the study area at the eastern margin of the basin, the Rhætelv Formation is 300-m thick and overlies unconformably the Norian Fleming Fjord Group. The bone-bearing sandstone occurs 190 m above the base of the group and is closely associated with black laminated mudstones; palynological investigation of three samples from these mudstones indicates that they are of a younger Hettangian age. The Hettangian was a relatively short stage (201.3–199.5 Ma) and elsewhere characterized by two episodes of sea-level highstands. Assuming that the marine incursion in the Jameson land Basin evidenced by the plesiosaur fossil remains took place during the youngest of these sea-level highstands, the bone-bearing bed of the Rhætelv Formation can be dated to 200 Ma and thereby gives the first numerical age constraint of this hitherto poorly dated succession.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages12
    JournalLethaia
    Volume55
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022

    Keywords

    • Hettangian
    • Jameson Land Basin
    • Kap Stewart Group
    • marine incursion
    • plesiosaur

    Programme Area

    • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources
    • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate

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