Multi-proxy record of the Austrian Upper Triassic Polzberg Konservat-Lagerstätte in light of the Carnian Pluvial Episode

Alexander Lukeneder, Petra Lukeneder, Reinhard Sachsenhofer, Guido Roghi, Manuel Rigo

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We present a multi-proxy investigation of a lower Carnian basinal succession from Polzberg in the Northern Calcareous Alps (Lower Austria). A section comprising a unique Konservat-Lagerstätte was studied based on bio- and chemostratigraphy along with geophysical methods, yielding a detailed and robust stratigraphic calibration of the Polzberg succession. The Polzberg section revealed the paleoceanographic history and helped to identify a global climatic reversal, the Carnian Pluvial Episode. The age of the Upper Triassic Reingraben formation in the Northern Calcareous Alps is refined as the Austrotrachyceras austriacum Zone within the lower Carnian (Julian 2). Ammonoids and conodonts provide a detailed biostratigraphic subdivision that serves as a basis for analyses of the faunal distribution and the paleoenvironmental evolution of the Upper Triassic Reifling Basin. The succession includes lithological and facies changes similar to those of coeval units in the Tethys. The Carnian was characterized by a weak (~ 1‰) positive δ13C trend, punctuated by a negative shift during the lower Carnian corresponding to the initiation of the Carnian Pluvial Episode, a period representing the onset of early/late Carnian transitional global greenhouse conditions. Organic maturity parameters and the conodont alteration index (CAI) show that the thermal overprint of the Polzberg section is low. Biomarker proxies suggest that the organic matter of the uppermost Göstling formation is a mixture of marine and terrestrial material deposited in a dysoxic environment. Within the overlaying Reingraben formation, the amount of marine biomass decreased gradually upwards. Oxygen-depleted conditions, probably due to water-column stratification, continued during deposition of the Reingraben formation. Bacterial sulfate reduction played a major role in organic matter degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11194
Number of pages21
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2024

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