The global mio-pliocene climatic equability and coastal ostracod faunas of southeast Australia

Warne, Mark 2005, The global mio-pliocene climatic equability and coastal ostracod faunas of southeast Australia, Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, vol. 225, no. 1-4, pp. 248-265, doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.06.013.

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Title The global mio-pliocene climatic equability and coastal ostracod faunas of southeast Australia
Author(s) Warne, MarkORCID iD for Warne, Mark
Journal name Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology
Volume number 225
Issue number 1-4
Start page 248
End page 265
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2005-08-05
ISSN 0031-0182
Keyword(s) Australia
late miocene
Summary This study on the Mio–Pliocene ostracod successions of southeast Australia outlines several faunal events indicative of climate warming and/or increased rainfall events. Ostracod faunas associated with a late Late Miocene sea level rise event suggest that the climate of this time in southeast Australia was similar to, or slightly warmer than that of present day southeast Australia. However, it was probably wetter and significantly warmer than immediately preceding (mid Late Miocene) palaeoclimatic conditions within the region. Evidence for a change to wetter and warmer conditions during the late Late Miocene is seen in the appearance of various extant euryhaline and semi-thermophilic ostracod species in coastal ostracod faunas. The appearance of euryhaline species, which are mostly absent from older shallow marine Cenozoic strata of the Bass Strait hinterland, suggests a major influx of fresh water into coastal marine settings, which contributed to the initial phase of development of the southeast Australian late Neogene barrier coastline and associated marginal marine palaeoenvironments.

During the time interval latest Miocene to earliest Pliocene, and during the early Late Pliocene, two subsequent global sea level rise events are also preserved in the southeast Australian coastal plain. Many of the species present in ostracod faunas associated with these two events are the same as in older local late Late Miocene faunas. In earliest (?) Pliocene faunas, there is minor evidence for the reappearance of semi-thermophilic ostracods. Faunas of early Late Pliocene age often exhibit a conspicuous faunal dominance by, or large abundance of euryhaline species, indicating the particularly strong influence of fresh water influxes into coastal marine palaeoenvironments. This may reflect the presence of especially wet local temperate palaeoclimatic conditions during a time of equable global climates.

Succeeding estuarine, lagoonal and coastal embayment ostracod faunas of late Late Pliocene age are associated with marginal marine sediments that are interbedded with coastal dune aeolianites. This suggests an overall seaward retreat of marginal marine environments that was initiated by a major global sea level fall linked to the onset of cooler Late Pliocene and Quaternary global climates.

Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.06.013
Field of Research 040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Elsevier B.V.
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