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Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 28, No, 1, pp. 9 9 - 1 1 4 , 1999 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd A , rights reserved. Printed in Great Britain 0899-5362/99 $- see front matter

Gondwanan palaeogeography and palaeoclimatology

C. R. SCOTESE, 1'* A. J. BOUCOT 2 and W. S. MCKERROW 3 Department of Geology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas 76019, USA Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford University, Parks Road, Oxford OXl 3PR, UK

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: (1) Gondwana's latitudinal movement; and (2) changes in global climate from Ice House to Hot House conditions. This paper presents seven palaeogeographic maps and seven palaeoclimatic maps illustrating Gondwana's changing climate. @1999 Elsevier Science Limited. All rights reserved. RI~SUMI~--Les indicateurs lithologiques du climat, comme le charbon, les evaporites, les bauxites et les tillites, peuvent etre utilises pour cartographier la position ancienne des zones climatiques majeures (tropical humide, subtropical sec, temp6re chaud, temper~ froid et polaire) travers6es par le supercontinent du Gondwana. Les pionniers de la d6rive des continents (Wegener, 1912; du Toit, 1937) ont reconnu ce fait et d~duit que les changements climatiques (par exemple, les tillites de I'Ordovician tardif dans le D~sert du Sahara) resultaient en fait du d~placement du Gondwana ~ travers ces ceintures climatiques. Nous savons maintenant que la largeur variable et la Iocalis~tion des zones climatiques refletent ~ la fois: (1) le d6placement en latitude du Gondwana et (2) les changements du climat global de conditions de glaci~re celles d'effet de serre. Ce papier pr6sente sept cartes pal~og~ographiques et sept cartes pal6oclimatiques illustrant les changements climatiques du Gondwana. 1999 Elsevier Science Limited. All rights reserved. (Received 15/8/98: accepted 30/10/98)

INTRODUCTION A t its m a x i m u m extent, the supercontinent of Gondwana made up more than 7 0 % of the Earth's continental area (-107 km2). Formed during the latest Precambrian and rifted apart in a series of ocean forming events that stretched into the Cretaceous, the supercontinent of Gondwana lasted 500 + 50 million years. During this vast time interval, the far r e a c h e s of t h i s e n o r m o u s s u p e r c o n t i n e n t experienced every climate Earth had to offer: warm, humid equatorial rainforests, arid subtropical deserts, temperate forests, and frigid polar ice caps. *emaih chris@scotese.com
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This paper r e v i e w s the temporal and spatial patterns of Gondwana's changing climate. Presented are several maps (see Appendix) s h o w i n g the location of the major climatic zones that crossed Gondwana and the geological evidence that is the basis for these interpretations is reviewed. In order to understand G o n d w a n a ' s changing climate it is necessary to separate climatic change into t w o components: i) secular climate change due to the latitudinal m o v e m e n t of Gondwana across zonal climatic belts; and

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Figure 1. Apparent polar wander path for Gondwana from the Late Precambrian to the Early Cretaceous (100 Ma). V: Vendian (650 Ma); LCam: Late Cambrian (525 Ma); LO: Late Ordovician (445 Ma); S: Silurian (420 Ma); D: Devonian (380 Me); EC: Early Carboniferous (365 Me); LC: Late Carboniferous (300 Ma); P: Permian (245 Me); TR: Triassic (210 Ma); J: Jurassic (175 Ma); EK: Early Cretaceous (120Ma).

ii) global climate change due to world-wide shifts from 'Hot House' to 'Ice House' conditions.

Secular climatic change For the last 600 million years the South Pole has resided w i t h i n , or near, the boundaries of Gondwana. Figure 1 illustrates the best estimate for the path the South Pole has taken across Gondwana. This path is similar to the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) proposed by Grunow (1998, 1999) and Smith (1998, 1999). This APWP is simpler and more direct than other proposed APWPs that include rapid meanders and loops (Bachtadse and Briden, 1990; Kent and van der Voo, 1990; Powell and Li, 1994). This direct path is in accordance with: i) the d i s t r i b u t i o n of climatically sensitive lithofacies and faunas (Scotese and Barrett, 1990); ii) rates of plate motion equal to or less than than 6 cm a-1, which agrees with the observation that supercontinents, such as Gondwana, Eurasia and Pangaea tend to move slowly (2-5 cm a-1) (Kraus et al., 1993); and iii) this APWP is based on a comprehensive, global average of reliable palaeomagnetic data (Bocharova and Scotese, 1993) and does not rely on single palaeomagnetic determinations, which in the past have sometimes required wide loops

and rapid excursions (e.g. Air ring complex, Hargraves et al., 1987). Because of its great size the continent of Gondwana stretched from the South Pole to the Equator. As the APWP in Fig. 1 implies, at any one t i m e d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of G o n d w a n a simultaneously experienced polar, temperate, subtropical and equatorial climates. As Gondwana drifted across the South Pole these climatic belts similarly shifted position. Though the pattern of secular climatic change is complex, some broad geographic patterns can be recognised. From the Late Precambrian through to the Middle Palaeozoic, the western part of Gondwana (northern South America and north-western Africa) moved from south polar latitudes to subtropical latitudes. In contrast, the Indo-Australian region of Gondwana remained at relatively low latitudes from the Late Precambrian through to the Middle Palaeozoic (Fig. 1). During the Late Devonian, the Indo-Australian-Antarctic region of Gondwana moved rapidly from a subtropical to polar position, where it remained throughout the Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic. In contrast, during the Late Palaeozoic and Early Mesozoic the northern and western half of Gondwana remained at subtropical latitudes (Fig. 1). During the Jurassic and Cretaceous the general tendency has been for all the Gondwana continents

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TFigure 2. Global climate change, modified after Frakes e t al. (1992).

to move northward, either from subtropical to equatorial positions (Africa, Arabia, India, South America) or from temperate to subtropical positions (Australia). Only Antarctica has remained within 1000 km of the South Pole since the Carboniferous; and South America has not changed latitude by more than 20 during the last 300 million years, though it has drifted > 6000 km westwards.

Global climatic change If Gondwana's changing climates were solely the result of its changing latitudinal position then it would be a simple matter to predict expected climates through time. However, superimposed on this pattern of secular climatic change is a signal of global climatic change. During the 500 million years that Gondwana and its fragments existed, the Earth's global climate system has shifted from 'Ice House' conditions to 'Hot House' conditions four times (Fig. 2) (Frakes et al., 1992). Here 'Ice House' conditions are defined as those times when one or both of the Earth's polar regions are covered by permanent ice. Due to orbital variations (Milankovitch cycles) and changing patterns of thermo-haline oceanic circulation (Broecker and van Donk, 1970), the size of the polar ice cap waxes and wanes. 'Ice Ages' are those times when continental ice sheets are at their maximum extent. The ice sheets retreat during intervening 'Interglacial' times, like the present day. The average global temperature during times of Ice House conditions is approximately 12-14C (Worsley et al., 1994). In contrast, when the Earth is experiencing 'Hot House' conditions, there is no permanent ice cover at the poles. Seasonal snow and ice are also rare or absent. The average global temperature in a Hot House world may be as high as 18-22C. Equatorial temperatures may reach 30C and it may be as warm as 14C at the poles (Worsley et al., 1994). Late Precambrian ice ages are not easily dated. Though other Late Precambrian ice ages preceded it, the first Gondwanan Ice House episode was the great Vendian Ice Age, which coincided with the assembly of Gondwana (650-550 Ma). Indeed, the collisions that formed Gondwana may have played a role in creating Ice House conditions during the Late Precambrian. This Ice House world was followed by global warming during the Cambrian and Early Ordovician. The second Ice House episode was a relatively brief (26 Ma) but extensive period of global cooling during the Late Ordovician and earliest Silurian. It was followed by a period of global warming from the Silurian through the Middle Devonian. The third episode of Ice House conditions began in the latest Devonian-earliest Carboniferous, waned during the Early Carboniferous, expanded during the early Late Carboniferous (Namurian B), and t e r m i n a t e d d u r i n g the Early Permian (Artinskian) (Ziegler et al., 1 997). This Ice House world was followed by global warming during the Late Permian, Triassic and Jurassic. Geological

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Table 1. Koeppen classification of climates (from Lutgens and Tarbuck, 1995) A Humid Tropical B Dry Subtropical Winterless climates; all months having a mean temperature above 18C. Climates where evaporation exceeds precipitation; there is a constant water deficiency. C Warm Temperate Mild winters; the average temperature of the coldest month is below 18C, but above -3C. D Cool Temperate Severe winters; the average temperature of the coldest month is below -3C and the warmest monthly mean temperature exceeds 10C. E Polar Summerless climates; the average temperature of the warmest month is below 10C. and in turn, the Late Cenozoic Ice House world. These final two episodes of global climate change will not be discussed in this paper because by the Late Cretaceous Gondwana had completely dispersed.

indicators of climate and palaeontological evidence suggest that Earth may have experienced 'runaway' greenhouse warming at the end of the Palaeozoic. Whether or not this episode of global warming was triggered by massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia, this 'Super Hot House' world may have been responsible for the Late Permian mass e x t i n c t i o n event (Erwin, 1998, 1999; 8owring et al., 1998). The third episode of global cooling, during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, by all accounts, was a 'mild' Ice House episode (Frakes et al., 1992). It was followed by the lengthy Late Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic Hot House world


As stated in the introduction, the goal of this paper is to map the c l i m a t i c belts t h a t crossed Gondwana. In order to do this, the 'climatic belts' must first be defined and the lithological data and geological evidence that have been used to map these belts discussed.

E Polar D Cold Temperate C Warm Temperate B Dry Subtropical

A Humid Tropical

B Dry Subtropical C Warm Temperate

D Cold Temperate E Polar

Figure 3. Present day distribution of the principal Koeppen climate zones. A: Humid Tropics; B: Dry Subtropics; C: Warm Temperate; D: Cool Temperate; E: Polar.

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Low Pressure


Figure 4. Zonal pattern of atmospheric circulation. A: rising limb of Hadley Cell; B: descending limb of Hadley Cell; C: polar front.

Definition of climatic belts

In this paper a simplified and modified Koeppen climatic classification scheme is used (Koeppen, 1931). The Koeppen system uses the annual pattern of temperature and rainfall to classify the Earth's climate into five principal zones: (A) Humid Tropical; (B) Dry Subtropical; (C) Warm Temperate; (D) Cool Temperate; and (E) Polar. A more detailed description of each climatic zone is given in Table 1. The present-day distribution of these climatic zones is shown in Fig. 3. As can be seen in Fig. 3, these five climatic zones are primarily arrayed in a latitudinal pattern. The Humid Tropical belt (A) lies within 20 of the Equator in a region that receives high rainfall throughout the year and there is little seasonal variation in temperature (Fig. 4, A). The Dry Subtropical belts (B) are centred on the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23.5N and 23.5S). These are the regions of the Earth that lie below the cool, dry limb of the Hadley Cell (Fig. 4, B). Most of the world's deserts lie within the Dry Subtropical belt (Sahara, Atacama, Sonorra, Kalahari, and Great Sandy Deserts). The Warm Temperate (C) and Cool Temperate (D) belts lie at mid-latitudes and are the regions where seasonal confrontations take place

between cold, dry polar air masses and warm, humid subtropical air masses (Fig. 4, C). The area of Polar climate (E) occurs primarily poleward of the Arctic and Antarctic Circles (latitude 66.5N and 66.5S).

Asymmetries and exceptions

Though the pattern of climate zones is primarily latitudinal, there are several major exceptions and asymmetries that must be discussed. The most prominent asymmetry is the East-West Longitudinal Asymmetry. At low latitudes, moisturebearing winds blow from east to west. As a result, in the tropics and subtropics the eastern sides of continents are generally wetter than the western sides of continents (e.g. Australia, Madagascar, North America, and eastern Asia). At mid-latitudes (40-50 ) the asymmetry is reversed. Because the prevailing winds blow from west to east in temperate latitudes, the western sides of continents are wetter than the eastern sides of continents (e.g. northwest United States, southernmost South America, and northwest Europe). Another important exception to the zonal model is caused by differences in the proportion of land and water. As one might expect, regions where there is an equal proportion of land and water are

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Table 2. Climatic zones and associated lithological indicators of climate A B C D Humid Tropical Dry Subtropical Warm Temperate Cool Temperate coal, bauxite, minor kaolinite evaporites, calcrete kaolinite, minor bauxite, minor coal coal, dropstones (boulder shale), glendonite nodules, minor tillite tillite, dropstones (boulder shale), glendonite nodules, minor coal during interglacial periods

E Polar

w e t t e r (southeast Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean) than continental areas that are land-locked and distant from a source of moisture (central Asia). If a continent is large enough (Pangaea-sized) moisture will not be easily carried into the interior of the supercontinent, and consequently deserts may occur at any latitude. A third modification of the Koeppen climatic classification system is required due to the fact that the Koeppen scheme was designed to describe the present day Ice House climate; but the "present isn't always the key to the past". Though we are presently living in an Ice House w o r l d , d u r i n g the last 5 0 0 million years, approximately 70% of the time the Earth simmered under Hot House conditions (Fig. 2). In a Hot House world, there is no Polar climate (E) and it appears that at these times the Cool Temperate belt (D) may have been absent. In a Hot House world, the Humid Tropics (A) and the Dry Subtropics (B) expand slightly poleward, and the Warm Temperate belt (C) extends to the pole.

Late Precambrian tillites compiled by W. S. McKerrow (Oxford) (Hambrey and Harland, 1981 ) to identify the climatic zones that crossed the supercontinent of Gondwana from the Vendian to the Late Cretaceous. In the following section the association of these various lithologies and climate is discussed. These associations are also summarised in Table 2.

Lithological indicators of the Humid Tropics (A) High rainfall and warm temperatures favour the luxuriant growth of plant life in the Humid Tropics (e.g. present day Amazon rainforest). If conditions favour preservation, then coal beds will form. The high rainfall and warm temperatures also promote extensive chemical weathering of silicate minerals, producing soil profiles depleted in exchangeable cations and enriched in clay and sesquioxides such as kaolinite and bauxite (Retallack, 1990). Lithological indicators of the Dry Subtropics (B) Low, or seasonal, rainfall and warm temperatures in the Dry Subtropics result in the net evaporation of water bodies and subsequent concentration and deposition of evaporitic deposits, such as gypsum and halite. In terrestrial environments, seasonal rainfall may be sufficient to dissolve, but not remove, all exchangeable cations in the soil profile. Calcium, in the form of calcrete, may accumulate in a distinctive soil horizon near the average maximum depth of water percolation (Retallack, 1990; Wright and Tucker, 1991 ). Lithological indicators of the Warm Temperate belt (C) and Cool Temperate belt (D) Both the Warm and Cool Temperature belts are marked by the seasonal occurrence of moisturebearing, mid-latitude cyclones. In temperate

Mapping climatic zones using lithological indicators of climate As has been long noted (Parrish et al., 1982; Ziegler et al., 1984, 1987), some minerals and rock types preferentially form under certain c l i m a t i c c o n d i t i o n s . The geological record therefore provides us with an approximate means to map the ancient distribution of climatic zones. A. J. Boucot and his colleague, Chen Xu (Nanjing), have assembled a database of climatically sensitive l i t h o l o g i e s t h a t i n c l u d e s the P h a n e r o z o i c occurrences of coals, b a u x i t e s , kaolinites, evaporites, calcretes, tillites, dropstones and glendonites (Boucot et al., in prep.). This database has been used, in combination with a data set of

Figure 5. Vendian palaeogeographic reconstruction (650 Ma) showing the ancient distribution of mountains (dark grey), land (medium grey), shallow sea (pale grey) and deep sea (no shading). Figure 6. Vendian palaeoclimates (650 Ma; Ice House I). For symbols see Fig. 10. Figure 7. Early Ordovician palaeogeographic reconstruction (500 Ma). For shading see Fig. 5. Figure 8. Early Ordovician palaeoclimates (500 Ma; Hot House 1). For symbols see Fig. 10. 104 Journal of African Earth Sciences

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C. R. SCOTESE et al. latitudes, along the western coasts of continents, the westerlies also provide an additional source of moisture. High rainfall and seasonally warm temperatures favour plant growth and coal bed formation in both the Warm and Cool Temperate belts. In the Cool Temperate belt, snow and ice may accumulate producing glacial deposits (tillites, dropstones and glendonites). Conversely, in the Warm Temperate belt, warmer conditions promote chemical weathering of silicates and the formation of kaolinites and rare bauxites. Because of the varied combinations of lithological indicators of climate, the Warm and Cold Temperate climatic belts are the most difficult to recognise in the rock record. Lithological indicators o f Polar climates (E) The Polar climate zone (E) is only present on Earth during times of Ice House conditions. At these times, ice sheets, sometimes several kilometres thick and 100's to 1000's of kilometres wide, cover continental areas near the poles. These slowly moving ice sheets are probably the most destructive surficial geological phenomenonscraping, grinding and obliterating thick sections of rock. Because younger glacial advances destroy much of the evidence from older glacial advances, often only the last major glacial advance is wellpreserved in the stratigraphical record. The most abundant lithological evidence of glacial conditions occurs along the perimeter of the ice sheet in the form of tillites and boulder shales (dropstone deposits). Because polar ice caps produce frigid bottom water, the world's oceans cool during Ice House times. The occurrence of glendonite nodules in dropstone deposits has been considered evidence for cold water conditions. Glendonite nodules are stellar aggregates of calcite pseudomorphing after ikaite (CaCO3.6H20), a mineral that is stable only at near-freezing temperatures (Frakes et al., 1992).
How the maps were made

The p a l a e o g e o g r a p h i c and p a l a e o c l i m a t i c reconstructions shown in Figs 5-18 were produced in five steps. The first step was to create a plate tectonic base map. The relative positions of the continents and ocean basins are based on the PALEOMAP Project global plate model (Scotese,

1997). The fit of the Gondwana continents, in particular, is modified from that of Lawver and Scotese (1987). The terranes of Cimmeria (Turkey, Iran, A f g h a n i s t a n , Q i a n g - T a n g , Lhasa and Sibumasu) and Cathaysia (Tarim, north China, south China, Indochina) have been added to the Indo-Australian margin of Gondwana for the appropriate time intervals. The second step in the map making process was to orientate the plate reassembly relative to the spin axis. This has been done using the palaeomagnetic data assembled by van der Voo (1993). After eliminating aberrant palaeopoles and palaeopoles with quality factors less than Q = 3, global mean poles were calculated at 10 million year intervals (Fig. 1, Bocharova and Scotese, 1993). Using this palaeomagnetic summary, the location of the South Pole (plus sign) and lines of palaeolatitude (60 , 30 and 0 ) were plotted on the maps. The third step was to indicate the ancient distribution of mountains (dark grey), land (medium grey), shallow sea (pale grey), and deep sea (no shading). The principal sources of palaeogeographic information were: general sources information (Ronov et al., 1984, 1989; Smith et al., 1994), Gondwana overview (Veevers et al., 1994), Africa (Hulver, 1985; Dercourt etal., 1993; Schandelmeier and Reynolds, 1997; Said, 1990; Walsh, 1996), South America (Tankard et al., 1995; Walsh, 1996), Australia (Cook, 1990; Kraus, 1995), Antarctica (Collinson et al., 1994), southeast Asia (Hutchison, 1989), and China (Wang, 1985). The accuracy of the palaeogeographic maps is inversely related to the age of the reconstruction. The more recent maps are more accurate than the older maps. Also, the location of Late Precambrian and Palaeozoic mouintain belts are speculative. In the final step, after the palaeogeographic base maps were completed, lithological indicators of climate (coals, bauxites, kaolinites, evaporites, calcretes, tillites, dropstones and glendonites) (Boucot et al., in prep,) were plotted on the maps. Using the lithological indicators of climate and the inferred palaeolatitude, it was possible to estimate the positions of the five major climatic zones: (A) Humid Tropical; (B) Dry Subtropical; (C) Warm Temperate; (D) Cool Temperate; and (E) Polar.

Figure 9. Latest Ordovician pala~ogeography (440 Ma). For shading see Fig. 5. Figure 10. Latest Ordovician pal~eoclimates (440 Ma; Ice House 2). + : tillite, glendonite or dropstones; 0 : coal; II: bauxite; D: kaolinite; A : evaporite; A: ca/crete; shaded areas: land. Figure 1 I. Early Devonian pal~eogeography (400 Ma). For shading see Fig. 5. Figure 12. Early Devonian palaeoclimates (400 Ma; Hot House 2). For symbols see Fig. 10. 106 Journal of African Earth Sciences

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CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW Vendian [Ice House 1l (Figs 5 and 6) Between 950 Ma and the end of the Precambrian there were 3-4 separate Ice House episodes. The tillites shown on the Vendian map (Fig. 6), represent the last of these glacial episodes (Varanger stage, Hambrey and Harland, 1981 ). The prevalence of glacial deposits at the end of the Precambrian has led some workers to invoke global Ice House conditions - the 'Snowball Earth' hypothesis {Hoffman et al., 1998; Hoffman, 1999). Though the idea of a completely frozen Earth is tantalising, it remains to be rigourously tested. An alternate hypothesis is proposed here to explain the widespread occurrence of glacial deposits during the Neoproterozoic. In this model, the mystery of the Vendian Ice House world is explained by the proximity of continental masses to the North and South Poles. Ice rafted debris and glacial deposits formed on these continents as they travelled across the poles. As can be seen in Fig. 5, though some tillites are found at low latitudes (e.g. Australia), nearly 80% of the tillite localities occur at latitudes greater than 30 Furthermore, Vendian evaporites and platform carbonates almost exclusively occur at latitudes less than 30 (southern Arabia, Iran and India) (Rcnov et al., 1984). Early Cambrian-Middle Ordovician (Hot House 1) (Figs 7 and 8) The break-up of Pannotia at the end of the Precambrian ushered in a period of global warming across Gondwana that lasted nearly to the end of the Ordovician. Though the South Pole was located along the northwest margin of Gondwana, no polar ice sheets are known from this time interval. Evaporites map out in an expanded Dry Subtropical belt along the western margin of Gondwana. Calcretes occur in Arabia at a palaeolatutude of 35S, and in Spain at palaeolatitudes of 60S. Though evidence from other lithological indicators is sparse, an Early Cambrian kaolinite from Algeria suggests that the Warm Temperate belt extended to mid-latitudes (palaeolatitude 45S). Late Ordovician-Earliest Silurian (Ice House 2) (Figs 9 and 10) During the latest Ordovician (Ashgill) and earliest Siturian (Llandovery), an extensive ice sheet

covered much of the North African and South American part of Gondwana. As numerous authors have previously reported, tillites stretched in a broad arc from Arabia, southern Europe, the Sahara, Amazon, Argentina and South Africa (Beuf e t a l . , 1971; Frakes e t a l . , 1992). These tillites defined the Polar belt and the Cool Temperate belt. An extinction event at the end of the Ordovician has been attributed to cold bottom water produced by the Gondwanan Ice Sheet, cooling the oceans and spilling onto the shallow water shelves in the tropics and subtropics (Hirnantian Event) (Sheehan and Coorough, 1990). The Dry Subtropical belt was also well-defined by a broad swath of evaporites that occurred across Australia and Cathaysia, especially north China. A Late Ordovician kaolinite in northeast China hints at the location of the Humid Tropical belt. Anomalous kaolinites have been described from Algeria, and the Amazon Basin.

Silurian-Late Devonian (Hot House 2) (Figs 11 and 12) Though no permanent ice existed in the SilurianLate Devonian Hot House world, cold water faunas near the South Pole (Malvinokaffric Realm) and unweathered mica flakes in muds and sands suggest an extensive Cool Temperate belt that extended from the pole down to mid-latitudes. The Dry Subtropical belt, indicated by the presence of evaporites and calcretes, hugged the perimeter of Gondwana from Spain, across the Cimmerian and Cathaysian terranes, and into Australia. Scattered kaolinites in the Amazon, Algeria and southeastern Australia hint that a Warm Temperate belt may have lain between the Dry Subtropical belt and the Cool Temperate belt. Coal, an important lithological indicator of climate, makes its appearance in Gondwana in the Middle Devonian. Coal beds in south China were deposited in the Humid Tropical belt, whereas the coal beds in Sudan probably represent Warm Temperate conditions. Latest Devonian-Early Permian (Ice House 3) (Figs 13 and 14) The Late Devonian-Early Permian Ice House interval was actually two Ice House worlds separated by a warmer period. The first Ice House world began in the Late Devonian (Famennian)

Figure 13. Permo-Carboniferous pafceogeography (300 Ma). For shading see Fig. 5. Figure 14. Permo-Carboniferous paf~eoclimates (300 Ma; Ice House 3), For symbols see Fig, 10. Figure 15. Middle Jurassic palaeogeography (165 Ma). For shading see Fig. 5. Figure 16. Middle Jurassic palaeoclimates (165 Ma; Hot House 3). For symbols see Fig. 10, 108 Journal of African Earth Sciences

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and lasted through the Tournaisian, however, the ice cap formed during that time was of limited geographic extent. Late Devonian tillites have been found in Bolivia, the Amazon Basin and Niger. An Early Carboniferous tillite has been described from the Himalayas, and a similar-aged diamictite has been described from the Miller Formation of South Africa (J. Almond and F. Evans, pers. comm. 1998). Though no tillites are reported from the late Early Carboniferous (Visean-Namurian A), there may still have been some polar ice. This inference is based on the occurrence of glendonite in shales from western Alberta. The glendonite nodule indicates that the deep oceans were still refrigerated, with near-freezing bottom water upwelling near the equator (10N). Cold bottom water can only form from a melting ice mass in a polar region. The Permo-Carboniferous Ice House world, and the growth of the great Gondwanan ice cap, commenced in the early Late Carboniferous (Namurian B) and lasted until the Early Permian (Artinskian). The extent and nature of this ice cap have been discussed and described by numerous authors (Frakes et al., 1992; Martini, 1997). The Permo-Carboniferous ice cap covered the southern half of South America, the southern two-thirds of Africa (as far north as southernmost Saudi Arabia), India, Antarctica and Australia. Early Permian coal deposits are often associated with these tillites and certainly represent warmer (Cool Temperate), interglacial conditions (e.g. South African coal; LeBlanc-Smith and Ericksson, 1979). Dropstone deposits are known from the fringes of the ice sheet, including the Cimmerian terranes of Qiang-Tang, Lhasa, and Sibumasu. In addition to a well-defined Polar belt, lithological indicators of climate clearly reveal the location of the Humid Tropical, Dry Subtropical, and Temperate belts. Abundant coal deposits and some bauxites can be found in the Humid Tropical belt that crossed the mid-continent of North America and western Europe. The Dry Subtropical belt is delineated by evaporites in the Amazon Basin, Libya and Chad, and calcretes in Bolivia. Coal and kaolinites in southern South America, east-central Africa, India and Australia formed in a condensed Warm/Cool Temperate belt.

evidence of polar ice on Gondwana from the Middle Permian through to the Jurassic. The Permo-Triassic mass extinction took place during this Hot House interval and it has been suggested that massive global warming, triggered by the eruption of the Siberian Traps, may have caused this mass extinction (Erwin, 1998, 1999; Bowring et al., 1998). The pattern of the PermoTriassic extinction seems to fit with an episode of super-greenhouse global warming. After the coalproducing, rainforest flora of the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian became extinct, the plants that replaced them were descendents of the xerophytic 'Zechstein' flora. Consequently, a 'coal-gap' (Faure et al., 1995) follows the Permo-Triassic extinction. Widespread and significant amounts of coal do not appear in the Mesozoic rock record until the late Middle Triassic (Ladinian). A n o t h e r interesting feature of the Middle Jurassic palaeoclimatic reconstruction (Fig. 15) is the absence of the Humid Tropical belt. There are no equatorial coals or bauxites. Instead, coals and bauxites occur on the eastern edge of the continent, at subtropical latitudes. This absence of a Humid Tropical belt has been attributed to 'mega-monsoonal' atmospheric circulation (Parrish, 1993). The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which on average lies near the Equator, is the locus of rainfall in the Humid Tropics. According to this theory, strong seasonal monsoons can shift the ITCZ northward and southward, distributing the rainfall over a large area, resulting in generally drier conditions than expected. According to the mega-monsoon theory, intense monsoonal circulation caused by severe seasonal heating of the Pangaean landmass caused an extreme deflection of the ITCZ. Consequently, a distinct zone of seasonal, constant rainfall did not develop along the Equator.

Middle Permian-Middle Jurassic (Hot House 3) (Figs 15 and 16) By the beginning of the Sakmarian (late Early Permian) the Gondwanan ice cap had melted and the next period of global warming had begun. Though there are tillites from the Late Permian (Kazanian) of northeastern Siberia, there is no

Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous (Ice House 4) (Figs 17 and 18) By the Early Cretaceous, oceans began to separate the major fragments of Gondwana (Fig. 16). Icerafted debris and glendonite nodules from the northern hemisphere and from central Australia (Fig. 17) indicate that the Earth had returned to Ice House conditions. The Late Jurassic Ice House world was not as severe as the preceding Ice Ages. No large ice cap or system of continental glaciers developed, and it is likely that much of the ice was seasonal. In addition to the Polar climatic zone, lithological indicators of climate from the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous help to identify three other climatic zones: Warm and Cool Temperate, Dry Subtropical

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Gondwanan palaeogeography and palaeoclimatology

Figure 17. Early Cretaceous palaeogeography (140 Ma). For shading see Fig. 5.

Figure 18. Early Cretaceous palaaoclimates (140 Ma; Ice House 4). For symbols see
Fig. 10.

and Humid Tropical. The transition from the Cool toWarm Temperate is delineated by the occurrence of coals throughout Australia, India, southern Africa and southernmost South America, grading into kaolinites and calcretes in central Africa and central South America. Equatorward, the abundance of calcretes and evaporites increases, suggesting dry, subtropical conditions. Finally, in the vicinity

of Arabia, Sudan and North Africa coals, kaolinites and bauxites are encountered, suggesting more humid conditions (Humid Tropical belt).


Lithological indicators of climate, such as coals, evaporites, bauxites and tillites, can be used to

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map the approximate location of the major climatic zones (Humid Tropics, Dry Subtropics, Warm and Cool Temperate, and Polar) that crossed the supercontinent of Gondwana. The changing width and location of these belts reflects: (1) Gondwana's latitudinal movement; and (2) changes in global climate from Ice House to Hot House conditions. During the past 600 million years the Earth's climate has alternated five times between Ice House and Hot House conditions (Fig. 1). Most of the time has been spent under Hot House conditions. Ice House worlds, like the present, are characterised by permanent ice and snow at the pole(s). In a Hot House world there is no polar ice, and Warm Temperate conditions may exist above the Arctic Circle. Though climatic modelling programs, such as Genesis or the GCM (Gobal Climate Model) (Crowley and North, 1991), can successfully model Ice House worlds, at present these computer models seem to have less success simulating Hot House conditions. Future climate models must integrate geological indicators of climate in order to establish the best possible boundary conditions for palaeoclimatic simulations.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CRS and AJB would like to thank the organisers of Gondwana-10, for the invitation to present and publish this work. CRS would also like to thank Maarten de Wit for his encouragement, support and review of this paper, Doug Cole for his review, and P. Richmond for help editing this manuscript.

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Pal~eogeographic maps by C.R. Scotese, PALEOMAP Project (www.scotese.com).

1 14 Journal of African Earth Sciences