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Late Miocene vegetation and palaeoenvironments of the Drygalski Formation, Heard Island, Indian Ocean: evidence from palynology

Citation

Truswell, EM and Quilty, PG and McMinn, A and Macphail, MK and Wheller, GE, Late Miocene vegetation and palaeoenvironments of the Drygalski Formation, Heard Island, Indian Ocean: evidence from palynology, Antarctic Science, 17, (3) pp. 427-442. ISSN 0954-1020 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102005002865

Abstract

Well sorted, fine lithic sandstone within the Drygalski Formation at Cape Lockyer on the southern tip of Heard Island, preserves a diverse terrestrial palynoflora as well as marine diatoms and a few foraminifera. A combination of these elements suggests a Late Miocene age (10-5 Ma). The palaeovegetation was markedly different from that presently on the island, and appears to comprise at least two ecologically distinct communities: open heath or herbfield dominated by grasses and Asteraceae, and a more mesophytic community dominated by ferns but also including lycopods and angiosperms such as Gunnera. This may have represented a coastal flora similar to the 'fern-bush' community that exists now on Southern Ocean islands north of the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone, and in Tierra del Fuego; however, there is no evidence of tree species in the local flora and trace amounts of tree pollen present may have blown in from other landmasses in the region. © Antarctic Science Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Palaeontology (incl. Palynology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
Author:Quilty, PG (Dr Pat Quilty)
Author:McMinn, A (Professor Andrew McMinn)
ID Code:38118
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2006-05-09
Downloads:0

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