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The Early Carboniferous (Courceyan–Arundian) monsoonal climate of the British Isles: evidence from growth rings in fossil woods

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 1999

H. J. FALCON-LANG
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX UK

Abstract

The British Isles lay at a palaeolatitude of 4°S during the Early Carboniferous (Courceyan–Arundian) period. This paper examines fossil gymnosperm wood from ten localities in western Ireland and southern Scotland in order to analyse palaeoclimate. Fifty-two percent of the 77 fossil wood specimens studied exhibit growth rings that possess subtle, discontinuous ring boundaries and ring increments of narrow but variable width. These growth rings are qualitatively and quantitatively analysed, and are shown to bear a close similarity to growth rings in modern araucarian conifer woods; these araucarian growth rings are formed in response to tropical rainfall seasonality linked to monsoonal circulation. The findings of this study therefore support earlier palaeoclimatic interpretations, based on sedimentological evidence, which suggest that the British Isles experienced a monsoonal climate during the Early Carboniferous (Courceyan–Arundian) period.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1999 Cambridge University Press

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The Early Carboniferous (Courceyan–Arundian) monsoonal climate of the British Isles: evidence from growth rings in fossil woods
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