Early Triassic wrinkle structures on land: stressed environments and oases for life

Daoliang Chu, Jinnan Tong*, Haijun Song, Michael J. Benton, David J. Bottjer, Huyue Song, Li Tian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
308 Downloads (Pure)


Wrinkle structures in rocks younger than the Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) extinction have been reported repeatedly in marine strata, but rarely mentioned in rocks recording land. Here, three newly studied terrestrial P-Tr boundary rock succession in North China have yielded diverse wrinkle structures. All of these wrinkles are preserved in barely bioturbated shore-shallow lacustrine siliciclastic deposits of the Liujiagou Formation. Conversely, both the lacustrine siliciclastic deposits of the underlying Sunjiagou Formation and the overlying Heshanggou Formation show rich bioturbation, but no wrinkle structures or other microbial-related structures. The occurrence of terrestrial wrinkle structures in the studied sections reflects abnormal hydrochemical and physical environments, presumably associated with the extinction of terrestrial organisms. Only very rare trace fossils occurred in the aftermath of the P-Tr extinction, but most of them were preserved together with the microbial mats. This suggests that microbial mats acted as potential oases for the surviving aquatic animals, as a source of food and oxygen. The new finds suggests that extreme environmental stresses were prevalent both in the sea and on land through most of the Early Triassic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10109
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2015


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