U.S.-Argentina Cooperative Research: Evolution of the Pangean Megamonsoon: Plant Taphonomy in Triassic Sedimentary Rocks of the Ischigualasto Basin
This Americas award will support collaborative research between Dr. Judith T. Parrish-Jones of the University of Arizona and Dr. Oscar Alcober and Ms. Carina Colombi, Dr. Alcober's Ph.D. advisee, of Universidad Nacional de San Juan in Argentina for their work on the evolution of the Pangean megamonsoon.
The Pangean megamonsoon was a global climate system whose history is relevant to understanding climate dynamics. The southwestern portion of Pangea, in what is now South America, has received little attention in the documentation of this climate system, particularly of the Triassic. A well-exposed and complete Triassic stratigraphic sequence in western Argentina (Ischigualasto Basin) can help address the gap in our knowledge of the Pangean record, and is the focus of this project. The Pis will conduct plant taphonomic studies in the Ischigualasto Basin. Plant taphonomy is a powerful method for paleoclimate interpretation and has not been applied widely in South America. Integrated with the sedimentologic studies by other workers and with the vertebrate taphonomy to be carried out by the Argentines, this study of the paleovegetation will provide an excellent record of the Triassic climate in this part of the world.