Systematics and paleoecology of Norian (Late Triassic) bivalves from a tropical island arc: Wallowa terrane, Oregon ( USA).

C. R. Newton, M. T. Whalen, J. B. Thompson, N. Prins, D. Delalla

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30 Scopus citations


Early Norian silicified bivalves from Hells Canyon in the Wallowa terrane of NE Oregon are part of a rich molluscan biota associated with a tropical island arc. The Hells Canyon locality preserves lenses of silicified shells formed as tempestites in a shallow subtidal carbonate environment. These shell assemblages are parautochthonous and reflect local, rather than long-distance, transport. Silicification involved small-scale replacement of original calcareous microstructures, or small-scale replacement of neomorphosed shells, without an intervening phase of moldic porosity. This incremental replacement of carbonate by silica contrasts markedly with void-filling silicification textures reported previously from silicified Permian bivalve assemblages. The large number of biogeographic and geochronologic range extensions discovered in this single tropical Norian biota indicates that use of literature-based range data for Late Triassic bivales may be very hazardous. Many bivalve taxa formerly thought to have gone extinct in Karnian time have now been documented from Norian strata in this arc terrane. These range extensions, coupled with the high bivalve species richness of the Hells Canyon site, suggest that the Karnian mass extinction in several literature-based compilations may be an artifact of incomplete sampling. Even for the Norian, present compilations of molluscan extinction may have an unacceptably large artifactual component. Thirty-five bivalve taxa from Hells Canyon locality are discussed. Of these, 7 are new. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Paleontology
Issue number4 Supplement
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology


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