The Colorado Plateau Coring Project Phase 1 (CPCP-1) acquired three continuous drill cores from Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP), Arizona, U.S.A., two of which (CPCP-PFNP13-1A and CPCP-PFNP13-2B) intersected the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, Lower(?)-Middle Triassic Moenkopi Formation (MF) and Permian Coconino Sandstone. We examined both cores to construct a high-resolution magnetostratigraphy of MF strata, and progressive demagnetization data yield well-defined, interpretable paleomagnetic results. Each lithostratigraphic member of the MF (Wupatki, Moqui, and Holbrook members) contains authigenic and detrital hematite as the dominant magnetic carrier with distinguishing rock magnetic characteristics. Magnetostratigraphy of MF strata in both CPCP-1 cores consists of six normal and six reverse polarity magnetozones, from the youngest to the oldest, MF1n to MF6r. Recent single-crystal chemical abrasion–thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-TIMS) U-Pb data from a sample in magnetozone MF1n yield a latest Anisian/earliest Ladinian (241.38 ± 0.43 Ma) age. Correlation of the CA-TIMS-calibrated magnetostratigraphy with the astronomically tuned polarity timescale for the Middle Triassic deep-marine Guandao (GD) section of South China ties the magnetozone MF1n with GD8 and MF6r with GD2r, and implies that the MF spans, at most, the earliest Anisian (Aegean) to latest Anisian (Illyrian)/earliest Ladinian stages (ca. 246.8 to 241.5 Ma). This age estimate for the MF suggests that the timespan of the regional, pre-Norian disconformity is about 17 Ma, which demonstrates that MF vertebrate fossil assemblages in east-central Arizona are millions of years (minimally 3–4 Ma) younger than previously suggested and are all Anisian in age, with no indications of substantial hiatuses in the MF section.
- vertebrate biostratigraphy
- Wupatki-, Moqui-, and Holbrook- Member
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science