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October 2, 2016 Weekly Geology Guess >>> Triassic Period

October 1, 2016
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:

My discussion on Alabama Geology will continue with the Geologic Time Scale or the Geologic Column and the critters that abide within each pigeon holes.

As with most sciences, especially natural sciences, we love to pigeon hole our data.  Most of the pigeon holes have scientific merit and accuracy.  With the Geologic Time Scale we start with the oldest layers and work upward to the youngest layers.

For some of you this will be new, novel, and maybe heretical.

Expedition Earth: Geological time scale
Mesozoic  Era

“The Mesozoic Era (pronunciation: /ˌmɛsəˈzɪk, ˌm, s/ or /ˌmɛzəˈzɪk, ˌm, s/[1][2]) is an interval of geological time from about 252 to 66 million years ago. It is also called the Age of Reptiles or the Age of Conifers.[3]

The era began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the largest well-documented mass extinction in Earth’s history, and ended with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, another mass extinction which is known for having killed off non-avian dinosaurs, as well as other plant and animal species. The Mesozoic was a time of significant tectonic, climate and evolutionary activity.”  Wikipedia


Triassic Period

“The Triassic (pronunciation: /trˈæsɪk/) is a geologic period and system which spans 50.9 million years from the end of the Permian Period 252.17 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.3 Mya. The Triassic is the first period of the Mesozoic Era. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events.[10]

The Triassic began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which left the Earth’s biosphere impoverished; it would take well into the middle of this period for life to recover its former diversity. Therapsids and archosaurs were the chief terrestrial vertebrates during this time. A specialized subgroup of archosaurs, called dinosaurs, first appeared in the Late Triassic but did not become dominant until the succeeding Jurassic Period.[12] The first true mammals, themselves a specialized subgroup of Therapsids also evolved during this period, as well as the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, who like the dinosaurs were a specialized subgroup of archosaurs. The vast supercontinent of Pangaea existed until the mid-Triassic, after which it began to gradually rift into two separate landmasses, Laurasia to the north and Gondwana to the south. The global climate during the Triassic was mostly hot and dry,[13] with deserts spanning much of Pangaea’s interior. However, the climate shifted and became more humid as Pangaea began to drift apart. The end of the period was marked by yet another major mass extinction, the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, that wiped out many groups and allowing dinosaurs to assume dominance in the Jurassic.


–    Read about the breakup of Pangea.

–    New Jersey separated from Morocco.

–    Life = Flora, Marine Fauna,Terrestrial and freshwater fauna.

–    No Coal.

–   Lagerstätten from Switzerland and Northern Italy = Anoxic Lagoon conditions with no scavengers and no currents >>>>> Fantastic fish and reptilian fossils.

–   Triassic-Jurassic extinction event.  Many critters just went extinct.  Probably due to first a meteor impact following my major volcanic eruptions due to the breakup of Pangea.


from National Geographic:


from LiveScience:

>>>>>    Much to read about and ponder over.  R

Alabama Triassic Paleontology and geology:

“There are no surface rocks of Triassic age in Alabama. Analysis of drill cores indicates the formation of numerous rift valleys during this time as the supercontinent of Pangea began to pull apart. The rocks in these now-buried valleys include red beds, conglomerates from alluvial fans, beds of evaporation minerals, and intrusions of basaltic lava.”

?????  Triassic Period images are biased towards dinosaurs, so I must “Cherry Pick”, my choice.  R

>    As some of you will notice, as we go up the geologic column the more complex and numerous life becomes.

>    As with most of my weekly fores into geology, with each topic I could write many papers and dissertations.
Note:  I have intentionally reduced the amount of linked graphics in this email due to the amount of space required and trying to untangle everything the following week has been a mess.


References include:

–    Wikipedia

–    “Lost Worlds of Alabama”, Second Edition, 2013, by Jim Lacefield


Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R


“No copyright infringement intended.
The rights belong to their respective owners”
Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Author’s Request:  If you see any pictures that you know the source and photographer, let me know immediately.  Thanks!  R

Images have been searched by TinEye Reverse Image Search.


Next time we will venture into the Jurassic Period.


Enjoy the adventure!













Triassic landscape

John Sibbick’s impression of Triassic (248 to 206 million years ago) landscape, with conifers, ginkgos, ferns, horsetails, tree fern, and cycads.









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