Palaeoenvironmental significance of Late Permian palaeosols in the South-Eastern Iberian Ranges, Spain



The Late Permian (Wuchiapingian) Alcotas Formation in the SE Iberian Ranges consists of one red alluvial succession where abundant soil profiles developed. Detailed petrographical and sedimentological studies in seven sections of the Alcotas Formation allow six different types of palaeosols, with distinctive characteristics and different palaeogeographical distribution, to be distinguished throughout the South-eastern Iberian Basin. These characteristics are, in turn, related to topographic, climatic and tectonic controls. The vertical distribution of the palaeosols is used to differentiate the formation in three parts from bottom to top showing both drastic and gradual vertical upwards palaeoenvironmental changes in the sections. Reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental conditions based on palaeosols provides evidence for understanding the events that occurred during the Late Permian, some few millions of years before the well-known Permian-Triassic global crisis.