Journal article

Palaeoenvironments and palaeocommunities from Lower Cretaceous high latitude sites, Otway Basin, southeastern Australia

Anne-Marie P Tosolini, Vera A Korasidis, Barbara E Wagstaff, David J Cantrill, Stephen J Gallagher, Martin S Norvick



Lower Cretaceous (Barremian to Albian) fossil plant assemblages are preserved in sediments of the Otway Group, Otway Basin, and contemporaneous Strzelecki Group, Gippsland Basin, southeastern Australia. Detailed lithofacies and biofacies analyses of terrestrial strata within the upper Eumeralla Formation (Albian), Otway Group, allow fine-scale interpretation of braided fluvial and paludal depositional environments throughout the succession. The previously described flora is re-assessed in light of changes in depositional style and plant communities to describe six Albian biofacies. Forests in the highlands are dominated by Araucariaceae conifers, which turn over to Podocarpaceae and Cheirole..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Dr John Douglas discovered many palaeobotanical sites and mentored research on the Cretaceous coastline of southeastern Australia; we dedicate this paper to him. We are grateful to Dr Bence Paul, who ran the statistical 'R' program and Robert Hills collected pollen samples from Devils Kitchen. Dr Liz Kennedy, Dr Mike Pole, anonymous reviewers and the editor are thanked for constructive comments on the manuscript. The project formed part of a PhD undertaken by A-M.P.T., who thanks her supervisor Professor Stephen McLoughlin, and was funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry). The authors thank the sponsors of this project: Minerals and Petroleum Victoria, OMV Australia Pty Ltd. (formerly Cultus Petroleum), SANTOS Limited and Oil Company of Australia. An Honours project undertaken by VK was funded by ARC Linkage grant LP0989203 to SJG, DJC, MWW and BEW, and we thank industry partners Lakes Oil N.L., Nexus Energy and Geotrack International.