Triassic Coal Measures, Tasmania: New U–Pb CA-TIMS Ash Bed Dates and Numerical Calibration of Palynostratigraphy

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Four new high-precision U–Pb ash bed dates constrain the timing and rate of coal measures deposition in Tasmania and, combined with new palynological data, allow improved numerical age calibration of eastern Australian Late Triassic spore-pollen biozones. Felsic ashfall tuff beds are numerous in the middle and upper parts of the 400 m-thick Mount Nicholas Coal Measures of northeast Tasmania. Our four U–Pb CA-TIMS dates on zircon span 99 m of section and range from 222.52 to 217.84 Ma. All four dates are closely associated with palynomorph assemblages belonging to the Craterisporites rotundus Assemblage Zone. Our data indicate an age of at least 223 Ma, and likely several million years older, for our earliest observed C. rotundus Zone assemblages, whereas the base of the Polycingulatisporites crenulatus Zone may be ca 217 Ma (and no older than 217.84 Ma).