Coal, climate and terrestrial productivity: the present and early Cretaceous compared. Academic Article uri icon


  • At the present time, rainfall sufficient and consistent enough for swamp formation and peat preservation occurs in the equatorial and temperate belts. Evaporite deposits and aeolian sandstones occur in the consistently dry areas, while the intermediate areas of seasonal rainfall tend not to have any of these climatically significant sediments. In the Cretaceous, the temperate belts are well represented by coals as today, but the tropical belt is not, and the same can be said of other Mesozoic and early Cenozoic periods. Instead, the tropics are represented by low diversity floras and sediments, like the Nubian Sandstone, which can be interpreted as representative of climates in which precipitation was markedly seasonal. The inference is that the Intertropical Convergence Zone was less latitudinally confined during the warmer 'greenhouse' periods, and that this might have been due to weaker polar fronts. - Authors

published proceedings

  • Coal and coal-bearing strata

author list (cited authors)

  • Ziegler, A. M., Raymond, A. L., Gierlowski, T. C., Horrell, M. A., Rowley, D. B., & Lottes, A. L

complete list of authors

  • Ziegler, AM||Raymond, AL||Gierlowski, TC||Horrell, MA||Rowley, DB||Lottes, AL

publication date

  • January 1987