We have studied three Permian-Triassic (PT) localities from China as part of a combined magnetostratigraphic, 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb radioisotopic, and biostratigraphic study aimed at resolving the temporal relations between terrestrial and marine records across the Permo-Triassic boundary, as well as the rate of the biotic recovery in the Early Triassic. The studied sections from Shangsi (Sichuan Province), Langdai (Guihzou Province), and the Junggar basin (Xinjiang Province), span marine, paralic, and terrestrial PT environments, respectively. Each of these sections was logged in detail in order to place geochronologic, paleomagnetic, geochemical, conodont and palynologic samples within a common stratigraphic context. Here we present rock-magnetic, paleomagnetic and magnetostratigraphic results from the three localities. At Shangsi, northern Sichuan Province, we sampled three sections spanning Permo-Triassic marine carbonates. Magnetostratigraphic results from the three sections indicate that the composite section contains at least eight polarity chrons and that the PT boundary occurs within a normal polarity chron a short distance above the mass extinction level and a reversed-to-normal (R-N) polarity reversal. Furthermore, the onset of the Illawarra mixed interval lies below the sampled section indicating that the uppermost Permian Changhsingian and at least part of the Wuchiapingian stages postdate the end of the Kiaman Permo-Carboniferous Reversed Superchron. At Langdai, Guizhou Province, we studied magnetostratigraphy of PT paralic mudstone and carbonate sediments in two sections. The composite section spans an R-N polarity sequence. Section-mean directions pass a fold test at the 95% confidence level, and the section-mean poles are close to the mean PT pole for the South China block. Based on biostratigraphic constraints, the R-N transition recorded at Langdai is consistent with that at Shangsi and demonstrates that the PT boundary occurred within a normal polarity chron a short distance above the mass extinction level. In the southern Junggar basin, Xinjiang Province, in northwest China, we determined the magnetostratigraphy of three sections of a terrestrial sequence. Normal and reversed polarity directions are roughly antipodal, and magnetostratigraphies from the three sections are highly consistent. Combined bio- and magneto-stratigraphy used to correlate this sequence to other PT sequences suggests that the previously-proposed biostratigraphic PT boundary in the Junggar sections was most likely misplaced by earlier workers suggesting that further work is necessary to confidently place the PT boundary there.
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Magnetostratigraphic correlations of Permian-Triassic marine-to-terrestrial sections from China