In Central Europe, the about 1 km thick Buntsandstein was deposited in the large intracratonic Central European Basin (CEB). The Buntsandstein sedimentary succession displays a striking cyclicity of varying magnitude. The most obvious cycle is the 10 to 20 m thick small-scale cycle (wet-dry cycle) that is ascribed to changes in lake level (base-level) and assumed to be controlled by astronomical forcing of climate.
Combined with wireline logs, these cycles can be mapped over large parts of the Central European Basin providing a high-resolution cyclostratigraphic framework. Hence, the cycles represent basin-wide events. The isochronous character of this framework has been proven by magneto- and biostratigraphic means. The detailed magnetostratigraphy spans the upper Zechstein to lowermost Muschelkalk. Compared with available radioisotopic ages for the base and top of the marine Early Triassic, a Buntsandstein duration of about 6 Ma is derived.
Within the more central part of the CEB, the synchronous character of the cyclostratigraphic framework has been proven by magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic means. Based on an integrated comparison, radioisotopic ages obtained from Tethyan sections, have been referred successfully to the Buntsandstein cyclostratigraphy, substantiating the hypothesis that the pronounced small-scale cycles correspond to solar-induced ~100 ka eccentricity cycles. Hence, the duration of the Buntsandstein has been calculated to span some 6 Ma. The Buntsandstein cyclostratigraphy offers good potential to constructing a reliable astronomically calibrated Early Triassic geomagnetic polarity timescale.