A palynological investigation of Cambro-Ordovician stratal sequences in the High Zagros Mountains of southern Iran permits the definition of a series of successive acritarch assemblage zones of chronostratigraphic significance, much improving the current knowledge of the Lower Palaeozoic stratigraphy of this important area for oil exploration. The five acritarch assemblage zones can be readily correlated with previously established palynostratigraphic schemes constrained by co-occurrence of independent age evidence, confirming the utility of organic-walled microfossils for the detailed biostratigraphic characterization of sedimentary units. The proposed biozonation will facilitate accurate dating of the southern Iranian Cambrian sequences during future drilling of deep test oil wells. Acritarch assemblage zone I (Middle Cambrian), occurs at the base of Member C of the Mila Formation; assemblages zone II (late Middle to earliest Late Cambrian) extends through the middle and upper part of the same lithostratigraphic unit; zone III (early Late Cambrian in age) characterizes the lower part of the Ilebeyk Formation; zone IV (middle Late Cambrian up to Cambrian/Ordovician transitional levels) occurs in the middle and upper part of the Ilebeyk Formation; finally, acritarch assemblage zone V ranges through the basal part of the Zardkuh Formation and proves an early Tremadocian age for the latter unit. The Mid-Late Cambrian acritarch associations show a marked Avalonian palaeobiogeographical affinity, also sharing a high proportion of taxa with typical Baltican and North Africa-Gondwanan assemblages; on the other hand, they are clearly different from known Laurentian (North America) fossil microphytoplankton suites. These results are in general agreement with current palaeogeographical models which place Avalonia, Baltica, and the North African part of Gondwana, all at relatively high southern palaeolatitudes, in contrast with the sub-equatorial position of Laurentia. However, the presence of many typical "Avalonian" taxa in the Iranian Mid-Late Cambrian assemblages would suggest a closer position of Iran to Avalonia than currently envisaged. The observed breakdown of acritarch biogeographic differentiation in earliest Ordovician times possibly represents a major disruption of oceanic current patterns and a lessened palace latitudinal thermal gradient. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Palynostratigraphy of Middle Cambrian to lowermost Ordovician stratal sequences in the High Zagros Mountains, southern Iran: Regional stratigraphic implications, and palaeobiogeographic significance

VECOLI, MARCO
2008-01-01

Abstract

A palynological investigation of Cambro-Ordovician stratal sequences in the High Zagros Mountains of southern Iran permits the definition of a series of successive acritarch assemblage zones of chronostratigraphic significance, much improving the current knowledge of the Lower Palaeozoic stratigraphy of this important area for oil exploration. The five acritarch assemblage zones can be readily correlated with previously established palynostratigraphic schemes constrained by co-occurrence of independent age evidence, confirming the utility of organic-walled microfossils for the detailed biostratigraphic characterization of sedimentary units. The proposed biozonation will facilitate accurate dating of the southern Iranian Cambrian sequences during future drilling of deep test oil wells. Acritarch assemblage zone I (Middle Cambrian), occurs at the base of Member C of the Mila Formation; assemblages zone II (late Middle to earliest Late Cambrian) extends through the middle and upper part of the same lithostratigraphic unit; zone III (early Late Cambrian in age) characterizes the lower part of the Ilebeyk Formation; zone IV (middle Late Cambrian up to Cambrian/Ordovician transitional levels) occurs in the middle and upper part of the Ilebeyk Formation; finally, acritarch assemblage zone V ranges through the basal part of the Zardkuh Formation and proves an early Tremadocian age for the latter unit. The Mid-Late Cambrian acritarch associations show a marked Avalonian palaeobiogeographical affinity, also sharing a high proportion of taxa with typical Baltican and North Africa-Gondwanan assemblages; on the other hand, they are clearly different from known Laurentian (North America) fossil microphytoplankton suites. These results are in general agreement with current palaeogeographical models which place Avalonia, Baltica, and the North African part of Gondwana, all at relatively high southern palaeolatitudes, in contrast with the sub-equatorial position of Laurentia. However, the presence of many typical "Avalonian" taxa in the Iranian Mid-Late Cambrian assemblages would suggest a closer position of Iran to Avalonia than currently envisaged. The observed breakdown of acritarch biogeographic differentiation in earliest Ordovician times possibly represents a major disruption of oceanic current patterns and a lessened palace latitudinal thermal gradient. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/76404
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 34
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 29
social impact