Correlation of Barremian-Aptian (mid-Cretaceous) dinoflagellate cyst assemblages between the Tethyan and Austral realms

Oosting, A.M., Leereveld, H., Dickens, G.R., Henderson, R.A., and Brinkhuis, H. (2006) Correlation of Barremian-Aptian (mid-Cretaceous) dinoflagellate cyst assemblages between the Tethyan and Austral realms. Cretaceous Research, 27 (6). pp. 792-813.

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Quantified organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst (dinocyst) assemblages are presented for two sedimentary successions deposited in neritic environments of the Tethys Ocean during the Barremian and Aptian in an attempt to reconcile established dinocyst biostratigraphic schemes for Tethyan and Austral regions. One section is at Angles, southeast France (the Barremian stratotype section); the other is at Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 263, off northwest Australia. We also construct a carbon isotope record for Site 263 using bulk organic carbon.

Both sections contain abundant, well-preserved dinocyst assemblages. These are diverse, with 89 taxa identified at Angles and 103 taxa identified at Site 263. Of these, more than 93% are cosmopolitan. When combined with other work at Angles and Site 263, we found that nine dinocysts have their first occurrence (FO) or last occurrence (LO) at both locations. These dinocyst events are, in alphabetical order: LO of Cassiculosphaeridia magna, FO of Criboperidinium? tenuiceras, LO of Kleithriasphaeridium fasciatum, LO of Muderongia staurota, FO of Odontochitina operculata, LO of Phoberocysta neocomica, FO of Prolixosphaeridium parvispinum, FO of Pseudoceratium retusum var. securigerum, and FO of Tehamadinium sousense. Although these events support a Barremian–Aptian age for both sections, their stratigraphic order is not the same in the sections. The δ13Corg record at Site 263 displays a characteristic series of changes that have also been recorded in other carbon isotope curves spanning the Late Barremian–Early Aptian. Such independent dating (along with ammonite zones at Angles) suggests that three of the nine dinocyst events are approximately isochronous at Angles and Site 263: the LO of K. fasciatum in the mid Barremian, the FO of P. retusum var. securigerum and the FO of C.? tenuiceras in the earliest Aptian; the other six dinocyst events are diachronous. Dinocyst assemblages at Site 263 can be loosely placed within existing Australian zonation schemes, providing much-needed calibration. Our data suggest that the Muderongia testudinaria Zone ends in sediments of mid Barremian age, the succeeding Muderongia australis Zone extends into the Early Aptian, and the younger Odontochitina operculata Zone begins in Early Aptian deposits. The boundary between the M. australis and O. operculata zones, and the Ovoidinium cinctum (as Ascodinium) Subzone, positioned at the top of the M. australis Zone when present, could not be recognized incontrovertibly. Interestingly, however, this horizon broadly correlates with the onset and extent of the Selli Event, a time of major biogeochemical change.

Item ID: 3653
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0195-6671
Keywords: middle Cretaceous; Barremian; Aptian; palynology; organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts; carbon isotopes; OAE; Australia
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2009 04:45
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8501 Energy Exploration > 850103 Oil and Gas Exploration @ 100%
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