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A review of the chronostratigraphical ages of Middle Triassic to Late Jurassic dinoflagellate cyst biozones of the North West Shelf of Australia

By James B. Riding, Daniel J. Mantle and John Backhouse

Abstract

The chronostratigraphical ages of the 20 dinoflagellate cyst zones and one dinoflagellate cyst assemblage for the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) to the Jurassic–Cretaceous transition of the North West Shelf of Australia are comprehensively reviewed. Evidence from macro- and micropalaeontology, palynology and strontium isotopes made available after the establishment of these biozones in the 1980s has been used to reassess the ages of this important zonal scheme and to calibrate it to the international stratigraphical stages. The Shublikodinium Superzone is renamed herein as the Rhaetogonyaulax Superzone, and based on conodont evidence is determined to span the Ladinian to Early Sinemurian. This is significantly shorter in duration than was originally envisaged (Late Anisian to Late Pliensbachian). The Luehndea Assemblage is a low diversity dinoflagellate cyst association which marks a eustatic rise; it is subdivided into two subzones. It is of latest Pliensbachian to Early Toarcian age, based largely on palynological evidence. The Bajocian to earliest Oxfordian Pareodinia ceratophora Superzone represents the inception of a continuous Mesozoic–Cenozoic dinoflagellate cyst record in Australia. It comprises seven zones, which are considered to be slightly older than originally interpreted. The overlying Pyxidiella Superzone is characterised by diverse dinoflagellate cyst associations. It is Early Oxfordian to Kimmeridgian in age, and comprises three zones. The bases of the Wanaea spectabilis and Wanaea clathrata zones are reinterpreted as being slightly older than originally proposed. The superjacent Fromea cylindrica Superzone is Tithonian to earliest Valanginian and modified ages are indicated for four of the nine zones. This unit is dominated by endemic dinoflagellate cysts, reflecting a global trend towards provincialism at this time due to a regressive eustatic regime.\ud \u

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2010.07.008
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:12193

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