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New evidence for the age of the Athol Formation (Middle Jurassic : Bajocian) in the Tusk-1 and Tusk-2 wells, offshore Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia

By James B. Riding, Gerd E.G. Westermann and D.P. Fiona Darbyshire

Abstract

The co-occurrence of ammonites with palynomorphs in the Athol Formation of the Tusk-1 and Tusk-2 wells drilled in the offshore Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia confirms the Early Bajocian (Middle Jurassic) age of the Dissiliodinium caddaense dinoflagellate cyst Oppel Zone. The macrofaunas refine this Early Bajocian age to the early Laeviuscula Chronozone. A belemnite from the Tusk-1 well has a strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) ratio consistent with the biostratigraphical age. All the identifiable ammonites belong to Pseudotoites robiginosus (Crick). Pseudotoites is prominent in the Early Bajocian of the Indo-Pacific Realm, being known mainly from onshore Western Australia and the Southern Andes, together with rare occurrences in Irian Jaya (west New Guinea); somewhat surprisingly, it is also rarely present in southern Alaska. The palynofloras studied from the Tusk-1 and Tusk-2 wells contain abundant specimens of the marine dinoflagellate cyst Dissiliodinium caddaense, and are assigned to the Dissiliodinium caddaense Oppel Zone. The Athol Formation is a correlative of the Newmarracarra Limestone of the onshore Perth Basin, Western Australia; the distribution of both these units indicates a marine transgression onto the Australian block during the Early Bajocian

Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1080/03115510903277824
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:9495

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