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Abstract

The only previous detailed account of the Lower Palaeozoic of Thailand in English is that by Bunopas (1981) which formed part of a wider palaeogeographic study, ostensibly of Western Thailand but in fact embracing the whole country. The regional account by Wongwanich & Burrett (1983) was a briefer summary and it looked in particular at the biostratigraphy. Recent studies concentrating on the Ordovician and Silurian limestones of Thailand have examined the conodont faunas and sedimentary petrology, enabling Agematsu et al. (2008a) to throw important new light on the palaeogeography.

Outcrops of undoubted Cambrian to Silurian age occur in Northern, Western and Peninsular Thailand but are absent from the eastern part of Northern Thailand. In NE Thailand the only records of Lower Palaeozoic rocks are of Middle-Upper Silurian faunas described from calcareous mudstone outcropping in the Loei Fold Belt at Ban Nong (Sangkhom District in Nong Khai Province) and Ban Na Tum (Nam Som District in Udon Thani Province) (Fig 3.1). They include tabulate and rugose corals, a new trilobite species and strophomenid brachiopods (Sakagami & Nakornsri 1987; Yanagida 1988; Kobayashi & Sakagami 1989; Fontaine et al. 2005). In SE Thailand certain limestone beds are lithologically similar to dated Lower Palaeozoic rocks elsewhere and, although their ages cannot be confirmed, they are considered here also to be Lower Palaeozoic (Fig 3.1).

The Silurian fossiliferous rocks in the Loei Fold Belt, mentioned above, are the only

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