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Abstract

Study of a Cenomanian–Turonian sequence, including the oceanic anoxic event 2 (OAE2) in Central Jordan, yielded 22 ostracod species from the Middle–Late Cenomanian interval; no ostracods were found in the Early Turonian. The majority of the taxa have a wide geographical distribution along the southern shores of the Tethys; from Morocco in the west to the Arabian Gulf region in the east. Biogeographical homogeneity of the ostracod associations in North Africa and the Middle East reflects facilitated communication along the whole expanse of the southern Tethys margin during the Cenomanian, and suggests similar living conditions and absence of important geographical barriers that could hinder marine faunal exchange. Biostratigraphically, the investigated fauna revealed five informal ostracod biozones (I to V from older to younger). The recorded assemblages are characterized by ostracod faunas of typical marine shelf setting in biozone I, shelf lagoonal setting with fresh-water influence in biozone II, marine shelf setting with intervals of fresh-water supply in biozones III and IV, and reduced oxygen levels in the interval of biozone V. This sequence of biozones provides palaeontological evidence for the occurrence of an interval of enhanced fresh-water influence in Levant platform lagoons preceeding OAE2. A combined biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic time scale based on stable carbon isotopes reveals the first appearance of Reticulicosta kenaanensis, previously described as an Early Turonian indicator species already in the Late Cenomanian. Absence of ostracods throughout the Early Turonian indicates environmental conditions adverse to ostracods during most of OAE2 and its aftermath interpreted to reflect strong water column stratification.

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