Skip to Main Content

ABSTRACT

Palynological assemblages from the basal Khuff clastics in wells in central Saudi Arabia suggest that those deposits are broadly synchronous throughout that area, and are of Late Permian (Tatarian or younger) age. The assemblages are similar to those from Upper Permian rocks in Iraq and the Salt Range of Pakistan. Though qualitatively similar, assemblages are quantitatively unlike those of approximately coeval sequences in Australia, India and Antarctica, suggesting significant phytogeographic differences between these regions in Permian time. Assemblages in the Hilwah-3 (HLWH-3) well from the upper part of the underlying Unayzah Formation constrain the duration of the hiatus represented by the pre-Khuff unconformity in central Saudi Arabia. Improved palynological correlation between Upper Permian sequences in the Middle East requires taxonomic study of the large number of undescribed taxa in the assemblages, to this end four new species are proposed.

INTRODUCTION

The Khuff Formation, a major gas reservoir in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries comprises alternations of carbonates and siliciclastic sediments (Al-Jallal, 1995). Siliciclastic sediments are common in the basal part of the formation in central Saudi Arabia (Al-Jallal, 1995); these are informally termed the “basal Khuff clastics” by Saudi Aramco geologists (S. Al-Hajri, personal communication, 1998).

The lower boundary of the Khuff Formation is not defined and used consistently; the basal siliciclastic unit is included in the underlying Unayzah Formation by some authors and in the Khuff Formation by others. Senalp and Al-Duaiji (1995) demonstrated a regionally correlatable unconformity, marked by thick caliche, soil horizons and colour changes, which they considered to represent fundamental changes in depositional environment. They suggested that this “pre-Khuff” unconformity marked the onset of Late Permian marine conditions and considered the overlying “basal Khuff clastics” to be genetically part of the Khuff Formation. In the Hawtah field (central Saudi Arabia), the hiatus represented by this unconformity is reported to last from the early Kazanian to the late Tatarian (Van der Eem in Al-Jallal, 1995).

Al-Aswad (1997) reviewed the macrofaunal and micropalaeontological evidence for the age of the Khuff Formation in Saudi Arabia and concluded that it is of late Early Permian to Early Triassic age. El-Khayal and Wagner (1985) suggested the macroflora of the Ash Shuqqah section of the formation (the Ash-Shiqqah Member of Senalp and Al-Duaiji (1995)), equivalent to the basal Khuff clastics, indicated an age equivalent to that of the Zechstein. The lower part of the Khuff in the Hawtah field is dated as late Tatarian by palynology (Van der Eem in Al-Jallal, 1995).

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Core samples from wells Dilam-1 (DILM-1), Haradh-51 (HRDH-51), Nuayyim-2 (NYYM-2) and Hilwah-3 (HLWH-3) (Figure 1) were provided by Saudi Aramco. All sample depths in this paper are given in feet (ft). Methods of preparation of strew mounts and numerical procedures followed in palynological analysis are described by Stephenson and Filatoff (this volume).

Figure 1:

Palaeozoic outcrops on the Arabian Peninsula, and the location of wells discussed in this study.

Figure 1:

Palaeozoic outcrops on the Arabian Peninsula, and the location of wells discussed in this study.

The Appendix gives the full author citations of taxa recorded which are considered to be of stratigraphic importance. Taxa which were not recorded but which are relevant to the discussion are given author citations in the text. Where the name of a taxon appears more than once, the generic name is abbreviated where appropriate.

STRATIGRAPHIC PALYNOLOGY

Palynology of Dilam-1 well

The Dilam-1 sequence from the “basal Khuff clastics” is the longest (77.8 ft) and most consistently palyniferous of those studied and is used here as a local standard for comparison and correlation. The base of the sequence is close to the base of the basal Khuff clastics and its top is close to the base of the overlying Khuff D carbonate. The assemblages recovered from cores 6 and 7 (between 7,811.2 and 7,889.0 ft) contain 133 taxa; Figure 2 shows the stratigraphic distribution and relative abundances of selected taxa from 12 samples. Non-taeniate bisaccate pollen including Alisporites nuthallensis and Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov. dominate the assemblages throughout the sequence; spores are generally rare, though the camerate trilete spore Aculeisporites variabilis is important in a few assemblages. Bitaeniate and multitaeniate saccate pollen including Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov. and Lueckisporites virkkiae (“norm A” of Visscher (1971)) are present in low numbers throughout the section, as are Leiosphaeridia spp., monolete spores and monosaccate pollen. The fungal palynomorph Tympanicysta stoschiana is abundant in some assemblages from the upper part of the sequence. The alete palynomorph Peroaletes khuffensis sp. nov. is present in one sample only (that from 7,843.8 ft).

Figure 2:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Dilam-1.

Figure 2:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Dilam-1.

Palynology of Nuayyim-2 well

Eight samples from the “basal Khuff clastics” were studied from a sequence 21.6 ft thick in core 1. The base of the sequence is within a few feet of the base of the basal Khuff clastics and its top is approximately 60 ft from the top of that unit. The assemblages contain 89 taxa; ranges of selected taxa are shown in Figure 3. The assemblages are dominated by non-taeniate bisaccate pollen, in particular Alisporites nuthallensis, Pteruchipollenites gracilis and Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov., but consistently contain up to 10% taeniate bisaccate pollen. The most abundant taeniate bisaccate pollen taxa are Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov., Lueckisporites virkkiae (“norm A”) and Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus. Costate pollen are rare but occur consistently. Trilete and monolete spores vary in abundance, and are generally more common in the lower assemblages. Tympanicysta stoschiana is rare, and occurs only in the lower part of the sequence. As with the Dilam-1 well, Peroaletes khuffensis sp. nov. is present in only one sample (that from 8,585.4 ft). The new monosaccate pollen taxon ?Florinites balmei occurs rarely in two samples (those from 8,596.2 ft and 8,586.6 ft).

Figure 3:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Nuayyim-2.

Figure 3:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Nuayyim-2.

Palynology of Haradh-51 well

Ten samples from the “basal Khuff clastics” sequence contain palynomorphs, though only three samples, spanning 6.6 ft, from core 13 yielded assemblages with sufficient palynomorphs for a slide traverse of 250 specimens to be made. A single sample from the lower core (core 14) was palynologically productive but yielded only 128 identifiable palynomorphs. Other productive samples yielded very sparse assemblages. The assemblages of the four logged samples contain 72 taxa, the most abundant of these being the taeniate bisaccates Lueckisporites virkkiae (“norm A”), Corisaccites alutas, Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus, Taeniaesporites cf. T. pellucidus and P. uttingii sp. nov. and the non-taeniate bisaccates Alisporites nuthallensis and Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov. (Figure 4). Trilete and monolete spores and Tympanicysta stoschiana occur inconsistently and the new species Peroaletes khuffensis and ?Florinites balmei are rare.

Figure 4:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Haradh-51.

Figure 4:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Haradh-51.

Palynology of Hilwah-3 well

The section studied from the Hilwah-3 well, between 6,595.0 and 6,571.3 ft, comprised interlaminated green-black shales separated by beach sands; it is believed to originate from the Unayzah Formation but unlike most of that formation is relatively richly palyniferous. Four samples yielded palynomorphs, though only one assemblage contained sufficient for a count of 250 specimens to be made; all taxa present in this assemblage were also found in the unlogged assemblages. The logged assemblage (from 6,571.8 ft) is dominated by the taeniate bisaccate pollen taxa Striasulcites tectus, Circumstriatites talchirensis and Protohaploxypinus limpidus (Table 1). The monosulcate species Marsupipollenites striatus and Kingiacolpites subcircularis are common, as are species of Vittatina.

Table 1

Abundance of selected taxa, Hilwah-3.

Taxon% Abundance
Complexisporites sp.2.1
Alisporites indarraensis0.3
Barakarites rotatus0.9
Botryococcus0.6
Caheniasaccites ovatus2.1
Cannanoropollis janakii4.2
Circumstriatites talchirensis22.1
Complexisporites polymorphus2.1
Kingiacolpites subcircularis11.5
Hamiapollenites fusiformis0.6
Mabuitasaccites ovatus1.8
Marsupipollenites striatus6.6
Protohaploxypinus limpidus11.2
Ptruchipollenites gracilis0.3
Striasulcites tectus25.4
Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus1.2
Vittatina costabilis3.0
Vittatina minima1.2
Vittatina subsaccata1.5
Others1.3
Total100%
Taxon% Abundance
Complexisporites sp.2.1
Alisporites indarraensis0.3
Barakarites rotatus0.9
Botryococcus0.6
Caheniasaccites ovatus2.1
Cannanoropollis janakii4.2
Circumstriatites talchirensis22.1
Complexisporites polymorphus2.1
Kingiacolpites subcircularis11.5
Hamiapollenites fusiformis0.6
Mabuitasaccites ovatus1.8
Marsupipollenites striatus6.6
Protohaploxypinus limpidus11.2
Ptruchipollenites gracilis0.3
Striasulcites tectus25.4
Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus1.2
Vittatina costabilis3.0
Vittatina minima1.2
Vittatina subsaccata1.5
Others1.3
Total100%

CORRELATION

Correlation of Nuayyim-2 and Haradh-51 assemblages with those of Dilam-1 well

The Nuayyim-2 assemblages are quantitatively very similar to those from Dilam-1 and a large number of taxa occur consistently in both; these include: Thymospora opaqua, Corisaccites alutas, Tympanicysta stoschiana, Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov., Protohaploxypinus microcorpus, Lueckisporites virkkiae (norm A), Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus, Weylandites lucifer, Densipollenites indicus, Taeniaesporites cf. T. pellucidus, Indotriradites reidii, Brevitriletes cf. hennellyi, Playfordiaspora cancellosa, P. khuffensis sp. nov. and Cedripites sp. A (of Stephenson, 1998, unpublished PhD thesis). A number of these species are considered to be stratigraphically significant (see later discussion) and their occurrence in the sequences is therefore indicative of a broad correlation.

Nineteen of the taxa recorded from Nuayyim-2 are not present in Dilam-1; the majority of these are undescribed species, which are recorded elsewhere under informal names (Stephenson, 1998, unpublished PhD thesis); their stratigraphic utility, as yet, is unknown. Taxa of known stratigraphic value, amongst those absent from Dilam-1, are Indotriradites rallus and Camptotriletes warchianus; taxa present in Dilam-1 and absent in Nuayyim-2 are Secarisporites bullatus and Triplexisporites playfordii. Given that these taxa are indicative of sequences considered to be of Late Permian age (Balme, 1970; Foster, 1979, 1982), their presence or absence in the respective sequences is unlikely to have marked stratigraphic significance.

Forty-six taxa are common to the assemblages of Dilam-1 and Haradh-51 and these include such stratigraphically significant taxa such as Lueckisporites virkkiae (“norm A”), Protohaploxypinus microcorpus, Densipollenites indicus, Tympanicysta stoschiana and Corisaccites alutas (see later discussion). Seventy-two of the 133 taxa recorded from Dilam-1 assemblages are absent from those of Haradh-51 and 11 taxa are present in Haradh-51 but absent in Dilam-1.

Most of the taxa absent from Haradh-51 are long-ranging and therefore without stratigraphic significance; others are of unknown stratigraphic significance because they are previously undescribed. Given the occurrence of taxa indicative of the Late Permian in both sequences it seems likely that they are broadly of similar age; differences between assemblages may be due either to facies control or slight differences in age or a combination of such factors.

The Hilwah-3 assemblage is unlike those recorded from the “basal Khuff clastics” in that it contains abundant monosulcate pollen and lacks bitaeniate bisaccate pollen (particularly Lueckisporites virkkiae). The Hilwah-3 assemblage contains long-ranging Permian taxa such as Barakarites rotatus and Cannanoropollis janakii but lacks species characteristic of the Late Permian assemblages from the Dilam-1 and Nuayyim-2 wells, and species characteristic of the Early Permian assemblages of Jufarah-1, Amal-6 and Amal-9 (Stephenson and Filatoff, this volume). This suggests that the Hilwah-3 assemblages occupy a stratigraphic position between these two groups. The age of the Hilwah-3 assemblage with respect to the standard stages of the Permian is discussed in a later section.

Correlation of Dilam-1 well with other Permian sequences

The stratigraphic range of the studied interval of Dilam-1, together with the high diversity and well-preserved nature of the assemblages recovered, allow correlations to be made with Permian sequences outside Saudi Arabia. Correlation with the new ICS-ratified Permian chronostratigraphic scale (Jin et al., 1997) is made difficult, however, by the lack of palynological data from the type area of the Guadalupian Series (Utting et al., 1997), and the lack of comparability with the assemblages of the succeeding Lopingian Series of south China (as described by Ouyang and Utting, 1990). Indirect correlation with the standard stages via palynologically productive marine sequences in Arctic Canada (Utting, 1994) is also difficult due to lack of similarity, probably caused by palaeophytogeographic provinciality.

In this paper, correlation with the “traditional” Russian stages and indirect correlation with the standard stages is described; the latter is made possible by recent conodont work in the Salt Range, Pakistan (Wardlaw and Pogue, 1995) which allows the palynological assemblages from that region, described by Balme (1970), to be related to the Lopingian Series of south China.

Correlation of Dilam-1 well with the Russian Stages

Kazanian-Tatarian assemblages are broadly characterised by an abundance of Vittatina, Protohaploxypinus and Taeniaesporites (Balme, 1980; Utting et al., 1997; Gomankov, 1992) and hence are quantitatively unlike those of Dilam-1. However some qualitative similarities exist between assemblages described from Russia and those of Dilam-1. Selected taxa, which occur in sequences from both the Russian Platform and Dilam-1 well, are shown in Table 2.

Table 2

Occurrence of taxa recorded from Dilam-1 well in Russian Platform sequences.

StageKoloda and Kanev (1996)Molin et al. (1986)Faddeeva (1980)Utting et al. (1997)
TatarianAlisporites nuthallensis Protohaploxypinus amplus Sulcatisporites ovatus Striatopodocarpites antiquus Striatoabieites multistriatus Lueckisporites virkkiae Laevigatosporites callosus Protohaploxypinus microcorpus Lueckisporites singhii Cedripites sp.Protohaploxypinus amplus Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites spp. (FAD) Striatopodocarpites antiquus Strotersporites richteri Lueckisporites singhii Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Sulcatisporites ovatus Protohaploxypinus Vittatina
KazanianAlisporites nuthallensis Lueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Lueckisporites Taeniaesporites Protohaploxypinus limpidus Striatopodocarpites cancellatusLueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) (FAD)
StageKoloda and Kanev (1996)Molin et al. (1986)Faddeeva (1980)Utting et al. (1997)
TatarianAlisporites nuthallensis Protohaploxypinus amplus Sulcatisporites ovatus Striatopodocarpites antiquus Striatoabieites multistriatus Lueckisporites virkkiae Laevigatosporites callosus Protohaploxypinus microcorpus Lueckisporites singhii Cedripites sp.Protohaploxypinus amplus Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites spp. (FAD) Striatopodocarpites antiquus Strotersporites richteri Lueckisporites singhii Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Sulcatisporites ovatus Protohaploxypinus Vittatina
KazanianAlisporites nuthallensis Lueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Lueckisporites Taeniaesporites Protohaploxypinus limpidus Striatopodocarpites cancellatusLueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) (FAD)
StagePokrovskaya (1966)Hart (1970)Burov and Esaulova (1995)
TatarianVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites (FAD)
KazanianVittatinaVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer)Lueckisporites virkkiae
StagePokrovskaya (1966)Hart (1970)Burov and Esaulova (1995)
TatarianVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites (FAD)
KazanianVittatinaVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer)Lueckisporites virkkiae

Note: FAD=First Appearance Datum. FADs given for taxa are those suggested by the cited authors.

Lueckisporites virkkiae has a First Appearance Datum (FAD) in the lower part of the Kazanian Stage in the Russian Platform (Koloda and Kanev, 1996; Utting et al., 1997; Burov and Esaulova, 1995) and persists into the Tatarian (Pokrovskaya, 1966; Molin et al., 1986; Utting et al., 1997). Gomankov (1992) considers L. virkkiae “norm A” (of Visscher, 1971) to be the most common “norm” in the Tatarian.

Few details of other FADs are given by the authors referred to in Table 2; however, Weylandites lucifer (as W. cincinnatus) is believed by Utting et al. (1997) to have a first appearance in the lower Kazanian on the Russian Platform. Molin et al. (1986) and Burov and Esaulova (1995) noted that Cedripites occurs first in the upper parts of the Tatarian Stage on the northern Russian Platform.

The occurrence of Playfordispora cancellosa in the Dilam-1 assemblages allows a correlation with the Russian Tatarian Stage even though this taxon is absent from Russian Platform assemblages. Russian palynologists place the base of the Tatarian Stage at the FADs of Scutasporites unicusKlaus, 1963 and Kraeuselisporites papillatusJansonius, 1962 (see Foster and Jones, 1994, p. 36). On the basis of the coincident first appearances of S. unicus and P. cancellosa in the Bellerophon Formation in the Alps, Foster and Jones (1994) considered that the first appearance of P. cancellosa may also be a marker for the base of the Tatarian in other areas (Figure 5). The occurrence of P. cancellosa, W. lucifer and Cedripites together with the dominance of L. virkkiae “norm A” in Dilam-1 well therefore suggest the sequence to be of Tatarian or younger age.

Figure 5:

Correlation of the Russian Tatarian with Alpine sections (after Foster and Jones, 1994).

Figure 5:

Correlation of the Russian Tatarian with Alpine sections (after Foster and Jones, 1994).

The assumed position of the Permian-Triassic boundary in the Russian Platform is considered by Molin et al. (1986) to be marked by an increase in the numbers of trilete spores of the genera Lundbladispora and Kraeuselisporites and the appearance of Aratrisporites. Amongst pollen, the genus Taeniaesporites becomes more important. A similar change is described by Balme (1963), Balme and Helby (1973), Dolby and Balme (1976), Foster (1979, 1982) and Balme and Foster (1996) in Australian sequences assumed to approximate to the Permian-Triassic boundary. Assemblages with Triassic characteristics are unlike those of Dilam-1; therefore a level approximating to the Permian-Triassic boundary is suggested as the upper correlative limit of the Dilam-1 assemblages.

The correlation for Dilam-1 suggested here can be regarded as tentative due to the lack of quantitative similarity between the Russian and Arabian assemblages and the lack of FADs from the Kazanian and Tatarian Stages and the post Tatarian ?hiatus (Gomankov, 1992). The Dilam-1 assemblages span a relatively short stratigraphic interval (and probably a relatively short chronological one) and contain no significant palynological discontinuities, and so are difficult to place within the Tatarian to end-Permian interval. Evidence presented later in this discussion suggests that the Dilam-1 sequence may be more precisely correlated within Permian stages that are younger than the Tatarian.

Correlation of Dilam-1 well with the Salt Range, Pakistan

The Zaluch Group of the Salt Range comprises in ascending order: the Amb Formation, the Wargal Limestone Formation and the Chhidru Formation. Recent conodont studies (Wardlaw and Pogue, 1995) suggest that the respective ages of these units (in terms of the standard Permian chronostratigraphic subdivisions of Jin et al. (1997)) are Wordian, Capitanian to Wuchiapingian and Changhsingian.

The ranges of palynomorph species recorded from the Salt Range by Balme (1970) indicate a correlation of the Dilam-1 sequence with the lower part of the Chhidru Formation (below the White Sandstone Unit) because Densipollenites indicus, Playfordiaspora cancellosa (recorded by Balme (1970) as Guthoerlisporites cancellosus), Protohaploxypinus microcorpus and Lueckisporites virkkiae occur in both. The presence of Klausipollenites cf. schaubergeri (Potonié and Klaus) Jansonius, 1962 and Cedripites sp. A (possibly a preservational variant of C. priscus) supports this correlation and therefore suggests a Changhsingian age for the Dilam-1 sequence. The presence in Dilam-1 well of Taeniaesporites cf. T. pellucidus (Goubin) Balme, 1970 and Brevitriletes cf. hennellyiFoster, 1979 also supports a latest Permian age for the sequence; T. pellucidus occurs in the Kathwai Member immediately above the Chhidru Formation and has been reported in a number of locations from uppermost Permian strata (Malagasy (Wright and Askin, 1987); India (Vijaya and Tiwari, 1986)). B. hennellyi is similarly characteristic of the latest Permian in Australia (Foster, 1979; de Jersey, 1979).

The presence, in Dilam-1 well, of Corisaccites alutas, recorded by Balme (1970) only from the Amb Formation, indicates that this species ranges higher in Saudi Arabia than in the Salt Range; its absence in the Wargal and Chhidru formations may, however, be an artefact of poor recovery and low sampling density in those units (Balme, 1970).

The quantitative composition of the “lower” Chhidru assemblages is similar, overall, to that of the Dilam-1 assemblages, however the former have a slightly higher proportion of taeniate bisaccate pollen and a greater proportion of acritarchs. The marine facies of the Chhidru Formation accounts for the latter feature which is, therefore, probably not of stratigraphic significance. The higher proportion of taeniate bisaccates in the Chhidru Formation assemblages may be due to the palaeoclimatic-palaeogeographic setting of the Salt Range which in Late Permian times was more likely to have been colonised by the Glossopteris Flora than Arabia (see later discussion). Again this quantitative difference may not be a chronologically significant one.

The assemblages of the highest part of the Chhidru Formation contain abundant monolete and trilete spores, considered to be of Triassic aspect, which suggests that they are younger than those of the Dilam-1 sequence.

Correlation of Dilam-1 well with sequences in Iraq

A correlation of the Dilam-1 assemblages and Assemblage Zone A of Nader et al. (1993a), based on the Mityaha-1 borehole in northern Iraq, can be made on the basis of the occurrence of several species in similar relative abundances (Figure 6); species present in both sections are Thymospora opaqua, Playfordiaspora cancellosa, Laevigatosporites callosus, Aculeisporites variabilis, Tuberculatosporites modicus, Protohaploxypinus amplus, Protohaploxypinus limpidus, Densipollenites invisus, Alisporites nuthallensis, Sulcatisporites ovatus, Protohaploxypinus microcorpus, Lueckisporites virkkiae, Potonieisporites novicus, Cycadopites follicularis, Tympanicysta stoschiana, Densipollenites indicus, Nuskoisporites dulhuntyi, Distriatites insolitus, Alisporites opii, Pyramidosporites cyathodes (as Pyramidosporites racemosus) and possibly Nuskoisporites sp. R (of Stephenson, 1998, unpublished PhD thesis) and Striatoabieites cf. multistriatus (as Vestigisporites densus Singh, 1964 and Protohaploxypinus jacobii (Jansonius) Hart, 1964, respectively). Nader et al. (1993a) suggested a Tatarian age for Assemblage Zone A but did not give supporting evidence for this age determination.

Figure 6:

Correlation of Dilam-1, Haradh-51, Nuayyim-2 and Hilwah-3 wells with sequences in the Middle East, the Salt Range and Russia.

Figure 6:

Correlation of Dilam-1, Haradh-51, Nuayyim-2 and Hilwah-3 wells with sequences in the Middle East, the Salt Range and Russia.

Taeniate and non-taeniate bisaccate pollen grains occur in similar abundances in Assemblage Zone A and the Dilam-1 sequence. Spores are, however, more abundant in Assemblage Zone A and include species of Osmundacidites, Baculatisporites and Iraqispora which are not present in Dilam-1. The upper part of the Zone contains species of Lundbladispora which are present in the Mianwali Formation and White Sandstone Unit of the Salt Range (Balme, 1970), and rare specimens of Aratrisporites granulatus (Klaus) Playford and Dettmann, 1965. This may suggest that upper part of Assemblage Zone A is younger than the Dilam-1 sequence (Figure 6). The succeeding Assemblage Zones B and C contain abundant Aratrisporites parvispinosus (Leschik) Playford, 1965, indicating that they are younger than the Dilam-1 sequence.

PALAEOPHYTOGEOGRAPHIC AFFINITIES OF THE BASAL KHUFF CLASTICS ASSEMBLAGES

The assemblages of Late Permian sequences described in this study contain taxa (Cuneatisporites radialis, Nuskoisporites dulhuntyi, Lueckisporites virkkiae, Alisporites nuthallensis, Jugasporites delasaucei, Protohaploxypinus microcorpus and Strotersporites richteri) characteristic of the European Zechstein assemblages as described by Clarke (1965), Visscher (1971), Klaus (1963), Schaarschmidt (1963) and Grebe and Schweitzer (1962); this similarity was remarked upon by Balme (1970). The Haradh-51 assemblages contain more of these taxa than the other sequences and the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the assemblage from 12,608.4 ft are very similar to those of European Zechstein assemblages. The Haradh-51 assemblage contains approximately 20% L. virkkiae and 3% each of S. richteri and J. delasaucei, and is similar to assemblages observed by the present author from the Late Permian Hilton Plant Beds, England (slides courtesy of G. Warrington, British Geological Survey).

The taxa listed above are not entirely restricted to the European Zechstein. Most have been recorded from the Middle East, and L. virkkiae and S. richteri have been reported from Gondwana sediments, though rarely. Foster (1983), however, remarked that Jugasporites Leschik emended Klaus is confined to the Euramerican floral province. The presence of these taxa in Haradh-51, and in other sequences, is a clear indication of the non-Gondwanan affinity of the Saudi Arabian Late Permian assemblages. Comparisons of the Dilam-1 sequence with Late Permian sequences of Gondwana (particularly those of Southern Gondwana), reveal large quantitative differences, particularly in the abundances of multitaeniate bisaccate pollen. Such pollen are connected by authors with the Glossopteris Flora (e.g. Playford, 1990; Balme, 1964). The absence of such a flora in the Arabian Peninsula may be climatic in origin.

AGE OF THE HILWAH-3 ASSEMBLAGE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PRE-KHUFF HIATUS IN CENTRAL SAUDI ARABIA

The Hilwah-3 assemblage is quantitatively most similar to those from the Kathwai Shales, Salt Range (Venkatachala and Kar, 1968a), considered by those authors to be correlative with the Barakar Formation of peninsular India, and those from the Barakar Formation of Lungatoo, Bihar, India (Venkatachala and Kar, 1968b). The assemblages described in the former studies are dominated by taeniate bisaccates and contain smaller amounts of Striasulcites, Hamiapollenites and Vittatina.

The Hilwah-3 assemblages are also similar to the Kingiacolpites subcircularis Assemblage of Love (1994), which was described from the Haushi Group of Oman. Love (1994) identified the base of the Assemblage as the level at which K. subcircularis increases in abundance and the cheilocardioid complex and Cycadopites cymbatus (Balme and Hennelly) Segroves, 1970 become rare. The absence of Microbaculispora spp., Horriditriletes spp. and C. cymbatus from the Hilwah-3 assemblage is therefore consistent with its assignment to the Kingiacolpites subcircularis Assemblage, which Love (1994) considered to be Artinskian in age, based on comparisons with Australian assemblages.

Previous records from the Barakar Formation of India (Venkatachala and Kar, 1968a and b), Artinskian of Canada (Jansonius, 1962), Barakar equivalent of central Africa (Bose and Kar, 1966) and the Leonardian of the USA (Jizba, 1962) indicate that the ranges of Striasulcites tectus, Circumstriatites talchirensis, Complexisporites polymorphus, Mabuitasaccites ovatus and Vittatina minima are concurrent in the late Early Permian. The Barakar Formation was correlated by Veevers and Tewari (1995) with the Artinskian to Kungurian of Russia and the Leonardian of southwestern USA was correlated by Jin et al. (1997) with the same Russian stages, based on marine fauna. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons therefore suggest a correlation of the Hilwah-3 sequence with the Artinskian to Kungurian stages of Russia (Figure 6).

The sequence studied from Hilwah-3 well is approximately 50 ft below the pre-Khuff unconformity, and, assuming that the remaining sequence below that unconformity does not represent a long period of time, this would suggest a longer duration for the pre-Khuff hiatus previously suggested by Van der Eem (in Al-Jallal, 1995) (Figure 6).

CONCLUSIONS

The Dilam-1 assemblages compare most closely with those from sequences in adjacent parts of the Middle East. Correlations with Gondwana and parts of Laurasia are less satisfactory mainly because of quantitative differences in, for example, the abundance of multitaeniate or bitaeniate bisaccate pollen. Despite such differences, which the author considers to be chiefly palaeogeographic-palaeoclimatic in origin, certain key taxa are common to the Salt Range and Russian Platform sequences and to Dilam-1; the evidence overall suggests a correlation for the Dilam-1 assemblages with Late Permian parts of these sequences. The suggested correlative range of the Dilam-1 sequence in Russia extends from the Tatarian Stage to the assumed position of the Permian-Triassic boundary in that region. Other evidence from comparison with the assemblages of the Salt Range suggests that the lower limit of the correlative range may occur within the Chhidru Formation which is correlated with the Changhsingian Stage. These conclusions are thought to be consistent because the Tatarian, as envisaged by Gialanella et al. (1997), may extend upward to chronologically equivalent levels to that of the Changhsingian Stage. The presence of similar assemblages in the studied parts of Haradh-51 and Nuayyim-2 suggest that these intervals are broadly of the same age. This in turn suggests that the basal Khuff clastics in the central Saudi Arabian region are broadly synchronous. Evidence from ?Artinskian-Kungurian assemblages from the Hilwah-3 well suggests that the pre-Khuff unconformity may represent a longer hiatus than was previously envisaged.

SYSTEMATIC PALYNOLOGY

A number of distinct, undescribed palynomorph species were recorded in abundance in the present study; four taxa are here proposed as new species. The descriptive terminology for saccate pollen used by Hart (1960) and Punt et al. (1994) is adopted here.

Protohaploxypinus Samoilovich emended Morbey, 1975

Type Species: Protohaploxypinus latissimus (Luber and Valts) Samoilovich, 1953.

Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov. (Plate 3: b, c, d)

Holotype: (held in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London): Slide Dilam-1, 7,843.8 ft, England Finder C53/1 FM 1826.

Paratype: Slide Dilam-1, 7,843.8 ft, B46/4 FM 1827.

Type Locality: Sample depth 7,843.8 ft; Dilam-1 well, basal Khuff clastics, Upper Permian, Saudi Arabia.

Derivatio nominis: After J. Utting, palynologist.

Description: Pollen, bilaterally symmetrical, taeniate, bisaccate, haploxylonoid to weakly diploxylonoid; amb oval with either slight transverse or longitudinal elongation. Corpus transversely oval, exoexine thin; cappa very finely taeniate. Intexinal body usually distinct, shrunken so that it appears as a circular dark coloured area in the centre of the corpus. Intexinal body has diameter approximately half that of the corpus. Cappula distinct, parallel-sided to barrel-shaped; width 50% of the corpus; extends the length of the corpus. Taeniae on cappa often indistinct; narrow (1-2 μm in width); numerous (approximately 15 present). Saccus detachment difficult to discern in proximodistal view; when viewed in lateral compression proximal saccus detachment equatorial, distal saccus onlap 25% of corpus width. Sacci distally inclined; semi-circular in outline, approximately the same size as the exoexinal corpus. Sacci exoexine delicate, thin; infrareticulation very fine, brochi just perceptible in most specimens.

Dimensions: (Table 3)

Table 3

Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov. dimensions.

Longitudinal axis (microns)
 
Transverse axis (microns)
 
Longitudinal dimension of corpus
 
Maximum saccus offlap (microns)
 
Maximum saccus onlap (microns)
 
Maximum cappula width (microns)
 
39 29 24 13 
44 31 23 10 10 
39 26 23 
39 28 25 
40 30 24 
35 27 23 10 
33 31 22 11 
35 26 24 
37 28 24 
36 25 20 
33 26 21 
35 32 23 13 
40 31 22 10 
39 27 25 10 
35 30 24 
39 29 22 12 
39 29 27 
43 34 28 
Mean 37.8 Mean 28.8 Mean 23.5 Mean Mean 6.6 Mean 9.1 
Longitudinal axis (microns)
 
Transverse axis (microns)
 
Longitudinal dimension of corpus
 
Maximum saccus offlap (microns)
 
Maximum saccus onlap (microns)
 
Maximum cappula width (microns)
 
39 29 24 13 
44 31 23 10 10 
39 26 23 
39 28 25 
40 30 24 
35 27 23 10 
33 31 22 11 
35 26 24 
37 28 24 
36 25 20 
33 26 21 
35 32 23 13 
40 31 22 10 
39 27 25 10 
35 30 24 
39 29 22 12 
39 29 27 
43 34 28 
Mean 37.8 Mean 28.8 Mean 23.5 Mean Mean 6.6 Mean 9.1 

Comparison: Amongst small taeniate, bisaccate pollen only Protohaploxypinus micros Hart, 1964, and Pityosporites varimicrosAnderson, 1977, are comparable with the present species. Protohaploxypinus micros does not have the distinct circular intexinal body of the present species and has fewer taeniae; P. micros is considered a nomen nudum by MacRae (1988, p. 62).

Pityosporites varimicros has fewer taeniae, lacks the circular intexinal body of the present species and is slightly larger (40 (44) 48 μm, Anderson (1977)); but is closely similar to the present species in other respects. Anderson (1977) does not refer to a tendency in P. varimicros to intexinal shrinkage.

Remarks: The small size and finely, multitaeniate cappa are the main characteristics of this species.

Type Species: Peroaletes convolutusBharadwaj and Singh, 1964.

Peroaletes khuffensis sp. nov. (Plate 3: k, l, m)

?Syn. Grebespora concentricaJansonius, 1962 - Hankel, 1992; Plate 2, Figure 2 [no description].

Non. Grebespora concentricaJansonius, 1962: p. 83-84; Plate 16, Figures 1-3.

Holotype: (held in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London): Slide Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, England Finder reference H32/2 FM 1835.

Paratype: Slide Nuayyim-2, 8,585.4 ft, K14/3 FM 1836.

Type Locality: Sample depth 7,846.4 ft, Dilam-1 well, basal Khuff clastics, Upper Permian, Saudi Arabia.

Derivatio nominis: From the Khuff Formation, Permian, Saudi Arabia.

Description: Microfossils without dehiscence mark; amb circular or oval, though often irregular due to folding; 3-dimensional shape roughly that of a disc. Exine two-layered; outer perine-like layer loosely encloses inner body with no apparent adpression. Exoexine thin (<0.5 μm thick), delicate, infragranulate-micropunctate; usually comprehensively folded. Inner body with similar outline to that of the amb; exine slightly thicker than that of outer layer (but <1 μm), unstructured, laevigate. Inner body comprehensively folded, sometimes independently of the outer layer. Both exine layers often characteristically folded with submarginal curved fold segments which are aligned to simulate a single circular or polygonal submarginal fold. Rarely specimens are without folds.

Dimensions: (44 specimens) Outer body 25 (35) 42 μm, St. Dev. 3.82; inner body 23 (34) 40 μm, St. Dev. 3.79; mean outer body diameter/inner body diameter ratio 1.03.

Comparison: Peroaletes convolutusBharadwaj and Singh, 1964, is larger than the present species (60-80 μm; Bharadwaj and Singh, (1964)). Peroaletes sp. cf. P. convolutus of Foster (1979) is of comparable size (38 (52) 70 μm), but has a thicker intexine and, commonly, a reticulate pattern of exoexine surface folds. Peroaletes catcheutensisJain 1968 has a thicker exoexine (approximately 2 μm thick; Jain, 1968). Although superficially similar to the present species, Urmites incrassatus Dyupina, 1974, possesses a sulcus and a submarginal thickening. Grebespora concentricaJansonius, 1962, differs from the present species in lacking a second exine layer, although a specimen figured by Hankel (1992; Plate 2, Figure 2 (not described)) and assigned to G. concentrica is similar to the present species.

Pteruchipollenites Couper, 1958

Type Species: Pteruchipollenites thomasii Couper, 1958.

Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov. (Plate 1: m, n)

Plate 1:

All figures x880 magnification and photographed with Nomarski differential interference contrast unless otherwise stated. Figured material is housed in the Palaeontological Collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Well names and sample depths are followed by England Finder co-ordinates and Museum Collection Number.

  • (a) Secarisporites bullatus (Balme and Hennelly) Smith, 1971. Dilam-1, 7,833.8 ft, Q46/4 FM 1800.

  • (b) Triplexisporites playfordii (de Jersey and Hamilton) Foster, 1979. Nuayyim-2, 8,598.9 ft, L21 FM 1801 (non Nomarski).

  • (c, d) (f, g) Brevitriletes cf. hennellyiFoster, 1979.

  • (c) Dilam-1, 7,852.2 ft, N25/1 FM 1802, proximal focus.

  • (d) Dilam-1, 7,852.2 ft, N25/1 FM 1802, distal focus.

  • (f) Nuayyim-2, 8,586.6 ft, D9/3 FM 1803, proximal focus.

  • (g) Nuayyim-2, 8,586.6 ft, D9/3 FM 1803, distal focus.

  • (e) Camptotriletes warchianusBalme, 1970. Nuayyim-2, 8,604.3 ft, E34/4 FM 1804.

  • (h) Indotriradites rallus (Balme) Foster, 1979. Nuayyim-2, 8,604.3 ft, G27 FM 1805, lateral compression.

  • (i) Playfordiaspora cancellosa (Playford and Dettmann) Maheshwari and Banerji, 1975. Dilam-1, 7,821.3 ft, K34/4 FM 1806.

  • (j) Densipollenites indicus Bharadwaj, 1962. Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, L42/3 FM 1807 (x550).

  • (k, l) Thymospora opaqua Singh, 1964.

  • (k) Dilam-1, 7,824.3 ft, G49/2 FM 1808.

  • (l) Dilam-1, 7,824.3 ft, E35/1 FM 1809.

  • (m, n) Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov.

  • (m) Holotype: Nuayyim-2, 8,607.0 ft, C16 FM 1810.

  • (n) Paratype: Nuayyim-2, 8,607.0 ft, H25/4 FM 1811, lateral compression (x550).

Plate 1:

All figures x880 magnification and photographed with Nomarski differential interference contrast unless otherwise stated. Figured material is housed in the Palaeontological Collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Well names and sample depths are followed by England Finder co-ordinates and Museum Collection Number.

  • (a) Secarisporites bullatus (Balme and Hennelly) Smith, 1971. Dilam-1, 7,833.8 ft, Q46/4 FM 1800.

  • (b) Triplexisporites playfordii (de Jersey and Hamilton) Foster, 1979. Nuayyim-2, 8,598.9 ft, L21 FM 1801 (non Nomarski).

  • (c, d) (f, g) Brevitriletes cf. hennellyiFoster, 1979.

  • (c) Dilam-1, 7,852.2 ft, N25/1 FM 1802, proximal focus.

  • (d) Dilam-1, 7,852.2 ft, N25/1 FM 1802, distal focus.

  • (f) Nuayyim-2, 8,586.6 ft, D9/3 FM 1803, proximal focus.

  • (g) Nuayyim-2, 8,586.6 ft, D9/3 FM 1803, distal focus.

  • (e) Camptotriletes warchianusBalme, 1970. Nuayyim-2, 8,604.3 ft, E34/4 FM 1804.

  • (h) Indotriradites rallus (Balme) Foster, 1979. Nuayyim-2, 8,604.3 ft, G27 FM 1805, lateral compression.

  • (i) Playfordiaspora cancellosa (Playford and Dettmann) Maheshwari and Banerji, 1975. Dilam-1, 7,821.3 ft, K34/4 FM 1806.

  • (j) Densipollenites indicus Bharadwaj, 1962. Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, L42/3 FM 1807 (x550).

  • (k, l) Thymospora opaqua Singh, 1964.

  • (k) Dilam-1, 7,824.3 ft, G49/2 FM 1808.

  • (l) Dilam-1, 7,824.3 ft, E35/1 FM 1809.

  • (m, n) Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov.

  • (m) Holotype: Nuayyim-2, 8,607.0 ft, C16 FM 1810.

  • (n) Paratype: Nuayyim-2, 8,607.0 ft, H25/4 FM 1811, lateral compression (x550).

Holotype: (held in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London): Slide Nuayyim-2, 8,607.0 ft, England Finder C16 FM 1810.

Paratype: Slide Nuayyim-2, 8,601.6 ft, H15/2 FM 1811 (lateral compression).

Type Locality: Sample depth 8,607.0 ft; Nuayyim-2 well, basal Khuff clastics, Upper Permian, Saudi Arabia.

Derivatio nominis: After B. Owens, palynologist.

Description: Pollen, bisaccate, bilaterally symmetrical, usually monolete; amb oval to slightly rectangular haploxylonoid with longitudinal elongation. Corpus longitudinally oval to slightly rectangular in outline; cappa exine very thin, imperceptible when viewed behind intervening saccus. Cappula distinct; very wide, approximately 50% of the corpus width, no perceptible tenuitas or sulcus present; cappula parallel-sided, extends the length of the corpus. Sacci strongly distally inclined, proximal saccus detachment difficult to discern in proximodistal orientation but clearly equatorial in laterally compressed specimens; distal saccus onlap approximately 30% of the corpus width. Sacci semi-circular, slightly smaller than the corpus, rigid; infrareticulation coarse, but “leathery” opaque surface of saccus may obscure infrastructure. Indistinct, short, monolete mark sometimes present; laesura without lips.

Dimensions: (Table 4)

Table 4

Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov. dimensions.

Longitudinal axis (microns)
 
Transverse axis (microns)
 
Longitudinal dimension of corpus
 
Maximum saccus offlap (microns)
 
Maximum saccus onlap (microns)
 
Maximum cappula width (microns)
 
180 108 110 37 25 65 
153 100 90 25 35 35 
108 75 89 10 27 25 
150 100 100 30 26 45 
185 105 100 48 17 57 
174 110 90 36 36 35 
177 116 105 39 35 45 
180 113 100 37 37 45 
174 107 110 30 40 50 
133 98 90 25 30 35 
156 110 85 32 40 29 
169 108 90 37 30 42 
202 153 115 45 35 45 
176 120 110 40 30 35 
100 85 65 20 15 35 
145 85 75 42 30 40 
Mean 160.1 Mean 105.8 Mean 95.2 Mean 1 33.3 Mean 1 30.5 Mean 1 41.4 
Longitudinal axis (microns)
 
Transverse axis (microns)
 
Longitudinal dimension of corpus
 
Maximum saccus offlap (microns)
 
Maximum saccus onlap (microns)
 
Maximum cappula width (microns)
 
180 108 110 37 25 65 
153 100 90 25 35 35 
108 75 89 10 27 25 
150 100 100 30 26 45 
185 105 100 48 17 57 
174 110 90 36 36 35 
177 116 105 39 35 45 
180 113 100 37 37 45 
174 107 110 30 40 50 
133 98 90 25 30 35 
156 110 85 32 40 29 
169 108 90 37 30 42 
202 153 115 45 35 45 
176 120 110 40 30 35 
100 85 65 20 15 35 
145 85 75 42 30 40 
Mean 160.1 Mean 105.8 Mean 95.2 Mean 1 33.3 Mean 1 30.5 Mean 1 41.4 

Comparison: The species differs from A. opii (as redescribed and figured by Jansonius (1971)) and Alisporites cf. A. opii of Balme (1970) in being larger and in having a wider, rectangular shaped cappula. Alisporites landianusBalme 1970 and Pteruchipollenites gracilisSegroves 1969 have similar corpus and cappula characteristics to the present species but are much smaller (82 (95) 107 μm; Balme, 1970: 65 (72) 105 μm; Segroves, 1969). Pityosporites giganteus Balme and Hennelly 1955 is of similar size to the present species but has proportionately smaller sacci.

Remarks: The large size and wide, rectangular cappula of the present species are its main characteristics.

Type Species: Florinites pellucidus (Wilson and Coe) Wilson, 1958.

?Florinites balmei sp. nov. (Plate 2: j, k, l, m)

Plate 2:

All figures x880 magnification and photographed with Nomarski differential interference contrast unless otherwise stated. Figured material is housed in the Palaeontological Collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Well names and sample depths are followed by England Finder co-ordinates and Museum Collection Number.

  • (a, b) ?Crucisaccites sp. R.

  • (a) Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B56/1 FM 1812.

  • (b) Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, R29/3 FM 1813.

  • (c) Cedripites sp. A; Nuayyim-2, 8,593.5 ft, K29/2 FM 1814.

  • (d) Tetrasaccus cf. T. karharbarensis Maithy, 1965. Dilam-1, 7,866.8 ft, K46/1 FM 1815.

  • (e) Rhizomaspora lemniscata Wilson, 1962. Dilam-1, 7,827.9 ft, E44/4 FM 1816 (x550).

  • (f) Rhizomaspora radiata Wilson, 1962. Nuayyim-2, 8,601.6 ft, M11 FM 1817 (x550).

  • (g) Corisaccites alutas Venkatachala and Kar, 1966. Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B41 FM 1818 (x550).

  • (h) Circumstriatites talchirensis Lele and Makada, 1972. Hilwah-3, 6,571.8 ft, O20/4 FM 1819.

  • (i) Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus (Balme and Hennelly) Hart, 1964. Dilam-1, 8,596.2 ft, H32/4 FM 1820 (x550).

  • (j, k, l, m) ?Florinites balmei sp. nov.

  • (j) Holotype: Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, E29 FM 1821.

  • (k) Paratype: Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, F36 FM 1822.

  • (l) Haradh-51, 12,625.0 ft, E52/2 FM 1823.

  • (m) Haradh-51, 12,625.0 ft, G12/1 FM 1824.

Plate 2:

All figures x880 magnification and photographed with Nomarski differential interference contrast unless otherwise stated. Figured material is housed in the Palaeontological Collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Well names and sample depths are followed by England Finder co-ordinates and Museum Collection Number.

  • (a, b) ?Crucisaccites sp. R.

  • (a) Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B56/1 FM 1812.

  • (b) Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, R29/3 FM 1813.

  • (c) Cedripites sp. A; Nuayyim-2, 8,593.5 ft, K29/2 FM 1814.

  • (d) Tetrasaccus cf. T. karharbarensis Maithy, 1965. Dilam-1, 7,866.8 ft, K46/1 FM 1815.

  • (e) Rhizomaspora lemniscata Wilson, 1962. Dilam-1, 7,827.9 ft, E44/4 FM 1816 (x550).

  • (f) Rhizomaspora radiata Wilson, 1962. Nuayyim-2, 8,601.6 ft, M11 FM 1817 (x550).

  • (g) Corisaccites alutas Venkatachala and Kar, 1966. Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B41 FM 1818 (x550).

  • (h) Circumstriatites talchirensis Lele and Makada, 1972. Hilwah-3, 6,571.8 ft, O20/4 FM 1819.

  • (i) Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus (Balme and Hennelly) Hart, 1964. Dilam-1, 8,596.2 ft, H32/4 FM 1820 (x550).

  • (j, k, l, m) ?Florinites balmei sp. nov.

  • (j) Holotype: Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, E29 FM 1821.

  • (k) Paratype: Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, F36 FM 1822.

  • (l) Haradh-51, 12,625.0 ft, E52/2 FM 1823.

  • (m) Haradh-51, 12,625.0 ft, G12/1 FM 1824.

Plate 3:

All figures x880 magnification and photographed with Nomarski differential interference contrast unless otherwise stated. Figured material is housed in the Palaeontological Collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Well names and sample depths are followed by England Finder co-ordinates and Museum Collection Number.

  • (a) Lueckisporites virkkiae Potonié and Klaus emended Clarke, 1965. Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B55/2 FM 1825.

  • (b, c, d) Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov.

  • (b) Holotype: Dilam-1, 7,843.8 ft, C53/1 FM 1826.

  • (c) Paratype: Dilam-1, 7,843.8 ft, B46/4 FM 1827.

  • (d) Nuayyim-2, 8,585.4 ft, K26/2 FM 1828.

  • (e) Strotersporites richteri (Klaus) Klaus, 1963. Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B42 FM 1829.

  • (f) Striasulcites tectus Venkatachala and Kar, 1968. Hilwah-3, 6,571.8 ft, T38 FM 1830.

  • (g) Taeniaesporites cf. T. pellucidus (Goubin) Balme, 1970. Haradh-51, 12,605.8 ft, E35/4 FM 1831 (x550).

  • (h) Weylandites lucifer (Bharadwaj and Salujha) Foster, 1975. Dilam-1, 7,852.2 ft, E42/4 FM 1832.

  • (i) Pyramidosporites cyathodes Segroves, 1967. Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, J26/2 FM 1833 (x550).

  • (j) Kingiacolpites subcircularis Tiwari and Moiz, 1971. Hilwah-3, 6,594.4 ft, N35/3 FM 1834.

  • (k, l, m) Peroaletes khuffensis sp. nov.

  • (k) Holotype: Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, H32/2 FM 1835.

  • (l) Paratype: Nuayyim-2, 8,585.4 ft, K14/3 FM 1836.

  • (m) Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, J47/2 FM 1837.

  • (n) Vittatina minimaJansonius, 1962. Hilwah-3, 6,571.8 ft, G29/3 FM 1838.

  • (o, p) Tympanicysta stoschianaBalme, 1980.

  • (o) Dilam-1, 7,837.2 ft, B34/1 FM 1839.

  • (p) Haradh-51, 12,605.8 ft, D44 FM 1840 (x550).

Plate 3:

All figures x880 magnification and photographed with Nomarski differential interference contrast unless otherwise stated. Figured material is housed in the Palaeontological Collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Well names and sample depths are followed by England Finder co-ordinates and Museum Collection Number.

  • (a) Lueckisporites virkkiae Potonié and Klaus emended Clarke, 1965. Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B55/2 FM 1825.

  • (b, c, d) Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov.

  • (b) Holotype: Dilam-1, 7,843.8 ft, C53/1 FM 1826.

  • (c) Paratype: Dilam-1, 7,843.8 ft, B46/4 FM 1827.

  • (d) Nuayyim-2, 8,585.4 ft, K26/2 FM 1828.

  • (e) Strotersporites richteri (Klaus) Klaus, 1963. Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, B42 FM 1829.

  • (f) Striasulcites tectus Venkatachala and Kar, 1968. Hilwah-3, 6,571.8 ft, T38 FM 1830.

  • (g) Taeniaesporites cf. T. pellucidus (Goubin) Balme, 1970. Haradh-51, 12,605.8 ft, E35/4 FM 1831 (x550).

  • (h) Weylandites lucifer (Bharadwaj and Salujha) Foster, 1975. Dilam-1, 7,852.2 ft, E42/4 FM 1832.

  • (i) Pyramidosporites cyathodes Segroves, 1967. Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, J26/2 FM 1833 (x550).

  • (j) Kingiacolpites subcircularis Tiwari and Moiz, 1971. Hilwah-3, 6,594.4 ft, N35/3 FM 1834.

  • (k, l, m) Peroaletes khuffensis sp. nov.

  • (k) Holotype: Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, H32/2 FM 1835.

  • (l) Paratype: Nuayyim-2, 8,585.4 ft, K14/3 FM 1836.

  • (m) Dilam-1, 7,846.4 ft, J47/2 FM 1837.

  • (n) Vittatina minimaJansonius, 1962. Hilwah-3, 6,571.8 ft, G29/3 FM 1838.

  • (o, p) Tympanicysta stoschianaBalme, 1980.

  • (o) Dilam-1, 7,837.2 ft, B34/1 FM 1839.

  • (p) Haradh-51, 12,605.8 ft, D44 FM 1840 (x550).

Syn. Florinites millottiButterworth and Williams, 1954 - Nader et al., 1993b: Plate 13, Figures 7-8 [no description].

?Syn. Florinites millottiButterworth and Williams, 1954 - Akyol, 1975: Plate 9, Figures 12-16 [no description].

Non. Florinites millottiButterworth and Williams, 1954: p. 760; Plate 18, Figures 7-8.

Holotype: (held in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London): Slide Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, England Finder E29 FM 1821.

Paratype: Slide Haradh-51, 12,608.4 ft, F36 FM 1822.

Type Locality: Sample depth 12,608.4 ft; Haradh-51 Borehole, basal Khuff clastics, Upper Permian, Saudi Arabia.

Derivatio nominis: After B.E. Balme, palynologist.

Description: Pollen, monosaccate, bilaterally symmetrical; amb oval. Corpus almost imperceptible though its presence is suggested by a narrow, oval fold structure in the saccus. Long axis of corpus parallel to the long axis of the grain; diameter of the corpus approximately half that of the grain overall. The detachment of the saccus from the corpus is imperceptible. Saccus coarsely infrareticulate; brochi 1-2 μm in diameter, muri width <1 μm. Equatorial margin of the saccus is slightly thickened in some specimens.

Dimensions: (25 specimens) Long axis 32 (40) 47 μm, St. Dev. 4.59; short axis 22 (33) 38 μm, St. Dev. 5.03; mean ratio of diameter of the corpus: grain overall 0.53 (measured parallel to the long axis).

Comparison: Florinites minutus Bharadwaj, 1957, differs from the present species in being larger and in having a proportionately larger corpus. Florinites millottiButterworth and Williams, 1954 differs from the present species in having a corpus whose long axis is orientated at right angles to the long axis of the whole grain. Cladaitina kolodaeUtting, 1994, has a thicker, more distinct intexinal body than the present species. Cladaitina dibnerae Maheshwari and Meyen, 1975 differs from the present species in having a verrucate exoexine.

Remarks:Schopf et al. (1944) diagnosed Florinites as having complete envelopment of the proximal surface of the corpus by the saccus. Due to the extreme thinness of the corpus in the present species, saccus detachment and distal cappula characteristics are obscure. Given this uncertainty, the present generic assignment is considered tentative. Specimens figured (but not described) by Nader et al. (1993b, Plate 13, Figures 7 and 8) and assigned to F. millotti have a corpus long axis parallel to the long axis of the grain and so are wrongly assigned to the latter species. Nader’s species is, however, synonymous with the present one. Specimens figured by Akyol (1975, Plate 9, Figures 12-16) and assigned to F. millotti are similar to the present species.

APPENDIX 1

List of selected taxa recorded

?Florinites balmei sp. nov.

Aculeisporites variabilisJansonius, 1962

Alisporites indarraensisSegroves, 1969

Alisporites nuthallensisClarke, 1965

Alisporites opii Daugherty, 1941

Barakarites rotatus (Balme and Hennelly) Bharadwaj and Tiwari, 1964

Botryococcus sp.

Brazilea scissa (Balme and Hennelly) Foster, 1975

Brevitriletes cf. hennellyiFoster, 1979

Caheniasaccites ovatusBose and Kar, 1966

Camptotriletes warchianusBalme, 1970

Cannanoropollis janakii Potonié and Sah, 1960

Cedripites sp. A (of Stephenson, 1998, unpublished PhD thesis)

Circumstriatites talchirensis Lele and Makada, 1972

Complexisporites polymorphusJizba, 1962

Complexisporites sp.

Corisaccites alutas Venkatachala and Kar, 1966

Crucisaccites sp. R (of Stephenson, 1998, unpublished PhD thesis)

Cuneatisporites radialis Leschik, 1955

Cycadopites follicularis Wilson and Webster, 1946

Densipollenites indicus Bharadwaj, 1962

Densipollenites invisus Bharadwaj and Salujha, 1964

Distriatites insolitus Bharadwaj and Salujha, 1964

Hamiapollenites fusiformis Marques-Toigo, 1974

Indotriradites rallus (Balme) Foster, 1979

Indotriradites reidiiFoster, 1979

Jugasporites delasaucei (Potonié and Klaus) Leschik, 1956

Kingiacolpites subcircularis Tiwari and Moiz, 1971

Klausipollenites cf. K. schaubergeri (Potonié and Klaus) Jansonius, 1962

Laevigatosporites callosusBalme, 1970

Leiosphaeridia sp.

Leiotriletes cf. L. adnatus (Kosanke) Potonié and Kremp, 1955

Lueckisporites singhiiBalme, 1970

Lueckisporites virkkiae Potonié and Klaus emended Clarke, 1965

Mabuitasaccites ovatusBose and Kar, 1966

Marsupipollenites striatus (Balme and Hennelly) Foster, 1975

Nuskoisporites dulhuntyi Potonié and Klaus, 1954

Nuskoisporites sp. R (of Stephenson, 1998, unpublished PhD thesis)

Peroaletes khuffensis sp. nov.

Playfordiaspora cancellosa (Playford and Dettmann) Maheshwari and Banerji, 1975

Potonieisporites novicus Bharadwaj, 1954

Protohaploxypinus amplus (Balme and Hennelly) Hart, 1964

Protohaploxypinus goraiensis (Potonié and Lele) Hart, 1964

Protohaploxypinus limpidus (Balme and Hennelly) Balme and Playford, 1967

Protohaploxypinus microcorpus (Schaarschmidt) Clarke, 1965

Protohaploxypinus uttingii sp. nov.

Pteruchipollenites gracilis (Segroves) Foster, 1979

Pteruchipollenites owensii sp. nov.

Pyramidosporites cyathodes Segroves, 1967

Rhizomaspora lemniscata Wilson, 1962

Rhizomaspora radiata Wilson, 1962

Secarisporites bullatus (Balme and Hennelly) Smith, 1971

Striasulcites tectus Venkatachala and Kar, 1968

Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus (Balme and Hennelly) Hart, 1964

Striatoabieites multistriatus (Balme and Hennelly) Hart, 1964

Striatopodocarpites antiquus (Leschik) Potonié, 1958

Striatopodocarpites cancellatus (Balme and Hennelly) Hart, 1964

Striatopodocarpites cf. S. gondwanensis Lakhanpal, Sah and Dube, 1960

Strotersporites richteri (Klaus) Klaus, 1963

Sulcatisporites nilssoniiBalme, 1970

Sulcatisporites ovatus (Balme and Hennelly) Bharadwaj, 1962

Taeniaesporites cf. T. pellucidus (Goubin) Balme, 1970

Tetrasaccus cf. T. karharbarensis Maithy, 1965

Thymospora opaqua Singh, 1964

Triplexisporites playfordii (de Jersey and Hamilton) Foster, 1979

Tuberculatosporites modicus Balme and Hennelly, 1956

Tympanicysta stoschianaBalme, 1980

Vittatina costabilis Wilson, 1962

Vittatina minimaJansonius, 1962

Vittatina subsaccata (Samoilovich) Jansonius, 1962

Weylandites lucifer (Bharadwaj and Salujha) Foster, 1975

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The authors are grateful to the management of Saudi Aramco and the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals for permission to publish. B. Owens and S. Al-Hajri are thanked for help and advice in the preparation of this paper. G. Warrington is thanked for a thorough and constructive review of the paper. M.H. Stephenson publishes with the permission of the Director, British Geological Survey.

REFERENCES

Akyol
,
E.
1975
.
Palynologie du Permien inférieur de Sariz (Kayseri) et de Pamucak Yaylasi (Antalya-Turquie) et contamination Jurassique observée, due aux Ruisseaux “Pamucak” et “Goynuk”
.
Pollen et Spores
 , v.
17
, p.
141
-
179
.
Al-Aswad
,
A.A.
1997
.
Stratigraphy, sedimentary environment and depositional evolution of the Khuff Formation in south-central Saudi Arabia
.
Journal of Petroleum Geology
 , v.
20
, p.
307
-
326
.
Al-Jallal
,
I.A.
1995
. The Khuff Formation: its regional reservoir potential in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries; depositional and stratigraphic approach. In
M.I.
Al-Husseini
(Ed.),
Middle East Petroleum Geosciences, GEO’94
 .
Gulf PetroLink
,
Bahrain
, v.
1
, p.
103
-
119
.
Anderson
,
J.M.
1977
.
The biostratigraphy of the Permian and Triassic. Part 3. A review of Gondwana Permian palynology with particular reference to the northern Karroo Basin of South Africa
.
Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa
 , v.
41
,
133
p.
Balme
,
B.E.
1963
.
Plant microfossils from the Lower Triassic of Western Australia
.
Palaeontology
 , v.
6
, p.
12
-
40
.
Balme
,
B.E.
1964
. The palynological record of Australian pre-Tertiary floras. In
L.
Cranwell
(Ed.),
Ancient Pacific floras, University of Hawaii Press
, p.
49
-
80
.
Balme
,
B.E.
1970
. Palynology of Permian and Triassic Strata in the Salt Range and Surghar Range, West Pakistan. In
B.
Kummel
and
C.
Teichert
(Eds.),
Stratigraphic boundary problems: Permian and Triassic of West Pakistan
 .
University Press of Kansas, Department of Geology
Special Publication 4, p.
306
-
453
.
Balme
,
B.E.
1980
.
Palynology of Permian-Triassic boundary beds at Kap Stosch, east Greenland
.
Meddelelser om Grønland
 , v.
200
, p.
1
-
37
.
Balme
,
B.E.
and
C.B.
Foster
1996
. Triassic (Chart 7). In
G.C.
Young
and
J.R.
Laurie
(Eds.),
An Australian Phanerozoic timescale
 ,
OUP
,
Melbourne
, p.
136
-
147
.
Balme
,
B.E.
and
R.J.
Helby
1973
. Floral modifications at the Permian-Triassic boundary in Australia. In
A.
Logan
and
L.V.
Hills
(Eds.),
The Permian and Triassic systems and their mutual boundary
 .
Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
(Memoir
2
),
Calgary, Alberta
, p.
433
-
444
.
Bharadwaj
,
D.C.
and
H.P.
Singh
1964
.
An Upper Triassic miospore assemblage from the coals of Lunz
,
Austria. Palaeobotanist
 , v.
12
, p.
28
-
44
.
Bose
,
M.N.
and
R.K
Kar
1966
.
Palaeozoic sporae dispersae from Zaire (Congo) I
.
Kindu\Kalima and Walikale regions
.
Annales Musee Royal de L’Afrique Centrale, Sér. 8vo
 , v.
53
, p.
1
-
168
.
Burov
,
B.V.
and
N.K.
Esaulova
1995
.
On the problems of the study of the Upper Permian stratotypes
.
Permophiles, no
 .
27
, p.
30
-
34
.
Butterworth
,
M.A.
and
R.W.
Williams
1954
.
Descriptions of nine species of small spores from the British Coal Measures
.
The Annals and Magazine of Natural History
 , v.
7
, p.
753
-
764
.
Clarke
,
R.F.A.
1965
.
British Permian saccate and monosulcate miospores
.
Palaeontology
 , v.
8
, p.
322
-
354
.
de Jersey
,
N. J.
1979
.
Palynology of the Permian - Triassic transition in the Western Bowen Basin
.
Geological Survey of Queensland Publication
  no.
374
,
39
p.
Dolby
,
J.H.
and
B.E.
Balme
1976
.
Triassic palynology of the Carnarvon Basin
,
Western Australia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
 , v.
22
, p.
105
-
168
.
El-Khayal
,
A.A.
and
R.H.
Wagner
1985
.
Upper Permian stratigraphy and megafloras of Saudi Arabia: palaeogeographic and climatic implications
.
10th Congrès International de Stratigraphie et de Géologie du Carbonifére, Madrid 1983. Compte Rendu
, v.
3
, p.
17
-
26
.
Faddeeva
,
I.Z.
1980
.
Regularities in the changes of miospore complexes in stratotype sections of the East European platform and the Urals
.
IV International Palynological Conference
,
Lucknow, India
, v.
2
, p.
844
-
848
.
Foster
,
C.B.
1979
.
Permian Plant Microfossils of the Blair Atholl Coal Measures, Baralaba Coal Measures and Basal Rewan Formation of Queensland
.
Geological Survey of Queensland Publication
  no.
372
,
244
p.
Foster
,
C.B.
1982
.
Spore-pollen assemblages of the Bowen Basin, Queensland (Australia): their relationship to the Permian-Triassic boundary
.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
  v.
36
, p.
165
-
183
.
Foster
,
C.B.
1983
.
Jugasporites Leschik 1956, a Late Palaeozoic operculate pollen genus
.
Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists
 , v.
1
, p.
327
-
338
.
Foster
,
C.B.
and
P.J.
Jones
1994
.
Correlation between Australia and the type Tatarian, Russian Platform, evidence from palynology and conchostraca: a discussion
.
Permophiles, no
 .
24
, p.
36
-
43
.
Gialanella
,
P.R.
,
F.
Heller
,
M.
Haag
,
D.
Nurgaliev
,
A.
Borisov
,
B.
Burov
,
P.
Jasonov
,
D.
Khasanov
,
S.
Ibragimov
and
I.
Zharkov
1997
.
Late Permian magnetostratigraphy on the eastern Russian platform
.
Geologie en Mijnbouw
 , v.
76
, p.
145
-
154
.
Gomankov
,
A.V.
1992
.
The interregional correlation of the Tatarian and the problem of the Permian upper boundary
.
International Geology Review
 , v.
34
, p.
1015
-
1020
.
Grebe
,
H.
and
H.-J.
Schweitzer
1962
.
Die sporae dispersae des niederrheinischen Zechsteins
.
Fortschritte der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen, Vorausdruck
 , v.
10
, p.
1
-
24
.
Hankel
,
O.
1992
.
Late Permian to early Triassic microfloral assemblages from Maji ya Chumvi Formation
,
Kenya. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
 , v.
72
, p.
129
-
147
.
Hart
,
G.F.
1960
.
Microfloral investigation of the Lower Coal Measures (K2)
;
Ketewaka-Mchuchuma Coalfield, Tanganyika. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Tanganyika
 , no.
30
,
18
p.
Hart
,
G.F.
1970
.
The biostratigraphy of Permian palynofloras
.
Geoscience and Man
 , v.
1
, p.
89
-
131
.
Jain
,
R.K.
1968
.
Middle Triassic pollen grains and spores from Minas de Petroleo beds of the Cacheuta Formation (Upper Gondwana)
,
Argentina. Palaeontographica B
 , v.
122
, p.
1
-
47
.
Jansonius
,
J.
1962
.
Palynology of Permian and Triassic sediments, Peace River Area, western Canada
.
Palaeontographica B
 , v.
110
, p.
35
-
98
.
Jansonius
,
J.
1971
.
Emended diagnosis of Alisporites Daugherty 1941
.
Pollen et Spores
 , v.
13
, p.
349
-
357
.
Jin
,
Y.
,
B.R.
Wardlaw
,
B.F.
Glenister
and
G.V.
Kotlyar
1997
.
Permian chronostratigraphic subdivisions
.
Episodes
 , v.
20
, p.
10
-
15
.
Jizba
,
K.M.M.
1962
.
Late Palaeozoic bisaccate pollen from the United States midcontinent area
.
Journal of Paleontology
 , v.
36
, p.
871
-
887
.
Klaus
,
W.
1963
.
Sporen aus dem südalpinen Perm
.
Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt, Wien
 , v.
106
, p.
229
-
363
.
Koloda
,
N.
and
G.
Kanev
1996
.
Analogue of the Ufimian, Kazanian and Tatarian Stages of Russia in north western China based on miospores and bivalves
.
Permophiles
 , no.
28
, p.
17
-
24
.
Love
,
C.F.
1994
. The palynostratigraphy of the Haushi Group (Westphalian-Artinskian) in Oman. In
M.D.
Simmons
(Ed.),
Micropalaeontology and Hydrocarbon Exploration in the Middle East
 .
Chapman and Hall
,
London
, p.
23
-
39
.
MacRae
,
C.S.
1988
.
Palynostratigraphical correlation between the Lower Karoo sequence of the Water-burg and Pafuri coal basins and the Hammanskraal plant macrofossil locality, RSA
.
Memoirs of the Geological Survey of South Africa
 , v.
75
,
217
p.
Molin
,
V.
,
G.F.
Budanov
,
N.A.
Koloda
and
M.A.
Plotnikov
.
1986
. The palynological basis for zonation and correlation of geologic sections. In
T.N.
Tokareva
(Ed.),
Permian red rock formations in the northern part of the Russian platform
 , p.
45
-
68
(in Russian).
Nader
,
A.D.
,
F.H.
Khalaf
and
A.A.
Hadid
1993a
.
Palynology of the Permo-Triassic boundary in Borehole Mityah-1, south west Mosul City, Iraq
.
Mu’tah Journal of Research and Studies
 , v.
8
, p.
223
-
280
.
Nader
,
A.D
,
F.H.
Khalaf
and
R.A.
Yousif
1993b
.
Palynology of the upper part of the Ga’ara Formation in the western Iraqi desert
.
Mu’tah Journal of Research and Studies
 , v.
8
, p.
77
-
137
.
Ouyang
,
S.
and
J.
Utting
1990
.
Palynology of Upper Permian and Lower Triassic rocks, Meishan, Changxing County, Zhejiang Province, China
.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
 , v.
66
, p.
65
-
103
.
Playford
,
G.
1990
. Proterozoic and Paleozoic palynology of Antarctica: a review. In
T.N.
Taylor
and
E.L.
Taylor
(Eds.),
Antarctic Paleobiology: its role in the reconstruction of Gondwana
 .
Springer-Verlag
,
New York
, p.
51
-
70
.
Pokrovskaya
,
I.M.
1966
(Ed.).
Paleopalynology, Trudy Vsesoiuznogo Nauchno-Issledovatel’skogo Geologicheskogo Instituta (VSEGEI) novaia seriia
(
Proceedings of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute, Nedra Press
,
Leningrad
, 3 vols.) (in Russian).
Punt
,
W.
,
S.
Blackmore
,
S.
Nilsson
and
A.
Le Thomas
1994
.
Glossary of pollen and spore terminology
.
LPP Foundation Contributions Series No
 .
1
,
71
p.
Schaarschmidt
,
F.
1963
.
Sporen und Hystricosphaerideen aus dem Zechstein von Büdingen in der Wetterau
.
Palaeontographica B
 , v.
113
, p.
38
-
91
.
Schopf
,
J.M.
,
L.R.
Wilson
and
R.
Bentall
1944
.
An annotated synopsis of Palaeozoic fossil spores and the definition of generic groups
.
Illinois State Geological Survey, Report of investigations no
 .
91
,
72
p.
Segroves
,
K.L.
1969
.
Saccate plant microfossils from the Perth Basin of Western Australia
.
Grana Palynologica
 , v.
9
, p.
174
-
227
.
Senalp
,
M.
and
A.
Al-Duaiji
1995
.
Stratigraphy and sedimentation of the Unayzah reservoir, central Saudi Arabia
. In
M.I.
Al-Husseini
(Ed.),
Middle East Petroleum Geosciences, GEO’94. Gulf PetroLink, Bahrain
 , v.
2
, p.
837
-
847
.
Utting
,
J.
1994
. Palynostratigraphy of Permian and Lower Triassic rocks, Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Geological Survey of Canada
Bulletin no.
478
,
107
p.
Utting
,
J.
,
N.K.
Esaulova
,
V.V.
Silantiev
and
O.V.
Makarova
1997
.
Late Permian palynomorph assemblages from Ufimian and Kazanian type sequences in Russia and comparison with Roadian and Wordian assemblages from the Canadian Arctic
.
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
 , v.
34
, p.
1
-
16
.
Veevers
,
J.J.
and
R.C.
Tewari
1995
.
Gondwana master basin of peninsular India between Tethys and the interior of the Gondwanaland province of Pangea
.
Geological Society of America Memoir
 
187
,
72
p.
Venkatachala
,
B.S.
and
R.K.
Kar
1968a
.
Palynology of the Kathwai Shales, Salt Range, West Pakistan. 1. Shales 25ft above the Talchir Boulder Bed
.
Palaeobotanist
 , v.
16
, p.
156
-
166
.
Venkatachala
,
B.S.
and
R.K.
Kar
1968b
.
Palynology of the North Karanpura basin, Bihar India-2. Barakar exposures near Lungatoo, Hazaribagh District
.
Palaeobotanist
 , v.
16
, p.
258
-
269
.
Vijaya
and
R.S.
Tiwari
1986
.
Role of spore-pollen species in demarcating the Permo-Triassic boundary in the Raniganj Coalfield, West Bengal
.
Palaeobotanist
 , v.
35
, p.
242
-
248
.
Visscher
,
H.
1971
.
The Permian and Triassic of the Kingscourt Outlier, Ireland
.
Geological Survey of Ireland, Special Paper No
 .
1
,
114
p.
Wardlaw
,
B.R.
and
K.R.
Pogue
1995
. The Permian of Pakistan. In
P.A.
Scholle
,
T.M.
Peryt
and
D.S.
Ulmer-Scholle
(Eds.),
The Permian of Northern Pangea Vol. 2, Sedimentary basins and economic resources
 .
Springer Verlag
, p.
215
-
224
.
Wright
,
R.P.
and
R.A.
Askin
1987
. The Permian-Triassic Boundary in the southern Morondava Basin of Madagascar. In
C.D.
Mackenzie
(Ed.),
Gondwana 6 Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology
 .
American Geophysical Union
Geophysical Monograph 41
 , p.
157
-
166
.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Michael H. Stephenson (see page 191)

John Filatoff (see page 167)

Figures & Tables

Figure 1:

Palaeozoic outcrops on the Arabian Peninsula, and the location of wells discussed in this study.

Figure 1:

Palaeozoic outcrops on the Arabian Peninsula, and the location of wells discussed in this study.

Figure 2:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Dilam-1.

Figure 2:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Dilam-1.

Figure 3:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Nuayyim-2.

Figure 3:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Nuayyim-2.

Figure 4:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Haradh-51.

Figure 4:

Stratigraphical distribution and abundance of selected taxa, Haradh-51.

Figure 5:

Correlation of the Russian Tatarian with Alpine sections (after Foster and Jones, 1994).

Figure 5:

Correlation of the Russian Tatarian with Alpine sections (after Foster and Jones, 1994).

Figure 6:

Correlation of Dilam-1, Haradh-51, Nuayyim-2 and Hilwah-3 wells with sequences in the Middle East, the Salt Range and Russia.

Figure 6:

Correlation of Dilam-1, Haradh-51, Nuayyim-2 and Hilwah-3 wells with sequences in the Middle East, the Salt Range and Russia.

Table 1

Abundance of selected taxa, Hilwah-3.

Taxon% Abundance
Complexisporites sp.2.1
Alisporites indarraensis0.3
Barakarites rotatus0.9
Botryococcus0.6
Caheniasaccites ovatus2.1
Cannanoropollis janakii4.2
Circumstriatites talchirensis22.1
Complexisporites polymorphus2.1
Kingiacolpites subcircularis11.5
Hamiapollenites fusiformis0.6
Mabuitasaccites ovatus1.8
Marsupipollenites striatus6.6
Protohaploxypinus limpidus11.2
Ptruchipollenites gracilis0.3
Striasulcites tectus25.4
Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus1.2
Vittatina costabilis3.0
Vittatina minima1.2
Vittatina subsaccata1.5
Others1.3
Total100%
Taxon% Abundance
Complexisporites sp.2.1
Alisporites indarraensis0.3
Barakarites rotatus0.9
Botryococcus0.6
Caheniasaccites ovatus2.1
Cannanoropollis janakii4.2
Circumstriatites talchirensis22.1
Complexisporites polymorphus2.1
Kingiacolpites subcircularis11.5
Hamiapollenites fusiformis0.6
Mabuitasaccites ovatus1.8
Marsupipollenites striatus6.6
Protohaploxypinus limpidus11.2
Ptruchipollenites gracilis0.3
Striasulcites tectus25.4
Striatoabieites cf. S. multistriatus1.2
Vittatina costabilis3.0
Vittatina minima1.2
Vittatina subsaccata1.5
Others1.3
Total100%
Table 2

Occurrence of taxa recorded from Dilam-1 well in Russian Platform sequences.

StageKoloda and Kanev (1996)Molin et al. (1986)Faddeeva (1980)Utting et al. (1997)
TatarianAlisporites nuthallensis Protohaploxypinus amplus Sulcatisporites ovatus Striatopodocarpites antiquus Striatoabieites multistriatus Lueckisporites virkkiae Laevigatosporites callosus Protohaploxypinus microcorpus Lueckisporites singhii Cedripites sp.Protohaploxypinus amplus Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites spp. (FAD) Striatopodocarpites antiquus Strotersporites richteri Lueckisporites singhii Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Sulcatisporites ovatus Protohaploxypinus Vittatina
KazanianAlisporites nuthallensis Lueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Lueckisporites Taeniaesporites Protohaploxypinus limpidus Striatopodocarpites cancellatusLueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) (FAD)
StageKoloda and Kanev (1996)Molin et al. (1986)Faddeeva (1980)Utting et al. (1997)
TatarianAlisporites nuthallensis Protohaploxypinus amplus Sulcatisporites ovatus Striatopodocarpites antiquus Striatoabieites multistriatus Lueckisporites virkkiae Laevigatosporites callosus Protohaploxypinus microcorpus Lueckisporites singhii Cedripites sp.Protohaploxypinus amplus Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites spp. (FAD) Striatopodocarpites antiquus Strotersporites richteri Lueckisporites singhii Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Sulcatisporites ovatus Protohaploxypinus Vittatina
KazanianAlisporites nuthallensis Lueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Lueckisporites Taeniaesporites Protohaploxypinus limpidus Striatopodocarpites cancellatusLueckisporites virkkiae (FAD) Vittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) (FAD)
StagePokrovskaya (1966)Hart (1970)Burov and Esaulova (1995)
TatarianVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites (FAD)
KazanianVittatinaVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer)Lueckisporites virkkiae
StagePokrovskaya (1966)Hart (1970)Burov and Esaulova (1995)
TatarianVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer) Lueckisporites virkkiae Cedripites (FAD)
KazanianVittatinaVittatina cincinnata (=Weylandites lucifer)Lueckisporites virkkiae

Note: FAD=First Appearance Datum. FADs given for taxa are those suggested by the cited authors.

Contents

GeoRef

References

REFERENCES

Akyol
,
E.
1975
.
Palynologie du Permien inférieur de Sariz (Kayseri) et de Pamucak Yaylasi (Antalya-Turquie) et contamination Jurassique observée, due aux Ruisseaux “Pamucak” et “Goynuk”
.
Pollen et Spores
 , v.
17
, p.
141
-
179
.
Al-Aswad
,
A.A.
1997
.
Stratigraphy, sedimentary environment and depositional evolution of the Khuff Formation in south-central Saudi Arabia
.
Journal of Petroleum Geology
 , v.
20
, p.
307
-
326
.
Al-Jallal
,
I.A.
1995
. The Khuff Formation: its regional reservoir potential in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries; depositional and stratigraphic approach. In
M.I.
Al-Husseini
(Ed.),
Middle East Petroleum Geosciences, GEO’94
 .
Gulf PetroLink
,
Bahrain
, v.
1
, p.
103
-
119
.
Anderson
,
J.M.
1977
.
The biostratigraphy of the Permian and Triassic. Part 3. A review of Gondwana Permian palynology with particular reference to the northern Karroo Basin of South Africa
.
Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa
 , v.
41
,
133
p.
Balme
,
B.E.
1963
.
Plant microfossils from the Lower Triassic of Western Australia
.
Palaeontology
 , v.
6
, p.
12
-
40
.
Balme
,
B.E.
1964
. The palynological record of Australian pre-Tertiary floras. In
L.
Cranwell
(Ed.),
Ancient Pacific floras, University of Hawaii Press
, p.
49
-
80
.
Balme
,
B.E.
1970
. Palynology of Permian and Triassic Strata in the Salt Range and Surghar Range, West Pakistan. In
B.
Kummel
and
C.
Teichert
(Eds.),
Stratigraphic boundary problems: Permian and Triassic of West Pakistan
 .
University Press of Kansas, Department of Geology
Special Publication 4, p.
306
-
453
.
Balme
,
B.E.
1980
.
Palynology of Permian-Triassic boundary beds at Kap Stosch, east Greenland
.
Meddelelser om Grønland
 , v.
200
, p.
1
-
37
.
Balme
,
B.E.
and
C.B.
Foster
1996
. Triassic (Chart 7). In
G.C.
Young
and
J.R.
Laurie
(Eds.),
An Australian Phanerozoic timescale
 ,
OUP
,
Melbourne
, p.
136
-
147
.
Balme
,
B.E.
and
R.J.
Helby
1973
. Floral modifications at the Permian-Triassic boundary in Australia. In
A.
Logan
and
L.V.
Hills
(Eds.),
The Permian and Triassic systems and their mutual boundary
 .
Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
(Memoir
2
),
Calgary, Alberta
, p.
433
-
444
.
Bharadwaj
,
D.C.
and
H.P.
Singh
1964
.
An Upper Triassic miospore assemblage from the coals of Lunz
,
Austria. Palaeobotanist
 , v.
12
, p.
28
-
44
.
Bose
,
M.N.
and
R.K
Kar
1966
.
Palaeozoic sporae dispersae from Zaire (Congo) I
.
Kindu\Kalima and Walikale regions
.
Annales Musee Royal de L’Afrique Centrale, Sér. 8vo
 , v.
53
, p.
1
-
168
.
Burov
,
B.V.
and
N.K.
Esaulova
1995
.
On the problems of the study of the Upper Permian stratotypes
.
Permophiles, no
 .
27
, p.
30
-
34
.
Butterworth
,
M.A.
and
R.W.
Williams
1954
.
Descriptions of nine species of small spores from the British Coal Measures
.
The Annals and Magazine of Natural History
 , v.
7
, p.
753
-
764
.
Clarke
,
R.F.A.
1965
.
British Permian saccate and monosulcate miospores
.
Palaeontology
 , v.
8
, p.
322
-
354
.
de Jersey
,
N. J.
1979
.
Palynology of the Permian - Triassic transition in the Western Bowen Basin
.
Geological Survey of Queensland Publication
  no.
374
,
39
p.
Dolby
,
J.H.
and
B.E.
Balme
1976
.
Triassic palynology of the Carnarvon Basin
,
Western Australia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
 , v.
22
, p.
105
-
168
.
El-Khayal
,
A.A.
and
R.H.
Wagner
1985
.
Upper Permian stratigraphy and megafloras of Saudi Arabia: palaeogeographic and climatic implications
.
10th Congrès International de Stratigraphie et de Géologie du Carbonifére, Madrid 1983. Compte Rendu
, v.
3
, p.
17
-
26
.
Faddeeva
,
I.Z.
1980
.
Regularities in the changes of miospore complexes in stratotype sections of the East European platform and the Urals
.
IV International Palynological Conference
,
Lucknow, India
, v.
2
, p.
844
-
848
.
Foster
,
C.B.
1979
.
Permian Plant Microfossils of the Blair Atholl Coal Measures, Baralaba Coal Measures and Basal Rewan Formation of Queensland
.
Geological Survey of Queensland Publication
  no.
372
,
244
p.
Foster
,
C.B.
1982
.
Spore-pollen assemblages of the Bowen Basin, Queensland (Australia): their relationship to the Permian-Triassic boundary
.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
  v.
36
, p.
165
-
183
.
Foster
,
C.B.
1983
.
Jugasporites Leschik 1956, a Late Palaeozoic operculate pollen genus
.
Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists
 , v.
1
, p.
327
-
338
.
Foster
,
C.B.
and
P.J.
Jones
1994
.
Correlation between Australia and the type Tatarian, Russian Platform, evidence from palynology and conchostraca: a discussion
.
Permophiles, no
 .
24
, p.
36
-
43
.
Gialanella
,
P.R.
,
F.
Heller
,
M.
Haag
,
D.
Nurgaliev
,
A.
Borisov
,
B.
Burov
,
P.
Jasonov
,
D.
Khasanov
,
S.
Ibragimov
and
I.
Zharkov
1997
.
Late Permian magnetostratigraphy on the eastern Russian platform
.
Geologie en Mijnbouw
 , v.
76
, p.
145
-
154
.
Gomankov
,
A.V.
1992
.
The interregional correlation of the Tatarian and the problem of the Permian upper boundary
.
International Geology Review
 , v.
34
, p.
1015
-
1020
.
Grebe
,
H.
and
H.-J.
Schweitzer
1962
.
Die sporae dispersae des niederrheinischen Zechsteins
.
Fortschritte der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen, Vorausdruck
 , v.
10
, p.
1
-
24
.
Hankel
,
O.
1992
.
Late Permian to early Triassic microfloral assemblages from Maji ya Chumvi Formation
,
Kenya. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
 , v.
72
, p.
129
-
147
.
Hart
,
G.F.
1960
.
Microfloral investigation of the Lower Coal Measures (K2)
;
Ketewaka-Mchuchuma Coalfield, Tanganyika. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Tanganyika
 , no.
30
,
18
p.
Hart
,
G.F.
1970
.
The biostratigraphy of Permian palynofloras
.
Geoscience and Man
 , v.
1
, p.
89
-
131
.
Jain
,
R.K.
1968
.
Middle Triassic pollen grains and spores from Minas de Petroleo beds of the Cacheuta Formation (Upper Gondwana)
,
Argentina. Palaeontographica B
 , v.
122
, p.
1
-
47
.
Jansonius
,
J.
1962
.
Palynology of Permian and Triassic sediments, Peace River Area, western Canada
.
Palaeontographica B
 , v.
110
, p.
35
-
98
.
Jansonius
,
J.
1971
.
Emended diagnosis of Alisporites Daugherty 1941
.
Pollen et Spores
 , v.
13
, p.
349
-
357
.
Jin
,
Y.
,
B.R.
Wardlaw
,
B.F.
Glenister
and
G.V.
Kotlyar
1997
.
Permian chronostratigraphic subdivisions
.
Episodes
 , v.
20
, p.
10
-
15
.
Jizba
,
K.M.M.
1962
.
Late Palaeozoic bisaccate pollen from the United States midcontinent area
.
Journal of Paleontology
 , v.
36
, p.
871
-
887
.
Klaus
,
W.
1963
.
Sporen aus dem südalpinen Perm
.
Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt, Wien
 , v.
106
, p.
229
-
363
.
Koloda
,
N.
and
G.
Kanev
1996
.
Analogue of the Ufimian, Kazanian and Tatarian Stages of Russia in north western China based on miospores and bivalves
.
Permophiles
 , no.
28
, p.
17
-
24
.
Love
,
C.F.
1994
. The palynostratigraphy of the Haushi Group (Westphalian-Artinskian) in Oman. In
M.D.
Simmons
(Ed.),
Micropalaeontology and Hydrocarbon Exploration in the Middle East
 .
Chapman and Hall
,
London
, p.
23
-
39
.
MacRae
,
C.S.
1988
.
Palynostratigraphical correlation between the Lower Karoo sequence of the Water-burg and Pafuri coal basins and the Hammanskraal plant macrofossil locality, RSA
.
Memoirs of the Geological Survey of South Africa
 , v.
75
,
217
p.
Molin
,
V.
,
G.F.
Budanov
,
N.A.
Koloda
and
M.A.
Plotnikov
.
1986
. The palynological basis for zonation and correlation of geologic sections. In
T.N.
Tokareva
(Ed.),
Permian red rock formations in the northern part of the Russian platform
 , p.
45
-
68
(in Russian).
Nader
,
A.D.
,
F.H.
Khalaf
and
A.A.
Hadid
1993a
.
Palynology of the Permo-Triassic boundary in Borehole Mityah-1, south west Mosul City, Iraq
.
Mu’tah Journal of Research and Studies
 , v.
8
, p.
223
-
280
.
Nader
,
A.D
,
F.H.
Khalaf
and
R.A.
Yousif
1993b
.
Palynology of the upper part of the Ga’ara Formation in the western Iraqi desert
.
Mu’tah Journal of Research and Studies
 , v.
8
, p.
77
-
137
.
Ouyang
,
S.
and
J.
Utting
1990
.
Palynology of Upper Permian and Lower Triassic rocks, Meishan, Changxing County, Zhejiang Province, China
.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
 , v.
66
, p.
65
-
103
.
Playford
,
G.
1990
. Proterozoic and Paleozoic palynology of Antarctica: a review. In
T.N.
Taylor
and
E.L.
Taylor
(Eds.),
Antarctic Paleobiology: its role in the reconstruction of Gondwana
 .
Springer-Verlag
,
New York
, p.
51
-
70
.
Pokrovskaya
,
I.M.
1966
(Ed.).
Paleopalynology, Trudy Vsesoiuznogo Nauchno-Issledovatel’skogo Geologicheskogo Instituta (VSEGEI) novaia seriia
(
Proceedings of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute, Nedra Press
,
Leningrad
, 3 vols.) (in Russian).
Punt
,
W.
,
S.
Blackmore
,
S.
Nilsson
and
A.
Le Thomas
1994
.
Glossary of pollen and spore terminology
.
LPP Foundation Contributions Series No
 .
1
,
71
p.
Schaarschmidt
,
F.
1963
.
Sporen und Hystricosphaerideen aus dem Zechstein von Büdingen in der Wetterau
.
Palaeontographica B
 , v.
113
, p.
38
-
91
.
Schopf
,
J.M.
,
L.R.
Wilson
and
R.
Bentall
1944
.
An annotated synopsis of Palaeozoic fossil spores and the definition of generic groups
.
Illinois State Geological Survey, Report of investigations no
 .
91
,
72
p.
Segroves
,
K.L.
1969
.
Saccate plant microfossils from the Perth Basin of Western Australia
.
Grana Palynologica
 , v.
9
, p.
174
-
227
.
Senalp
,
M.
and
A.
Al-Duaiji
1995
.
Stratigraphy and sedimentation of the Unayzah reservoir, central Saudi Arabia
. In
M.I.
Al-Husseini
(Ed.),
Middle East Petroleum Geosciences, GEO’94. Gulf PetroLink, Bahrain
 , v.
2
, p.
837
-
847
.
Utting
,
J.
1994
. Palynostratigraphy of Permian and Lower Triassic rocks, Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Geological Survey of Canada
Bulletin no.
478
,
107
p.
Utting
,
J.
,
N.K.
Esaulova
,
V.V.
Silantiev
and
O.V.
Makarova
1997
.
Late Permian palynomorph assemblages from Ufimian and Kazanian type sequences in Russia and comparison with Roadian and Wordian assemblages from the Canadian Arctic
.
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
 , v.
34
, p.
1
-
16
.
Veevers
,
J.J.
and
R.C.
Tewari
1995
.
Gondwana master basin of peninsular India between Tethys and the interior of the Gondwanaland province of Pangea
.
Geological Society of America Memoir
 
187
,
72
p.
Venkatachala
,
B.S.
and
R.K.
Kar
1968a
.
Palynology of the Kathwai Shales, Salt Range, West Pakistan. 1. Shales 25ft above the Talchir Boulder Bed
.
Palaeobotanist
 , v.
16
, p.
156
-
166
.
Venkatachala
,
B.S.
and
R.K.
Kar
1968b
.
Palynology of the North Karanpura basin, Bihar India-2. Barakar exposures near Lungatoo, Hazaribagh District
.
Palaeobotanist
 , v.
16
, p.
258
-
269
.
Vijaya
and
R.S.
Tiwari
1986
.
Role of spore-pollen species in demarcating the Permo-Triassic boundary in the Raniganj Coalfield, West Bengal
.
Palaeobotanist
 , v.
35
, p.
242
-
248
.
Visscher
,
H.
1971
.
The Permian and Triassic of the Kingscourt Outlier, Ireland
.
Geological Survey of Ireland, Special Paper No
 .
1
,
114
p.
Wardlaw
,
B.R.
and
K.R.
Pogue
1995
. The Permian of Pakistan. In
P.A.
Scholle
,
T.M.
Peryt
and
D.S.
Ulmer-Scholle
(Eds.),
The Permian of Northern Pangea Vol. 2, Sedimentary basins and economic resources
 .
Springer Verlag
, p.
215
-
224
.
Wright
,
R.P.
and
R.A.
Askin
1987
. The Permian-Triassic Boundary in the southern Morondava Basin of Madagascar. In
C.D.
Mackenzie
(Ed.),
Gondwana 6 Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology
 .
American Geophysical Union
Geophysical Monograph 41
 , p.
157
-
166
.

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal