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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.

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