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Radiolaria offer a valuable new means of interpreting the stratigraphy and in turn the structure of complex orogenic belts such as the California Coast Ranges. This is the third in a series of studies which have utilized Radiolaria to interpret the Mesozoic stratigraphy of the California Coast Ranges; it focuses on Lower Cretaceous biostratigraphy of the Great Valley sequence and Franciscan Complex.

A detailed system of radiolarian zonation (four zones and three subzones) has been developed for the Lower Cretaceous (Berriasian to Albian) portion of the Great Valley sequence. This zonal system has been integrated as closely as possible with biostratigraphic data offered by megafossils and planktonic foraminifera.

With the completion of this third and final study on the radiolarian biostratigraphy of the California Coast Ranges a detailed system of zonation now exists for the Mesozoic succession of the California Coast Ranges and encompasses strata ranging in age from Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian) to Late Cretaceous (Maestrichtian). To facilitate communication with the geologic community the formal zonal names have been equated with a numerical code.

Five new families, 11 new genera, and 40 new species are described and figured herein.

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