Abstract

Chinese geologists have correctly interpreted the sequence in south China as including the youngest known marine Permian (Changxingian Stage), followed by earliest Triassic, strata with Otoceras (Griesbachian Stage, Gangetian Substage). Most of the Changxingian ammonoids are known only from China but one recently described species, Shizoloboceras fusuiense, is evidently congeneric with Paratirolites vediensis, which characterizes latest Permian (Dorashamian) beds of the south U.S.S.R. and Iran. This indicates that the youngest Permian beds of Iran and China are correlative. Alternative correlations which have been suggested, namely with Changxingian including beds younger than Dorashamian, and Gangetian correlative with Dorashamian, are rejected. Below the Changxingian is the Lopingian (or Wuchiapingan), characterized by a variety of early otocerataceans. Lopingian is more or less correlative with Dzhulfian.South China is the only known place where ammonoids of Dzhulfian (= Lopingian), Dorashamian (= Changxingian), and Gangetian (lowermost Triassic) ammonoids occur in a formational sequence. It does not necessarily follow that the Changxingian–Gangetian interval was one of faunal continuity and continuous deposition. Paleozoic-type brachiopods that locally occur in the basal metre of the Triassic formations do not establish that the relationship between the Permian and Triassic formations is transitional. The boundary between these formations is distinct. Probably, these brachiopods are derived from the subjacent Permian strata and are not natural members of the Triassic fauna.

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