Abstract

The Tiñu Formation of Oaxaca State is the only fossiliferous lower Palaeozoic unit between the Laurentian platform in northwest Mexico and Gondwanan successions in Andean South America. The Tiñu traditionally has been referred to the Lower Ordovician (Tremadoc) and regarded as having a provincially mixed fauna with Laurentian, Avalonian, and Gondwanan elements. Bio- and lithostratigraphic re-evaluation demonstrates that the Tiñu is a Gondwanan, passive margin succession. It includes a lower, thin (to 16 m), condensed, uppermost Cambrian Yudachica Member (new). The Yudachica nonconformably overlies middle Proterozoic basement as a result of very high late Late Cambrian eustatic levels. The Yudachica changes from storm-dominated, but slightly dysoxic, shelf facies (fossil hash limestone and shale) in the south to an upper slope facies with debris flows 50 km to the north. Three biostratigraphically distinct depositional sequences comprise the Yudachica. The Yudachica has Gondwanan-aspect trilobites with low-diversity conodonts characteristic of unrestricted marine/temperate facies. The upper Tiñu, or Río Salinas Member (new), is a Lower Ordovician (Tremadoc) depositional sequence that records strong early, but not earliest, Tremadoc eustatic rise marked by graptolite- and olenid-bearing dysoxic mudstones. Higher strata shoal upward into shell-hash limestones and proximal tempestite sandstones with upper lower Tremadocian unrestricted marine/temperate conodonts. New taxa include Orminskia rexroadae Landing gen. et sp. nov. from the Cordylodus andresi Zone; this euconodont is related to hyaline coniform genera best known from Ordovician tropical platform successions. Cornuodus? clarkei Landing sp. nov. resembles the coeval, upper lower Tremadoc tropical species Scalpellodus longipinnatus (Ji & Barnes).

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