Abstract

A conodont-graptolite biostratigraphic study was carried out on the top strata of the San Juan, Las Chacritas and Las Aguaditas formations in the La Trampa Range, Precordillera of San Juan in western Argentina. Significant conodont records in the San Juan and Las Chacritas formations allow for the recognition of the Yangtzeplacognathus crassus, Eoplacognathus pseudoplanus (Microzarkodina hagetiana and M. ozarkodella subzones) and Eoplacognathus suecicus zones of Darriwilian age. Index species and co-occurrences of graptolites and conodonts were recorded in the Las Aguaditas Formation allowing the identification of the Nemagraptus gracilis and the Pygodus anserinus zones, which represent the Sandbian Stage. These data indicate a hiatus between the Las Chacritas and the Las Aguaditas formations, corresponding to the Pygodus serra Zone and the Pterograptus elegans and Hustedograptus teretiusculus zones (upper Darriwilian). A total of 7287 identifiable conodont elements were recorded from the study section. The species frequency registered for each zone shows that Periodon and Paroistodus are the most abundant taxa, which are indicative of open marine environments. The records of particular conodont taxa, such as Histiodella, Periodon, Microzarkodina, Eoplacognathus and Baltoniodus, allow a precise global correlation with other regions such as south-central China, Baltoscandia, North America, Great Britain, Southern Australia and New Zealand. The graptolite fauna identified here are recognized worldwide in equivalent strata in the Baltic region, Great Britain, North America, China, southern Australia and New Zealand. The presence of graptolites in the ribbon limestones of the Las Chacritas Formation is documented for the first time.

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