Abstract

The Hawasina nappes of the Oman Mountains yielded Permian radiolarians from cherts stratigraphically overlying a thick volcanic basement (AI Jil Formation) at the base of the Hamrat Duru Group. This fauna represents the first Permian radiolarians and radiolarites in the central and western Tethyan realm. A Permian age for pelagic sequences within the Hawasina Complex of Oman has major significance for regional paleogeographic reconstruction. A clear differentiation between platform (reefal sediments) and basin (radiolarites) from the base of the Late Permian (255 Ma) is implied. It suggests a flexure of the platform during Permian time; the present date implies that a zone of rifting was already developed adjacent to the northeast Gondwana platform margin during the Late Permian. The Hamrat Duru Basin corresponds to an opening intracontinental rift area (sphenochasm) between Arabia and northeast Gondwana, a reentrant of the paleo-Tethys.

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