Palynology is ideally suited to the solution of stratigraphic problems routinely encountered during petroleum exploration. An example of its suitability for such work is its successful application to the elucidation of subsurface “Hunton” stratigraphy in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. In this basin, spores, acritarchs, chitinozoans, and scolecodonts from cores and cuttings permit the dating and correlation of sedimentary rocks down to 21,000 ft.
Palynology has revealed that over much of the Anadarko Basin “Hunton” beds rest upon Ordovician rocks no older than the worldwide Dicellograptus complanatus graptolite zone of Ashgill (Richmond) age, and suggests that in some parts of the basin uppermost Ordovician and basal “Hunton” strata form an unbroken depositional sequence. Palynology indicates that, contrary to many published views, “Hunton” beds of Devonian age are missing on the northern limb of the basin in the region of Custer and southern Dewey Counties, Oklahoma. It proves the existence of a thick sequence of Lower Devonian carbonate rocks on the southern limb of the basin in the subsurface of the Texas panhandle, thus providing the first record of dated Lower Devonian rocks in the panhandle or anywhere upon the southern limo of the Anadarko Basin beyond the immediate vicinity of the outcrops in south-central Oklahoma.