Abstract

Drs M. D. Fewirell& D. G. Smith write: Ramsbottom and Mitchell propose reintroduction into British stratigraphic nomenclature of the Series names Tournaisian and Viséan which were abandoned by the authors of the Geological Society’s Special Report on the Dinantian subsystem (George et al. 1976).They also propose the extension to the British Isles of 2 new Belgian regional stages, comprising the Tournaisian, and the abandonment of the British Courceyan Stage, the lowest of the 6 new regional stages established by George et al. 1976 . The basis for these proposals is a paper by Conil et al. 1977 in which for the first time stages are defined for the Belgian Lower Carboniferous with their bases precisely located by marker horizons in specified stratotype sections. The base of the lowest Belgian stage, the Hastarian, was, like that of the British Courceyan Stage, taken at a level currently believed to approximate most closely to the conventional base of the Carboniferous System as at present accepted by stratigraphers in western Europe (that is, the base of the Gattendorfia subinvoluta Zone of Germany). The top of the second Belgian stage, the Ivorian, defined by the base of the succeeding Moliniacian Stage, was taken at a level believed to approximate to the now accepted base of the Viséan Series, although not at the same locality. The correlation table presented by Conil et al. (1977) shows that they regard the Hastarian and Ivorian Stages as together comprising the whole of the Tournaisian Series, although this explicitly omits from the

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