The Lower and Middle Ordovician of the Yangtze Platform, China, is characterized by a sedimentary succession dominated by carbonate rocks. Three sections spanning the Nantsinkuan/Lunshan, Fenhsiang, Hunghuayuan, and Dawan/Zitai formations, corresponding to Tremadocian-Dapingian in age, have been sampled for high-resolution δ13C chemostratigraphy (542 samples in total). Our new δ13C data reveal five tie-points with the potential for global correlation: 1) a positive δ13C excursion in the lower Nantsinkuan Formation within the Tremadocian Rossodus manitouensis Zone; 2) an excursion with two peaks roughly within the late Tremadocian Paltodus ‘deltifer’ Zone; 3) a positive δ13C shift in the lower Hunghuayuan Formation, within the early Floian Serratognathus diversus Zone; 4) a gradual positive δ13C shift in the late Floian, ranging from the uppermost S. diversus Zone to the basal Oepikodus evae Zone; 5) a minor negative shift in the lower Dawan/Zitai Formation, within the early Dapingian Baltoniodus triangularis Zone. These excursions are herein used for correlation of the Yangtze Platform strata with successions from South China, North China, Argentine Precordillera, North America and Baltica.
From a palaeogeographical perspective the Gudongkou, Xiangshuidong and Daling sections represent depositional environments along an inner to outer ramp profile. δ13C data from these sections show successively heavier (higher) δ13C values with increasing depositional depth. This is interpreted as due to remineralization of organic carbon within the carbonate rocks.