Abstract

The Visean–Serpukhovian boundary is not yet defined by a Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) but it is recognizable operationally by the appearance of the conodont Lochriea ziegleri in the L. nodosa–L. ziegleri chronocline. Foraminiferal successions across this boundary in the type area of the Serpukhovian Stage (Moscow Basin, Russia), elsewhere in Russia and in the central United States suggest that the appearances of Asteroarchaediscus postrugosus, Janischewskina delicata, Eolasiodiscus donbassicus, and specimens controversially referred to “Millerella tortula” are reliable, auxiliary indices to the base of the Serpukhovian. In southern Guizhou Province, China, Visean–Serpukhovian rock sequences from slope and platform settings have yielded rich associations of conodonts and foraminifers, respectively. The Nashui section is a leading candidate for the Serpukhovian GSSP because its slope deposits contain an uninterrupted record of conodont occurrences including the L. nodosa–L. ziegleri transition. Foraminifers recovered from the Nashui section are comparatively rare and include none of the basal Serpukhovian indices. In contrast, the nearby Yashui section represents a platform interior setting in which foraminifers flourished and conodonts were nearly absent. The base of the Serpukhovian at Yashui is marked approximately by the appearance of “tortula-like” specimens. Although it is not possible to correlate biostratigraphically between the Nashui and Yashui sections, the occurrence of “tortula-like” specimens at the Yashui section allows correlation with the mid-Venevian Substage of the Moscow Basin at a level coinciding with the appearance of L. ziegleri. Together, the slope and platform sections comprise an informative biostratigraphic reference area for micropaleontologic characterization of the Visean–Serpukhovian boundary in southern Guizhou.

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