Abstract

The Nayband Formation is one of the best known sedimentary units in central Iran. The type section consists of a thick succession of shale, siltstone, reef limestone and sandstone that is subdivided into five distinct members: Gelkan, Bidestan, Hoz-e-Sheykh, Howz-e- Khan and Qadir. Abundant and well-preserved framework-building scleractinian corals are included among the macrofossils of the Nayband Formation; these corals characterize the formation and are the subject of this study. The Hassan-Abad section, located in northeast Iran in Lute Block (northwest of Ferdows city), was chosen for detailed study and sampling. Analysis of sedimentary lithofacies and faunal assemblages in the Bidestan and the Howz-e-khan members indicate both biostromal and biohermal characters for the former shallow-water patch reefs and support a Norian to Rhaetian age. The useful biostratigraphic hydrozoan Heterastridium conglobatum was studied along with 14 taxa of scleractinian corals: Stylophyllopsis rudis, Distichophyllia norica, Paradistichophyllum dichotomum, Retiophyllia frechi, Retiophyllia norica, Retiophyllia robusta, Chondrocoenia schafhaeutli, Chondrocoenia ohmanni, Astraeomorpha crassisepta, Astraeomorpha confusa, Astraeomorpha minor, Procyclolites triadicus, Pamiroseris rectilamellosa, and Eocomoseris ramosa. These fossils clarify the stratigraphy of the Nayband Formation, as well as provide new information on the patch reefs and the framework constructors of these reefs.

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