Abstract

The establishment of the Converrucosisporites confluens Oppel Zone in the Canning Basin of Australia in cored intervals from the Calytrix No. 1 Borehole was considered to be an advance in Gondwana Carboniferous–Permian palynostratigraphy. This was because the zone is associated with a marine fauna that suggests a correlation with the standard Russian Early Permian stages. Moreover the index species has a wide occurrence in Gondwana outside Australia, for example Antarctica, Argentina, Brazil, India, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay. The zone was originally considered middle to late Asselian in age, but this was later revised to latest Asselian to Early Sakmarian. Converrucosisporites confluens is reported here from the Ganigobis Shale Member of Namibia in a well-preserved and diverse assemblage including four of the fourteen specified accessory taxa for the Converrucosisporites confluens Oppel Zone. Ash layer IIb of the Ganigobis Shale Member is radiometrically dated as 302.0 ±3.0 Ma (i.e. Pennsylvanian; Gzhelian or Kasimovian) thus the Converrucosisporites confluens Oppel Zone may range earlier than previously thought. Preliminary study of the range top of Converrucosisporites confluens in Argentina and Uruguay suggests that it ranges younger there than in Western Australia with the possibility that the Converrucosisporites confluens Oppel Zone may also be younger than previously thought.

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