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Conodont Biostratigraphy and Age of the Early Triassic Fish-Bearing-Nodule Levels from Nanjing and Jurong, Jiangsu Province, South China


Fish-bearing nodules are found in Early Triassic marine strata in many regions, including East Greenland, East Spitsbergen, Northwest Madagascar, Canada, Angola, and South China. A new Olenekian (Early Triassic) conodont biostratigraphic study for stratum that contains fish-bearing nodule levels is conducted based on the Longtan (LT) Section of Nanjing City and the Qingshan (QS) Section of Jurong County, Jiangsu Province, South China. A total of 101 samples were collected at the two sections and three conodont zones were recognized: in ascending order, they are Scythogondolella (Sc.) milleri Zone, Novispathodus (Nv.) pingdingshanensis Zone, and Triassospathodus (Tr.) aff. homeri Zone. The Scythogondolella milleri Zone is globally recognized as the uppermost conodont zone of the Smithian and the base of the Novispathodus pingdingshanensis Zone was previously suggested as the marker of the Smithian-Spathian boundary in the Yangtze region. The fish-bearing-nodule levels of Nanjing and Jurong are within the conodont Scythogondolella milleri Zone, laterally correlated well with the upper part of the Novispathodus waageni Zone in Chaohu of Anhui Province that also contains fish-bearing-nodule levels. The conodont biostratigraphic correlation confirms the Early Triassic fish-bearing-nodule levels in the Lower Yangtze region are coeval, with an end-Smithian in age.

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The authors are grateful to Ryosuke Motani (University of California, Davis) and Andera Tintori (Università degli Studi di Milano) for their constructive suggestions and language corrections on an early version of the manuscript. Special thanks go to Michael Orchard (Geological Survey of Canada) for his helpful comments on conodont taxonomy. Hao Lu, Wenbin Lin, Xin Yu and Peigang Ni (students of Peking University) participated the field work. Martyn Golding (Geological Survey of Canada) and an anonymous reviewer provided many constructive comments, greatly improving the quality of the paper. Research funded was by the Stratefic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Science (No. XDA14010404), the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41572008, U1663201, 41372016, 40920124002, 1402014), the Ministry of Science and Technology (No. 2016YFC0503301), the State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS) (Nos. 123107, 143108, 173123), and the China Geological Survey (No. 121201102000150012-09). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Correspondence to Zuoyu Sun.

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Liu, S., Sun, Z., Ji, C. et al. Conodont Biostratigraphy and Age of the Early Triassic Fish-Bearing-Nodule Levels from Nanjing and Jurong, Jiangsu Province, South China. J. Earth Sci. 31, 9–22 (2020).

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Key words

  • Early Triassic
  • conodont
  • fish-bearing-nodule
  • Lower Yangtze region
  • South China