Early Anisian (Middle Triassic) Conodonts from Romania and China, with Comments on Their Role in the Recognition and Correlation of the Base of the Anisian

Abstract

The Olenekian-Anisian Boundary (OAB) interval is an important time in Earth history, reflecting the last phase of marine ecosystem recovery in the aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction. Despite this, the Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Anisian remains undefined. The first appearance of the conodont Chiosella timorensis has been proposed as a potential index for the boundary; however, the discovery of this conodont with ammonoids traditionally considered to be Spathian has generated doubts about its suitability. The taxonomy and relationships of early Anisian conodonts, including species of Chiosella, remain understudied, which leads to difficulties in correlation. New species of Neogondolella (N. gradinarui) and Magnigondolella (M. n. sp. D) have been recognized from the leading GSSP candidate section for the OAB at Deşli Caira, and from an additional OAB section at Guandao. Furthermore, several species previously identified in Canada and the USA can be recognized from these sections, improving correlation between Tethys and North America. One of these species may serve as a suitable alternative proxy for the OAB; for instance, N. curva appears just below the first Anisian ammonoids in Deşli Caira, and just above the first appearance of C. timorensis in both Deşli Caira and Guandao. Continued work on sections other than the candidate sections, and on the taxonomy of species outside of those traditionally proposed as indices, is required.

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Acknowledgments

The comments of two anonymous reviewers and the editor helped to improve the quality of this manuscript. Thanks are due to Michael J. Orchard (Geological Survey of Canada) for providing access to the conodont collections from Deşli Caira and Guandao, and for his comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. Thanks also to Eugen Grădinaru (University of Bucharest) for new information on the ammonoid biostratigraphy around the OAB in the Deşli Caira Section and comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Thanks to Daniel J. Lehrmann (Trinity University) for collecting material from the Guandao Section. The samples were processed by Peter Krauss and Hillary Taylor (both Geological Survey of Canada), and funding for this study was provided by the Geological Survey of Canada’s GEM 2 Program. The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-020-1392-9.

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Golding, M.L. Early Anisian (Middle Triassic) Conodonts from Romania and China, with Comments on Their Role in the Recognition and Correlation of the Base of the Anisian. J. Earth Sci. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-020-1392-9

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Key Words

  • Olenekian
  • Anisian
  • Neogondolella
  • Magnigondolella
  • Deşli Caira
  • Guandao