A distinctive marginal marine palynological assemblage from the Přídolí of northwestern Saudi Arabia

Publication date: Available online 31 March 2017
Source:Revue de Micropaléontologie
Author(s): Pierre Breuer, Sa’id Al-Hajri, Alain Le Hérissé, Florentin Paris, Philippe Steemans, Jacques Verniers, Charles H. Wellman
A rare occurrence of a rich and diverse palynological assemblage from the Tawil Formation is described from well JLMD-EW-8 in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The composition of this assemblage strongly indicates a middle Přídolí age. The assemblage encountered contains very characteristic chitinozoans, acritarchs, tasmanitids, freshwater algae, scolecodonts, eurypterid cuticle and other organic remains. Land-derived miospores are also common and two new cryptospore species (Cymbohilates jalamidensis and Gneudnaspora sordida) are herein formally described. Most taxa of taxonomic interest and useful for regional and intercontinental correlation are illustrated. The palaeogeographic distribution of this assemblage is also discussed as organic-walled microphytoplankton, chitinozoans and miospores encountered in the studied samples correlate well with similar assemblages from various Algerian, Libyan, and Ibero-armorican localities (i.e. Ibarmaghian regions). This corresponds to what is considered as a transgressive middle Přídolí event in the Algerian Sahara, with non-marine intervals bracketing this brief marine sea-level rise. This event is likely to have extended into all of north Gondwana, including Arabia, and can be correlated to the S50 Maximum Flooding Surface from the sequence stratigraphic framework defined in the Neftex Geodynamic Earth Model.

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