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Conodont faunas of the late Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) lower Kittanning cyclothem, U.S.A



Conodont faunas of the late Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) lower Kittanning cyclothem, U.S.A



Special Publication - Society for Sedimentary Geology 77: 95-121



A middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) conodont fauna was used to identify the interval represented by the Lower Kittanning cyclothem across the North American continent. The conodonts show both a succession through the cyclothem and a geographic variation that is related to the water mass and depositional environment. The faunas can be divided into normal-marine, high-and (or) variable-salinity, and high-productivity assemblages. Normal-marine faunas are dominated by Idiognathodus, which can be further divided into low-diversity and high-diversity faunas. The low-diversity Idiognathodus faunas characterize the marine deposits of the nearshore, marginal environments of the Appalachian Basin, and also the bulk of the black and gray shale and carbonate depositional environments of Midcontinent cyclothems. The high-diversity Idiognathodus faunas characterize fossiliferous limy shale and shaly limestone depositional environments typical of the shale-limestone transition in Midcontinent cyclothems and the richly fossiliferous limestone deposition in carbonate sequences in much of the western U.S., within the dolomite beds associated with sandstone deposition of the Tensleep Sandstone, and in fossiliferous limestones between sandstones and carbonate mudstones of the Paradox Basin. High-salinity and (or) variable-salinity faunas are dominated by Neognathodus and (or) Adetognathus, and characterize carbonate deposition in the Bird Spring-Ely platform, southwestern U.S., and shallow-water, typically algal facies within the Midcontinent cyclothems. High-productivity faunas are dominated by Gondolella, are extremely rare, and characterize horizons of surface substrate accumulation within black-shale and mud depositional environments. Maximum flooding within the cycle, as indicated by the highest diversity of normal-marine macrobiota and conodont fauna, does not occur in black shales but at the shale-limestone transition. Sixteen species of conodonts in eight genera are recognized in the cyclothem. The following four species are new: Idiognathodus crassadens, I. ignisitus, Neognathodus intrala, and Hindeodus calcarus. Two of these new species, N. intrala and I. crassadens, together with I. robustus, define an assemblage zone that allows correlation of the marine portion of the Lower Kittanning cyclothem across North America.

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