Studies on the Early Cretaceous Longzhaogou and Jixi Groups of eastern Heilongjiang, northeast China, and their bearing on the age of supposedly Jurassic strata in eastern Asia

Sha, J.; Cai, H.; He, C.; Gu, Z.; Jiang, J.; Yin, D.; Zhao, X.; Liu, Z.; Jiang, B.

Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 20(2): 141-150


ISSN/ISBN: 1367-9120
DOI: 10.1016/s1367-9120(01)00035-9
Accession: 020142716

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The coal-bearing Longzhaogou and Jixi groups in eastern Heilongjiang, Northeast China, consist of alternating marine and non-marine deposits containing abundant marine animal and plant fossils. The Jixi Group also yields members of the Johel Fauna, which is widely distributed in northern and eastern China. The two groups have been considered as Jurassic or mainly Jurassic in age for a long time. However, recent studies documented that the ammonites, bivalves, dinoflagellates, angiosperms and sporopollens are all of Early Cretaceous rather than Jurassic age. It has been demonstrated that: (1) the Longzhaogou and Jixi groups and their equivalents, the Johel Group of China and the Transbaikalian Group of Russia, are of Early Cretaceous age, (2) the Barremian-Albian was also a very important period of coal accumulation in northeastern China and perhaps in all of eastern Asia, (3) there existed a large shallow embayment connecting with the Palaeo-Pacific in eastern Heilongjiang, and it was the climate of the embayment that controlled the origin and development of the animal and plant communities of northeastern China during the Early Cretaceous. Correlation between formations in the Jixi and Longzhaogou groups has also been revised in this paper.