Lopingian (Late Permian) stratigraphy of the Salt Range, Pakistan and Himalayan region



Unlike much of the Late Permian over the globe, the Lopingian of the Salt Range and Himalayan region is largely marine, preserved largely as epicontinental or outer shelf deposits and ranging from Wuchiapingian to late Changhsingian in age. Faunas that have been studied are mostly invertebrate, including a scattering of conodonts, ammonoids and fusulinids, but dominated by brachiopods, with bivalves and gastropods prominent at intervals. The biota is typical of temperate palaeolatitudes, much less diverse than world stratotype Lopingian faunas, and somewhat more diverse than deep Gondwanan faunas of New Zealand. Questions of correlation have not been fully resolved, because most successions suggest severe condensation and possible mixing of faunas immediately below the basal Triassic. Recognition of the basal Changhsingian Stage depends on correlation with the Chhidru Formation of the Salt Range, which results in an unusually high number of four biozones in the Changhsingian Stage. Numbers of species and genera show a regional increase over earlier faunas, with a high input of new genera, but no new family groups. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.