Foraminifers and conodonts from the late Viséan to early Bashkirian succession in the Saharan Tindouf Basin (southern Morocco): biostratigraphic refinements and implications for correlations in the western Palaeotethys



The Carboniferous succession in the Tindouf Basin of southern Morocco, North Africa, displays Mississippian to Early Pennsylvanian marine beds, followed by Pennsylvanian continental deposits. The marine beds comprise a shallow water cyclic platform sequence, dominated by shales and fine-grained sandstones with thin but laterally persistent limestone/dolostone beds. Foraminiferal assemblages have been studied in the limestone beds in several sections from the Djebel Ouarkziz range in the northern limb of the Tindouf Syncline; they indicate that the age of the limestones range from late Asbian (late Viséan) to Krasnopolyanian (early Bashkirian). The foraminiferal assemblages are abundant and diverse, and much richer in diversity than those suggested by previous studies in the region, as well as for other areas of the western Palaeotethys. The richest assemblages are recorded in the Serpukhovian but, unusually, they contain several taxa which appear much earlier in Western European basins (in the latest Viséan). In contrast, conodont assemblages are scarce due to the shallow-water facies, although some important taxa are recorded in the youngest limestones. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.