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Lopingian (Late Permian) stratigraphy, sedimentation and palaeobiogeography in southern Tibet
journal contributionposted on 2003-03-01, 00:00 authored by S Shen, C Q Cao, Guang ShiGuang Shi, X D Wang, S L Mei
Investigations of the Permian-Triassic sections and limestone blocks scattered in the Indus-Tsangbo Suture Zone in southern Tibet show widespread distribution of the Lopingian strata. The Lopingian deposits mostly contain rich brachiopod fossils and characteristic conodonts of the Mesogondolella shenz Zone of latest Changhsingian age in the topmost part. Brachiopod assemblages are largely comparable with those known from the upper Wargal and Chhidru Formations of the Salt Range, Pakistan, the Zewan Formation of Kashmir, the upper part of the Kuling Group in Spiti of India and the Hardman Formation of Western Australia. A revised Lopingian (Late Permian) age is proposed for the Selong Group and its equivalents in southern Tibet. The Lopingian deposits in southern Tibet can be grouped into three different sedimentary types, each of which reflects different sedimentary environments from coastal to continental shelfal settings on the northern peri-Gondwanan margin. The Qubu-type sequence represents marine coastal and proximal barrier-lagoon sediments during a gradual sea-level rise. Micaceous sandstone and shale of regressive origin, with abundant palynomorphs and acritarches, developed during the Late Lopingian sea-level lowstand, which is followed by a major rapid transgression at the very end of Permian. The Selong-type sequence in the Selong area consists of bioclastic limestone and calcareous shale in the lower part, and crinoid grainstone in the upper part. The latter part is believed to have been formed in a high-energy inner shelf shoal setting. The Chitichun-type sequence, sporadically distributed along the Indus-Tsangbo suture zone as small limestone blocks, consists of pure bioclastic sparite with the ammonoid Cyclolobus fauna. It is interpreted as the break-up products of sea-mounts and/or small isolated carbonate build-ups developed on the outer shelfal settings.