An intercalibrated Triassic conodont succession and carbonate carbon isotope profile, Kamura, Japan

Lei Zhang, Michael J. Orchard, Thomas J. Algeo, Zhong Qiang Chen, Zhengyi Lyu, Laishi Zhao, Kunio Kaiho, Biao Ma, Shijie Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The Kamura section, located in the Chichibu Belt of Kyushu Island in southern Japan, contains a succession of uppermost Permian to Upper Triassic shallow-marine atoll sediments from the mid-Panthalassic Ocean. In the present study, carbonate microfacies, conodont biostratigraphy, and carbonate carbon isotopes were analyzed, making it possible to construct a detailed biochronological framework for the Triassic of the central Panthalassic region. A total of 14 conodont zones are recognized from the uppermost Changhsingian to the upper Norian. The Lower Triassic contains the Hindeodus parvus, Isarcicella isarcica, and H. postparvus zones (Griesbachian), the Neospathodus dieneri Zone (Dienerian), and the Novispathodus ex gr. waageni-Parachirognathus Zone (Smithian), while no evidence of the upper Lower Triassic Spathian substage was recovered at Kamura. The overlying Middle Triassic section consists of the Chiosella ex gr. timorensis-Cratognathus, ‘Paragondolella’ ex gr. alpina-Pg. ex gr. excelsa, Budurovignathus hungaricus, and B. mungoensis zones, followed in the Upper Triassic by the Quadralella tadpole-Gladigondolella malayensis, Q. lobata-Q. carpathica, Primatella cf. orchardi-Pr. permica, Epigondolella rigoi-‘Pg.’ hallstattensis, and E. ex gr. bidentata-Norigondolella steinbergensis zones. The exact stratigraphic intervals present at Kamura were refined through intercalibration of the conodont biozonation data with its δ13Ccarb profile, which shows a characteristic series of negative and positive excursions that correspond to well-established global reference profiles. The Permian–Triassic boundary is placed 0.20 m above the Mitai-Kamura formation contact (a reference datum corresponding to the end-Permian extinction horizon, = 0 m) based on the first appearance of H. parvus, and the Olenekian–Anisian boundary is placed 17.60 m above the reference datum based on the first appearance of Ch. ex gr. timorensis. Kamura carbonates were assigned to six fabric types and 17 microfacies. The microfacies succession records a deepening immediately following the end-Permian mass extinction, a strong shallowing during the mid to late Smithian, development of an unconformity spanning the entire Spathian, and minor sea-level fluctuations during the Middle and Late Triassic. The Spathian unconformity is attributed to a eustatic fall related to a sharp cooling event at or close to the Smithian–Spathian boundary that exposed the Kamura atoll. The subsequent resumption of shallow-marine sedimentation in the earliest Middle Triassic was probably due to continued thermal subsidence of the oceanic crustal basement beneath the atoll. The present work is the most complete analysis to date of the conodont biostratigraphic, carbon isotope chemostratigraphic, and eustatic records of the Triassic System in the central Panthalassic Ocean and should serve as a regional reference standard in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-83
Number of pages19
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Eustasy
  • Griesbachian
  • Panthalassic Ocean
  • Permian–Triassic
  • Smithian–Spathian
  • δC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


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