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Proposed chronostratigraphic units for the Carboniferous and early Permian of the southwestern Gondwana margin

AbstractThe western Andean belt of Argentina displays a comprehensive record of the Carboniferous and earliest Permian rocks so extensive that it allows an exceptional reconstruction of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age of the southwestern margin of the South American Gondwana area. Severe endemism of the Gondwana biota during this period makes it difficult to achieve a precise correlation of these glacially influenced deposits with the coeval sequences of the palaeoequatorial belt, where the subdivisions of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart (ICC) are currently defined. The abundant palaeontological record available from the Upper Paleozoic deposits of central-western Argentina, central Patagonia and eastern Argentina makes it possible to recognize five successive faunal stages that allow a proper ordering of the sequences of this period. The proposed regional stages, and their assumed chronological position regarding the standards of the current ICC, are: the Malimanian (late Tournaisian), Barrealian (Mid-Carboniferous or Serpukhovian–Bashkirian), Aguanegrian (Upper Pennsylvanian), Uspallatian (Asselian–Tastubian?) and Bonetian (Sakmarian). This paper aims to reiterate former recommendations about the convenience of having regional reference units and suggests the consideration of the available faunal stages as possible chronostratigraphic subdivisions for the Carboniferous–early Permian of the southeastern margin of Gondwana.

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