Working Groups

Artinskian-base and Kungurian-base GSSP Working Group

Leader: Prof. Valery Chernykh

Dal’ny Tulkas section as GSSP lower boundary of Artinskian Stage

Dal’ny Tulkas section was proposed as GSSP lower boundary of Artinskian Stage in 2005 on the basis of the study of conodonts, fusulinaceans, ammonoids and radiolarians (Chernykh et al., 2005). The comprehensive paleontological research, which include the study of conodonts, ammonoids, foraminifera, radiolarians, trilobites have been carried out in the boundary Sakmarskian-Artinskian interval of the section for the subsequent years. The lithologic, radiometric studies the study of the of strontium isotopes, stable isotopes C and O have been also performed, geochemical and magnetostratigraphic investigations have been carried out. All carried out works were found under close attention and were accompanied by the personal participation of the chairman of the Permian commission of the Interdepartmental Stratigraphic committee of Russia Galina Vasilyevna Kotlyar.

Only the main list of publications with the results of studying the Dal’ny Tulkas section includes more than 20 articles.

The section was demonstrated to domestic and foreign specialists in 2007 and in 2015.

The following works are currently being completed:

  1. Valery Chernykh and Charles Henderson are finishing the article on the taxonomic position of conodonts of the marker-species of the lower boundary of the Artinskian Stage in the Dal’ny Tulkas section. This species was previously assigned to Sweetognathus aff. whitei (Rhodes). The article will be published in Permophiles 70.

  2. The collection of radiolarians and photographs of radiolarians from the Dal’ny Tulkas section have been prepared and will be submitted by M.S. Afanasyeva (Paleontological Institute, RAS) for identification.

  3. Additional clearing of the Dal’ny Tulkas section will be resumed in the spring of 2021.

Our proposal for the Dal’ny Tyulkas open-pit mine as GSSP lower boundary of the Artinskian Stage will be voted on by the Subcomission on Permian Stratigraphy in 2021 after the completion of these works.

Mechetlino section as GSSP lower boundary of Kungurian Stage

Mechetlino section was proposed as a stratotype for the Lower boundary of the Kungurian Stage of the General Stratigraphic Scale at the beginning of this century (Chuvashov, Chernykh, 2000).The Mechetlino section was additionally opened by vertical walls at three levels in 2017 in connection with the creation of the Yangan-Tau Geopark. Additional samples taken for conodonts reduced the gap between the nearest Artinskian and Kungurian levels with conodonts to less than one meter.

The complex paleontological studies have been carried out in the boundary Artinskian-Kungurian interval, opened by a quarry. These researches include the study of ammonoids, foraminifera, trilobites, fish, and conodonts used as marker-species for the lower boundary of the Kungurian Stage, and the possibility of a global correlation of this boundary (Chernykh et al., 2020).

Here, detailed lithological and geochemical studies, the study of strontium isotopes, of the stable isotopes C and O were studied, and magnetostratigraphic investigations have been carried out. The results of the study of the Mechetlino section in the light of the requirements for the section submitted to the International Commission on Stratigraphy as a GSSP for the Lower boundary of the Stage have been published in Permophiles, n. 69 (Chernykh, 2020) and in Palaeoworld, v. 29, Issue 2 (Chernykh et al., 2020).

The Mechetlino section was proposed as a GSSP for the base of the Kungurian Stage of the International Stratigraphic Scale according to the results of the executed studies (Chuvashov, Chernykh, 2011).

Only the main list of publications with the results of studying the Mechetlino section includes more than 30 articles.

The section was demonstrated to domestic and foreign specialists in 2007 and in 2015.

Our proposal for the Mechetlino section as GSSP Lower boundary of the Kungurian Stage can be voted on by the Subcomission on Permian Stratigraphy.

Carboniferous-Permian-Early Triassic Nonmarine-Marine Correlation Working Group

Leader: Prof. Joerg Schneider

Dear Permian community,

As the former Vice-Chair of the Subcommission on Permian Stratigraphy (SPS) from 2012 to 2020, I would like to thank you for my election to this position in 2012. This provided me the chance in cooperation with the Chair Shuzhong Shen (Fig. 1) to set a focus of the work of our commission on the connection of nonmarine deposits, which are very wide spread during the sea level low stand of Late Palaeozoic Pangea, to the marine Standard Global Chronostratigraphic Scale (SGCS). Pushed forward by many colleagues I started to organize a corresponding working group. After some previous activity the first crucial step was done during a business meeting of the Subcommission on Carboniferous Stratigraphy (SCCS) and the SPS linked to the International Meeting on the “Carboniferous-Permian Transition” at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, that was held in May 2013 and organized by Spencer G. Lucas (Lucas et al., 2013). During this meeting the chairs of the Subcommissions on Carboniferous and on Permian Stratigraphy, Barry Richards and Shuzhong Shen, agreed to constitute a formal Nonmarine-Marine Correlation Working Group (NMCG) between both subcommissions in order to obtain more man power (Schneider et al., 2014a,c).

As a kick-off for this working group, a Field Meeting on Carboniferous and Permian Nonmarine-Marine Correlation was held at the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg in July 2014 in Germany, organized by Joerg W. Schneider, Olaf Elicki, Stanislav Opluštil, and Spencer G. Lucas (Elicki et al., 2014; Schneider et al., 2014a). About 70 participants from Western and Eastern Europe, North and South America, North and South Africa, and Asia joined this meeting. In September of the same year, a collaborative field work of the Sino-German Cooperation Group and a SPS workshop chaired by Shuzhong Shen, Joerg W. Schneider, Hans Kerp, and supported by the Vice Chair of the SCCS, Xiangdong Wang, was carried out in NW China. It focused on late Permian and Permian/Triassic boundary nonmarine-marine correlations. The fieldwork during these two weeks and the preceding four weeks of fieldwork of a Sino-German team (PhD students from Nanjing and Freiberg) in South and North China provided a wealth of samples around the nonmarine PT-boundary for conchostracan and fossil plant biostratigraphy, isotopic ages and geochemistry (e.g. Scholtze et al., 2017, 2020).

A first report on results and future tasks of the working group was given during the international “Kazan Golovkinsky Stratigraphic Meeting” held from the 20 to 23 of October 2014 at the Kazan Federal University, Russian Federation, Republic of Tatarstan (Schneider et al., 2014b). This meeting was dedicated to “Carboniferous and Permian Earth systems, stratigraphic events, biotic evolution, sedimentary basins and resources” (Nurgaliev et al., 2014). It was followed in August 2015 by the XVIII International Congress on the Carboniferous and Permian at the Kazan Federal University with 165 attendants from 33 countries, among them numerous members of the NMCG. As a result of the “Call for global cooperation” (Schneider & Lucas, 2015), 18 members of the NMCG presented a common compilation of nonmarine reference sections for the Carboniferous and the Permian at this congress. Very stimulating for the work of the NMCG have been the congress excursions to the marvelous and excellently investigated outcrops of fossiliferous marine-continental and purely continental middle Permian to early Triassic sediments on the banks of the rivers in the Vologda region as well as in the Volga and Kama Region of the East European platform (Arefiev et al., 2015; Nurgaliev et al.2015).

Earlier, in April 2015, the Moroccan members of the NMCG, Hafid Saber, Abdelouahed Lagnaoui, Abouchouaïb Belahmira and Abdelkbir Hminna, had organized the First International Congress on Continental Ichnology (ICCI-2015) at the University of El Jadida, Morocco, a bi-annual meeting that very much promoted since then tetrapod biostratigraphy of the late Palaeozoic and the Mesozoic (Saber et al., 2015; Lagnaoui et al., 2015). In 2015, the then chair of the Subcommission on Triassic Stratigraphy, Marco Balini, agreed to include the continental Triassic in the tasks of the NMCG. The years 2016 and 2017 were mainly devoted to research and a wealth of publications as reported by the working group members (Schneider et al. 2017). Some further research results on nonmarine Permian bio¬stratigraphy and biochronology were published in the volume on the Permian timescale edited by Lucas and Shen (2018). In 2018 and 2019, 18 members of the working group were busy on the internally so-called “monster manuscript,” a compilation of current methods of non-marine long-range biostratigraphy and of current data from 24 regions on Pangea (Schneider et al., 2020a,b). The results have been published in the special issue 29 of Palaeoworld, which summarized the contributions to and the results of the Second Golovkinsky Stratigraphic Meeting devoted to “Late Palaeozoic high-precision biostratigraphy, geochronology, climates and environments,” which took place at Kazan Federal University, Russia, in 2017 (Nurgaliev et al. 2020).

The international team of Schneider et al. (2020a) provides a concise up-to-date synthesis of nonmarine biostratigraphic methods suited for interregional and intercontinental correlations. Most importantly, these methods are calibrated with each other for the first time by cross correlations, and calibrated to the Standard Global Chronostratigraphical Scale by co-occurrences of continental and marine guide fossils as well as by using radioisotopic ages and multistratigraphic methods (Schneider et al., 2020a, fig. 3). This contribution shows the progress of the last two decades, and provides a solid basis for further research, which should focus on the following tasks of the SPS and the NMCG as already discussed in Permophiles 68 (Schneider et al., 2020b; partially repeated here), and during the 19th International Congress on the Carboniferous and Permian in Cologne, August 2019 (Herbig, 2020): First, the solution of the middle Permian problem. Guadalupian nonmarine deposits are very limited and scattered in Euramerica and provide so far some biostratigraphic correlations based on conchostracans and tetrapod footprints, only. Additionally, volcanites suitable for radioisotopic age determina¬tions are nearly missing in this interval, even in marine deposits. Only the South African Karoo basin provides good nonmarine biostratigraphic records for the Guadalupian, particularly for tetrapod body fossils, and can be correlated with the SGCS using radioisotopic ages (e.g. Day et al., 2018). The correlation of the Karoo tetra¬pod zones with those of the East European platform in Russia, as proposed in Schneider et al. (2020a), will possibly be improved by isotopic ages from the latter basin. The second and most challenging future task for nonmarine-marine correlations in the Late Carboniferous–Middle Triassic is the currently unsatisfactory biostratigraphic correlation among the biotic provinces of Euramerica, Angara, Cathaysia, and Gondwana. Sections of the East European Platform and Siberia in Russia, those of the Karoo basin in South Africa, sections in North China, in Jordan and North Africa as well as in the Paraná basin of South America should be in the focus of further research of the NMCG.

To promote progress in nonma¬rine-marine correlations a call for global cooperation in the correlation of the most important and well investigated continental and mixed marine-continental basins will be published in the next issue of Permophiles. The aim will be to extend the correlation chart of Figure 3 in Schneider et al. (2020a) to a nearly global scale. This is the only way to understand abiotic and biotic processes in the coupled marine-continental system on Earth as demonstrated here in Fig. 2, which only applies thus far to the Euramerican region of the paleo-equatorial belt. We need a much wider global view…

The Chair of the SPS, Shuzong Shen, and his Vice-Chair, Joerg W. Schneider, in 2014 at the continental Permian-Triassic boundary in Central Europe, Caaschwitz quarry in Thuringia, East Germany.

Synopsis of significant global and regional processes of geotectonics, paleoclimate, depositional environments and biota during the late Carboniferous to Middle Triassic

Correlation between marine and continental Guadalupian Working Group

Leader: Prof. Charles Henderson

Gondwana to Euramerica correlations Working Group

Leader: Prof. Mike Stephenson

At recent meetings of the SPS, it was considered that a challenge for Permian science is the difficulty of correlating between Gondwana and Euramerica. This is particularly acute when important Gondwana successions are to be correlated with the ‘standard sections’ (including GSSPs) in Russia, the US and China. The SPS Executive therefore recommended that a Working Group be set up and a list of possible members was suggested. The Working Group was first convened on 17th May with most of the suggested members present. A second meeting was held on 17 June when all members were present. The group has agreed to have meetings around every 2 months or so to begin with, but also encourages meetings of sub-groups, for example, of palynologists, conodont specialists or brachiopodologists. The group has tried to maintain a good balance of men and women and representation of the main Gondwana and Euramerica continents.

So far, the meetings of the group have settled on three main aims for the WG:

  1. To work on key sections for correlation where rock successions contain combinations of fossils that are particularly useful for correlating between Gondwana and Euramerica. Field visits and joint sampling may be part of this work.
  2. To work on the taxonomy of some key species for Gondwana to Euramerica correlations, for example so-called ‘bridge taxa’ that occur between or throughout different Permian provinces
  3. Share knowledge through digital means, for example galleries of photographs and taxonomic notes (example the BGS Taxonomy online galleries:

The WG will continue to work on its aims and review its membership, and will report its progress regularly in Permophiles.

Outcrop of the glacigene Carboniferous-Permian Al Khlata Formation in southern Oman. This is a typical Gondwana unit that is difficult to correlate to Euromerican successions and GSSPs. (Photo by Mike Stephenson)