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Institute of Geological Engineering, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, tř. 17 listopadu, 708 33 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic

(Manuscript received January 13, 1997; accepted June 24, 1997)


: Several decades have already passed since the period of the basic geological-stratigraphic research on the

Lower Cretaceous formations of the Western Carpathians carried out by Dimitrij Andrusov. The first part of this work
looks at the existing state of internationally recognized ammonite stratigraphy on the level of ammonite zones and
horizons (subzones) and the placing of boundaries between stratigraphic stages and substages. The second part at-
tempts to summarize recent findings from the area of ammonite stratigraphy of the ammonite-bearing Lower Creta-
ceous formations in the western part of the Outer and Central Carpathians, occurring on the Czech and Slovak territo-
ries. The summary is based above all on the author’s own collections in the field, his systematic study and revision of
the older material and also on the results of cooperation with other specialists.

Key words:

 Lower Cretaceous, Outer and Central Western Carpathians, ammonite stratigraphy.

for the pre-Albian stages (Digne 1992; Mula 1993; Piobbico
1994). On the level of the Czech and Slovak Republics, grant
projects on the Cretaceous, connected with the above men-
tioned international programmes (e.g. VEGA Grant no. 1081,
GAČR no. 205/96/0753) continued or are continuing in close
mutual cooperation.

The results of these international conferences were pub-

lished in many important collected papers. For the area of
ammonite stratigraphy in recent years, it is especially neces-
sary to mention a collection of works in the volume “Lower
Cretaceous Cephalopod Biostratigraphy of the Western
Tethys” (ed. by Bulot, Argot & Arnaud 1995), the “Proceed-
ings of the 3rd Workshop on Early Cretaceous Cephalopods”
(ed. by Cecca 1995), “Proceedings of the 4th International
Cretaceous Symposium Hamburg 1992” (ed. by Spaeth
1996), “Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on
Cretaceous Stage Boundaries Brussels 1995” (ed. by Rawson
et al. 1996). Apart from these, some important monographs
on ammonites were published (Delanoy 1992; Autran 1993;
Reboulet 1995 and others), which together with further con-
tributions are constantly improving the accuracy of our
knowledge of the systematic position and especially the se-
quence, range and stratigraphic significance of ammonite

Lower Cretaceous ammonite zones

The proposals of the working group for Lower Cretaceous

cephalopods published by Hoedemaeker & Bulot (1990) and
Hoedemaeker, Company et al. (1993) are the basis for the
present division of the Lower Cretaceous of the Mediterra-
nean region on the level of ammonite zones. In recent times,
ammonite zones have been proposed for some stratigraphic


Up to about the 1960s, the stratigraphy of the Lower Creta-
ceous formations of the Western Carpathians, supported main-
ly by ammonites, was closely connected with the name of the
outstanding geologist Dimitrij Andrusov, the centenary of
whose birth we are celebrating this year. A review of the state
of knowledge of the time about the stratigraphy and geology of
the Western Carpathians culminates especially with his mono-
graph “Geology of the Czechoslovak Carpathians”, the second
part of which (1959) is devoted to the Mesozoic. Here the
Lower Cretaceous deposits are divided into the below men-
tioned ammonite belts, essentially corresponding to ammonite
zones. However, as Table 1 shows, some his ammonite belts
are placed one formation higher (Neocomites neocomiensis to
the Hauterivian, Pseudothurmannites angulicostatus to the
Barremian and Acanthoplites bigoureti to the Albian) in com-
parison with the present version.

Compared to the period of Andrusov’s basic research on the

biostratigraphy of the Lower Cretaceous, in recent decades, on
the most varied international levels, beginning with the level
of IUGS, a lot of attention has been devoted to the composi-
tion of the Mediterranean faunistic province, including the am-
monite stratigraphy of the Lower Cretaceous. The projects of
the IGCP no. 262 (Tethyan Cretaceous Correlation) and no.
362 (Stratigraphic correlation and definition of geoevents in
Cretaceous sedimentary sequences of the Tethyan and Boreal
realm) were or are being carried out in the framework of the
IUGS. The Fourth Cretaceous Symposium was held in Ham-
burg in 1992, the Second International Symposium on the
Boundaries of the Cretaceous Stages in Brussels in 1995, the
Jost Wiedmann Symposium in Tuebingen in 1996 and the
Fifth Cretaceous Symposium at Freiberg in 1996, as well as
were organized workshops of the cephalopod working group

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232                                                                                                VAŠÍČEK

stages, and made more precise with ammonite horizons (dis-
tinguished especially in the Valanginian and Hauterivian in the
area of the Vocontian Trough, see Bulot et al. 1992; Atrops &
Reboulet 1993, 1995; Bulot & Thieuloy 1995 and others). A
still not entirely unambiguous correlation of the Mediterranean
zones with the Boreal zones has also appeared (e.g. Rawson
1995; Mutterlose et al. 1996).

The latest, although not entirely final state of ammonite

zoning is summarized by the results of the already mentioned
Second International Symposium on Cretaceous Stage
Boundaries (Rawson et al. 1996). The boundaries of the ma-
jority of Lower Cretaceous stages were accepted at the sym-
posium in the traditional way, on the basis of ammonite
zones, which are given in the above mentioned publication,
with some exceptions (e.g. the Valanginian and Albian) for
every stage.

The boundary between the Berriasian and Valanginian is

one of exceptions to the identification of boundaries. Here
the definition is not done traditionally on the basis of ammo-
nites, but by something higher than it has been usual in re-
cent years, that is according to the first occurrence of Calpion-
ellites darderi 

(the base of the Remane’s Calpionellid Zone E).

The base of zone E roughly coincides with the base of ammo-
nite Pertransiens Zone. However, as Bulot et al. (1996) say, this
proposal is not regarded as a definitive solution.

Tables 2 and 3 contain the Mediterranean ammonite zones,

according to Hoedemaeker, Company et al. (1993), for the
Lower Cretaceous stratigraphic stages, which are best docu-
mented by ammonites in the Western Carpathians on the ter-
ritories of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Table 2 is ex-
tended to include ammonite horizons defined in France
recently. The uppermost two horizons in the Angulicostata
Zone are defined by Hoedemaeker (1995).

The ammonite-bearing formations

in the Western Carpathians

Mesozoic sedimentation in the Western Carpathians oc-

curred in two basic mega-units, which correspond to the Out-
er and Central Carpathians. The Outer Carpathian sedimenta-
tion basins were situated in the area of the Paleo-European
Shelf in the foreland of the Bohemian Massif, the Central
Carpathian on the Alpine-Carpathian microcontinent (Michalík
1993, 1994; Vašíček et al. 1994). They were separated from
each other by the oceanic crust of the Penninic, designated
the Vahic Unit in the Carpathians. The later phases of the Al-
pine folding in the Upper Cretaceous (in the Central Car-
pathians) and in the Tertiary in the Outer or Flysch Car-
pathians led to the complex nappe structure of both these
units, which became part of the extensive Alpine mountain
belt. The Lower Cretaceous sediments in the Carpathian
nappes are usually only incompletely preserved.

The richest occurrences of ammonites in the Outer Car-

pathians are associated with Lower Cretaceous, mostly dark
grey coloured, pelitic deposits of the Silesian Nappe from the
area of the Baška Ridge and the Godula Basin and also with
some parts of the Pieniny Klippen Belt. In the Central Car-
pathians, the light marly limestones of the Manín Nappe in the
Tatric Zone and also some parts of the Krížna Nappe deposited
in the Zliechov Basin in the Fatric (Vašíček & Michalík 1996)
can be ranked among the richest ammonite-bearing deposits.

The Outer Carpathians

The Silesian Nappe — Baška Development

The richest occurrences of ammonites from the elevation

of Baška development of the Silesian Unit are attached to the
area of Štramberk in connection with outcrops of the reefo-
genic Štramberk limestone (Tithonian–Lower Berriasian).
These limestones in a complicated tectonic position at the
base of the nappe are accompanied by layers, shreds and
clasts of greenish and red Lower Cretaceous limestones and
dark grey shaly pelites (Houša & Vašíček 1996). In the Low-
er Cretaceous limestones, ammonites are mostly fragmen-
tarily preserved as sculptural moulds and stone cores, usually
with traces of reworking. Ammonites in the pelites are pre-
served as juvenile pyrite steikerns or as strongly deformed
sculptured moulds of adult shells. As shown by the manner
of preservation and the composition of associations in indi-
vidual faunistic horizons, the Lower Cretaceous ammonites
are mostly redeposited. Findings of them are accompanied
by numerous benthic organisms, especially bivalves, gastro-
pods, brachiopods and echinoderms. The stratigraphic posi-
tion and sequence of ammonites in the stratal sequence can
be determined only approximately, and mainly on the basis
of data in the literature.

In a collection of more than 300 ammonites, almost 30

species were successfully determined and many of other
specimens were determined only on the genus level, giving a
total of 27 genera or subgenera. A detailed systematic study
of them is being prepared for publication at present (Houša &
Vašíček in prep.). The list of species is as follows: Phylloce-

Table 1:

 Division of the Carpathian Lower Cretaceous into ammo-

nite zones according to Andrusov (1959).

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ras (Ph.) serum 

Oppel, Ph. (Hypophylloceras) ex gr. thetys

(d’Orbigny),  Ptychophylloceras semisulcatum (d’Orbigny),
Sowerbyceras (Holcophylloceras) calypso 

(d’Orbigny), Ly-


cf.  subfimbriatum  (d’Orbigny),  Protetragonites


(d’Orbigny),  Neolissoceras grasianum


N. salinarium 

(Uhlig), Fauriella cf. boissieri

(Pictet), Thurmanniceras thurmanni (Pictet & Campiche),

cf. pertransiens (Sayn), Kilianella ex gr. roubaudiana

(d’Orbigny), K. cf. clavicostata Nikolov, Neocomites neo-

(d’Orbigny),  N. teschenensis (Uhlig), Criosa-


cf. furcillata Thieuloy, Karakaschiceras ex gr.


(Sayn),  Olcostephanus (O.) ex gr.




ex gr. marcous-


(d’Orbigny), Pl. cardioceroides (Sayn), Valanginites


(Karakasch),  V. cf. bachelardi  (Sayn),  Saynoceras


(d’Orbigny), Prodichotomites ex gr. complana-


(Koenen), Protancyloceras cf. punicum Arnould-Saget,

Bochianites neocomiensis 

(d’Orbigny) and B. oosteri Sarasin

& Schoendelmayer.

Some fragmentary or juvenile shells, found most frequent-

ly in one to two specimens, have successfully been assigned
only to the genus level (usually as sp. juv.). In spite of this
they significantly complete the picture of the ammonite asso-

ciation: Partschiceras  Fucini, Sarasinella  Uhlig, Neohoplo-

Spath,  ?Dicostella  Busnardo,  Breistrofferella  Thieu-

loy, Endemoceras Thiermann and Acanthodiscus Uhlig.

The composition of the collection according to assignment

to ammonite suborders is as follows: almost 50 % belong to
the stratigraphically unimportant suborders Phylloceratina
and Lytoceratina, 49 % to the suborder Ammonitina and
mere 2.6 % to the heteromorph ammonites of the suborder
Ancyloceratina. From the suborder Ammonitina, stratigraph-
ically unimportant haploceratids (47 %) represent by far the
most substantial part. Representatives of the genus Kilianella
(about 20 %) are also abundant, and a little more than 30 %
belong to the remaining 16 genera of great stratigraphic im-
portance. The submitted data, as was already said, actually
reflects the composition of the whole collection regardless of
detailed stratigraphy because in the material the exact strati-
graphic position of the finds is not known. In general, it can
only be stated that the determined species and genera show a
stratigraphic range from the uppermost Berriasian to the low-
er part of the Early Hauterivian inclusive.

The oldest deposits with ammonites around the boundary

between the Berriasian and Valanginian are shown by the frag-
ments of Fauriella cf. boissieri and Protancyloceras cf. puni-

Table 2:

 Detailed division of the Valanginian and Hauterivian of France into ammonite horizons, and their correlation with boreal horizons.

Abbreviations of generic names in the table: B — Breistrofferella, Ba — Baronnites, Bu — Busnardoites, C — Crioceratites, Cr —Criosa-

Cu — Cruasiceras,  D — Dicostella,  Di — Dichotomites,  El — Eleniceras,  En — Endemoceras,  K — Kilianella,  Ka —Karak-


L — Lyticoceras,  N — Neocomites,  Ol — Olcostephanus,  Pi — Picteticeras,  Pl — Platylenticeras,  Po — Polyptychites,  Pr —


Ps — Pseudothurmannia,  S — Simbirskites,  Sa — Saynoceras,  Su — Subsaynella,  T — Teschenites,  Ti — Tirnovella,

V — Varlheidites.

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Table 3:

 Ammonite zones of the Barremian to Early Albian ac-

cording to Hoedemaeker, Company et al. (1993).


. The Early Valanginian is indicated especially by Thur-

manniceras thurmanni 

and Platylenticeras ex gr. marcousia-


(or other platylenticeratids) and apparently also the abun-

dant occurrence of Neolissoceras salinarium. The Late
Valanginian is documented especially by the zonal species
Saynoceras verrucosum

, also by Prodichotomites ex gr. com-


and  Criosarasinella  cf.  furcillata. The basal Hau-

terivian is shown by single, fragmentary, strongly deformed
sculptured moulds, determinable only on the genus level:

sp., Breistrofferella sp. and Endemoceras sp.

As is apparent from the enumeration of determined genera

and species of ammonites, beside a significant dominance of
Mediterranean elements, Boreal ammonites exceptionally
occur in the collection (only about 3 % of the total number of
shells). These indicate a periodic, evidently only short-term
penetration of Boreal elements into the Silesian sedimentary
area: Platylenticeras at the beginning of the Early Valangin-
ian, Prodichotomites at the beginning of the Late Valangin-
ian and Endemoceras at the beginning of the Hauterivian. So
far stratigraphically younger ammonites have not been suc-
cessfully identified in the Štramberk area.

The Silesian Nappe — Godula Development

Rich finds of ammonites, from the perhaps 1 km thick

Lower Cretaceous stratigraphic sequence, come only from
the grey to dark grey coloured, mostly pelitic deposits with
nodules of ironstones, which are designated as the Těšín-
Hradiště Formation in Czech geological literature. Since the
deposits of the Těšín-Hradiště Formation are not very resist-
ent to weathering, the continuous sections or natural expo-
sures of a greater extent with a more continuously exposed

stratal sequences do not occur. The ammonite finds from the
lower part of this formation are associated only with the iron-
stones nodules. The ammonite findings date back to last cen-
tury, when the nodules were extracted as iron ore. They were
studied by Hohenegger (1861) and Uhlig (1902), with later
revision by Vašíček (1975). The species composition of Ho-
henegger’s collection, perhaps originally including almost
fifty specimens, is as follows: Sowerbyceras (Holcophyllo-
ceras) calypso, Ptychophylloceras semisulcatum semisulca-
tum, Pt. s. kiliani 

(Sayn), Lytoceras triboleti Uhlig, Protet-

ragonites quadrisulcatus, Thurmanniceras 

cf. thurmanni,

?Thurmanniceras perispinctoides 

(Uhlig), Kilianella ex gr.

roubaudiana, K. clavicostata, Busnardoites campylotoxus
(Uhlig), Fuhriella michaelis (Uhlig), F. hystricoides (Uhlig),
F. hoheneggeri 

(Uhlig), Neocomites neocomiensis, N. te-

schenensis, Teschenites callidiscus 

Thieuloy, T. scioptychus

(Uhlig), T. paraplesius (Uhlig), T. neocomiensiformis (Uh-
lig), Olcostephanus (O.) cf. astierianus (d’Orbigny), Platy-

cf.  heteropleurum  (Neumayr & Uhlig), Pl.




sp. and Bochiani-

tes neocomiensis

. The specimens of “Hoplites” austrosilesi-

acus, “Ptychoceras” teschenense 

and a few others described

by Uhlig (1902) have not been preserved in the collections,
so their revision and assignment according to the present day
system is not possible.

The above mentioned ammonite association from the basi-

nal Godula development is relatively distinct from the simi-
larly aged, above described association of the Baška devel-
opment. Considering the fact that the position of finds in the
stratal sequence of the lower part of the Těšín-Hradiště For-
mation is not known, its stratigraphic value could only be de-
rived on the basis of published data.

The Early Valanginian is well documented by platylen-

ticeratids, and the zonal species Busnardoites campylotoxus,
the index value of which, like the stratigraphic position of
the genus Fuhriella Bulot (see Bulot et al. 1995), was distin-
guished only supplementarily. In the Late Valanginian domi-
nated representatives of the genus Teschenites Thieuloy,
while the prodichotomitids, Saynoceras verrucosum and oth-
ers guide fossils known from Štramberk were not registered.
Likewise in the previous development, the weak representa-
tion of the suborder Ancyloceratina is striking. The index ele-
ments of the Early Hauterivian do not occur in this collection.

Many richer finds of ammonites come from the upper part

of the Těšín-Hradiště Formation, which were systematically
studied by Uhlig (1883 — Wernsdorfer Schichten) in the last
century. Finally Vašíček revised and supplemented them by
his own collection (1972, 1973; Vašíček et al. 1994 and oth-
ers). The above mentioned formation is evidently represent-
ed mostly by distal turbidites.

Up to the present day, ammonites have been found in small,

usually temporary natural outcrops, or in small dumps after the
historic extraction of irostones. They are preserved in pelites
crushed to the level of the bedding plane. They occur in isolat-
ed and usually distant horizons, which are only a few centime-
tres thick. The ammonites are relatively rarely accompanied
by sporadic valves and shells of bivalves, gastropods and
sometimes also remnants of dry land plants. As a result of the
unfavourable exposure of the formation, in which, as was al-

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ready indicated, continuous sections are not available, the se-
quence and actual composition of the ammonite associations
in the whole stratal sequence of the Těšín-Hradiště Forma-
tion can only be indirectly deduced.

The fossiliferous deposits characterized in the previous

paragraph begin in the Early Barremian. The underlying Late
Hauterivian components are not documented by ammonites.
The following association dates from the Early Barremian
(species marked by * pass into the Late Barremian): Phyllo-
ceras (Hypophylloceras) 

ex gr. thetys (d’Orbigny)*,

Partschiceras infundibulum 

(d’Orbigny)*, Lytoceras aff. sub-


(d’Orbigny),  L. textum Vašíček, Eulytoceras


(Uhlig), Protetragonites crebrisulcatus (Uh-

lig)*, Macroscaphites binodosus Uhlig, Barremites psilotatus
(Uhlig),  Melchiorites lechicus (Uhlig), Holcodiscus ex gr.

(d’Orbigny), Silesites vulpes (Coquand), Nickle-


cf. pulchella (d’Orbigny), Acrioceras cf. tabarelli (Astier),

Hamuliana astieriana 

d’Orbigny, H. cf. alpina d’Orbigny,

Anahamulina hoheneggeri 

(Uhlig), A. ptychoceroides Uhlig,


. cf. paxillosa (Uhlig), Crioceratites cf. thiollierei (Astier),

Hamulinites parvulus 

(Uhlig), H. fragilis (Uhlig), Karsteni-

ceras pumilum 

(Uhlig), K. subtile (Uhlig), Eoheteroceras uhli-


(Vašíček),  E.  silesiacum  Vašíček & Wiedmann, Manolo-

viceras saharievae 

(Manolov), Acantholytoceras longispinum

Uhlig*, Paraspiticeras pachycyclum (Uhlig) and others.

The index spitidiscids or ammonite species which would

unambiguously prove the earliest Barremian (Hugii Zone)
are absent from the determined material, although the stratal
sequence from the Hauterivian is uninterrupted. The zonal
ammonites of the upper part of the Early Barremian are also
lacking (pulchelliids are quite rare, holcodiscids are sporadic).
However, the spectrum of species in which heteromorph am-
monites, especially leptoceratoids dominate, corresponds to
both the Early Barremian Nicklesi Zone and the Caillaudi-
anus Zone.

A significant genus and species diversity also characteriz-

es the Late Barremian (the species marked by * pass from the
Late Barremian to Early Aptian): Partschiceras bontshevi
(Manolov)*, Sowerbyceras (Holcophylloceras) ernesti (Uh-
lig), Eulytoceras phestum (Matheron)*, Costidiscus recticos-

(d’Orbigny)*,  C. olcostephanoides Uhlig*, Macro-

scaphites yvani 

(Puzos)*, Pseudosaynella strettostoma

(Uhlig)*, Pseudohaploceras liptoviense (Zeuschner)*, Val-
dedorsella visulica 

(Uhlig), Silesites seranonis (d’Orbigny),

Heinzia lindigi 

(Karsten), H. provincialis (d’Orbigny),

Emericeras hammatoptychum 

(Uhlig), Audouliceras fallauxi

(Uhlig),  Anahamulina distans Vašíček, A. beskydensis
Vašíček, A. rothi Vašíček, A. glemmbachensis Immel, Pty-
choceras puzosianum 

d’Orbigny, P. morloti Ooster, P. dittleri

Vašíček,  Heteroceras  sp.,  Argvethites  sp.,  Spinocrioceras

(Uhlig), S. trachyomphalus (Uhlig) and others.

The rich Late Barremian ammonite assemblages of the

Těšín-Hradiště Formation also differ significantly from the
ammonite spectrum of classic Mediterranean regions. The
lower parts of the Late Barremian (Vandenheckei and Sartou-
siana Zones) show more abundant heteromorphs, especially
representatives of the genus Anahamulina. The guide genus

, which addmitedly occurs only rarely, is also impor-

tant. In the upper part of the Barremian, with one exception

(Argvethites), the guide Colchidites are missing, so that for
the highest two Barremian zones can be identified mainly ac-
cording to the occurrence of the species Silesites seranonis
and the absence of the above mentioned heteromorphs. After
thirty years of collection in the Silesian Unit, it is only possi-
ble to state that the Late Barremian as substage is easily dis-
tinguishable, where some of the representatives of the genus

occurs together with Silesites seranonis. Used

ammonite zones, however, cannot be applied yet.

The Těšín-Hradiště Formation continues in the same facies

into the Aptian. The Early Aptian is documented by:
Partschiceras baborense 

(Coquand), Costidiscus microcos-


(Sim., Bac. & Sorokin), Procheloniceras albrechtiau-


(Uhlig), P. pachystephanum (Uhlig), Cheloniceras aff.


(Sinzow),  ?Prodeshayesites sp., Deshayesites


(Uhlig), D. borowae (Uhlig), Acrioceras karsteni

(Uhlig) and others. With regard to the endemic deshayesitids,
it is not also possible to use the standard Mediterranean zones
for the Early Aptian in the Těšín-Hradiště Formation. Proche-
loniceras albrechtiaustriae 

plays the leading role here. The

fossiliferous deposits evidently correspond only to the
basal part of Aptian.

The Late Aptian deposits in the Těšín-Hradiště Formation,

except the only faunal horizon that has been found so far
(Vašíček 1981), do not contain ammonites. Among the spo-
radically occurring ammonites, Acanthohoplites nolani ex-

Egoian has the index role, indicating the Late

Aptian Nolani Zone.

The Pieniny Klippen Belt

The Pieniny Klippen Belt (PKB) is tectonically the most

complicated part of the Western Carpathians. To the Lower
Cretaceous belong the light coloured limestones, frequently
with cherts. In some localities, they are rich in fossils. We
have carried out systematic collecting in the Klippen Belt
only in recent years, and so far the localities in the sector
from Podbranč in the south to Podbiel in the north have been
studied. At natural exposures and in some quarry faces, it
was possible to some extent to collect ammonites, by means
of the bed by bed method, largely from the debris below the
faces. However in the second case, with a mostly steep incli-
nation of strata, the majority of finds more or less correspond
to their actual position in the sequence of strata.

The oldest stratigraphically proved occurrences of ammo-

nites in the PKB belong to deposits around the boundary be-
tween the Early and Late Valanginian and the Late Valangin-
ian. They include: Partschiceras winkleri (Uhlig),
Phylloceras (H.) 

ex gr. thetysPhylloceras cf. ptychostoma

(Benecke),  Protetragonites quadrisulcatus, Neolissoceras
grasianum, Neocomites platycostatus 

(Sayn), N. teschenen-

sis, N. praediscus 

Reboulet, Jeanthieuloyites cf. quinquestri-


(Besaire),  Olcostephanus  cf.  detonii  (Rodighiero),  Ol-


sp.,  Valanginites nucleus (Roemer), Oosterella

ex gr. gaudryi (Nickles), Himantoceras trinodosum Thieu-
loy, Bochianites neocomiensis, B. oosteri Sarasin & Schoen-
delmayer and others. These are entirely new, previously un-
published finds. The occurrence of the genus Oosterella is
notable, since it does not occur in other Carpathian units.

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236                                                                                              VAŠÍČEK

The zone species of the basal part of the Late Valanginian,

that is Saynoceras verrucosum, is lacking as it is usual in pe-
lagic deposits. This zone is, however, indicated by the occur-
rence of Neocomites platycostatus and N. teschenensis. The
overlying Trinodosum Zone is directly documented by the
zone species, resp. by N. praediscus. The latest Valanginian
zone (Callidiscus) is not unambiguously documented. It could
be indicated by a specimen determined as Teschenites cf. cas-

Reboulet, which occurs in the Vocontian

Trough around the Valanginian/Hauterivian boundary (Rebou-
let 1995).

The Early Hauterivian is represented by: Lytoceras subfim-

briatum, Neolissoceras grasianum, Teschenites flucticulus
Thieuloy, Spitidiscus cf. rotula (Sowerby), Olcostephanus
sp., Crioceratites loryi Sarkar, C. nolani (Kilian), Abry-
tusites thieuloyi 

Vašíček & Michalík, Bochianites oosteri,

Olcostephanus (J.) jeannoti 

(d’Orbigny) and other. The last

datum is from Andrusov & Scheibner (1960). The deter-
mined species indicate the Radiatus Zone (T. flucticulus) and
the Loryi Zone. The Nodosoplicatum Zone, which is docu-
mented least, could be indicated by A. thieuloyi.

The Late Hauterivian is shown by Subsaynella sayni (Pa-

quier), Crioceratites ex gr. duvali (Léveillé), Plesiospitidi-

sp., Crioceratites binelli sensu Thomel, Ptychoceras


Vašíček & Michalík (which is perhaps a synonym of

Ptychoceras meyrati 

Ooster), Pseudothurmannia sp. The

Sayni Zone is proved by the zone species, while there is indi-
rect evidence of the overlying Ligatus and Balearis Zones.

The Barremian deposits are only poorly shown by finds of



The Central Carpathians

The Manín Nappe

In contrast with the Outer Carpathians there are some lo-

calities in the Lower Cretaceous where collecting is possible
by the bed by bed method within the extent of two to three
stratigraphic stages. They are mostly represented by exten-
sive quarry faces in quarries where light marly limestone is
extracted as a raw material for cement. However, these quar-
ry profiles are usually only temporary exposures.

In the Manín Unit, the Butkov quarry near the Ladce ce-

ment works in the Váh area represents a locality with exten-
sive quarry faces and suitable, although in places tectonically
considerably affected sections. From its quarry faces, which
owing to the permanent exploitation largely do not exist at
present, several hundred ammonites documenting the stratal
sequence in the range from the Early Valanginian to Late
Barremian have been collected. In the mentioned deposits
the benthos occurs only very sporadically.

The ammonite fauna, sections from the Butkov quarry and

a sequence of found ammonites from the Early Valanginian
to Late Barremian are described by Vašíček & Michalík
(1986), Vašíček et al. (1994) and Vašíček (1995). The upper-
most Early Valanginian (Campylotoxus Zone) is documented
by the Busnardoites campylotoxus and Neolissoceras sali-

; the last one being described later in Michalík et al.

(1995). In deposits corresponding to the Verrucosum Zone

Saynoceras verrucosum 

has not been found. In spite of this it

is however indicated by the occurrence of Neocomites te-

The overlying zone is documented well not only

by the zone species Himantoceras trinodosum but also by
another index species Olcostephanus nicklesi Wiedmann &
Dieni, Teschenites subflucticulus Reboulet, Criosarasinella

Thieuloy and C. heterocostata (Mandov). In the

contribution by Vašíček & Michalík (1986), the latter species
is considered to be an equivalent of the Callidiscus Zone.
However, as documented by Bulot & Thieuloy (1995), the
occurrence of the genus Criosarasinella in France ends al-
ready in the Trinodosum Zone. More numerous finds of the
genus Eleniceras Breskovski and finds from the range of Te-
schenites neocomiensiformis 

(Uhlig) correspond probably to

the latest Valanginian (Callidiscus Zone).

Hauterivian deposits, with the exception of the lower part,

are poorer in ammonites. The basal Hauterivian is indicated
by the only fragment of Acanthodiscus sp., more frequent te-
schenites, whose precise determination, or revision should
ensue,  Spitidiscus  ex gr. rotula, Lytoceras lepidum
(d’Orbigny), Neolissoceras desmoceratoides Wiedmann, and
others. The following occur somewhat higher: Partschiceras
infundibulum, Jeanthieuloyites nodosus 

(Mandov), Spitidi-

scus cankovi 

Vašíček & Michalík, Abrytusites thieuloyi

Vašíček & Michalík, Crioceratites nolani, Cr. loryi, Ele-

sp. and others. With regard to the occurrence of Cr.


, this is a case of association of the Loryi Zone. The No-

dosoplicatum Zone has not been documented yet.

The Late Hauterivian in the Manín Unit, with a single ex-

ception, lacks zonal ammonites. It is documented especially
by: Crioceratites duvali (Léveillé), Plesiospitidiscus ligatus
(d’Orbigny), Spitidiscus fasciger Thieuloy and Ptychoceras

Vašíček & Michalík. As a result of the rareness of the

finds, it is difficult to identify the Hauterivian/Barremian

The Early Barremian is indicated only by more abundant

occurrences of imperfectly preserved barremitids and occa-
sional finds of Psilotissotia favrei (Ooster), Pulchellia cf.

(d’Orbigny), Hamulinites cf. parvulus, Ana-


sp. and others. Finally there are sporadic occur-

rences of Holcodiscus ex gr. perezianus (d’Orbigny), Valde-
dorsella uhligi 

(Haug). The abundance of barremitids

continues further.

The boundary between the Early and Late Barremian is un-

identifiable as a result of the rareness of ammonites. A single
find of Costidiscus recticostatus (d’Orbigny) in the beds be-
low the massive limestones of the prograding carbonate plat-
form (which already does not contain ammonites), shows
that the uppermost part of the marly limestones of the under-
lying stratal sequence still belongs to the lower part of the
Late Barremian.

The Krížna Nappe — Zliechov Basin

The Lower Cretaceous deposits of the Krížna Nappe have

a relatively large areal extent in the Central Carpathians
(Vašíček et al. 1994). With the exception of the latest Hau-
terivian, where brachiopods occasionally occur, these depos-
its generally contain few benthic organisms. In many places,

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especially in deposits of the Late Hauterivian, they contain

The pelagic deep water deposits of the Early Valanginian

are usually very poor in benthonic organisms and also in am-
monites, which is also largely true of the Late Valanginian.
Only in places in the Late Valanginian occur rich associa-
tions of straight shells of the species Bochianites neocomien-

and  B. oosteri accompanied by rare Neocomites tesche-

nensis, N. 

ex gr. neocomiensisNeolissoceras grasianum,

Protetragonites quadrisulcatus, Paquiericeras (Julianites)
cf. undulatum Thieuloy and Olcostephanus sp. (Borza et al.
1981). In the Strážovce section (Borza et al. 1980; Vašíček et
al. 1994), stratigraphically important Himantoceras trino-

and Criosarasinella ex gr. mandovi Thieuloy were

also successfully found.

The rich (that is in number of finds) Early Hauterivian was

studied at an isolated outcrop in the Košecká dolina Valley.
The following ammonites occur: Neolissoceras grasianum,

ex gr. rotulaOlcostephanus hispanicus (Malla-

da), Teschenites sp., Crioceratites nolani, Bochianites oos-

, which indicate the deposits near the Loryi Zone. The

Nodosoplicatum Zone is not documented by ammonites.

The basal part of the Late Hauterivian is indicated by a sin-

gle occurrence of the zone species Subsaynella sayni at the
locality of Kamenná hill (Sayni Zone). The upper part of the
Late Hauterivian is already documented at a whole series of
localities, but best is documented in the deposits exposed by
quarry faces at Polomec hill at Lietavská Lúčka (Vašíček et
al. 1994; Vašíček 1995). The marly limestones extracted as
raw material for cement are limited with turbidites at the
base, the top of which is very probably situated around the
boundary between the ammonite zones Sayni and Ligatus.
The ammonites Plesiospitidiscus ex gr. ligatus and Pty-
choceras borzai

, or Acrioceras pulcherrimum (d’Orbigny),

A. mulsanti 

(Astier), Crioceratites matsumotoi Sarkar, Neo-

lissoceras grasianum 

are characteristic of the limestones in

the beds overlying the turbidites. They are an evidence of the
Ligatus Zone.

Apart from the above mentioned ammonites, the overlying

deposits are enriched with further species, especially with
rare finds of Pseudothurmannia balearis (Nolan), P. binelli
sensu Thomel, P. mortilleti (Pictet & Loriol), P. shankariae
(Sarkar),  Crioceratites majoricensis (Nolan), Acrioceras

(Astier) — when the genus approach to pseudothur-

manniids in the wider sense of the word corresponds to the
results of Hoedemaeker (1995). This collection belongs to
the Balearis Zone.

The next stratal sequence, after an interruption of several

metres, is unusually rich in ammonites for the Western Car-
pathians. Together with the species mentioned in the previous
paragraph (with the exception of Pseudothurmannia shankari-

),  Partschiceras infundibulum, Neolissoceras grasianum,

Plesiospitidiscus subdifficilis 

(Karakasch), Barremites sp.,

Psilotissotia favrei, Crioceratites nolani  

sensu Adamiková et

al., C. angulicostatus (d’Orbigny), Anahamulina subcylindri-

(d’Orbigny), Paraspiticeras sp. and others occur.

The Early Barremian is associated with the extinction of

pseudothurmanniids and crioceratitids, and with the develop-
ment of barremitids. Together with them, there are also

smaller quantities of juvenile shells of Spitidiscus ex gr.

(Ooster), as well as S. seunesi (Kilian), Silesites vulpes,

Veveysiceras escheri 

(Ooster), Hamulinites ex gr. parvulus,

Hamulina lorioli 

Uhlig, Acrioceras aff. puzosianum



sp. and others. This association

especially indicates the Hugii Zone.

Together with barremitids, the more marly overlying de-

posits contain: Costidiscus recticostatus, Macroscaphites
yvani, Silesites seranonis, Eulytoceras phestum, Anahamuli-

cf. glemmbachensis. The assemblage corresponds to the

lower part of the Late Barremian.

By the end of the Late Barremian, limestone sedimentation

is replaced by a facies of marlites, without direct faunistic
continuation of the previous stratal sequence. They contain
the ammonites: Costidiscus tenuistriatus (Repelin), Macro-
scaphites striatisulcatus 

(d’Orbigny), Deshayesites sp. and

others. The ammonite composition corresponds to one of the
nearly undistinguishable zone of the Early Aptian (Vašíček
& Rakús 1995).


Both the review of the ammonite-bearing formations of the

geological units of the Western Carpathians arranged gener-
ally from north to south, and their ammonite composition
show on the one hand significant unevenness in the occur-
rence of fossiliferous formations in the Carpathian sedimen-
tary basins in the course of the Lower Cretaceous, and on the
other hand significant differences in the genus and species
composition of the ammonites. The significant differences
are probably caused by a whole series of factors, especially
by the paleo-geographical position of the individual basins,
the dynamics of sedimentation and facial differences.

The greatest facial differences are perceptible in the litho-

logical character of the Lower Cretaceous deposits of the
Silesian Unit and the remaining sedimentation basins. Dark
grey flyschoid, more or in higher parts less calcareous pelites
with significant flysch sedimentation in the Hauterivian, and
a total thickness of the deposits of around 1 km are typical of
the Silesian Unit. On the other hand, in the other described
basins (PKB and in the Central Carpathians), pelagic lime-
stone facies with thicknesses of the Lower Cretaceous of lit-
tle more than 100 m are dominant.

The whole extent of the Valanginian (that is Early and Late)

is documented by ammonites only in the Silesian Unit. Al-
though Mediterranean genera and species dominate here, bore-
al elements occur occasionally although rarely. The Early Va-
langinian contains representatives of the genus Platylenticeras,
and the Late Valanginian, the genus Prodichotomites. While
the former genus is represented in both partial developments
of the Silesian Unit, the latter is known only from the area of
the Baška Ridge. This is also marked as the beginning of the
Late Valanginian by the occurrence of Saynoceras verrucosum
and some representatives of the genus Valanginites. The Va-
langinian boreal elements show periodic communication of
the Silesian sedimentary area through the Danish-Polish de-
pression with the sub-boreal area in Germany (Witkowski
1969; Kutek et al., 1989; Marek 1989).

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238                                                                                              VAŠÍČEK

In the carbonate developments of the Valanginian in the

PKB, only the Late Valanginian is documented by ammo-
nites, while in the Central Carpathians the Late Valanginian
occurs usually together with the imperfectly documented
Early Valanginian. The ammonites found here represent only
the Mediterranean bioprovince. Platylenticeratids or other
boreal forms are not found in any of these sedimentary areas
from the Early Valanginian. Similarly Prodichotomites and
other boreal elements are not known from the Late Valangin-
ian. A find of the only shell of the genus Valanginites at the
Revišné locality in the PKB is a small unproved exception.

Among the zonal Mediterranean species of the Early Va-

langinian, only Busnardoites campylotoxus is known from
the Silesian Unit (Godula Development) and from the Manín
Unit. Both Reboulet (1995) and Bulot & Thieuloy (1995)
have recently cast doubt on the the index value of Neolisso-
ceras salinarium

, which in Spain according to Company

(1987) has a guide value corresponding to the previous spe-
cies. In France this species, known from both the above men-
tioned Carpathian units, occurs in the whole Early Valangin-
ian, and extends up to the base of the Late Valanginian.

All the basic zonal species are documented from the Late

Valanginian in the Western Carpathians, but they are found
sporadically and only in some Carpathian sedimentation ar-
eas: Saynoceras verrucosum is documented only in the Baš-
ka development of the Silesian Unit, Himantoceras trino-

occurs in the PKB, Manín Unit (where the Nicklesi

and Furcillata bio-horizons are also documented) and in the
deposits of the Krížna Nappe. Teschenites callidiscus is
known only as a single historical find (today not preserved)
from the Godula development, described by Uhlig (1902).

Bulot & Thieuloy (1995) still conveniently designate indi-

vidual parts of the Valanginian in the Vocontian Trough ac-
cording to the dominant genus: the Early Valanginian as
Thurmanniceratian, the Verrucosum Zone as Karakaschicera-
tian, the remnant of the Late Valanginian as Teschenitian. A
very rich representation of olcostephanids is also characteris-
tic of the upper part of the Early Valanginian (Zone with Ol-
costephanus stephanophorus

) and the Verrucosum Zone as

well in the Vocontian Trough (Bulot 1993). It is necessary to
remark here that the above mentioned dominant faunas or
genera in the classic area of the Vocontian Trough usually do
not represent the dominant elements in the Western Car-
pathians. The thurmanniceratids, olcostephanids and kara-
kaschiceratids are represented only occasionally to rarely
(the last of them). Carpathian shells of the genus Olcostepha-

are always strongly deformed and difficult to determine.

The Hauterivian is a stratigraphic stage, which is as a

whole less documented in the Western Carpathians. In the
Baška development of the Silesian Unit, only the basal part
of the Hauterivian is documented by the occurrence of
strongly deformed incomplete shells of the guide genus

. They are accompanied by equally badly pre-

served fragments of shells of the genus Endemoceras, which
show repeated communication of the Silesian sedimentary
area with the boreal region. In the deposits of the Godula de-
velopment, the Hauterivian is documented only by occasion-
al finds of ammonites. This is apparently connected with tec-
tonic movements, which are reflected in a significant

representation of sandstones in the proximal turbidites of the
Silesian Unit, or maybe in the Hauterivian turbidites in the
Krížna Nappe or in the dark pelites replacing the carbonates
at some localities in the PKB (Horné Srnie).

The lower part of the Early Hauterivian is usually well

documented in the PKB. The Loryi Zone is documented by
the zone species. The Nodosoplicatum Zone is not reliably
proved, but the base of the Late Hauterivian is documented
by a find of the zone species Subsaynella sayni. The higher
part of Late Hauterivian contains few ammonites with the
last disappearing around the boundary between the Balearis
and Angulicostata Zones. The situation is similar in the
Manín Unit. The lower part of the Early Hauterivian (includ-
ing the Loryi Zone) is still rich in ammonites. The Nodospli-
catum zone is not documented by ammonites: the Late Hau-
terivian with occasional finds lacks the zonal ammonites (but
a single occurrence of Plesiospitidiscus ex gr. ligatus).

With a few exceptions, the Early Hauterivian is imperfect-

ly documented in the deposits of the Krížna Nappe. After a
part without ammonites corresponding to the Nodosoplica-
tum Zone, ammonite finds rapidly increase. This culminates
in the Angulicostata Zone in the form of the so-called
Pseudothurmannia beds. All the Late Hauterivian ammonite
zones are documented: Sayni, Ligatus, Balearis and Anguli-
costata. Since the beds below the above mentioned Pseudo-
thurmannia beds usually contain Ptychoceras borzai, we
have proposed a Borzai ammonite Zone in the Late Hauteriv-
ian in the Western Carpathians (Vašíček et al. 1994; Vašíček
1995). With regard to the latest data from the PKB, and also
our own collections in the Eastern Alps in 1996, it is proba-
ble that Ptychoceras borzai is a synonym of P. meyrati Oost-
er (this may also include P. curnieri Thieuloy). Its occur-
rence is not limited only to the Late, but also to a substantial
part of the Early Hauterivian. So the introduction of this zone
into the Western Carpathians seems to be inappropriate.

The deposits of the uppermost Hauterivian Zone are per-

haps the richest formation of the Western Carpathians for
ammonites. However in spite of this, they do not contain the
subzonal ammonites Pseudothurmannia ohmi and P. catulloi
assigned by Hoedemaeker (1995). In the general composition

Plate I: Fig. 1.

 Platylenticeras cardioceroides (Sayn), 


2. Silesian

Unit, Kotouč quarry, Šramberk, layer Š-12. Early Valanginian,
Pertransiens Zone. Fig. 2. Saynoceras verrucosum (d´Orbigny),


3. Silesian Unit, Kotouč quarry, layer Š-55. Late Valanginian,

Verrucosum Zone. Fig. 3. Busnardoites campylotoxus (Uhlig), 



Manín Unit, Butkov quarry, 8th level, 560 m. Early Valanginian,
Campylotoxus Zone. Fig. 4. Neolissoceras salinarium (Uhlig),


1.5. Manín Unit, Butkov quarry, 13th level. Early Valanginian,

?Campylotoxus Zone. Fig. 5. Olcostephanus nicklesi Wiedmann &


1. Manín Unit, Butkov quarry, 12th level. Late Valangin-

ian, Trinodosum Zone. Fig. 6. Teschenites flucticulus Thieuloy,


1. Pieniny Klippen Belt, Podbiel Klippe in the Orava Valley. Ear-

ly Hauterivian, Radiatus Zone. Fig. 7. Prodichotomites ex gr. com-



1. Silesian Unit, Kotouč quarry, layer Š-55.

Late Valanginian, Verrucosum Zone. Fig. 8. Plesiospitidiscus sp.,


1. Krížna Nappe, Laz quarry at Lietavská Lúčka, cover of turbid-

ite. Late Hauterivian, Ligatus Zone. Fig. 9. Himantoceras trino-



1. Pieniny Klippen Belt, Revišné Klippe. Late

Valanginian, Trinodosum Zone.

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  PLATE  I                                                                                               239

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240                                                                                               PLATE  II

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of this ammonite association, it is possible to observe sub-
stantial differences in comparison with the classic Mediterra-
nean regions, which is however also characteristic of the un-
derlying and overlying Carpathian deposits. Therefore the
exact application of Hoedemaeker’s above mentioned sub-
zones is still not possible in the Western Carpathians.

The Barremian associations in the Western Carpathians

have an entirely Mediterranean character, since the communi-
cation of the Silesian sedimentary area with the boreal region
via the Danish-Polish Depression was already interrupted in
the Hauterivian. In spite of the considerable abundance of am-
monites in the Barremian of the Silesian Unit, application of
the Mediterranean zones in the Western Carpathians remains
difficult. However it is relatively easy to distinguish the Barre-
mian substages, where abundant leptoceratoids occur in the
Early Barremian. The Late Barremian is characterized espe-
cially by the occurrence of Costidiscus recticostatus together
with Silesites seranonis. In the area of the Central Carpathians,
the situation in the Barremian is similar. In the Krížna Nappe,
only the Hugii Zone could be perhaps applied.

Richer ammonite associations of the Aptian occur in the

Western Carpathians only in its lower parts of some units. In
the Silesian Unit, the occurrence of Procheloniceras albrech-

at the base of the given stage is most characteristic.

Deshayesitids, if they occur, are not usually well preserved
and are endemic. The standard ammonite zones cannot be pre-
cisely applied. The Late Aptian in the deposits of the Western
Carpathians only exceptionally contains ammonites.

This paper reflects the present state and possibilities of

ammonite stratigraphy in the Lower Cretaceous of the West-
ern Carpathians. Photographic plates I and II illustrate the
Lower Cretaceous guide species.


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