GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 50, 1, BRATISLAVA, FEBRUARY 1999
CRETACEOUS RADIOLARIAN ZONATION IN THE POLISH PART
OF THE PIENINY KLIPPEN BELT (WESTERN CARPATHIANS)
Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Oleandry 2a,
30-063 Kraków, Poland; email@example.com
(Manuscript received January 23, 1998; accepted in revised form December 9, 1998)
The Albian to Turonian deposits in the Polish part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt comprise pelagic and shaly
turbidite facies. They represent shallow (shelf) to deep-water environments, and they are relatively rich in radiolarian
fauna. Over 70 radiolarian species of the Carpathian Tethyan low latitude realm were identified in over 200 samples
from 18 sections in the deposits of the Pieniny, Branisko, Niedzica and Czorsztyn successions of the Pieniny Klippen
Belt. 17 horizons containing abundant and well-preserved radiolarian fauna have been chosen for analysis. These data
were processed with the BioGraph 2.02 computer program (Savary & Guex 1991) based on the Unitary Associations
(U.A.) method. The program produced a sequence of 11 U.A. which were used for constructing the radiolarian zonal
scheme. Three radiolarian zones and five subzones (Holocryptocanium barbui Zone with Stichomitra tosaensis,
Squinabollum fossile, Thanarla pulchra, Torculum dengoi and Obeliscoites maximus subzones, Hemicryptocapsa
prepolyhedra Zone and Hemicryptocapsa polyhedra Zone) have been proposed for the interval investigated.
Western Carpathians, Pieniny Klippen Belt, Cretaceous, Radiolaria, biostratigraphy.
the Pieniny Succession; Kietowy stream (Ki), Stare Bystre
(Sb) and Kapuśnica (Kp) sections in the Branisko Succes-
sion; Bukowiny Valley (Bw), Bukowiny Hill (Bd) and Kosa-
rzyska Valley (Kos) sections in the Niedzica Succession, and
Czerwona Skała Mt. (CSk), Lorencowe Klippes (Lor),
Szaflary Quarry (Sz),
¯łobowy creek (Zł), Falsztyn (Fl),
Czorsztyn (Cz), Halka (H) and Niedziczanka creek (Nd) sec-
tions in the Czorsztyn Succession (for detail description of
their location and lithology see Birkenmajer 1954, 1958,
1977; Birkenmajer & Jednorowska 1984, 1987; Gasiński
1988; K. Bąk 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998; M. Bąk 1995, 1996).
In the profiles examined, the radiolarian fauna has been re-
corded in the deposits of the Kapuśnica, Pomiedznik, and the
Jaworki formations (M. Bąk 1993b, 1995, 1996) (Fig. 2).
The radiolarian fauna is present within both members of
the Kapuśnica Formation. Within the Brodno Member
which is scarcely represented among the deposits in the
Polish part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt (Birkenmajer 1977),
the radiolarian fauna is present but very rare. In the deposits
of the Rudina Member, radiolarian skeletons are present in
green and black marls and marly shales. They are abundant
and generally well-preserved.
Abundant and well-preserved radiolarian fauna have been
found in the Pomiedznik Formation, showing the high taxa
diversification in both (lower and upper) members. These
deposits consist of grey-green marly shales and marls
intercalated with thin layers of green marly limestone
containing lenticles of black cherts in its lower part
(Gasiński 1988), and marly shales, marls and marly
limestones without cherts in its upper part.
Within the deposits of the Jaworki Formation, the radi-
olarian skeletons are present in the deposits of the Bryncz-
kowa Marl Member, Skalski Marl Member, Magierowa
Marl Member, Trawne Member, Snežnica Siltstone Mem-
The Cretaceous deposits in the Polish part of the Pieniny Klip-
pen Belt have been a subject of detailed lithological and bios-
tratigraphical studies since the early 50s. The previous authors
dealing with the micropaleontological investigations, focused
their interests on foraminifers as the most useful microfauna for
biostratigraphical purposes. Coccoliths and calpionellids were
also used for dating of calcareous deposits. During these studies
the presence of radiolarian fauna was observed in the different
lithotypes of the Cretaceous deposits. Despite this, there was no
paleontological description and application of the radiolarian
fauna for the biostratigraphy.
The first investigations concerning the Radiolaria from
the Cretaceous deposits of the Polish part of the Pieniny
Klippen Belt were initiated by the author in the early 90s
(M. Bąk 1993a,b).
This paper summarizes the researches which were first
begun towards the end of 1992. Its aim is to present a
radiolarian biostratigraphy in the Polish part of the Pieniny
The investigations of Cretaceous Radiolaria in the Polish
part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt have been carried out in the
Pieniny, Branisko, Niedzica and Czorsztyn successions.
Eighteen profiles with radiolarian fauna were chosen for
analyses. These sections are located in the Niedzica,
Krościenko, Szczawnica, Jaworki, Sromowce, Falsztyn,
Dursztyn, Szaflary, and Stare Bystre areas (Fig. 1). These are:
Macelowa-Osice (McO), Magierowa Skałka Klippe
(Mag), Orlica (Or) and Podskalnia Góra Mt. (Pg) sections in
ber, Macelowa Marl Member, and the Pustelnia Marl
The Radiolaria within the Brynczkowa Marl Member, Skalski
Marl Member (excluding Altana Shale Bed) and also within
Trawne Member deposits are rare and moderately to poorly
preserved. The radiolarians found within the Altana Shale Bed
deposits (black-blue, greenish and black shales and marls) are
abundant but low in diversity and poorly preserved.
The radiolarian fauna is abundant in the Magierowa Marl
Member deposits which correspond to the Altana Shale Bed
Location of the sections investigated in the Pieniny Klippen Belt (geology after Birkenmajer (1977) — simplified): 1 —
designation of the profile, 2 — faults.
Age and mutual relationships of Cretaceous lithostratigraphic units in the Pieniny Klippen Belt, Poland (after Birkenmajer &
Jednorowska (1987)): 1 — flysch and flyshoid development, 2 — marl and limestone, 3 — radiolaria shale and chert, 4 — hiatus.
CRETACEOUS RADIOLARIAN ZONATION IN THE POLISH PART OF THE PIENINY KLIPPEN BELT 23
(Birkenmajer 1977). Well-preserved siliceous specimens are
present in green and grey shales and marly shales. Radiolarians
in black shales are also abundant but often difficult to recognize
because of ferritization and pyritization processes.
The radiolarians are generally rare also in the deposits of the
Snežnica Siltstone Member. Only the Upper Cenomanian de-
posits (blue-grey and green shale marls) are especially enrich
in well-preserved radiolarian skeletons, also pyritized.
The radiolarian skeletons within the Macelowa Marl
Member deposits are rare and mostly poorly preserved
because of calcification processes. Well preserved and
diversified radiolarian fauna is present only in the red marls
corresponding to the Lower Turonian.
The deposits belonging to the Pustelnia Marl Member
contain only very scarce poorly preserved, mostly calcified
The radiolarian skeletons are also scarce, poorly preserved
and mostly calcified within the Lorencowe Chert Bed deposits.
Seventy seven radiolarian species have been recorded
within the Cretaceous deposits of the Pieniny Klippen Belt
ranging from Lower Albian to Santonian age. Twenty
genera and 53 species of Nassellaria, and 11 genera and 24
species of Spumellaria were recognized (M. Bąk 1993, 1995,
The assemblages, in all successions investigated, are
dominated by cryptocephalic and cryptothoracic Nassellaria
belonging to the genera Holocryptocanium, Hemicryptocapsa,
Cryptamphorella, Dorypyle, Hiscocapsa, Trisyringium
Multisegmented Nassellaria are also common
and are represented by the genera Dictyomitra, Thanarla,
Pseudodictyomitra, Stichomitra, Xitus, Obeliscoites
(Plate I). Spumellaria are less common in the
studied deposits. The most abundant are the specimens
belonging to the families Actinommidae, Praecono-
caryommidae, Xiphostylidae (genera Staurosphaeretta and
), and Dactyliosphaeridae (Dactyliodiscus, Godia
and Dactyliosphaera). The remaining Spumellaria belong to
the genera Hexapyramis, Cavaspongia, Pseudoaulophacus,
Among all successions investigated, the radiolarians are
most abundant and diversified within the deposits of the
Czorsztyn Succession, and generally scarce in the deposits
of the Pieniny Succession.
The content of radiolarian specimens is not uniform in the
deposits investigated. One of the reasons might be the
lithology which predestines the preservation of the siliceous
microfossils, and the second could be the radiolarian faunas
radiation, and turnovers. Both might reflect the ecological
response of the biota to global climatic and sea level
changes which occurred during mid-Cretaceous times.
Two great changes in the radiolarian assemblage can be re-
corded within the studied deposits. The beginning of an impor-
tant radiation of Radiolaria is observed in the Middle Albian
(Ticinella primula foraminiferal Zone; K. Bąk 1998). Many of
new species had their first appearance in the Middle and the
Late Albian. The maximum of differentiation in the radiolari-
an assemblage is observed within the Vraconian deposits (Ro-
talipora ticinensis-Planomalina buxtorfi, Planomalina buxtor-
fi-Rotalipora appenninica foraminiferal zones; K. Bąk 1998).
Starting from the upper part of the P. buxtorfi-R. appenninica
foraminiferal Zone, a relative decrease in the number of spe-
cies has been observed. It illustrates the transition of radiolari-
ans toward the Albian/Cenomanian boundary. During this pe-
riod the radiolarian faunas in the Czorsztyn, Branisko and
Niedzica successions show great similarities between them.
The same characteristic taxa representing the suborder Nassel-
laria as cryptothoracic and cryptocephalic forms from the gen-
era Holocryptocanium, Hemicryptocapsa, Squinabollum and
are most abundant, together with other com-
mon genera such as Dictyomitra, Pseudodictyomitra, Thanar-
la, Stichomitra, Torculum,
The next radiolarian changes took place around the Cenoma-
nian/Turonian boundary. They started in the Late Cenomanian
(Rotalipora cushmani foraminiferal Zone; K. Bąk 1998). In this
period, the radiolarian assemblage in the Pieniny Succession is
similar to those from the Czorsztyn, Niedzica and Branisko suc-
cessions but it also contains forms described only from the Sile-
sian and the Skole units of the Outer Flysch Carpathians (Prae-
conocaryomma lipmanae, Godia
sp., Diacanthocapsa sp.; M.
Bąk 1994; Górka 1996).
The radiolarian zonation has been established on the basis
of analysis of the vertical distribution of the taxa which
were recognized in the studied sections. Though the
purpose of this zonation does not pretend to be applicable to
the whole Carpathian paleobiogeographic realm, it can be
regarded as a calibration-tool to which local zonations from
other regions could be compared.
It is known that radiolarian abundance and preservation,
especially in land sections, which underwent a deep burial
diagenesis, is largely dissolution-controlled. That is why the
absence of a species from a certain interval of a section does
not necessarily have a chronological significance. For the
same reason, the first and the last occurrences of a taxon may
differ from one section to another, making these events,
usually used in the biostratigraphic zonation, worthless. In
order to know whether the absence from a certain interval is
consistent or not it is necessary to systematically analyse the
occurrences of species in all available sections and establish
which species are mutually exclusive and represent
consistent absences from certain stratigraphic intervals, and
which species really co-occur. The stratigraphically
successive sets of maximum number of co-occurring or
potentially co-occurring species represent Unitary
Associations (U.A.) (Guex & Davaud 1984). The resulting
Unitary Associations differ from each other by containing
unique and mutually exclusive assemblages of species or
CRETACEOUS RADIOLARIAN ZONATION IN THE POLISH PART OF THE PIENINY KLIPPEN BELT 25
species pairs. These procedures were thoroughly discussed
by Baumgartner (1984a,b), who applied the U.A. method for
Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous radiolarians.
A database records the distribution of 53 species in 17 ho-
rizons selected carefully from 210 samples containing the ra-
diolarian fauna, collected from 18 sections. The samples
chosen for the analysis contain abundant and well preserved
Radiolaria. These data were processed with the BioGraph
2.02 computer program (Savary & Guex 1991) based on the
Unitary Associations method. The program produced a
sequence of 11 U.A. (Fig. 3).
The resulting range charts (Figs. 4, 5) are used to
construct chronologically meaningful zones and subzones,
in which each of these Unitary Associations is defined by
the totality of its characteristic species pairs. Because only
samples with the most abundant radiolarians have been
chosen for the analysis, the Unitary Association method has
been combined with the method based on the first and the
last appearance of taxa in the profiles investigated (Fig. 6).
The combination of empirical and deterministic methods
enabled us to establish the zonation proposed herein. The
analysis has allowed the definition of three radiolarian
zones and five subzones for the Lower Albian–Upper
Turonian interval. The zonal units presented here have
typical characteristics of the concurrent range zones.
Holocryptocanium barbui Zone
Index taxon: Holocryptocanium barbui Dumitrică
The base of this zone is defined as the first
appearance of Holocryptocanium barbui. The upper limit of
the zone is defined as the first appearance of Hemi-
: In this zone H. barbui has its
maximum abundance within the Pieniny Klippen Belt
deposits. The radiolarian fauna is the most diverse in this
unit; over 40 species make their first appearance in this zone
(e.g. Torculum coronatum, Dictyomitra gracilis, Pseudo-
). The zone represents an
important period of the faunal renewal.
: This zone has been created by Schaaf (1985) for
a different time interval (only for Lower Albian).
: This zone corresponds to the Ticinella roberti to
Rotalipora reicheli foraminiferal zones (K. Bąk 1998)
(Lower Albian to Middle Cenomanian) in the deposits
investigated in the Polish part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt.
However, according to the investigation carried out on the
Slovak territory in the Manín units (Ožvoldová & Peterčák-
ová 1992) the H. barbui first appears within the Hauterivian.
Stichomitra tosaensis new subzone
Index taxon: Stichomitra tosaensis Nakaseko & Nishimura
: The lower boundary of this subzone is
defined by the first appearance of the index species.
: This zone is characterized by co-
occurrence of Holocryptocanium barbui, Pseudodictyomitra
pentacolaensis, Stichomitra mediocris, Thanarla brouweri
and Stichomitra communis. Cryptamphorella macropora,
make their first appearance in the upper part of
: This subzone corresponds to the Ticinella roberti to
Ticinella primula foraminiferal zones (K. Bąk 1998) (Lower
to Upper Albian).
Squinabollum fossile new subzone
Index taxon: Squinabollum fossile (Squinabol)
: The base of this subzone is defined by the first
occurrence of Squinabollum fossile.
: Dictyomitra formosa, Dictyomitra
and Torculum coronatum make their first
occurrence within this subzone. Simultaneously, the last
occurrence of Pseudodictyomitra carpatica takes place here.
: This subzone corresponds to the Biticinella
breggiensis foraminiferal Zone (K. Bąk 1998) (Upper
Thanarla pulchra new subzone
Index taxon: Thanarla pulchra (Squinabol)
: The first appearance of Thanarla pulchra
defines the lower boundary of this subzone.
: This unit is characterized by co-
occurrence of many characteristic pairs of species (U.A.3–
U.A.4; Figs. 5, 6). The first appearances of Holocryptocanium
geysersensis, Dictyomitra montisserei, Xitus mclaughlini,
Pseudoaulophacus sculptus, Thanarla veneta
take place within the unit.
The last occurrence of Crucella aster is also observed.
: This subzone corresponds to the Rotalipora
subticinensis-Rotalipora ticinensis foraminiferal Zone and
lower part of the Rotalipora ticinensis-Planomalina
praebuxtorfi foraminiferal Zone (Gasiński 1988; K. Bąk 1998)
(Upper to uppermost Albian (Vraconian)).
Torculum dengoi new subzone
Index taxon: Torculum dengoi (Schmidt-Effing)
Radiolarian microfauna in the Albian through Turonian de-
posits from the Pieniny Klippen Belt. Fig. 1. Holocryptocanium
170. Figs. 2, 3. Hemicryptocapsa
Dumitrică, 1 — Ki-140017, 2 — Ki-140018,
Fig. 4. Cryptamphorella macropora
Holocryptocanium tuberculatum Dumitrică, Ki-140040,
400. Fig. 6. Hemicryptocapsa polyhedra Dumitrică, Mag-305022,
400. Fig. 7. Squinabollum fossile (Squinabol), Sb-160345,
Trisyringium echitonicum (Aliev), Cz-60112,
200. Fig. 9.
170. Fig. 10. Xitus
200. Fig. 11. Dictyomitra
200. Fig. 12. Pseudodictyomi-
200. Fig. 13.
Stratigraphic correlation of all profiles investigated. The samples with abundant radiolarian fauna taken for the Unitary
Associations analysis with identified U.A. are indicated as grey rectangle. The calibration is based on the planktonic foraminiferal
zonation after Caron (1985) modified in the Pieniny Klippen Belt area by Birkenmajer & Jednorowska (1987), Gasiński (1988) and K.
Bąk (1992, 1993, 1998). For explanation of shortened profiles names see text.
: The lower boundary of this subzone is marked
by the first occurrence of Torculum dengoi, the total range
of which is included within this unit.
: The events which characterize this unit
are the final appearances of many species including
Stichomitra mediocris, Thanarla brouweri, Hexapyramis pan-
tanelli, Pseudoaulophacus sculptus, Thanarla veneta, Dictyo-
mitra gracilis, Crolanium pulchrum, Torculum coronatum,
and Pseudodictyomitra paronai. Only two radi-
olarian species: Dactyliosphaera acutispina and Dictyomitra
make their first appearance within this unit.
: This subzone corresponds to the upper part of the Ro-
talipora ticinensis-Planomalina praebuxtorfi foraminiferal
Zone trough the Rotalipora appenninica foraminiferal Zone
(Gasiński 1988; K. Bąk 1998) (uppermost Albian (Vraconian)).
Obeliscoites maximus new subzone
Index taxon: Obeliscoites maximus (Squinabol)
: The lower boundary of this subzone is defined
as the first appearance of Obeliscoites maximus.
: The co-occurrence of Holocrypto-
canium barbui, Holocryptocanium tuberculatum, Pseudo-
dictyomitra pseudomacrocephala, Squinabollum fossile,
Stichomitra communis, Thanarla pulchra
is observed within this unit.
CRETACEOUS RADIOLARIAN ZONATION IN THE POLISH PART OF THE PIENINY KLIPPEN BELT 27
: This subzone corresponds to the Rotalipora globo-
truncanoides and the lower part of the Rotalipora reicheli
foraminiferal zones (K. Bąk 1998) (Lower to Middle Cenom-
Hemicryptocapsa prepolyhedra new zone
Index taxon: Hemicryptocapsa prepolyhedra Dumitrică
: The lower boundary of this zone is marked by
the first appearance of the index species.
The first appearances of Hemicrypto-
capsa tuberosa, Pseudodictyomitra tiara, Patellula plano-
and Cavaspongia californiaensis take place within
the zone. The last occurrence of Thanarla pulchra is
observed in the upper part of this zone. This unit is
characterized by co-occurrence of characteristic pairs of
species (U.A.8; Figs. 5, 6).
: This zone extends from the upper part of the
foraminiferal Rotalipora reicheli to the lower part of the
Rotalipora cushmani zones (K. Bąk 1998) (Middle to Upper
Hemicryptocapsa polyhedra new zone
Index taxon: Hemicryptocapsa polyhedra Dumitrică
: The lower boundary of this zone is defined at
the first appearance of Hemicryptocapsa polyhedra.
This unit is characterized by the co-
occurrence of characteristic pairs of species (U.A.9–
U.A.11; Figs. 5, 6). The zone is characterized by relative
decrease in the number of species, which is characteristic of
the transition of radiolarians from the Cenomanian to
: This zone extends from the upper part of the
foraminiferal Rotalipora cushmani to approximately the
lower part of Dicarinella primitiva zones (K. Bąk 1998)
(Upper Cenomanian to Upper Turonian).
The radiolarian assemblage, including all Radiolaria
recovered in the Pieniny, Branisko, Niedzica, and Czorsztyn
successions, has been used for comparison with radiolarian
biozonations from different regions.
The only zonal scheme for the Carpathians has been pro-
posed by Dumitrică (1975). This author recognized two as-
semblages: Holocryptocanium barbui-Holocryptocanium
and Holocryptocanium nanum-Excentropyloma
for the Late Cenomanian–earliest Turonian interval.
These radiolarian assemblages show great similarities with the
association presented in this work based on the co-occurrence
of H. barbui, H. tuberculatum, Squinabollum fossile and
another cryptocephalic and cryptothoracic Nassellaria.
Moreover, the associated occurrence of some multi-segmented
Nassellaria from the genera as Dictyomitra, Pseudo-
dictyomitra, Stichomitra, Thanarla
and Xitus are abundant in
the Pieniny Klippen Belt radiolarian associations. There is no
evidence for distinguishing the upper assemblage in the
Reproducibility table. Grey rectangles represent these
Unitary Associations, which were strictly identified in the sections
studied. For explanation of shortened profiles names see text.
Mid-Cretaceous range chart for suborders Nassellaria and
Spumellaria based on the Unitary Associations.
Bw Kos Lor
Dactyliodiscus cayeuxi Squinabol
Pseudodictyomitra carpatica (Lozyniak),
Dictyomitra formosa Squinabol
Stichomitra tosaensis Nakaseko & Nishimura
Pseudodictyomitra pentacolaensis Pessagno
Thanarla brouweri (Tan)
Stichomitra mediocris (Tan)
Thanarla spoletoensis O'Dogherty
Squinabollum fossile (Squinabol)
Torculum coronatum (Squinabol)
Holocryptocanium barbui Dumitric
Dictyomitra pulchra (Squinabol)
Obeliscoites maximus (Squinabol)
Holocryptocanium geysersensis Pessagno
Xitus mclaughlini Pessagno
P. pseudomacrocephala (Squinabol)
Hemicryptocapsa tuberosa Dumitric
Trisyringium echitonicum (Aliev)
Stichomitra communis Squinabol
Stichomitra stocki (Campbell & Clark)
Thanarla veneta (Squinabol)
Dictyomitra gracilis (Squinabol)
Praeconocaryomma copiosa Wu
Praeconocaryomma globosa Wu
Thanarla pulchra (Squinabol)
Cryptamphorella conara (Foreman)
Dictyomitra montisserei (Squinabol)
Obeliscoites giganteus (Aliev)
Hexapyramis pantanellii Squinabol
Torculum dengoi (Schmidt-Effing)
Xitus spicularius (Aliev)
Pseudoaulophacus sculptus (Squinabol)
Patellula planoconvexa (Pessagno)
Pseudodictyomitra tiara (Holmes)
Cavaspongia californiaensis Pessagno
Patellula cognata O'Dogherty
Hemicryptocapsa prepolyhedra Dumitric
Holocryptocanium tuberculatum Dumitric
Hemicryptocapsa polyhedra Dumitric
Praeconocaryomma lipmanae Pessagno
Dorypyle elliptica Squinabol
Praeconocaryomma universa Pessagno
Obeliscoites vinassai (Squinabol)
Dorypyle communis (Squinabol)
CRETACEOUS RADIOLARIAN ZONATION IN THE POLISH PART OF THE PIENINY KLIPPEN BELT 29
presented material. Although the above mentioned species co-
existing in both assemblages were distinguished by Dumitrică,
and they also appeared in the Upper Turonian deposits of the
Pieniny Klippen Belt, the index taxa of the upper assemblage
and also Alievium superbum the first occurrence of which de-
lineates the base of the H. nanum-E. cenomana assemblage,
has not been found.
The first radiolarian biozonation of the Early to mid-Creta-
ceous for the Mediterranean region was proposed by
O’Dogherty (1994). This author recognized five radiolarian
zones and seven subzones for the Barremian–Early Turonian
interval. The studied radiolarian assemblage shows great
similarities with this zonation for the Middle Albian to
uppermost Cenomanian (Romanus, Missilis and Anisa sub-
zones of Spoletoensis Zone, and Spica and Biacuta subzones
of Silviae Zone), based on co-occurrence of numerous Nassel-
laria and Spumellaria species, although the range occurrence
of some of them differs in both regions. There was no evi-
dence for distinguishing the lower Asseni and Turbocapsula
zones as well as the uppermost Superbum Zone in the associa-
Aliev (1965, 1967) initiated the studies of Early and mid-
Cretaceous radiolarians from the eastern part of the Greater
Caucasus, but precise biostratigraphic scales were not
available. Recently Vishnevskaya (1993) proposed a
zonation for the Late Jurassic–Late Cretaceous interval in
the Caucasus region. She proposed two radiolarian biozones
for the interval investigated in that work. This radiolarian
association shows great resemblance with the presented
fauna. The Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocephala-
Holocryptocanium barbui Zone of Vishnevskaya (1993) can
be well correlated with the assemblage investigated, based
on the co-occurrence of the index species with abundant
cryptothoracic and cryptocephalic Nassellaria, and also
Stichomitra mediocris, Thanarla veneta, Thanarla elegantis-
sima (= T. pulchra).
But its boundaries differ in my as-
semblage, because of the different range of P. pseudo-
. Some of the species included in the Alievium
superbum-Thanarla veneta radiolarian Zone of Vishnevskaya
as T. veneta and Amphipyndax stocki (= Stichomitra stocki)
are also present in the assemblage investigated. However, the
first and last appearance of Alievium superbum have not been
observed in this zone in the assemblage investigated, and the
presence of Thanarla veneta is observed only in the latest
Vishnevskaya (1988) also proposed a first zonal scheme for
the Cretaceous of eastern Russia which has been slightly
modified by her in 1993 (Vishnevskaya 1993). That zonation
only distinguishes two zones for the mid-Cretaceous. The
faunal assemblage recorded from the Russian Pacific Rim can
be compared with the fauna investigated, on the basis the co-
existence of Xitus spicularius, Holocryptocanium barbui, Tha-
narla elegantissima (= Thanarla pulchra), T. veneta, Am-
phipyndax mediocris (= Stichomitra mediocris), Pseudo-
in both associations. Its
boundaries differ in my assemblage, because of the different
range of P. pseudomacrocephala.
The first radiolarian zonation of the Upper Jurassic to mid-
Cretaceous deposits in Japan was proposed by Nakaseko &
Nishimura (1981). These authors recognized the Holo-
cryptocanium barbui-H. geysersensis
assemblage of Dumi-
trică (1975) which can be correlated with the association in-
vestigated on the basis of the coexistence of index species and
also another cryptothoracic Nassellaria which are also very
abundant there as in Carpathians deposits (Dumitrică 1975; M.
Bąk 1994), as well as Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocepha-
la, Archeodictyomitra simplex (= Dictyomitra montisserei), A.
vulgaris (= Dictyomitra montisserei), Novixitus weyli (= Xitus
mclaughlini), Praeconocaryomma universa, Thanarla elegan-
tissima (= Thanarla pulchra), T. veneta
, and T. brouweri. The
upper assemblage can also be recognized in my material, on
the basis of the presence of Patellula planoconvexa. Although
the faunal composition is quite similar to that in the Pieniny
Klippen Belt, the correlation is very difficult due to discrepan-
cies in the first or last occurrences data. The similar discrepan-
cies are observed during the comparison of the assemblage in-
vestigated with those of Taketani (1982) and Tumanda (1989)
who have been described radiolarians from the Cretaceous de-
posits on Hokkaido Island.
The radiolarian zonation proposed by Pessagno (1976, 1977)
for the California Coast Ranges is somewhat difficult to
compare with the Pieniny Klippen Belt region due to certain
discrepancies in the occurrence ranges of the species. In spite of
these, the radiolarian fauna seems to be similar to that of the
Pieniny Klippen Belt region on the basis of the co-occurrence of
the taxa: Orbiculiforma maxima (= Dactyliosphaera maxima),
Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocephala, Thanarla veneta,
Spongocapsula zamoraensis (= Torculum coronatum), Thanar-
la elegantissima (= Thanarla pulchra), Archaeodictyomitra sli-
teri (= Dictyomitra montisserei), Holocryptocanium barbui, H.
geysersensis, Praeconocaryomma universa,
The first attempt to establish a zonation based on
radiolarians for the Cretaceous sediments from the Pacific
Ocean was proposed by Moore (1973). The radiolarian
assemblages studied by Moore show great similarities with
those from the Pieniny Klippen Belt region especially for
the zones RK 4 and RK 5 on the basis of the co-occurrence
of many taxa in them.
Foreman (1973, 1975) established a zonation for the Creta-
ceous sediments recovered at different DSDP sites in the Pa-
cific Ocean. She proposed two radiolarian zones for the inter-
val investigated. The radiolarian fauna recorded in the Pieniny
Klippen Belt region can be included into both zones although
the index species do not appear in the assemblage investigat-
ed. Only the boundary between the zones can be recognized on
Occurrence range chart of all radiolarian species recorded in
the Albian to Coniacian deposits in the Pieniny Klippen Belt succes-
sions based on their first and the last appearance within the deposits
investigated and their co-occurrence based on the Unitary Associa-
tions. Abbreviations: S. tosaensis = Stichomitra tosaensis; S.fos. =
; T. pulchra = Thanarla pulchra; O. maxim. =
; H. prepolyhedra = Hemicryptocapsa pre-
. The planktonic foraminiferal zonation after Caron (1985)
modified in the Pieniny Klippen Belt area by Birkenmajer & Jed-
norowska (1987), Gasiński (1988) and K. Bąk (1992, 1993, 1998).
the basis of the almost simultaneous appearance of Thanarla
and Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocephala in my as-
Some years later, Schaaf (1981) provided stratigraphic in-
formation on radiolarian faunas from the Valanginian–Early
Cenomanian interval of the mid-Pacific Ocean. This author
proposed a slight modification for the zonal scheme of Fore-
man (1975) for the Hauterivian–Aptian interval.
The first zonation for the Cretaceous sediments from the
Indian Ocean was established by Renz (1974) on the basis of
data from the eastern Indian Ocean. He distinguished three
radiolarian assemblages in the approximately Valanginian to
Lower Albian interval. The radiolarian fauna from the
uppermost assemblage of Renz shows slight similarities to
the association investigated, but the ranges of occurrence of
the taxa are different.
Radiolarian fauna from the north Atlantic Ocean sedi-
ments was studied recently by Thurow (1988) who applied
Schaaf’s (1985) zonation with slight modification. Although
the radiolarian fauna described by Thurow shows many simi-
larities with the fauna studied in the presented work, his zon-
al scheme is difficult to recognize in the Pieniny Klippen
In the middle 80s, two composite zonations were proposed
simultaneously: Sanfilippo & Riedel’s (1985) and Schaaf’s
(1985). Sanfilippo & Riedel (1985) based their zonation on
Cretaceous radiolarians from different DSDP sites and two
land sections, from Japan and Italy. This zonation is
comparable to those proposed by Foreman (1975) and Schaaf
(1981). Two radiolarian biozones Acaeniotyle umbilicata and
(Sanfilippo & Riedel 1985),
among the all zones distinguished can be correlated with the
assemblage investigated, on the basis of coexisting species,
although both index species are lacking.
Schaaf (1985) in his radiolarian biozonation proposed elev-
en zones in the Lower Aptian–uppermost Turonian interval.
The first appearance data of the index taxa of Spongocapsula
zamoraensis (= Torculum coronatum), Holocryptocanium bar-
bui, Mita gracilis (= Dictyomitra gracilis), Pseudodictyomitra
pseudomacrocephala and Thanarla veneta zones are present in
the assemblage studied, but they do not appear in the same
succession as presented by Schaaf. As a consequence, the radi-
olarian zones defined by Schaaf should appear in my assem-
blage in a different order.
The results of the studies presented here are based on mi-
cropaleontological analysis of 210 samples from 18 profiles.
The radiolarian fauna has been recorded in the deposits of
the Kapuśnica, Pomiedznik, and Jaworki formations in the
Czorsztyn, Niedzica, Branisko and Pieniny successions. A
systematic search of all different radiolarian morphotypes in
the samples investigated proved the diversity of radiolarian
fauna. Twenty genera and 53 species from the suborder Nas-
sellaria, and 11 genera and 24 species from the suborder
Spumellaria have been recognized within the Lower Albian
through Santonian deposits. The most abundant and diverse
radiolarian assemblage has been recorded within the Middle
Albian to Middle Turonian interval.
The radiolarian assemblage, in all successions investigated,
is dominated by the cryptocephalic and cryptothoracic
nassellarians belonging to the genera: Holocryptocanium,
Hemicryptocapsa, Cryptamphorella, Dorypyle, Hiscocapsa,
and Squinabollum. Spumellarians are less
common in the studied deposits. The most abundant are the
specimens belonging to the families Actinommidae, Prae-
conocaryommidae, Xiphostylidae (genera Staurosphaeretta
and Triactoma), and Dactyliosphaeridae (Dactyliodiscus, Go-
Two great changes in the radiolarian assemblage can be
recorded in the Middle to uppermost Albian, and in the Late
Cenomanian to Early Turonian intervals. Both might reflect
the ecological response of the biota to global climatic and sea
level changes which occurred during mid-Cretaceous times.
In order to establish a radiolarian biostratigraphy for the
deposits investigated, the occurrences of 53 of the most
characteristic taxa have been calculated with the computer
program BioGraph 2.0. It enabled us to recognize 11 unitary
associations which combined with the first appearance data
of the recognized taxa. These combined methods allowed us
to construct five subzones in the Holocryptocanium barbui
radiolarian Zone of Schaaf (1985) (Stichomitra tosaensis,
Squinabollum fossile, Thanarla pulchra, Torculum dengoi,
Obeliscoites maximus) and two new radiolarian zones
(Hemicryptocapsa prepolyhedra and H. polyhedra) for the
Early Albian–Late Turonian interval.
The radiolarian assemblages including all Radiolaria
recovered in the Pieniny Klippen Belt have been used for
comparison with the radiolarian zonal scheme used by the
previous authors in different areas.
I would like to express my gratitude to
Dr. L. Ožvoldová (Department of Geology and Paleontology,
Comenius University) for her comments and revision of the
manuscript. The researches presented here are a part of my
doctoral thesis. I wish to thank my supervisor Professor E.
Morycowa (Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian
University) for her guidance during this study. Particular
thanks go to Professor K. Birkenmajer (Polish Academy of
Sciences) who encouraged me to begin this study. Dr. J.
Guex (University of Lausanne) introduced me to using the
Biograph programme. I am very thankful to my husband
Krzysztof for his help in the field and the many useful
discussions. Mrs I. Chodyń helped me in the laboratory part
of the work, and Mrs J. Faber kindly made the SEM
photographs. This research was supported by KBN Grant No
0058/P2/93. While carrying out this study in 1995 the author
was sponsored by the Foundation for Polish Science.
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