GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 53, 3, BRATISLAVA,JUNE 2002
179 — 189
LOWER CRETACEOUS AMMONITE AND DINOCYST
BIOSTRATIGRAPHY AND PALEOENVIRONMENT OF THE SILESIAN
BASIN (OUTER WESTERN CARPATHIANS)
PETR SKUPIEN and ZDENĚK VAŠÍČEK
Institute of Geological Engineering, VŠB – Technical University, 17. listopadu, 708 33 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic;
(Manuscript received January 18, 2002; accepted in revised form March 28, 2002)
Abstract: The basinal, or Godula sequence of the Silesian Unit of the Outer Western Carpathians incorporated in the
present nappe structure is characterized by a considerable thickness of Lower Cretaceous dark-grey, prevailingly pelitic
deposits. Barremian and Lower Aptian ammonites occur in several isolated fossiliferous beds. Non-calcareous dinoflagel-
late associations were analysed in the same beds to provide a correlation of both ammonite and dinoflagellate ranges.
Where index ammonites are missing, associations of dinocysts become a key stratigraphic element in thick lithologically
monotonous deposits. The composition of dinocysts also supports environmental and paleoclimatic reconstructions in
the area studied.
Key words: Silesian Unit, Lower Cretaceous, Barremian—Aptian, dinoflagellate cysts, ammonites, paleoecology.
The Barremian deposits and deposits of the lowermost Aptian
of the Silesian Unit in the area of the Godula development in
the Czech Republic’s territory (Flysch Western Carpathians)
have been famous (Hohenegger 1861; Uhlig 1883) for a rela-
tive abundance of ammonites (Vašíček 1972, and others). De-
posits studied by us belong, according to the present-day
lithostratigraphic division of the Silesian Unit in the Czech
Republic (Menčík et al. 1983), to the Těšín-Hradiště Forma-
tion. However, rather soft, dark-grey, prevailingly fossiliferous
clayey-marls with nodules of ironstones provide merely tem-
porary and discontinuous sections for thorough studies from
the standpoint of view of modern requirements. The most fre-
quent ammonite associations of the Mediterranean type occur
in rather small outcrops in separated beds situated several
meters one from another. The ammonite-bearing beds have the
thickness of only a few centimetres. This fact, as well as the
badly uncovered, and also complicated tectonic structure of
the Silesian Nappe make the observation of detailed ammonite
succession more difficult. In spite of this, on the basis of a
high number of known fossiliferous horizons that yielded a
sufficiently rich ammonite spectrum, and according to the
stratigraphic data in the current ammonite literature, the major-
ity of standard Mediterranean ammonite zones (Hoedemaeker
& Company et al. 1993) have been successfully assigned to
the Silesian Unit (Table 1). Nevertheless, it is necessary to em-
phasize that index ammonite species of the defined Mediterra-
nean zones do not usually occur in the Silesian Unit. Corre-
sponding ammonite zones can usually be derived from the
total composition of the ammonite association in the horizons
studied. The most significant species enabling the recognition
of the standard ammonite zones in the Silesian Unit and char-
acterizing the zones are given below as far as they are known
We have recently taken field samples for the analysis of
cysts of non-calcareous dinoflagellata (see Fig. 1) from the lo-
calities, with stratigraphically well determined Lower Creta-
ceous strata of the Czech part of the Silesian Unit representing
the ammonite zones. Their occurrences in Barremian to Aptian
deposits were reported earlier (Skupien 1997, 1998, 1999). Ta-
ble 1 contains results, and comments on them are presented
Fig. 1. Schematical geological situation of study area showing lo-
cation of sections and horizons.
Material and methods
The samples taken were processed by a standard palynologi-
cal technique, that is by dissolving in HCl and HF with subse-
quent sieving on polyethylene sieves of the mesh size of
m. Specimens with separated dinocysts are deposited at
the Institute of Geological Engineering at the VŠB – Techni-
180 SKUPIEN and VAŠÍČEK
Table 1: Proved ammonite zones in the Silesian Unit and the range of stratigraphically significant dinocysts. Yellow fields represent those
parts of the formation studied that are easily deducible from positions in the sequence of strata, or that are shown by ammonites; white fields
represent parts without index ammonite occurrence. On the right, the significant, or interesting ammonite species are presented, the occur-
rences of which in the Silesian Unit are confined to the stated ammonite zones. Arrows indicate the continuation of the stratigraphic extent of
dinocysts into the underlying beds, or overlying beds.
TETHYAN AMMONITE ZONES
(Hoedemaeker et al., 1993)
Pyxidinopsis sp. 2 Leereveld 1997
CRETACEOUS AMMONITE AND DINOCYST BIOSTRATIGRAPHY 181
cal University of Ostrava. In suitable samples, qualitative ob-
servation was supplemented by quantitative analysis.
The quantitative analysis included two steps:
1) counting of the whole palynological association up to 150
palynomorphs; this step included recognition of five broad pa-
lynomorph categories (Fig. 2): dinoflagellate cysts, acritarchs,
foraminiferal linings (inner walls of foraminifers), bissacate
pollen, other pollen and spores (sporomorphs excluding bisac-
coids). Green algae of the group of prasinophytes are usually
observed in addition to the five palynological groups presented
above. Their abundant occurrence is related to a lagoonal to
brackish environment. An increased amount of prasinophytes
in deep-water facies indicates lower salinity of the sea surface
and creation of stagnant waters.
2) counting up to 250 determinable dinoflagellate cysts
when possible. Dinoflagellate cysts have been grouped into six
paleoenvironmentally significant groups, see Fig. 3 (modified
after Leereveld 1995; Wilpshaar & Leereveld 1994):
– salt marshy group (restricted shallow marine); this group
comprises representatives of genera Muderongia, Odontochiti-
na and Subtilisphaera;
– littoral group (Canningia, Circulodinium, Pseudocera-
– inner neritic group (Cribroperidinium, Apteodinium);
– neritic I group (Spiniferites and morphologically closely
– neritic II group (Florentinia, Kleithriasphaeridium, Oli-
– oceanic group (Hapsocysta, Pterodinium). The oceanic
group is the only autochthonous group (not transported from
the shelf, but living in the oligotrophic pelagic waters) in stud-
ied type of sediments.
In the Silesian Unit, boundary deposits of the Hauterivian/
Barremian and the basal Barremian (ammonite Hugii Zone)
have been proved to be ammonite-bearing in only one locali-
ty – Hukvaldy (Vašíček 1977). In addition to the ammonite
content, the last occurrence of aptychi of the Lamellaptychus
angulocostatus (Peters) group contributes to definition of the
Hauterivian/Barremian boundary here. The ammonite bed
studied is rich in dinocysts (34 species were determined).
Representatives of Muderongia (M. crusis Neale et Sarjeant,
M. macwhaei Cookson et Eisenack, M. neocomica Gocht, M.
Fig. 2. Frequency pattern of main palynomorph groups in the Silesian Unit. Only those ammonite zones in the Silesian Unit are presented
(as in Fig. 3) that are proved well by sufficiently rich associations of dinocysts.
182 SKUPIEN and VAŠÍČEK
staurota Sarjeant) and Circulodinium distinctum (Deflandre et
Cookson) Jansonius, Kiokansium polypes (Cookson et Eisen-
ack) Below and Systematophora silybum Davey, are of the
greatest importance. The assemblage of dinocysts consists pri-
marily of representatives of Dissiliodinium globulus Drugg,
Ctenidodinium elegantulum Millioud, Gonyaulacysta cretacea
(Neale et Sarjeant) Sarjeant, and Oligosphaeridium poculum
The higher Early Barremian (ammonite Nicklesi and Cail-
laudianus) zones identified especially in the localities situated
by the village of Tichá (Vašíček 1971) are characterized by the
abundance of phylloceratids and lytoceratids, further by repre-
sentatives of Anahamulina, or Hamulina and also Silesites
vulpes (Coquand). On the other hand, in contrast to similar de-
posits of the Mediterranean bioprovince, the ammonite associ-
ation is extremely poor in representatives of Pulchelliidae. In
the Caillaudianus Zone, accumulations are found in places that
are formed by small heteromorph shells of Leptoceratoidinae
usually accompanied by non-abundant representatives of Hol-
codiscus (Soběšovice – Klajmon et al. 1997; Vašíček & Klaj-
mon 1998). The Caillaudianus Zone is characterized by a
number of the first occurrences (FOs) of Barrremian strati-
graphically significant species of dinocysts. In the assemblag-
es, representatives of Cerbia tabulata (Davey et Verdier) Be-
low, Protoellipsodinium spinosum Davey et Verdier, Subtili-
sphaera pirnaensis (Alberti) Jain et Millepied and S. terrula
Davey (Skupien 1997, 1999) dominate.
Ammonites certainly do not prove the Early/Late Barremi-
an boundary age of deposits in the Silesian Unit. The Vanden-
heckii and Sartousiana Zones are still a problem; they have not
been verified by suitable ammonite species yet. With reference
to the dinoflagellate occurrence, above all Odontochitina
Fig. 3. Relative abundance of paleo-environmental groups of dinoflagellate cysts in the Silesian Unit.
Fig. 4. The species name is followed by the size of the specimens,
preparation slide number, England Finder coordinates (for the local-
ization of the specimen on the slide), sample location and stratigraph-
ic position. 1, 4 – Pseudoceratium pelliferum Gocht, 1957. Body
m; Huk1/a, R33/4, Hukvaldy, Upper Hauterivian (ammo-
nite Angulicostata Zone). 2, 3 – Muderongia staurota Sarjeant,
1966. Body length 120
m; Huk1/a, T28, the same localization as in
figure 1. 5 – Muderongia neocomica Gocht, 1957. Body length
m; Huk1/a, V28/3, the same localization as in figure 1. 6, 7 –
Muderongia macwhaei Cookson et Eisenack, 1958. 6 – Body length
m, Huk1/b, Q32/1; 7 – A25, the same localization as in figure
1. 8 – Muderongia tabulata (Raynaud, 1978) Monteil, 1991. Body
m; Huk1/a, Q16/4, the same localization as in figure 1. 9 –
Dinogymnium albertii Sarjeant, 1966. Body length 56
K/L39, Hukvaldy, Lower Barremian (ammonite Hugii Zone).
CRETACEOUS AMMONITE AND DINOCYST BIOSTRATIGRAPHY 183
184 SKUPIEN and VAŠÍČEK
Fig. 5. 1 – Occisucysta tentoria Duxbury, 1977. Body width 58
m; So2/a, Q16/4, Soběšovice, Lower Barremian (ammonite Caillaudianus
Zone). 2 – Fromea quadrugata Duxbury, 1980. Body width 76
m; So2/a, E26, the same localization as in figure 1. 3 – Kiokansium
polypes (Cookson et Eisenack, 1962) Below, 1982. Body length 67
m; So2/a, P27, the same localization as in figure 1. 4 – Proli-
xosphaeridium parvispinum (Deflandre, 1937b) Davey et al., 1969. Body length 85
m; L13/a, O44/1, Pindula, Upper Barremian (ammonite
Vandenheckii Zone). 5 – Cerbia tabulata (Davey et Verdier, 1974), Below, 1981. Body width 77
m; So2/a, P48/49, the same localization
as in figure 1. 6 – Subtilisphaera ? pirnaensis (Alberti, 1962) Jain et Millepied, 1973. Body width 48
m; So2/a, E26, the same localization
as in figure 1. 7 – Protoellipsodinium clavulum Davey et Verdier, 1974. Body length 76
m; L13/a, T43, the same localization as in figure
4. 8, 9 – Odontochitina operculata (O. Wetzel, 1933) Deflandre et Cookson, 1955. 1. Length 102
m; L13/a, S48; 2. free operculum, Body
m, L13/b, K32/33; the same localization as in figure 4.
CRETACEOUS AMMONITE AND DINOCYST BIOSTRATIGRAPHY 185
Fig. 6. 1 – Protoellipsodinium touile Below, 1981. Body length 70
m; Huk 2/a, N46, Hukvaldy, Lower Barremian (ammonite Hugii Zone). 2
– Protoellipsodinium spinosum Davey et Verdier, 1971. Body length 71
m; L13/a, T34, Pindula, Upper Barremian (ammonite Vandenheckii
Zone). 3 – Hystrichosphaerina schindewolfii Alberti, 1961. Body width 66
m; L13/c, N46, the same localization as in figure 2. 4 – Palaeo-
peridinium cretaceum Pocock, 1962. Body length 53
m; L13/a, A12, the same localization as in figure 2. 5 – Pseudoceratium polymorphum
(Eisenack, 1958) Bint, 1986. Body width 86.6
m; S31/c, N29/3, Satina, Lower Aptian (ammonite Tuarkyricus Zone). 6 – Coronifera tubu-
losa Cookson et Eisenack 1974. Body length 46
m; S31/b, B25, the same localization as in figure 5. 7 – Florentinia mantellii (Davey et Will-
iams, 1966) Davey et Verdier, 1973. Body width 61
m; S31/a, G41/3, the same localization as in figure 5. 8 – Oligosphaeridium poculum
Jain, 1977. Body width 60
m; BP1/a, Z23/1, Bílý Potok, Lower Aptian (ammonite Weissi Zone). 9 – Subtilisphaera perlucida (Alberti, 1959)
Jain et Millepied, 1973. Body width 50
m. BP1/a, P33, Bílý Potok, Lower Aptian (ammonite Weissi Zone). 10 – Oligosphaeridium verruco-
sum Davey, 1979. Body width 60
m; L20/a, Y53, Pindula, Upper Aptian (ammonite Nolani Zone). 11 – Surculosphaeridium trunculum Dav-
ey, 1979. Body width 56
m; L20/b, F43, the same localization as in figure 10. 12 – Oligosphaeridium djenn Below, 1982. Body diameter
m; L20/b, O/P37, the same localization as in figure 10.
186 SKUPIEN and VAŠÍČEK
CRETACEOUS AMMONITE AND DINOCYST BIOSTRATIGRAPHY 187
Fig. 7. 1 – Silesites vulpes (Coquand). Early Barremian (ammonite
Nicklesi Zone), Tichá. 2 – Anahamulina hoheneggeri (Uhlig). Ear-
ly Barremian (Nicklesi Zone), coal shaft Frenštát 4, depth 250 m.
3 – Eoheteroceras uhligi (Vašíček). Early Barremian (ammonite
Caillaudianus Zone), Soběšovice. 4 – Karsteniceras beyrichoide
Vašíček et Wiedmann. Early Barremian (Caillaudianus Zone),
Soběšovice. 5 – Hamulinites parvulus (Uhlig). Early Barremian
(Caillaudianus Zone), Pindula. 6 – Anahamulina distans Vašíček.
Late Barremian (ammonite Feraudianus Zone), Malenovice. 7 –
Spinocrioceras cf. amadei (Uhlig). Late Barremian (Feraudianus
Zone), Malenovice. 8 – Silesites seranonis (d’Orbigny). Late Bar-
remian (ammonite Sarasini Zone), Kozlovice. 9 – Procheloniceras
albrechtiaustriae (Uhlig). Lowermost Aptian (ammonite Tuarkyri-
cus Zone), Kunčice p. O. 10 – Acanthohoplites nolani exiquecosta-
tus Egoian. Late Aptian (ammonite Nolani Zone), Pindula. 11 –
Nodosohoplites moravicus Vašíček. Late Aptian (Nolani Zone),
Pindula. Where no graphical scale is given, the magnification is
equal to that in figure 9.
operculata (O. Wetzel) Deflandre et Cookson, Palaeoperidini-
um cretaceum Pocock and Prolixosphaeridium parvispinum
(Deflandre) Davey et al., the beginning of the Late Barremian
is considered. Their first occurrences characterizing the Early/
Late Barremian boundary (Costa & Davey 1992; Leereveld
1995) were found in several localities (primarily Kunčice p.
O., Pindula, Malenovice-Satina; Skupien 1997, 1999).
Late Barremian ammonite zones (Feraudianus, Giraudi, Sa-
rasini) found especially in the surroundings of Kunčice p. O.
(Vašíček 1971, 1973) were characterized, besides stratigraphi-
cally less important phylloceratids and lytoceratids, mainly by
occurrences of Macroscaphites yvani (Puzos), Costidiscus
recticostatus (d’Orbigny) and Silesites seranonis (d’Orbigny).
Moreover, in the Feraudianus Zone, representatives of Anaha-
mulina are abundant; representatives of Spinocrioceras (local-
ity of Malenovice 5 – Vašíček 1971, 1972) being a new ele-
ment. In the assemblage of dinocysts from samples taken from
localities in the vicinity of Kunčice p. O., species stratigraphi-
cally insignificant for this part of the Barremian prevail, for
example, Cerbia tabulata (Davey et Verdier) Below, Odonto-
chitina operculata (O. Wetzel) Deflandre et Cookson, Oli-
gosphaeridium complex (White) Davey et Williams. However,
what can be regarded as stratigraphically important, is the last
occurrence (LO) of Muderongia staurota Sarjeant and
Pseudoceratium pelliferum Gocht which indicates, according
to Leereveld (1995), the end of the Barremian/Aptian bound-
ary (Pindula, Malenovice-Satina; Skupien 1997).
In that part of the sequence of strata which we regard as the
ammonite Giraudi Zone anahamulinids do not occur any more.
On the other hand, no pseudohaploceratids occur here yet.
Sporadic occurrences of ammonites of Heteroceratidae, to
which beside Heteroceras, colchidits also belong, are interest-
ing. The overlying Sarasini Zone is characterized by the first
appearance of Pseudohaploceras liptoviense (Zeuschner). The
first occurrences of this genus, or species from the beginning
of the presented zone is stated by Delanoy (1998) as well.
Representatives of Ptychoceras are relatively abundant in
places. Findings of Audouliceras fallauxi (Uhlig) and the oc-
currence of Toxoceratoides are of interest too.
The ammonite spectrum of the basal Aptian (ammonite Tu-
arkyricus Zone) remains, in principle, equal to that of the pre-
vious zone. We connect the base of the Aptian with the first
occurrences of representatives of Procheloniceras (Vašíček
1973), especially with the occurrence of P. albrechtiaustriae
(Uhlig). Only exceptionally, representatives of Deshayesites
(Veřovice – Vašíček 1971) can be found here as well.
In the overlying beds of the basal Aptian, ammonites rather
suddenly disappear from deposits with the ever-decreasing
calcareous content. The unique occurrence of Cheloniceras
aff. seminodosum (Sinzow) and the position of its occurrence
in the beds overlying those with Procheloniceras could identi-
fy the ammonite Weissi Zone (Bílý potok at Čeladná –
However, the Early Aptian dinocyst spectrum is character-
ized well by the first occurrences of stratigraphically signifi-
cant forms, above all Apteodinium granulatum Eisenack,
Coronifera tubulosa Cookson et Eisenack, Pseudoceratium
polymorphum Gocht and Tehamadinium tenuiceras (Eisenack)
Jan du Chêne et al. (localities of Bílý potok at Čeladná and
Kunčice p. O.). In the locality of Bílý potok, in the supposed
Weissi Zone, the first occurrence of Florentinia mantelii (Dav-
ey et Williams) Davey et Verdier and Surculosphaeridium
trunculum Davey can be taken as significant for the dinocysts.
In the assemblages of Early Aptian dinocysts of the Silesian
Unit, representatives of the genus Achomosphaera (A. triangu-
lata (Gerlach) Davey et Williams, A. verdieri Below) prevail.
After a rather long period without any ammonite occurrence
in the Silesian Unit, the last ammonite horizon of Lower Cre-
taceous (Late Aptian) age appears (Pindula – Vašíček 1981b;
Skupien 1997). In addition to endemic ammonites, the unique
occurrence of Acanthohoplites nolani exiquecostatus Egoian is
important here. It proves the Late Aptian ammonite Nolani
Zone. Dinocysts have not furnished any suitable stratigraphic
data for the presented part of the Aptian (except the Nolani
Zone mentioned above). In this zone, representatives of Oli-
gosphaeridium djenn Below and O. verrucosum Davey appear
for the first time. The uppermost Aptian (Jacobi Zone) can be
considered in virtue of the last occurrences of some dinocyst
species (Davey 1979; Below 1984), namely Cerbia tabulata
(Davey et Verdier) Below, Hystrichosphaerina schindewolfii
Alberti, Oligosphaeridium verrucosum Davey and Surcu-
losphaeridium trunculum Davey. Their occurrences were
found in several rather continuous sections with exposed Ap-
tian/Albian boundary deposits (localities of Komorní Lhotka
– Skupien 1998; Pindula – Skupien 1997, 1999). However,
the uppermost Aptian zone mentioned has not been proved by
any macrofaunistic findings.
Our knowledge is graphically summarized and expressed in
Table 1. Significant dinocysts are illustrated in Figs. 4—6,
some important ammonites are shown in Fig. 7. A special
study (Vašíček & Skupien, in prep.) deals with the systematic
processing of the specific ammonite group of ancyloceratids
occurring in the given time period.
Remarks about paleoecology and paleoclimatology
With regard to the quality of preservation and especially the
amount of palynomorphs, only some samples were suitable for
the quantitative palynological evaluation of the part under
188 SKUPIEN and VAŠÍČEK
study. The analysis given below is based on the data presented
in Figs. 2 and 3. In the stratigraphic scale of both the figures,
merely those ammonite zones are stated that are examined
well according to sufficiently rich contents of dinocysts.
The Hauterivian/Barremian boundary deposits studied in the
locality of Hukvaldy are characterized by an abundance of di-
nocysts with the prevailing part formed by the littoral group
(primarily Systematophora). Simultaneously, dinocysts typical
of the open neritic sea are present in small numbers. Thus, it is
possible to suppose a redeposition of littoral material into
deeper parts of the basin (into the area of the open sea).
The composition of palynomorphs of the Early Barremian
(Caillaudianus Ammonite Zone) of the Soběšovice locality is
characterized by a rather high content of sporomorphs and by
the presence of prasinophytes (these indicate a lower salinity
of the surface waters). In the composition of dinocysts of this
part of the Early Barremian, neritic species prevail (e.g. Klei-
thriasphaeridium eoinodes (Eisenack) Davey, Oligosphaeridi-
um asterigerum (Gocht) Davey et Williams, O. complex
(White) Davey et Williams) with a significant share of littoral
types (e.g. Subtilisphaera). It is possible to state that the origi-
nal environment of the redeposited assemblage of dinocysts
was in the area of the deeper shelf. The increased number of
peridinioid cysts, present most frequent in the environment of
the higher supply of nutrients, indicates a possibility of a high
drift from the continent (which is shown by the considerably
high content of sporomorphs as well) and also the reduction of
salinity of the sea surface (the presence of prasinophytes).
Fresh water and nutrient influx implies increased runoff, pos-
sibly as a result of increased precipitation. High productivity
and limited water circulation at the bottom cause anoxic con-
ditions of sedimentation.
During the Late Barremian (Vandenheckii and Sartousiana
Ammonite Zones of the Pindula section; Giraudi and Sarasini
Ammonite Zones of the Malenovice-Satina section) and the
Aptian (Early Aptian of the Malenovice-Satina section and
Late Aptian of the Pindula section), a share of terrestrial mate-
rial (sporomorphs) decreased. During the Late Aptian, di-
nocysts begun to prevail totally. Simultaneously, a change in
the composition of the assemblage of dinocysts occurs, when
the share of the littoral group declines markedly and, on the
contrary, an increase in the proportion of dinocysts character-
istic of the open neritic sea (Spiniferites) can be observed here.
Since the uppermost Aptian, an autochthonous element ap-
peared here for the first time, namely the oceanic group of di-
On the basis of the quantitative content of palynomorphs
and dinocysts of the Těšín-Hradiště Formation of the upper-
most Barremian and the Early Aptian, the environment of
deeper shelf to basin can be considered still with a marked
supply of terrestrial material. During the Late Aptian, the ter-
restrial influence weakened, and dinocysts typical of the open
sea became dominant.
The dinocysts present in the Silesian Unit material are al-
most entirely warm-water taxa indicating a relatively high sea
surface temperature during deposition. Only several Aptian
samples contain few cold-water species. These could imply a
temporary drop in the sea surface temperature.
The contribution submitted develops and makes more accu-
rate a part of the previous results briefly presented at the 6
ternational Cretaceous Symposium in Vienna (Skupien &
Vašíček 2000). A rich content of non-calcareous dinocysts es-
pecially in the period of the uppermost Hauterivian to the Ear-
ly Aptian, the species composition of their assemblage, the
first and last occurrences of some significant species, and oth-
ers enable their stratigraphic utilization for the detailed deter-
mination of the age of outcrops in monotonous, grey pelitic
deposits of the Silesian Unit, in some cases up to the level of
ammonite zones. Dinocysts can be used suitably for defining
the lower and upper boundaries of the Barremian Stage, or for
distinguishing the Early/Late Barremian boundary especially
in such places where ammonites are missing in the deposits of
the Silesian Unit.
The quantitative compositions of palynomorphs and assem-
blages of dinocysts in the Silesian Unit reflect the environment
of the open sea with a gradually decreasing supply of terrestri-
al and shallow-sea materials. An increased portion of terrestri-
al material in the Lower Barremian (here also the presence of
prasinophytes) and in the Lower Aptian strata indicates higher
precipitation (humid climate). A deepening of the sedimenta-
tion environment can be observed as well (during the Late Ap-
tian, the first representatives of oceanic dinocysts already ap-
peared) which can be connected with tectonic subsidence and
sea level rise in the uppermost Aptian to Albian (according to
the second order eustatic curve of the level, Haq et al. 1988).
During Aptian, dinocysts appear that are considered to be Bo-
real elements and which indicate a cooling of the sea level.
The prevailing majority of significant ammonite species
presented in the correlation Table 1 and in the text (if not de-
picted in Fig. 7) have been illustrated in previous publications
by Vašíček (1972, 1977, 1981a,b), or they will be mentioned
in an ammonite study under preparation (Vašíček & Skupien,
in prep.). The detailed processing of the associations of di-
nocysts of most of the localities has been published by Skupi-
en (1997, 1998, 1999).
Acknowledgments: The study was supported by the Grant
Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR No. 205/00/0985). For
making photos the authors thank Mrs. K. Mezihoráková and J.
Below R. 1984: Aptian to Cenomanian dinoflagellate cysts from the
Mazagan Plateau, Northwest Africa (Site 545 and 547, Deep
Sea Drilling Project Leg 79). Init. Rep. DSDP 79, 621—649.
Costa L.I. & Davey R.J. 1992: Dinoflagellate cyst of the Cretaceous
System. In: Powel A.J. (Ed.): A Stratigraphic Index of Di-
noflagellate Cysts. London, 99—132.
Davey R.J. 1979: Marine Apto-Albian palynomorphs from Holes
400A and 402A, IPOD Leg 48, northern Bay of Biscay. Init.
Rep. DSDP 48, 547—577.
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