RADIOLARIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF CENOMANIAN-TURONIAN SUBSILESIAN NAPPE
GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 55, 3, BRATISLAVA, JUNE 2004
RADIOLARIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF THE
UPPER CENOMANIANLOWER TURONIAN DEPOSITS IN THE
SUBSILESIAN NAPPE (OUTER WESTERN CARPATHIANS)
Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Oleandry 2a, 30-063 Kraków, Poland; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Manuscript received December 9, 2002; accepted in revised form October 2, 2003)
Abstract: The Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian flysch deposits of the Subsilesian Unit of the Outer Western
Carpathians include a characteristic interval of green and black, siliceous shales with manganese concretions, benthonites
and tuff, with abundant radiolarian fauna. Thirty two species of Radiolaria have been identified. Spherical cryptothoracic
and cryptocephalic Nassellaria dominate in the assemblage. Two radiolarian species: Alievium superbum and Crucella
cachensis have been proposed as biomarkers for setting the CenomanianTuronian boundary interval in the deposits of
the Subsilesian series of the Polish Outer Carpathians.
Key words: Cenomanian-Turonian boundary, Flysch Carpathians, Subsilesian Unit, Radiolaria.
The Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian Green radiolarian
shales represent the most distinctive horizon of the Outer
Western Carpathians. They are present in the Skole Nappe
(so-called Do³he Formation), Silesian Nappe (the
Barnasiówka Radiolarian Shale Formation), Subsilesian
Nappe (Green radiolarian shales) and Magura Nappe (the
Hulina Formation) in the Polish part of the Outer Western
Carpathians. The thickness of these deposits varies from doz-
ens of centimeters to several meters in individual nappes.
They mainly consist of green shales with intercalations of
black, grey and olive, silty or calcareous shales, and they are
partly intercalated with green and red cherts and radiolarites.
Clastic intercalations are also present as thin-bedded, fine- and
very fine-grained sandstone. The lower part of the Green ra-
diolarian shales includes very characteristic layers of
ferromanganese concretions (documented only from the
Silesian and Subsilesian Nappes), and black shales with man-
ganese incrustations, known in all the nappes. Moreover, the
sediments of this age include benthonite intercalations and a
tuff layer (a few centimeters thick), situated just below the
layer with ferromanganese concretions.
The Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian deposits have
been a subject of biostratigraphical studies since the early
1930s. Previous authors dealing with micropaleontological
investigations focused their interests on foraminifers as the
most useful tool for biostratigraphical purposes (e.g. Liszkowa
1956, 1962; Liszkowa & Nowak 1962; Bieda et al. 1963;
Geroch et al. 1967; Geroch et al. 1985), however radiolarians
are the most abundant group in these deposits.
The aim of the present study is to precisely determine the
age of the Green radiolarian shales in the Subsilesian Nappe
on the basis of radiolarian fauna. A special interest was given
to the stratigraphic position of the ferromanganese concretions
level in relation to the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary.
History of study
Uhlig, who carried out his geological investigations in
Moravia, discovered the mid-Cretaceous deposits enriched in
radiolarians in 1888. The first attempt at an age assignment
was made by Sujkowski & Ró¿ycki (1930). These authors
correlated the variegated shales with radiolarian cherts (crop-
ping out in the Skole Nappe) with the radiolarite series of the
Southern Alps, the Western Apennines and the Pieniny
Klippen Belt. They assigned their age to the Late Jurassic on
the basis of lithological similarities with the above mentioned
Later investigations were carried out in the Silesian Nappe,
where the Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian deposits are
much better exposed (Burtanówna et al. 1933; Nowak 1956;
Koszarski et al. 1959; Koszarski & Liszkowa 1963; Geroch
1967; Geroch et al. 1967, 1985; Gzik 1990; Gzik & Koszarski
1990; M. B¹k 1994, 2000; K. B¹k & M. B¹k 2000; K. B¹k et
al. 2001). The Early Albian age of the green shales with radi-
olarians in the Silesian series was suggested by Burtanówna et
al. (1933), based on the superposition between the Lgota Beds
and the Godula Beds. Koszarski et al. (1959) correlated the
green shales with radiolarians from the Silesian, Subsilesian
and Skole Nappes, and assigned them Cenomanian age, based
on a few globotruncanids (Silesian series).
Radiolarian fauna was used as a stratigraphic tool in the
early 1990s (M. B¹k 1994). Detailed studies were carried out
in the Silesian Nappe (Miêdzybrodzie section near Sanok),
where the radiolarian assemblage was correlated with the
Cenomanian radiolarian Holocryptocanium barbuiHolocrypto-
canium tuberculatum Zone. The study of radiolarians was also
made in other sections of the Silesian Nappe (M. B¹k 2000),
where the Late CenomanianEarly Turonian biozonation was
proposed for these deposits.
Recently, the Upper Cenomanianlowermost Turonian de-
posits in the Silesian Nappe have been distinguished as a for-
mal lithostratigraphic unit, the Barnasiówka Radiolarian
Shale Formation (B¹k et al. 2001). Its detailed stratigraphic
position has been identified on the basis of the radiolarian
fauna and deep-water agglutinated foraminifers.
The Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian deposits, en-
riched in radiolarians, are poorly exposed in the Subsilesian
Nappe. One of the known localities is situated at Zasañ near
Mylenice (Fig. 1). The age of the deposits cropping out here
was previously determined as Albian on the basis of the cor-
relation with the Silesian and Skole series (Liszkowa in:
Burtan & Turnau-Morawska 1978). Lately, Gedl & M. B¹k
(2000) suggested a latest CenomanianEarly Turonian age on
the basis of dinocysts and radiolarian assemblages.
The Subsilesian series forms one of the Tertiary thrust-
sheets of the Outer Western Carpathians. Its exposed part is
represented by deposits of the Lower Cretaceous to Miocene
age. The paleogeographic position of the Subsilesian Basin is
interpreted as one of the subbasins of the Outer Carpathian
basin, situated south of the North European plate on the sub-
marine ridge, between the Silesian and Skole Subbasins
Nowadays, the Subsilesian Nappe occurs in the Polish part
of the Western Carpathians as two parallel zones west of the
Dunajec River (Fig. 1). The northern zone is visible to the
north of the Silesian Nappe, between Brzesko and Cieszyn.
The southern zone appears in a few tectonic windows be-
tween the Dunajec and Skawa Rivers and in the ¯ywiec De-
pression. The studied section is located in the Mylenice
Fig. 1. Location of the section studied in the geological map of the
Outer Western Carpathians (after ¯ytko et al. (1988) simplified).
Abbreviations: Sk Skole Unit, Zg Zg³obice Unit, D + G
undivided Dukla and Grybów Units, G Grybów Unit, Zas lo-
cation of Zasañ section.
tectonic window, within the southern zone of the Subsilesian
Nappe. The window is built of a few tectonic slices with highly
tectonized Lower and Upper Cretaceous deposits.
The Albian-Turonian deposits of the Subsilesian Nappe
(Fig. 2) in this area are represented by the Gaize Beds (mainly
spongiolites with shale and siltstone intercalations), the Green
radiolarian shales (highly correlative to the Barnasiówka Ra-
diolarian Shale Formation from the Silesian Nappe) and the
lower part of the Variegated Shales (red and green shales
with single sandstone intercalations).
The studied section is situated at Zasañ settlement, near the
Trzemenia village, about 10 km east of Mylenice town. The
Gaize Beds do not crop out in the Zasañ section. The section
includes sediments correlated with the Barnasiówka Radiolar-
ian Shale Formation. It includes here (Fig. 3) green non-calcare-
ous shales intercalated by black non-calcareous shales, and
occasionally by green, pale green and spotty shales, partly cov-
ered by jarosite. Manganese shales with a layer of ferro-
manganese concrections (23 cm of diameter) occur higher up
in the section. A few layers of thin benthonite intercalate them.
One of the benthonite layers occurs just above the manganese
shale. The manganese series with benthonites represents the
middle part of this sequence. The higher part of the section
studied is represented by: (1) thin layers of green radiolarian
shales with ferrous coats intercalated with tuffites and
benthonites, (2) light grey and light blue highly siliceous
shales, with single intercalations of thin black shales and
gaizes (thin- to medium-grained sandstones enriched in sponge
spicules), and (3) green, blue-green and light grey clayey
shales intercalated with light grey and black siliceous shales.
Twenty eight samples have been collected from the studied
section. Radiolarians were extracted using two methods. Sili-
ceous shales were treated with 35% hydrofluoric acid. Clayey
Fig. 2. Lithostratigraphy of the Cenomanian through Turonian de-
posits in the Subsilesian Unit (after Koszarski & l¹czka 1973).
RADIOLARIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF CENOMANIAN-TURONIAN SUBSILESIAN NAPPE
Fig. 3. Lithological columns of the Zasañ section showing the lithology and position of radiolarian samples.
shales and benthonites were boiled in diluted Glaubers salt.
The samples were sieved and the >63 µm fraction was exam-
ined. Selected samples with moderately to well-preserved ra-
diolarians were studied under the scanning electron
microscope (SEM), and the common faunal association is
documented in Table 1 and Figs. 47.
Radiolarian fauna is abundant in all samples but, in general,
poorly preserved, with few moderately to well-preserved
specimens. In some cases a relatively intense recrystallization
occurs. The poor preservation does not allow a statistical
evaluation of the fauna because the assemblage composition
and the differences reflect preservation rather than primary
faunal composition. Nevertheless, enough specimens are suf-
ficiently preserved for biostratigraphic analysis.
Table 1: Occurrence of the radiolarian specimens and local radiolarian zones in the Zasañ section.
The radiolarian association comprises twenty taxa of
Spumellaria and twelve taxa of Nassellaria. According to the
systematic framework of ODogherty (1994) and Dumitricã
(1995) radiolarian taxa belong to six families of the order
Spumellaria and five families of the order Nassellaria.
Spumellaria include the following families and genera:
Pseudoaulophacidae (genera Alievium, Pseudoaulophacus
and Patellula), Patulibracchidae (genera Paronaella and
Halesium), Actinommidae (genus Praeconocaryomma), Orbi-
culiformidae (genus Crucella), Cavaspongiidae (genus Cava-
spongia) and Pyramispongidae (genus Pyramispongia). Nas-
sellaria are mainly represented by Williriedellidae (genera
RADIOLARIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF CENOMANIAN-TURONIAN SUBSILESIAN NAPPE
Cryptamphorella, Hemicryptocapsa and Holocryptocanium),
other species belong to the families Diacanthocapsidae (genus
Diacanthocapsa), Archaeodictyomitridae (genus Dictyomi-
tra), Pseudodictyomitridae (genus Pseudodictyomitra), and
Amphipyndacidae (genus Stichomitra).
The analysed assemblage is dominated by spherical cryp-
tothoracic and cryptocephalic Nassellaria, belonging mostly
to the species Holocryptocanium barbui Dumitricã and Ho-
locryptocanium tuberculatum Dumitricã. These species repre-
sent 6099 % of the whole assemblage. Spumellarians are less
common but more diversified. As the number of species, they
represent up to 40 % of the radiolarian fauna.
Sixteen samples yielding radiolarians were studied from the
interval investigated. The results are presented in Table 1.
Biostratigraphically important species include Alievium su-
perbum (Squinabol), Crucella cachensis Pessagno, Patellula
ecliptica ODogherty, Patellula andrusovi Ovoldová, Holo-
cryptocanium barbui Dumitricã, Holocryptocanium tubercu-
latum Dumitricã, Pyramispongia glascockensis Pessagno,
Cavaspongia antelopensis Pessagno, Paronaella californi-
aensis Pessagno, Crucella messinae Pessagno, Stichomitra
communis Squinabol, Praeconocaryomma universa Pessag-
no, Praeconocaryomma lipmanae Pessagno, Pseudodictyomi-
tra pseudomacrocephala (Squinabol), Diacanthocapsa
euganea Squinabol, Dictyomitra napaensis Pessagno,
Pseudoaulophacus putahensis Pessagno, Dictyomitra undata
Squinabol, Pseudoeucyrtis pulchra (Squinabol), Patellula
cognata ODogherty, Paronaella communis (Squinabol),
Cavaspongia euganea (Squinabol) and Cavaspongia sphaeri-
ca ODogherty. This association is characteristic of the fauna
around the Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary Event (CTBE),
well described both from oceanic and land sections, for exam-
ple, from the Pacific: Moore (1973), Foreman (1975); Atlantic
Ocean: Thurow (1988); Carpathians: Dumitricã (1975), M.
B¹k (1999a,b); Mediterranean: Marcucci et al. (1991),
ODogherty (1994); Japan: Taketani (1982); Caucasus: Vish-
nievskaya (1993); Russian Pacific Rim: Vishnievskaya
(1993); California: Pessagno (1976).
Several species occurring in the studied radiolarian assem-
blage are not influenced by the CTBE (long-ranging forms).
These include Halesium amissum (Squinabol), Holocryptoca-
nium barbui Dumitricã, Holocryptocanium tuberculatum
Dumitricã, Pyramispongia glascockensis Pessagno, Patellula
helios (Squinabol), Patellula verteroensis (Pessagno),
Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocephala (Squinabol), and
Stichomitra communis Squinabol. On the other hand, the
CTBE is reflected in disappearance (LO) and the first appear-
ance (FO) of some radiolarian species.
Crucella messinae Pessagno is one of the species which has
its LO in the CTBE deposits. Its LO in uppermost Cenoma-
nian is reported, from the California Coast Ranges (Pessagno
1976), Northern and Central Italy (Erbacher 1994), Northern
Atlantic (Thurow 1988; Erbacher 1994) and elsewhere. Ac-
cording to ODogherty (1994) the last appearance data (LAD)
of C. messinae, calculated on the basis of the unitary associa-
tion method, took place in the earliest Turonian. In the studied
section, this species has its LO about 1.1 m below the ferro-
manganese concretions level (sample Zas-23). It coincides
with the first occurrences of Paronaella californiaensis Pessa-
gno, Patellula ecliptica ODogherty, Patellula andrusovi
Ovoldová and Praeconocaryomma universa Pessagno, spe-
cies which make their FOs in the CTBE.
Other important species for radiolarian biostratigraphy with
relation to the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (CTB) are
Alievium superbum (Squinabol) and Crucella cachensis Pes-
sagno. In the Zasañ section, A. superbum appears in the high-
est part of the green shales (sample Zas-6), about 3.4 m above
the ferromanganese concretions level. The FO of C. cachensis
(sample Zas-7) is noted 0.5 m below the FO of A. superbum.
Both species have their FAD very close to the CTB e.g., Pes-
sagno (1976; Schaaf 1985; Thurow 1988). The authors men-
tioned above used these taxa to define the radiolarian A.
superbum Zone, the lower boundary of which coincides with
Pessagno (1976) was the first to discuss the FAD of A.
superbum in the Boreal Province of the California Coast
Ranges in relation to the CTB. According to this author, the
lower part of A. superbum Zone lies in the lower part of the
Inoceramus labiatus Zone, close to its lower limit and could
also coincide with the first appearance of double-keeled Glo-
bigerinacea (Helvetoglobotruncana helvetica).
Recently, the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary was pro-
posed in 1996 during the Second International Symposium on
Cretaceous Stage Boundaries in Brussels. It coincides with
the FO of the ammonite Watinoceras devonense at the base of
Bed 86 in the stratotype section at Rock Canyon Anticline,
west of Pueblo (Colorado). According to the inoceramid
biozonation (see compilation made by Bengtson 1996) and
ammonite zonations (Kennedy & Hancock 1976 and Kennedy
et al. 1983; compiled by Robaszynski 1983), the lower part of
the I. labiatus Zone coincides with the lower part of the
Watinoceras coloradoense Ammonite Zone. The lower limit
of the ammonite W. coloradoense Zone in Europe
(biozonation of Cobban et al. 1994 and Obradovich 1993 in:
Gradstein et al. 1995) could conceivably be correlative with
the lower boundary of the Watinoceras devonense Zone of
North America. The FO of W. coloradoense is placed in the
stratotype section within Bed 97 (1.5 m above the base of W.
devonense) (Kennedy & Cobban 1991). H. helvetica appears
(FAD) less than 1 m above the base of Bed 86 in the
stratotype section. In summary, according to the correlation
presented above, the first appearance (FAD) of A. superbum
could conceivably take place 11.5 m above the present
Crucella cachensis Pessagno is another radiolarian species,
which appears very close to the CTB. According to previous
investigations (Górka 1996; M. B¹k 2000; Gedl & B¹k 2000;
K. B¹k et al. 2001), this species is common in the Outer West-
ern Carpathian deposits. The species first occurs in the studied
section 0.5 m below the FO of A. superbum (sample Zas-7).
The previous workers reported the presence of C. cachensis
exclusively within the CTBE deposits (Ibiden). Thurow
(1988) proposed a radiolarian Crucella cachensis Zone for the
Northern Atlantic based on the first occurrence of the index
Fig. 4. Nassellaria from the uppermost Cenomanianlowermost Turonian deposits of the Subsilesian series. 1. Dictyomitra napaensis Pessa-
gno Zas-12. 2. Dictyomitra napaensis Pessagno Zas-7. 3. Dictyomitra undata Squinabol Zas-1. 4. Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacro-
cephala (Squinabol) Zas-1. 5. Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocephala (Squinabol) Zas-4. 6. Pseudodictyomitra pseudomacrocephala
(Squinabol) Zas-1. 7.Stichomitra magna Squinabol Zas-23. 8. Stichomitra communis Squinabol Zas-6. 9. Stichomitra communis
Squinabol Zas-6. 10. Stichomitra communis Squinabol Zas-1. 11. Stichomitra communis Squinabol Zas-1. 12. Stichomitra commu-
nis Squinabol Zas-1. 13. Stichomitra communis Squinabol Zas-1. 14. Stichomitra communis Squinabol Zas-6. 15. Stichomitra com-
munis Squinabol Zas-6. 16. Pseudoeucyrtis pulchra (Squinabol) Zas-6. 17. Nassellaria gen. et sp. indet. A Zas-6. 18. Nassellaria
gen. et sp. indet. B Zas-6. 19. Holocryptocanium barbui Dumitricã Zas-22. 20. Holocryptocanium barbui Dumitricã Zas-1. 21. Ho-
locryptocanium barbui Dumitricã Zas-6.
RADIOLARIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF CENOMANIAN-TURONIAN SUBSILESIAN NAPPE
Fig. 5. Nassellaria and Spumellaria from the uppermost Cenomanianlowermost Turonian deposits of the Subsilesian series. 1. Holocrypto-
canium tuberculatum Dumitricã Zas-6. 2. Holocryptocanium tuberculatum Dumitricã Zas-6. 3. Archaeocenosphaera(?) cf. mellifera
ODogherty Zas-6. 4. Archaeocenosphaera(?) cf. mellifera ODogherty Zas-6. 5. Alievium superbum (Squinabol) Zas-4. 6. Alievi-
um superbum (Squinabol) Zas-6. 7. Alievium superbum (Squinabol) Zas-1. 8. Pseudoaulophacus putahensis Pessagno Zas-4.
9. Cavaspongia sphaerica ODogherty Zas-1. 10. Cavaspongia euganea (Squinabol) Zas-6. 11. Cavaspongia euganea (Squinabol)
Zas-1. 12. Cavaspongia euganea (Squinabol) Zas-6. 13. Cavaspongia euganea (Squinabol) Zas-6. 14. Cavaspongia euganea (Squin-
abol) Zas-6. 15. Pyramispongia glascockensis Pessagno Zas-23. 16. Pyramispongia glascockensis Pessagno Zas-23. 17. Cavaspon-
gia antelopensis Pessagno Zas-1. 18. Paronaella communis (Squinabol) Zas-6.
Fig. 6. Spumellaria from the uppermost Cenomanianlowermost Turonian deposits of the Subsilesian series. 1. Paronaella californiaensis Pes-
sagno Zas-23. 2.Paronaella californiaensis Pessagno Zas-23. 3.Paronaella californiaensis Pessagno Zas-6. 4. Crucella messinae Pes-
sagno Zas-23. 5. Crucella messinae Pessagno Zas-23. 6. Crucella messinae Pessagno Zas-23. 7. Crucella cachensis Pessagno Zas-
6. 8. Crucella cachensis Pessagno Zas-6. 9. Crucella cachensis Pessagno Zas-7. 10. Crucella cachensis Pessagno Zas-1. 11.
Praeconocaryomma universa Pessagno Zas-6. 12. Praeconocaryomma universa Pessagno Zas-5. 13. Praeconocaryomma universa Pessa-
gno Zas-1. 14. Praeconocaryomma lipmanae Pessagno Zas-23. 15. Praeconocaryomma lipmanae Pessagno Zas-23. 16. Dactyl-
iosphaera maxima (Pessagno) Zas-1. 17. Dactyliosphaera maxima (Pessagno) Zas-1. 18. Dactyliosphaera maxima (Pessagno) Zas-1.
RADIOLARIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF CENOMANIAN-TURONIAN SUBSILESIAN NAPPE
Fig. 7. Spumellaria from the uppermost Cenomanianlowermost Turonian deposits of the Subsilesian series. 1. Patellula andrusovi
Ovoldová, upper surface Zas-1. 2. Patellula andrusovi Ovoldová, upper surface Zas-1. 3. Dactyliosphaera depressa (Wu)
Zas-23. 4. Patellula andrusovi Ovoldová, lower surface Zas-1. 5. Patellula andrusovi Ovoldová, lower surface Zas-1. 6. Patellu-
la matura (Wu) Zas-23. 7. Patellula ecliptica ODogherty Zas-12. 8. Patellula ecliptica ODogherty Zas-6. 9. Patellula eclipti-
ca ODogherty Zas-23. 10. Patellula ecliptica ODogherty Zas-22. 11.Patellula ecliptica ODogherty Zas-23. 12. Patellula
ecliptica ODogherty Zas-22. 13. Patellula verteroensis (Pessagno) Zas-5. 14. Patellula cognata ODogherty Zas-6.
species. He noted that this species never occurs with plank-
tonic foraminiferal species of the genus Rotalipora and its FO
is always coeval with the onset of the planktonic foraminiferal
Whiteinella aprica Zone.
In summary, both radiolarian species A. superbum and C.
cachensis, present in the siliceous deposits of the Subsilesian
series, are very useful biomarkers for placing the lower
boundary of the Turonian. They make their FOs above the fer-
romanganese concretion level. Consequently, the stratigraphi-
cal position of the ferromanganese concretion level is within
the uppermost Cenomanian.
The studied radiolarian assemblage, including all radiolari-
ans recovered in the deposits of the Subsilesian Nappe, has
been used for comparison with radiolarian zonal schemes
from different regions, especially from the Carpathians and
The radiolarian association from the lower part of the Zasañ
section (below the FO of C. cachensis and A. superbum) cor-
relates well with the Holocryptocanium barbui-Holocrypto-
canium tuberculatum assemblage proposed by Dumitricã
(1975) for the radiolarian-bearing deposits of the Romanian
Carpathians. This radiolarian assemblage shows great similar-
ity with the association presented herein, based on the co-oc-
currence of H. barbui and H. tuberculatum, and other
cryptocephalic and cryptothoracic Nassellaria. Moreover,
some multi-segmented Nassellaria from the genera Dictyomi-
tra, Pseudodictyomitra and Stichomitra also occur together. A
high percentage of cryptothoracic and cryptocephalic Nassel-
laria, especially H. barbui and H. tuberculatum is one of the
outstanding features of the radiolarian assemblages from the
Late Cenomanian to Early Turonian interval in the Car-
pathians. This feature has been reported from many sections
investigated in the Polish Outer Carpathians: in the Silesian
(M. B¹k 1994, 2000; K. B¹k et al. 2001) and Skole Units
(Górka 1996). It is also character of the radiolarian assem-
blages reported from all successions in the Polish part of the
Pieniny Klippen Belt (M. B¹k 1993, 1995, 1996a,b, 1999a,b).
The FO of A. superbum in sample Zas-6 marks the base of
the radiolarian Alievium superbum Zone of Pessagno (1976),
which includes the radiolarian assemblage from the upper part
of the section. This radiolarian biozone was also recognized in
the Mediterranean region (superbum Zone of ODogherty
1994). The A. superbum Zone can be well distinguished only
in the Outer Western Carpathians (Subsilesian, Silesian and
Skole Units). In the Slovak part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt,
the species A. superbum has been found only within the
Czorsztyn Succession (Sýkora et al. 1997).
This interval is also well correlated with the radiolarian
Crucella cachensis Zone of Thurow (1988) distinguished in
the North Atlantic. ODogherty (1994) also reported Crucella
cachensis from the Mediterranean region. This species is
common in the Outer Carpathian deposits, especially in the
Subsilesian and Skole Nappes, but it is rare in the Polish part
of the Pieniny Klippen Belt. Up to now, it has been found
only within the superbum Zone in the Czorsztyn Succession
in the Slovak part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt (Sýkora et al.
The results presented here are based on micropaleontologi-
cal analysis of twenty-eight samples collected from one sec-
tion (Zasañ section) of mid-Cretaceous deposits of the
Subsilesian Unit, in its Polish part. The studied deposits are
very rich in radiolarians. Lithologically, they consist mainly
of green shales with black shale intercalations, including man-
ganese concretions level, benthonites and tuff layers. These
deposits represent a characteristic correlation horizon, present
in the whole Carpathian arc.
A systematic study of all radiolarian species occurring in
the investigated samples allowed us to evaluate the diversity
of the radiolarian fauna. Twenty species of Spumellaria and
twelve species of Nassellaria have been recognized. The radi-
olarian assemblage is dominated by spherical cryptocephalic
Nassellaria, belonging mainly to the species Holocryptocani-
um barbui Dumitricã and H. tuberculatum Dumitricã. These
species make up 60 to 99 percent of the assemblage. Spumel-
larians are less common but more diversified. They represent
up to 40 percent of the radiolarian fauna, and are represented
mainly by the genera Patellula, Crucella, Paronaella, Prae-
conocaryomma and Alievium. This association is characteris-
tic of the fauna around the Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary
Two radiolarian species: Alievium superbum (Squinabol)
and Crucella cachensis Pessagno, present in the siliceous de-
posits of the Subsilesian series have been used as biomarkers
to place the Lower Turonian boundary. They make their first
occurrence above the ferromanganese concretions level (A.
superbum 3.4 m and C. cachensis 0.5 m). Consequent-
ly, the age of the ferromanganese concretion level was deter-
mined as the uppermost Cenomanian.
All radiolarian taxa recorded in the studied deposits have
been used for comparison with the radiolarian zonal schemes
of previous authors in different areas of the Carpathians and
the Mediterranean Basin.
Acknowledgments: Thanks are due to Assoc. Prof. J. Michalík,
Dr. L. Ovoldová, Dr. P. Dumitricã, and Dr. L. ODogherty
for their critical review of the manuscript. Mrs J. Faber is
gratefully acknowledged for her technical assistance in photo-
graphing the identified fauna.
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