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Microbiostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of Fahliyan and Gadvan formations in Kuh-e-Surmeh (Zagros Basin, Southwest Iran).


Zagros orogenic belt is placed in middle part of Alpine orogenic belt such that this Fold-Thrust belt is known to be as a consequent to collision of the Arabian lithospheric Plate and Iranian lithospheric Block (southern edge of Euroasia supercontinent) in the end of Cretaceous or in beginning of Paleocene [30,5,3,4]. Type section of this formation is located in southern flank of Kuh-e-Dal, in vicinity of Fahliyan village 90 km east, southeast of Gachsaran. Its age is Neocomian, Hith or Surmeh Formations are its lower boundary and is overlaid by Gadvan or Dariyan Formations [15]. Gadvan Formation with late Neocomian- Aptian is extended (with weathering) as an alternation of shale and Limestone between rough Limestones of Dariyan above and Fahliyan below [25]. Its type section were selected in ending of Khavaran Mountain in 39 km, east, northeast of Shiraz in Fars province [15].

Due to significant oil reservoirs existing in Zagros Mountains, geology of this region has been investigated by enormous world geologists from past till now. Among them, study of Fahliyan Formation by Gollesstaneh [10], Wynd [32], Kheradpir [18], Kalantari [17], Shakib [28], Moallemi [22], Mohammad-Khani [23], Afghah [2], Lasemi & Feyzi [19], Hosseini & Conrad [11], Rastegar Lari [26], Mosadegh & Shirazi [24], Adabi et al. [1], Jamalian et al. [13], Feghhi [9], Maleki & Lasemi [21] and study of Gadvan Formation by Wynd [32], Wells [31], Kheradpir [18], Kalantari [17], Setudehnia [29], Motiei [25], Shakib [28], Jahami et al. [14] can be mentioned.

Method of Study:

After choosing section and determining the upper and lower boundaries of Fahliyan and Gadvan Formations in field visit, systematic sampling was done. After preparing samples and making thin sections, lithostratigraphical and biostratigraphical studies were precisely performed. The existing foraminifera were evaluated based on these studies: Kalantari, [17], Gollesstaneh [10], Wynd [32], Kheradpir [17], Dragstan [6], Dragstan [7], Dieni & Radoicic [8], Loeblich & Tappan, [20], Husinec & Soka [12], Hosseini & Conrad [11], Additionally, For recognizing biozones, biozonation of Gollesstaneh [10] was applied.


Geographical Position of Study Section:

Kuh-e-Surmeh section is located in south of Firooz Abad and east of Ghir Va Karzin in Fars Province. Its geographical coordinates are N 28[degrees] 34' 08", E 52[degrees] 34' 54". Aerial distance of this section from Firooz Abad is almost 34 km and is approximately 40 km far from Ghir Va Karzin. The mentioned section is placed in 1:250000 Jahrum map provided by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and in 1:100000 Mozaffari and Firooz Abad maps provided by Geological Survey of Iran (GSI). Location of this section is shown in Fig.1.


Lithostratigraphy of Kuh-e-Surmeh Outcrop Section:

Surmeh anticline is placed in Zagros Folded Belt and below Outer Fars Province (Sub Coastal Fars). Fahliyan Formation is 162 m thick in this section. Its lower boundary with Hith anhydrite Formation is unconformable. Sectional layer at top of Hith Formation confirms this matter. The Fahliyan's upper boundary with Gadvan Formation is conformable. Age of Fahliyan formation in Kuh-e-Surmeh section is Neocomian due to existing fossil association. Lithological succession of this formation from base to top is as below:

- Limestone and massive dolomite with yellow weathered color, containing black chert

- Alternation of dolomite and thick-bedded Limestone containing pellet, ooid, intraclast

- Alternation of Limestone and thick-bedded dark dolomite

- Massive buff-colored Limestone having ooid and intraclast

- Thin-bedded Limestone with yellow weathered to buff color

- Massive Limestone with yellow weathered to buff color

- Massive Limestone, containing pellet, ooid and pyritic balls

- Massive Limestone with buff weathered color

- Thick-bedded Limestone with yellow weathered to buff color and in some cases pink to red having radiolaria, saccocoma, tintinid and sponge spicule

- Thick-bedded Limestone, yellow weathered to buff color having radiolaria and sponge spicule

- Thick-bedded Limestone, yellow weathered to buff color containing alga and foraminifer to high extent



Gadvan Formation with thickness of 47 m overlay Fahliyan Formation. Its lower boundary with Dariyan Formation is conformable. Microbiostratigraphical assessments didn't lead to identify the Khalij Member in this section because of highly eroded sediments of this formation and covering huge part of formation's layers. Based on fossil content, age of Gadvan Formation in Kuh-e-Surmeh section is considered as Barremian-Aptian. Lithology of Gadvan Formation is composed of argillaceous Limestone including foraminifera (e.g. Choffatella decipiens) and algae (e.g. Salpingoporella dinarica).


Precise microbiostratigraphical evaluations caused to recognize 54 genera and 86 fossil species in this section amongst which 28 genera and 40 species belong to foraminifera, 21 genera and 41 species belong to algae and the rest are linked to other fossil groups. Microfossils below were distinguished in Fahliyan Formation:


Peudocyclammina sp., Peudocyclammina lituus YOKOYAMA, Trocholina sp., Trocholina alpina LEUPOLD, Trocholina sagittaria ARNAUD VANNEAU et al., Trocholina delphinensis ARNAUD-VANNEAU et al., Trocholina chouberti HOTTINGER, Trocholina elongate LEUPOLD, Trocholina campanella ARNAUD-VANNEAU et al. , Trocholina gigantean GORBATCHIK, Pseudochrysalidina (Dokhania) sp., Pseudochrysalidina (Dokhania) conica HENSON, Pseudochrysalidina (Dokania)arabica HENSON, Praechrysalidina infracretacea LUPERTO SINNI, Everticyclammina hedbergi MAYNC, Gaudyrina sp., Novalesia distorta ARNAUDVANNEAU, Kurnubia sp., Ophthalmidium sp., Haplophragmoides sp.,Nautiloculina oolithica MOHLER, Nautiloculina broennimanni ARNAUD VANNEAU & PEYBERNES, Charentia cuvillieri NEUMANN Siphovalvulina sp., Eggeellina sp., Epistomina sp., Biloculina sp., Quinqueloculina sp., Mayncina sp., Coskinolina sp., Cuneolina sp., Aulotortus sp., Pseudotextularia sp., Cyclammina sp., Nezzazata sp., Glomspira sp., Lenticulina sp., Miliolidae, Valvulinidae, Lituolidae


Salpingoporella sp. , Salpingoporella annulata CAROZZI, Salpingoporella katzeri, CONRAD & RADOICIC, Salpingoporella inopinata, Selliporella neocomiensis RADOICIC, Salpingoporella aff. piriniae CARRAS & RADOICIC, Salpingoporella circassa FARINACCI & RADOICIC, Salpingoporella muhlbergii, Salpingoporella istraina GUSIC and BRUN, Salpingoporella pygmaea, Salpingoporella meliatea, Clypeina sp. , Clypeina jurassica, Clypeina dragastani DIENI & RADOICIC, Clypeina gr. solkani CONRAD & RADOICIC, Clypeina parasolkani FARINACCI & RADOICIC, Clypeina estevezii GRANIER,Clypeina gigantean SOKAC, Actinoporlla podolica ALTH, Actinoporella jaffrezoi GRANIER, Cylindroporella sp.,Cylindroporella iranica, Lithocodium aggregatum ELLIOTT and Bacinella irregularis RADOICIC, Otternstella lemmensis BERNIER, Ottemestella sudgeni ELLIOTT, Angiosporella sp., Zergabriella embergeri BOUROULLEC & DELOFFRE, Iranella inopianata, Cladocoropsis mirabilis FELIX, Neomizza sp., Terqumella sp., Munieria baconica, Macroporella (Pianella) pygmaea, Arabcudium aegagraplioides, Rajkaenella sp., Neomeris sp., Aciclaria sp., Holosporella arabica GRANIER, Thaumatoporella parvovesiculifera RAINERI, Solenopora sp., Permocalculus inopinatus ELLIOTT, Permocalculus sp.

Other microfossils:

Bekhmeia wetzeli,Vermiforma carinata, Carozziiella striata, Favreina sp., Titinopsella carpathica, Tintinid, Sponge spicules, Saccocoma sp., Echinoid remains, Stromatholite, Radiolaria, Mollusca fragments, Gastropoda, Serpulids, Corals, Stromatoporidea

According to fossil assemblage above and also based on biozonation of Gollesstaneh [10], "Pseudocyclammina lituus-Dukhania Arabica-Algal zone ll" biozone, was offered for Fahliyan Formation in this section which indicated Neocomian age for this formation's sediments. This zone starts with appearance of Pseudocyclammina lituus and Dokhania arabica and ends with first appearance of Choffatella decipiens (foraminifer) and Salpingoporella dinarica (algae). Sediments of this zone are 162 m thick.

The reason for choosing biozonation of Gollesstaneh [10] is high presence of algae and his emphasis on algae in biozonation. Also, because Wynd [32] didn't use algae as the main element of biozonation, it was preferred to apply Gollesstaneh [10] in this section. Actually, the introduced biozone is equivalent to "Pseudocyclammina lituusTrocholina Ass. Zone 14" biozone [32].

Also the following microfossils were recognized in Gadvan Formation:


Choffatella decipiens SCHLUMBERGER, Orbitolina sp., Peudocyclammina sp., Trocholina sp., Pseudochrysalidina (Dokhania) sp., Pseudochrysalidina (Dokania)arabica HENSON, Everticyclammina hedbergi MAYNC, Novalesia distorta ARNAUDVANNEAU, Haplophragmoides sp., Nautiloculina oolithica MOHLER, Siphovalvulina sp., Epistomina sp., Quinqueloculina sp., Mayncina sp., Coskinolina sp., Cuneolina laurenti SARTONI & CRESCENTI., Cyclammina sp., Charentia cuvillieri NEUMANN , Nezzazata sp., Lenticulina sp., Miliolidae, Valvulinidae, Lituolidae.


Salpingoporella sp. , Salpingoporella dinarica RADOICIC, Clypeina sp., Clypeina dragastani DIENI & RADOICIC, Lithocodium aggregatum ELLIOTT and Bacinella irregularis RADOICIC, Iranella inopianata, Permocalculus sp.


Plate 1: Benthic foraminifera of the Kuh-e-Surmeh section

A-Pseudochrysalidina arabica HENSON, sample Wynd 3478, scale: 200 [micro]m B-Pseudocyclammina lituus YOKOYAMA, sample Wynd 3462, scale: 200 [micro]m C-Nautiloculina oolithica MOHLER, sample Wynd 3402, scale:100 [micro]m D-Trocholina cf. elongata LEUPOLD, sample Wynd 3418, scale: 100 [micro]m E-Charentia cf. cuvillieri NEUMANN, sample Wynd 3441, scale: 100 [micro]m F-Siphovalvulina sp., sample Wynd 3462, sample Wynd 3428, scale:100 [micro]m G-Pseudochrysalidina (Dokania) sp. and Trocholina alpine LEUPOLD, sample Wynd 3430, scale: 200 [micro]m H-Glomspira sp., sample Wynd 3439, scale: 100 [micro]m I-Lenticulina sp., sample Wynd 3453, scale:100 [micro]m J-Trocholina campanella ARNAUD-VANNEAU et al., sample Wynd 3465, scale: 100 [micro]m K-Trocholina cf. gigantea GORBATCHIK, sample Wynd 3473, scale: 100 [micro]m L-Trocholina delphinensis ARNAUD-VANNEAU et al., sample Wynd 3434, scale: 100 [micro]m M-Trocholina cf. chouberti HOTTlNGER, sample Wynd 3462, , sample Wynd 3434, scale: 100 [micro]m N-Mayncina sp., sample Wynd 3468, scale: 100 [micro]m O-Choffatella decipiens SCHLUMBERGER, sample Wynd 3400, scale: 100 [micro]m


Plate 2: Calcareous algae of the Kuh-e-Surmeh section.

A-Actinoporlla podolica ALTH, sample Wynd 3409, scale: 100 [micro]m B-Bekhmeia wetzeli (Non algae), sample Wynd 3491, scale: 100 [micro]m C-Neomizza sp. , sample Wynd 3409, scale: 50 [micro]m D-Salpingoporella aff. piriniae CARRAS & RADOICIC, sample Wynd 3420, scale: 100 [micro]m E-Otternstella lemmensis BERNIER, sample Wynd 3446, scale: 100 [micro]m F-Otternstella sp., sample Wynd 3446, scale: 100 [micro]m G-Permocalculus inopinatus ELLIOTT, sample Wynd 3418, scale: 50 [micro]m H-Clypeina dragastani DIENI & RADOICIC, sample Wynd 3439, scale: 50 [micro]m I-Salpingoporella? inopinata, sample Wynd 3422, scale: 100 [micro]m J-Salpingoporella annulata CAROZZI, sample Wynd 3446, scale: 100 um K-Zergabriella cf. embergeri BOUROULLEC & DELOFFRE, sample Wynd 3436, scale: 50 [micro]m L-Terqumella sp., sample Wynd 3416, scale: 50 [micro]m M-Salpingoporella muhlbergii CAROZZI, sample Wynd 3461, scale: 100 [micro]m N-Munieria baconica, sample Wynd 3439, scale: 100 [micro]m O-Iranella inopianata, sample Wynd 3430, scale: 50 [micro]m P-Clypeina gigantean SOKAC, sample Wynd 3452, scale: 50 [micro]m Q-Salpingoporella dinarica RADOICIC, sample Wynd 3395, scale: 50 [micro]m R-Lithocodium aggregatum ELLIOTT/Bacinella irregularis RADOICIC, sample Wynd 3491, scale: 200 [micro]m S-Salpingoporella katzeri CONRAD & RADOICIC, sample Wynd 3494, scale: 100 [micro]m T-Salpingoporella pygmaea RADOICIC, sample Wynd 3479, scale: 200 [micro]m

Other microfossils:

Bekhmeia wetzeli, Sponge spicules, Mollusca fragments, Gastropoda, Echinoid remains Due to assemblage of microfossils above, using biozonation of Gollesstaneh [10] "Orbitolina-Choffattella-Salpingoporella dinarica zone I" biozone was suggested. This biozone mentions Barremian-early Aptian for Gadvan Formation's sediments whose thickness is about 41 m. This biozone begins with the last appearance of Pseudocyclammina lituus and the first appearance of Choffatella decipiens and Salpingoporella dinarica. With appearing Iraqia simplex, Orbitolina lenticularis, Orbitolina discoidea (foraminifers) and Hensonella dinarica (Algae) the biozone ends. It is in fact equivalent to "Choffatella-Cyclammina Ass. zone 15" biozone [32].


In Kuh-e-Surmeh section, Fahliyan Formation is placed above Hith evaporitic Formation with an unconformable boundary and below Gadvan Formation with a conformable boundary. Upper boundary of Gadvan Formation with Dariyan Formation is also conformable. Fahliyan Formation is made of carbonate deposits and Gadvan Formation is composed of argillaceous limy sediments. Microbiostratigraphical studies led to identify 54 genera and 86 species of fossils which most of them are foraminifers and algas. Assemblage of microfossils caused to suggest 2 biozones; Pseudocyclammina lituus-Dukhania Arabica Algal-zone ll with Neocomian age and Orbitolina--Choffattella -Salpingoporella dinarica zone l with Barremian-early Aptian. The offered biozones are comparable with biozones of Gollesstaneh [10].


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Ahmad Abyat, Darius Baghbani, Massih Afghah, Nader Kohansal Ghadimvand, Amir Feghi; Microbiostratigraphy and Lithostratigraphy of Fahliyan and Gadvan Formations in Kuh-e-Surmeh (Zagros Basin, Southwest Iran).

(1) Ahmad Abyat, (2) Darius Baghbani, (3) Massih Afghah, (4) Nader Kohansal Ghadimvand, (5) Amir Feghi

(1) Departement of Geology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran (2) Department of Geology,National Iranian Oil Company-Exploration Directorate (NIOC-Exp),Tehran, Iran (3) Departement of Geology, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran (4) Departement of Geology, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tahran, Iran (5) Department of Petroleum Engineering, Omidiyeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Omidiyeh, Iran

Corresponding Author

Ahmad Abyat, Departement of Geology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Abyat, Ahmad; Baghbani, Darius; Afghah, Massih; Ghadimvand, Nader Kohansal; Feghi, Amir
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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