Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 154–188 | Cite as

Permian integrative stratigraphy and timescale of China

  • Shuzhong ShenEmail author
  • Hua Zhang
  • Yichun Zhang
  • Dongxun Yuan
  • Bo Chen
  • Weihong He
  • Lin Mu
  • Wei Lin
  • Wenqian Wang
  • Jun Chen
  • Qiong Wu
  • Changqun Cao
  • Yue Wang
  • Xiangdong Wang


A series of global major geological and biological events occurred during the Permian Period. Establishing a highresolution stratigraphic and temporal framework is essential to understand their cause-effect relationship. The official International timescale of the Permian System consists of three series (i.e., Cisuralian, Guadalupian and Lopingian in ascending order) and nine stages. In China, the Permian System is composed of three series (Chuanshanian, Yansingian and Lopingian) and eight stages, of which the subdivisions and definitions of the Chuanshanian and Yangsingian series are very different from the Cisuralian and Guadalupian series. The Permian Period spanned ∼47 Myr. Its base is defined by the First Appearance Datum (FAD) of the conodont Streptognathodus isolatus at Aidaralash, Kazakhstan with an interpolated absolute age 298.9±0.15 Ma at Usolka, southern Urals, Russia. Its top equals the base of the Triassic System and is defined by the FAD of the conodont Hindeodus parvus at Meishan D section, southeast China with an interpolated absolute age 251.902±0.024 Ma. Thirty-five conodont, 23 fusulinid, 17 radiolarian and 20 ammonoid zones are established for the Permian in China, of which the Guadalupian and Lopingian conodont zones have been served as the standard for international correlation. The Permian δ13Ccarb trend indicates that it is characterized by a rapid negative shift of 3–5‰ at the end of the Changhsingian, which can be used for global correlation of the end-Permian mass extinction interval, but δ13Ccarb records from all other intervals may have more or less suffered subsequent diagenetic alteration or represented regional or local signatures only. Permian δ18O{ainpatite} studies suggest that an icehouse stage dominated the time interval from the late Carboniferous to Kungurian (late Cisuralian). However, paleoclimate began to ameriolate during the late Kungurian and gradually shifted into a greenhouse-dominated stage during the Guadalupian. The Changhsingian was a relatively cool stage, followed by a globally-recognizable rapid temperature rise of 8–10°C at the very end of the Changhsingian. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio trend shows that their values at the beginning of the Permian were between 0.70800, then gradually decreased to the late Capitanian minimum 0.70680–0.70690, followed by a persistent increase until the end of the Permian with the value 0.70708. Magenetostratigraphy suggests two distinct stages separated by the Illawarra Reversal in the middle Wordian, of which the lower is the reverse polarity Kiaman Superchron and the upper is the mixed-polarity Illawarra Superchron. The end-Guadalupian (or pre-Lopingian) biological crisis occurred during the late Capitanian, when faunal changeovers of different fossil groups had different paces, but generally experienced a relatively long time from the Jinogondolella altudensis Zone until the earliest Wuchiapingian. The end-Permian mass extinction was a catastrophic event that is best constrained at the Meishan section, which occurred at 251.941±0.037 Ma and persisted no more than 61±48 kyr. After the major pulse at Bed 25, the extinction patterns are displayed differently in different sections. The global end-Guadalupian regression is manifested between the conodont Jinogondolella xuanhanensis and Clarkina dukouensis zones and the end-Changhsingian transgression began in the Hindeodus changxingensis-Clarkina zhejiangensis Zone. The Permian Period is also characterized by strong faunal provincialism in general, which resulted in difficulties in inter-continental and inter-regional correlation of both marine and terrestrial systems.


Permian timescale global correlation biostratigraphy chemostratigraphy 


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We thank Charles Henderson for many invaluable comments to improve this manuscript. This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) (Grant Nos. XDB18000000, XDB26000000), Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. QYZDY-SSW-DQC023) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41290260, 41420104003, U1702242).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuzhong Shen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hua Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yichun Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dongxun Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bo Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Weihong He
    • 3
  • Lin Mu
    • 2
    • 4
  • Wei Lin
    • 2
    • 4
  • Wenqian Wang
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jun Chen
    • 6
  • Qiong Wu
    • 1
    • 5
  • Changqun Cao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yue Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Xiangdong Wang
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and Center for Excellence in Life and PaleoenvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Education on Biological Evolution and EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, School of Earth SciencesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  4. 4.CAS Key Laboratory of Economic Stratigraphy and Palaeogeography, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and Center for Excellence in Life and PaleoenvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  5. 5.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina

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