Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 189–222 | Cite as

Triassic integrative stratigraphy and timescale of China

  • Jinnan TongEmail author
  • Daoliang Chu
  • Lei Liang
  • Wenchao Shu
  • Haijun Song
  • Ting Song
  • Huyue Song
  • Yuyang Wu


The Triassic rocks are widespread in China, and both marine and terrestrial strata are well developed. The Triassic stratigraphic architecture of China is very complex in both spatial variation of the so-called “South Marine and North Continental”, i.e. the southern areas of China occupied mostly by marine facies while the northern China by terrestrial facies during the Triassic Period, and temporal transition of the “Lower Marine and Upper Continental”, i.e. the lower part of the Triassic System composed mainly of marine facies and the upper part of terrestrial strata especially in South China. Although the Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Permian-Triassic boundary is located in South China, the Triassic of China except for some marine Lower-Middle Triassic depositions shows significantly local characteristics and is hardly correlated with the global chronostratigraphic chart. Consequently, the Triassic of China contains not only the international research hotspots but also difficult points in stratigraphic study. This paper aims to present a brief review of the Triassic in China, including chronostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy, and summarize an integrated Triassic stratigraphic framework of China. Accordingly, a stratigraphic correlation is proposed for the lithostratigraphic sequences among the three tectono-paleogeographic stratigraphic regions. The comprehensive study indicates that ammonoids are the classic index fossils in Triassic biostratigraphy but conodonts are more advantageous in the study and definition of the Triassic chronostratigraphic boundaries. China still has the potential to optimize the GSSPs of the Induan-Olenekian boundary and Olenekian-Anisian boundary. The correlation of the Permian-Triassic boundary between marine and terrestrial facies might be achieved with the help of the Permian-Triassic “transitional bed” and its related biotic and environmental events in association with the biostratigraphic study of conchostracan, vertebrate and plant fossils. In addition, the carbon isotopes have been proved to be one of the powerful methods in marine Triassic stratigraphic study, whereas the oxygen and strontium isotopes may be additional important bridges to establish the correlation between the marine and terrestrial strata, but as yet lacking of relevant studies in terrestrial strata. Considering the most stratigraphic intervals of the Triassic and the terrestrial Triassic in China are difficult to be correlated to the global chart, the proposed Chinese (regional) Triassic chronostratigraphic chart of marine and terrestrial stages would be of importance to the study of Chinese Triassic stratigraphy and related aspects, but the stages must be conceptually in line with international standards and studied as soon as possible in order to finalize the definition.


Triassic Chronostratigraphy Biostratigraphy Magnetostratigraphy Chemostratigraphy Lithostratigraphy Stratigraphic correlation China 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41530104 & 41661134047).


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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinnan Tong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daoliang Chu
    • 1
  • Lei Liang
    • 1
  • Wenchao Shu
    • 1
  • Haijun Song
    • 1
  • Ting Song
    • 1
  • Huyue Song
    • 1
  • Yuyang Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology and School of Earth SciencesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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