Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 1133–1146 | Cite as

Stage-progressive distribution pattern of the Lungmachi black graptolitic shales from Guizhou to Chongqing, Central China

  • Xu ChenEmail author
  • JunXuan Fan
  • WenHui Wang
  • HongYan Wang
  • HaiKuan Nie
  • XueWen Shi
  • ZhiDong Wen
  • DongYang Chen
  • WenJie Li
Research Paper


The Lungmachi Formation is widely distributed in Guizhou, Chongqing and the adjacent area. It is important for the study of Silurian biostratigraphy and shale-gas investigation. Based on those biostratigraphically well-studied sections from Guiyang to Huayingshan, we reveal the stage-progressive distribution pattern of the Lungmachi black shales. The distribution of the Lungmachi black shales in the studying area can be subdivided into four geographic belts from the south to the north, reflecting the joint effect of regional and global environmental changes. The graptolite depth zonation model was adopted herein to infer the water depth of major graptolite assemblages from the black shales. The changes in the water depth indicate two major stages. The first stage is named the transgressive distribution stage which ranged from the Persculptograptus persculptus Biozone (LM1, upper Hirnantian) to the Coronograptus cyphus Biozone (LM5, upper Rhuddanian), an interval mostly controlled by global sea-level rise. The second stage, ranging from the Demirastrites triangulatus Biozone (LM6, lower Aeronian) to the Spirograptus guerichi Biozone (LM9, lower Telychian), is named the regressive shrinking stage, during which the black shales were gradually replaced by mixed-facies or carbonate sediments from the south to the north, representing the effects of the persistent uplifting of the Central Guizhou Oldland.


Lungmachi Formation Black shales Graptolite biozone Graptolite depth zonation Transgressive distribution stage Regressive shrinking stage 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



Unfortunately, during preparation of the manuscript, Dr. Lin Yaokun, who studied the graptolites of the Lungmachi Formation from Hanjiadian (Tongzi) together with one of the authors (Chen Xu), passed away. His research work on the Lungmachi Formation has greatly contributed to the present study. The authors express their acknowledgments to Prof. Daniel Goldman for polishing the English manuscript. This study was supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB10010100) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. U1562213 and 41272042). It is also a contribution to the Geobiodiversity Database Project.


  1. Berry W B N, Boucot A J. 1972. Correlation of the South American Silurian rocks. Geol Soc Amer Spec Paper, 133: 1–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boucot A J, Chen X. 2009. Fossil plankton depth zones. Palaeoworld, 18: 213–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen X, Fan J X, Melchin M J, Mitchell C E. 2004. Patterns and processes of latest Ordovician graptolite extinction and survival in South China. In: Rong J Y, Fang Z J, eds. Mass Extinction and Recovery: Evidences from the Palaeozoic and Triassic of South China (in Chinese). Hefei: University of Science and Technology of China Press. 9–54, 1037–1038Google Scholar
  4. Chen X, Fan J X, Zhang Y D, Wang H Y, Chen Q, Wang W H, Liang F, Guo W, Zhao Q, Nie H K, Wen Z D, Sun Z Y. 2015. Subdivision and delineation of the Wufeng and Lungmachi black shales in the subsurface areas of the Yangtze Platform (in Chinese). J Stratigr, 39: 351–358Google Scholar
  5. Chen X, Lin Y K. 1978. Lower Silurian graptolites from Tongzi, northern Guizhou (in Chinese). Mem Nanjing Inst Geol Palaeont Acad Sin, 12: 1–106Google Scholar
  6. Chen X, Rong J Y. 1996. Telychian (Llandovery) of the Yangtze Region and its Correlation with British Isles (in Chinese). Beijing: Science PressGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen X, Rong J Y, Mitchell C E, Harper D A T, Fan J X, Zhan R B, Zhang Y D, Li R Y, Wang Y. 2000. Late Ordovician to earliest Silurian graptolite and brachiopod biozonation from the Yangtze region, South China, with a global correlation. Geol Mag, 137: 623–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen X, Xu J T, Cheng H J, Wang M Z, Chen X R, Xu A D, Deng Z Q, Wu H J, Qiu J Y, Rong J Y. 1990. On the Hannan old land and Dabashan uplift (in Chinese). J Stratigr, 14: 81–116Google Scholar
  9. Fan J X, Melchin M J, Chen X, Wang Y, Zhang Y D, Chen Q, Chi Z L, Chen F. 2011. Biostratigraphy and geography of the Ordovician-Silurian Lungmachi black shales in South China. Sci China Earth Sci, 54: 1854–1863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ge Z Z, Rong J Y, Yang X C, Liu G W, Ni Y N, Dong D Y, Wu H J. 1977. Ten Silurian sections of southwestern China (in Chinese). Strat Palaeont, 8: 92–111Google Scholar
  11. Ge Z Z, Rong J Y, Yang X C, Liu G W, Ni Y N, Dong D Y, Wu H J. 1979, Silurian of southwestern China. In: Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, ed. Carbonate Biostrata of Southwestern China (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press. 155–220Google Scholar
  12. Guo T L, Liu R B. 2013. Implications from marine shale gas exploration breakthrough in complicated structural area at high thermal stage (in Chinese). Nat Gas Earth Sci, 24: 643–651Google Scholar
  13. He Z L, Nie H K, Zhang Y Y. 2016. The main factors of shale gas enrichment of Ordovician Wufeng Formation-Silurian Longmaxi Formation in the Sichuan Basin and its adjacent areas (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 23: 8–17Google Scholar
  14. Hsieh C Y, Chao Y T. 1925. A study of the Silurian section at Lo Jo Ping, I Chang District, W. Hupeh. Bull Geol Soc China, 4: 39–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jin C T, Ye S H, He Y X, Wan Z Q, Wang S B, Zhao Y T, Li S J, Xu X Q, Zhang Z G. 1982. The Silurian Stratigraphy and Paleontology in Guanyinqiao, Qijiang, Sichuan (in Chinese). Chengdu: People’s Publishing House of SichuanGoogle Scholar
  16. Lee J S, Chao Y T. 1924. Geology of the Gorge District of the Yangtze (from Ichang to Tzekuei) with special reference to the development of the Gorges. Bull Geol Soc China, 3: 351–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lin B Y. 1984. The Silurian System of China, Stratigraphy of China, No.6 (in Chinese). Beijing: Geological Publishing HouseGoogle Scholar
  18. Lüning S, Kolonic S. 2003. Uranium spectral gamma-ray response as a proxy for organic richness in black shales: Applicability and limitations. J Pet Geol, 26: 153–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lüning S, Shahin Y M, Loydell D, Al-Rabi H T, Masri A, Tarawneh B, Kolonic S. 2005. Anatomy of a world-class source rock: Distribution and depositional model of Silurian organic-rich shales in Jordan and implications for hydrocarbon potential. AAPG Bull, 89: 1397–1427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mu E Z, Boucot A J, Chen X, Rong J Y. 1986. Correlation of the Silurian rocks of China (A part of the Silurian correlation for East Asia). Geol Soc Amer Spec Paper, 202: 1–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mu E Z, Chen X. 1962. Graptolites of China, Fossil Groups of China. Beijing: Science PressGoogle Scholar
  22. Rong J Y, Chen X, Su Y Z, Ni Y N, Zhan R B, Chen T E, Fu L P, Li R Y, Fan J X. 2003. Silurian Paleogeography of China. In: Johnson M E, Landings E, eds. Silurian Lands and Seas: Paleogeography outside of Laurentia. N Y State Mus Bull, 493: 243–298Google Scholar
  23. Rong J Y, Chen X, Wang Y, Zhan R B, Liu J B, Huang B, Tang P, Wu R C, Wang G X. 2011. Northward expansion of Central Guizhou Oldland through the Ordovician and Silurian transition: Evidence and implications (in Chinese). Sci Sin Terrae, 41: 1407–1415Google Scholar
  24. Rong J Y, Chen X, Zhan R B, Fan J X, Wang Y, Zhang Y D, Li Y, Huang B, Wu R C, Wang G X, Liu J B. 2010. New observation on Ordovician-Silurian boundary strata of southern Tongzi County, northern Guizhou, southern China (in Chinese). J Stratigr, 34: 337–348Google Scholar
  25. Rong J Y, Johnson M E. 1996. A stepped karst unconformity as an Early Silurian rocky shoreline in Guizhou Province (South China). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol, 121: 115–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rong J Y, Johnson M E, Zhao Y L. 1996. Geological significance of an ancient rocky shoreline—A case study of an early Silurian rocky shoreline in Guizhou (in Chinese). Geol Rev, 42: 448–458Google Scholar
  27. Sheng X F. 1958. Ordovician trilobites from southwestern China (in Chinese). Acta Palaeont Sin, 6: 169–182Google Scholar
  28. Sun Y C. 1933. Ordovician and Silurian graptolites from China. Palaeontol Sin Ser B, 14: 1–70Google Scholar
  29. Ting V K. 1947. Geological Reports. Beijing: The National Geological Survey of China. 118–129Google Scholar
  30. Wang X F. 1965. On the discovery of late Early and Middle Silurian graptolites from N. Guizhou (Kueichou) and its significance (in Chinese). Acta Palaeont Sin, 13: 118–132Google Scholar
  31. Wang Y M, Wang S F, Dong D Z, Li X J, Huang J L, Zhang C C, Guan Q Z. 2016. Lithofacies characterization of Longmaxi Formation of the Lower Silurian, southern Sichuan (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 23: 119–133Google Scholar
  32. Wang Y, Rong J Y, Tang P, Wu R C. 2013. New evidences of Early Silurian Tongzi Uplift from southern Upper Yangtze Sea (in Chinese). J Stratigr, 37: 129–138Google Scholar
  33. Wang Z G. 2015. Breakthrough of Fuling shale gas exploration and development and its inspiration (in Chinese). Oil Gas Geol, 36: 1–6Google Scholar
  34. Yin T H. 1949. Tentative classification and correlation of Silurian rocks of South China. Bull Geol Soc China, 29: 1–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhan R B, Jin J S. 2007. Ordovician-Llandovery (Silurian) Stratigraphy and Palaeontology of the Upper Yangtze Platform, South China. Beijing: Science Press. 169Google Scholar
  36. Zhang W T, Chen X, Xu H K, Wang J G, Lin Y K, Chen J Y. 1964. Silurian of the Northern Guizhou. In: Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Academia Sinica, ed. Paleozoic Rocks of Northern Guizhou (in Chinese). Nanjing: Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology. 79–110Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xu Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • JunXuan Fan
    • 2
  • WenHui Wang
    • 3
  • HongYan Wang
    • 4
  • HaiKuan Nie
    • 5
  • XueWen Shi
    • 6
  • ZhiDong Wen
    • 7
  • DongYang Chen
    • 2
    • 8
  • WenJie Li
    • 1
    • 8
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Economic Stratigraphy and PalaeogeographyChinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geology and PalaeontologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and PalaeontologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  3. 3.School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Langfang Branch, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & DevelopmentPetroChinaLangfangChina
  5. 5.Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & DevelopmentPetroChinaBeijingChina
  6. 6.Research Institute of Exploration and Development, Southwest Oil & Gas Field CompanyPetroChinaChengduChina
  7. 7.Southern Company of SINOPEC ExplorationChengduChina
  8. 8.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations