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Biostratigraphy of the nummulitids and lepidocyclinids bearing Qom Formation based on larger benthic foraminifera (Sanandaj–Sirjan fore-arc basin and Central Iran back-arc basin, Iran)

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Abstract

Qom Formation in the Sanandaj–Sirjan fore-arc and Central Iran back-arc basins was studied in order to determine its accurate age. Larger benthic foraminifera (mainly Lepidocyclinidae, Nummulitidae, and Neoalveolina) are biostratigraphically the main biota of the Qom Formation in the study areas. There are some debates concerning the age dating of the Qom Formation layers based on the presence or absence of Nummulites and Eulepidina. However, the last true Nummulites spp. became extinct at the top of Late Rupelian and all of the in situ Nummulites bearing layers of the Qom Formation belong to Rupelian in age. Lepidocyclinids, which originated in the Americas during the Middle Eocene, reached Iran in the Rupelian. The first appearance of Lepidocyclina spp. in our study sections, before the last occurrence of Nummulites spp., clearly indicates that the earliest Lepidocyclinidae reached Iran in the Rupelian. The Lepidocyclinids are widespread in the Chattian marine deposits of Iran. The presence of in situ Nummulites (with or without Eulepidina) in Qom Formation successions indicates an Early Oligocene (Rupelian) age, and the presence of Eulepidina without Nummulites suggests a Late Oligocene age (Chattian; possibly into Aquitanian). Moreover, Nummulites intermedius-Nummulites vascus Assemblage zone of Wynd (1965) and Eulepidina-Nephrolepidina-Nummulites Assemblage zone of Adams and Bourgeois (1967), which were proposed for Oligocene (Rupelian- Chattian), should be ascribed to Rupelian in age. On the basis of biostratigraphy data and foraminifera assemblages, the Qom Formation is Rupelian-Chattian, Rupelian, and Rupelian-Burdigalian in age in Bujan, Varkan, and Qom (Khurabad) areas, respectively.

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Acknowledgments

This paper has benefited from the discussions with many colleagues. The authors are indebted to Prof. Guillem Mateu-Vicens and another anonymous reviewer; their constructive comments, criticisms and suggestions significantly improved the quality of this paper. Comments and suggestions made by Associate Editor Prof. Biswajeet Pradhan and by Chief Editor Abdullah M. Al-Amri, which significantly improved this manuscript, are much appreciated. Assistance in the field and useful discussion and suggestions on a first draft of the manuscript by Dr. Mehdi Ghaedi are very much appreciated. Prof. Andrew Racey is gratefully acknowledged for providing very useful discussions and articles about Nummulites. Prof. Marcelle K. BouDagher-Fadel, Prof. Pamela Hallock, Prof. Marco Brandano, Prof. Guillem Mateu-Vicens, Prof. Luis Pomar, Prof. Willem Renema, Prof. Alan Lord, Prof. Mathias Harzhauser, and Dr. Ricardo Meireles are gratefully appreciated for providing very useful articles and suggestions. Dr. Mohammad Allahkarampour Dill, Dr. Shabafrooz, Mr. Ali Opera, Dr. Ali Rahmani, Dr. Ali Ghabeishavi, and National Iranian Oil Company are much appreciated for their inestimable assistance in taking thin section photomicrographs and Laboratory supports. Mr. Mohammad Shrifi and Mr. Saeid Latifian are thanked for their assistance in the field. Mrs. Chavare Baizidi is gratefully acknowledged for many hours of assistance for disaggregation softer samples and Figure preparation.

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Mohammadi, E., Vaziri, MR. & Dastanpour, M. Biostratigraphy of the nummulitids and lepidocyclinids bearing Qom Formation based on larger benthic foraminifera (Sanandaj–Sirjan fore-arc basin and Central Iran back-arc basin, Iran). Arab J Geosci 8, 403–423 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-013-1136-6

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