Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 298–312 | Cite as

Jianshangou Bed of the Yixian Formation in West Liaoning, China

  • Peiji Chen
  • Qifei Wang
  • Haichun Zhang
  • Meizhen Cao
  • Wenben Li
  • Shunqing Wu
  • Yanbin Shen


The Jianshangou Bed is a set of fossil-bearing sedimentary interlayers of the basal volcano-sedimentary deposits of Yixian Formation in western Liaoning. It is rich in volcanic composition and consists of upper and lower grey-black shale, basal sandy conglomerate, top tuffaceous sandstone, middle massive silty mudstone and siltstone, as well as andesite, with a thickness of 28-95 m. The Jianshangou Bed is famous all over the world for its bearing early birds, angiosperms and feathered dinosaurs, and it also yields bivalves, gastropods, conchostracans, ostracods, shrimps, insects, fish, amphibians, primitive mammals and other reptiles. These fossils are typical representatives of the Late Mesozoic Jehol Biota from eastern Asia. The Chaomidianzi and Sihetun formations, proposed in recent years, are regarded as the junior synonyms of the Jianshangou Bed. The Jehol Biota is endemic to eastern Asia, however, it has a large geographic distribution, more than half of the European territory. Many species of the biota have close relationships with the late Jurassic European counterparts, e.g. both Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx are primitive birds, Sinosauropteryx has a similar skeleton construction with Compsognathus, the ostracode assemblage from the Jianshangou Bed is close to that from the Purbeck Bed in England, and Aeschnidium occurs in both the Jianshangou Bed and Solnhofen of Germany. Based on the biostratigraphic correlation, the Jianshangou Bed is more probably late Tithonian in age. The latest zircon U-Pb dating of the Jianshangou Bed gives 125.2 Ma, and is close to the feldspar Ar/Ar dating of 124.6 Ma. A glauconite dating of 125 Ma was once got from England near the J/K boundary within the Purbeck Bed, so it is still problematic to place the J/K boundary at 130, 135, 137, 142 or 145.5 Ma in the International Stratigraphic Charts.


Yixian Formation Jianshangou Bed Jehol Biota J/K Boundary 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peiji Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qifei Wang
    • 1
  • Haichun Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meizhen Cao
    • 1
  • Wenben Li
    • 1
  • Shunqing Wu
    • 1
  • Yanbin Shen
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanjing Institute of Geology and PalaeontolgoyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and StratigraphyNanjingChina

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