Late Carboniferous – Early Permian (Ghzelian – Artinskian) Palynomorphs
Abstract. The preliminary results of the palynological investigations in the Late Carboniferous – Early Permian of Northeast Libya indicate that at least two successive intervals can be readily recognised:
Ghzelian – Asselian interval. This lower interval is characterised by assemblages showing a dominance of saccate pollen; miospores usually occur in very low frequencies. Throughout the interval one may recognise (a) monosaccate pollen, attributable to genera such as Potonieisporites, Plicatipollenites, Cannanoropollis and Barakarites; (b) taeniate (striate) bisaccate pollen, identified as species of Illinites, Protohaploxypinus, Strotersporites, Striatoabieites and Distriatites; and (c) non-taeniate bisaccate pollen, represented by alete genera and Limitisporites.
Although some of the monosaccate elements may already occur in the Early Carboniferous of Libya, the observed diversification points to a Late Carboniferous – Early Permian age of the assemblages. Taeniate pollen grains are known to make their first appearance in the Moscovian (e.g., in the Donets Basin; compare Inosova et al., 1976) but the observed diverse assemblages appear more characteristic for the latest Carboniferous and/or Early Permain, of both the Euramerican and Gondwana provinces (compare, e.g., Inosova et al., 1976; Kemp et al., 1977). Consequently, the authors consider the interval to represent a Carboniferous – Permian transition sequence, broadly comprising the Ghzelian and Asselian Stages. It should be noted, however, that the status of the Asselian Stage is still under discussion; some authors prefer the inclusion of this unit (or part of it) in the Carboniferous. From a palynological point of view the incoming of Distriatites could well mark a datum level corresponding to the Carboniferous . . .