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Article: Ordovician calcified algae and cyanobacteria, northern Tarim Basin subsurface, China

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 44
Part: 4
Publication Date: July 2001
Page(s): 783 810
Author(s): Robert Riding and Jiasong Fan
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How to Cite

RIDING, R., FAN, J. 2001. Ordovician calcified algae and cyanobacteria, northern Tarim Basin subsurface, China. Palaeontology44, 4, 783–810.

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Boreholes between Kuqa and Korla, in the northern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, penetrated Ordovician marine limestones at depths of 5-6.2km. From three boreholes 54 out of a total of 170 limestone samples contain calcified algae, cyanobacteria and associated Microproblematica. Calcified cyanobacteria (GirvanellaBotomaella, ?Subtifloria) account for 37 per cent of occurrences; green algae (Dasyporelleae and Vermiporella) 28 per cent; Microproblematica (NuiaBevocastriaRothpletzellaHalysis) 20 per cent; and 'solenoporaceans' 15 per cent GirvanellaNuia are common in the Early Ordovician deposits, and 'solenoporaceans' are abundant in the Mid-Ordovician. Dasyporelleae and Vermiporella are most abundant in Mid-Late Ordovician samples. Calcified cyanobacteria are common throughout the limestone succession, but particularly in the Mid Ordovician part. MoniliporellaContextaPlexaTexturata, and Villosoporella, hitherto placed in the supposed red algal family Moniliporellaceae Gnilovskaya, are here regarded as dasycladalean green algae. Despite some omissions, this Tarim flora broadly resembles others from Kazakhstan, Baltica and North America, indicating the generally cosmopolitan nature of Ordovician calcified algae and cyanobacteria.
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