A review of the Cambrian biostratigraphy of South Australia

J. B. Jago*, Wen Long Zang, Xiaowen Sun, G. A. Brock, J. R. Paterson, C. B. Skovsted

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    Cambrian rocks in South Australia occur in the Stansbury, Arrowie, eastern Officer and Warburton Basins. The succession in the Stansbury and Arrowie Basins can be divided into three sequence sets (supersequences), C{stroke}1, C{stroke}2 and C{stroke}3. Sequence set C{stroke}1 can be divided into five third-order sequences: C{stroke}1.0, C{stroke}1.1A, C{stroke}1.1B, C{stroke}1.2 and C{stroke}1.3. Trilobites from the Stansbury and Arrowie Basins are restricted largely to the lower part of the succession. Four trilobite zones are recognized: Abadiella huoi (latest Atdabanian-earliest Botoman), Pararaia tatei, Pararaia bunyerooensis and Pararaia janeae Zones (all Botoman). Trilobites higher in the succession are known from only a few horizons and in part correlate with the upper Lower Cambrian Lungwangmiaoan Stage of China, equivalent to the top Toyonian. Pagetia sp. has been reported in the Coobowie Formation of the Stansbury Basin, thus suggesting an early Middle Cambrian age. The Cambrian faunas of the Warburton Basin range in age from early Middle Cambrian (Late Templetonian) to very Late Cambrian, although the richest faunal assemblages are late Middle Cambrian (Ptychagnostus punctuosus to Goniagnostus nathorsti Zones). Conodonts, including Cordylodus proavus, occur in a Datsonian fauna. The Arrowie Basin contains the most complete and best studied archaeocyath succession in the Australia-Antarctica region. The Warriootacyathus wilkawillensis, Spirillicyathus tenuis and Jugalicyathus tardus Zones from the lower Wilkawillina Limestone (Arrowie Basin) and equivalents are correlated with the Atdabanian. Botoman archaeocyathids occur higher in the Wilkawillina Limestone. The youngest (Toyonian) archaeocyath fauna in Australia occurs in the Wirrealpa Limestone (Arrowie Basin). Brachiopods and molluscs of the Arrowie and Stansbury Basins can be divided into four biostratigraphic assemblages. Several informal Early Cambrian SSF biostratigraphic assemblages are recognized. Probable tabulate-like corals occur in the Botoman Moorowie Formation. Seven informal acritarch assemblages occur in the Early Cambrian of the Stansbury and Arrowie Basins. Trace fossils may mark the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary. Only two of several tuffaceous horizons from the Stansbury and Arrowie Basins have been dated (i) a date of 522.0 ± 2.1 Ma from the Heatherdale Shale of the Stansbury Basin, about 400 m above latest Atdabanian archaeocyathids and (ii) a date of 522.0 ± 1.8 Ma from the lower part of the Billy Creek Formation in the Arrowie Basin. Neither date is regarded as reliable.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)406-423
    Number of pages18
    Issue number3-4 SPEC. ISS.
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


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