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The Sub-Boreal/Boreal ammonite succession at the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary at Flodigarry, Staffin Bay (Isle of Skye), Scotland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2007

Bronisław A. Matyja
Institute of Geology, University of Warsaw, Al. Zwirki i Wigury 93, 02–089 Warszawa, Poland.
Andrzej Wierzbowski
Institute of Geology, University of Warsaw, Al. Zwirki i Wigury 93, 02–089 Warszawa, Poland.
John K. Wright
Department of Geology, Royal Holloway, Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX


This paper describes extensive new collections of ammonites made bed-by-bed across the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary sequence in the Flodigarry sections at Staffin Bay on the Isle of Skye. The ammonites belong to the Sub-Boreal family Aulacostephanidae and the Boreal family Cardioceratidae, enabling recognition of both the current standard Sub-Boreal and Boreal ammonite zonations. In consequence, it is possible to make a close correlation of these two zonal schemes through the interval studied in Skye. The research has provided new palaeontological data at levels of precision that justify the proposal of the section at Staffin as the site of a potential Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary.

The traditional Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary placed at the Pseudocordata/Baylei zonal boundary of the Sub-Boreal zonal scheme corresponds precisely to the Rosenkrantzi/Bauhini zonal boundary of the Boreal zonal scheme. This level is characterised by the appearance of the first Pictonia (Pictonia flodigarriensis sp. nov.) together with first Prorasenia, replacing an older assemblage of RingsteadiaMicrobiplices (Sub-Boreal). It is also characterised by the first occurrence of small-sized Amoeboceras (Plasmatites) spp., as well as large Amoeboceras schulginae Mesezhnikov (Boreal). An alternative level that may be considered as a potential GSSP is the boundary between the Bauhini Zone and the Kitchini Zone of the Boreal zonal scheme, characterised by first occurrence of Amoeboceras (Amoebites) of the A. bayi group. This level corresponds to the Planula/Galar subzonal boundary of the Sub-Mediterranean zonal scheme, and lies close to the currently accepted Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary in the Sub-Mediterranean Province.

Research Article
Royal Society of Edinburgh 2005

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