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Age and correlation of the transgressive Gonioclymenia Limestone (Famennian, Tafilalt, eastern Anti-Atlas, Morocco)


The widely quarried and commercially exploited Gonioclymenia Limestone of the western and southern Tafilalt Platform (Anti-Atlas, SE Morocco) represents a transgressive but strongly condensed and shallowing upwards unit that overlies conformably or unconformably Famennian to Lower Devonian deposits. It is characterized by abundant, giant-sized Gonioclymenia speciosa, which characterizes the Famennian V-B, and rare Leviclymenia ramula sp. nov. Associated conodont faunas fall in the Bispathodus costatus Subzone of the B. aculeatus aculeatus (= Middle expansa) Zone. A rare outcrop at Jebel Ihrs West proved that Kalloclymenia and conodont faunas of the B. ultimus ultimus (= Upper expansa) Zone occur in a separate, overlying unit of the lower part of Famennian VI. Consequently, joint occurrences of Gonioclymenia and Kalloclymenia on large limestone slabs that are on offer in rock shops are artificial assemblages; there is no evidence for a regional co-occurrence of both genera. This is supported by correlation into thicker sections of the adjacent Maider and Tafilalt Basins. The Tafilalt Gonioclymenia Transgression may represent the regional expression of a eustatic pulse in the B. costatus Subzone that is known on the Ardennes Shelf as the transgressive Epinette Event. The conodont faunas yielded Neopolygnathus fibula sp. nov., Pseudopolygnathus primus tafilensis ssp. nov., new morphotypes of B. spinulicostatus and Pseudopolygnathus primus primus, the oldest Siphonodella (Eosiphonodella) and variable ‘siphonodelloids’ that are currently left in open nomenclature.

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