Conodont Biostratigraphy of the Middle Permian Reef Trail Member (Uppermost Bell Canyon Formation) SC1 Reference Section, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, West Texas
The Reef Trail Member, Bell Canyon Formation, West Texas represents the uppermost member of Capitanian Stage at its type area. The SC1 Reference Section within the Patterson Hills of West Texas was presented by Bell et al. (2015) to be a complete stratigraphic section of the and Reef Trail Member to the base of the Castile Formation. No detailed conodont biostratigraphic work on the SC1 measured section has been published. For the first time this thesis describes an analysis of conodonts and their zonation from the SC1 measured section. The named Jinogondolella conodont species recovered in this study include: J. postserrata, J. gladirobusta, J. shannoni, J. latidentata, J. altudaensis, J. gladiflexa, and J. xuanhanensis. Two potential new species of Jinogondolella and two morphotypes of J. altudaensis were also recognized within this measured section. These recovered conodonts correspond with the J. postserrata conodont zone, J. shannoni conodont zone, and J. altudaensis conodont zone. The uppermost conodont zone reported elsewhere, the Clarkina hongshuiensis conodont zone containing J. granti, J. crofti, and C. hongshuiensis was not present in this measured section. The biostratigraphic evidence indicate the previous assumption that the SC1 measured section is complete up to the base of the Castile Formation (Bell et al., 2015) is incorrect and that the uppermost stratigraphy of the Reef Trail Member containing the C. hongshuiensis conodont zone is missing.