The Lower and Middle Berriasian in Central Tunisia: Integrated ammonite and calpionellid biostratigraphy of the Sidi Kralif Formation

Kamel Maalaoui, Fouad Zargouni


The Lower and Middle Berriasian sedimentary succession of the Sidi Kralif Formation has been a subject of biostratigraphic study in two key sections in Central Tunisia. Our contribution is an attempt to better define the basal Berriasian interval, between the Berriasella jacobi Zone and the Subthurmannia occitanica Zone. Zonal schemes are established using ammonites and calpionellids, and these permit correlation with other regions of Mediterranean Tethys and beyond. The use of biomarkers afforded by microfossil groups has allowed characterization and direct correlation with four widely accepted calpionellid sub-zones, namely Calpionella alpinaRemaniella, Calpionella elliptica and Tintinopsella longa. The two ammonite zones of Berriasella jacobi and of Subthurmannia occitanica are recognised on the basis of their index species. The parallel ammonite and calpionellid zonations are useful as a tool for correlation and calibration in time and space, thus allowing a better definition of a J/K boundary. The presence of four Berriasian calpionellid bioevents is recognised: (1) the ‘explosion’ of Calpionella alpina, (2) the first occurrence of Remaniella, (3) the first occurrence of Calpionella elliptica and (4) the first occurrence of Tintinopsella longa. The last is here documented as coeval with the presence of Subthurmannia occitanica, which marks the lower/middle Berriasian boundary.


Ammonite; Calpionellids; Berriasian; Bioevents; Biostratigraphy; Tunisia

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