Palynological age constraint of Les Vilelles unit, Catalan Coastal Chain, Spain



Les Vilelles unit is a detrital sequence exposed at the southwestern margin of the Catalan Coastal Chain (CCC), NE Spain, below the Carboniferous turbiditic series. Based on the palynological content, the age of this unit was initially assigned to the Middle-Late Devonian (Eifelian to Famennian). Additional radiolarian and conodont findings were considered to be Early–Middle Mississippian (Tournaisian to early Visean). To clarify this age discrepancy a new and more comprehensive palynostratigraphic analysis has been conducted in the upper part of the section representative of Les Vilelles unit. This has provided an assemblage of miospores, acritarchs, prasinophyta phycomata and chitinozoans that can be confidently assigned to a latest Frasnian interval, in contact with the Frasnian–Famennian boundary. Therefore, the present analysis refines the Middle–Late Devonian age formerly assigned, establishes a latest Frasnian age for the top of the unit, and provides new insights to the better understanding of the unconformity and hiatus separating the pre-Carboniferous and Carboniferous CCC series in the Priorat Massif. The study also includes a systematic section with the description of three newly established miospore species: Dibolisporites coniugatum, Dibolisporites prioratum and Rugospora spinosa.


Les Vilelles unit; Catalonian Coastal Chains; Palynology; Late Devonian; Frasnian-Famennian

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