Part A The uppermost Wabaunsee, Admire, Council Grove, and lower Chase Groups of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska are placed into three third-order depositional sequences: a Gzhelian late-highstand sequence set, a Council Grove transgressive and highstand sequence set, and a Chase transgressive sequence set. Sequences are defined by bounding maximum-exposure surfaces and are placed within the zone of exposure surfaces (typically, stacked paleosols). Conodonts are abundant in open-marine deposits and most marine units have a differing and characteristic faunal make-up. Eleven species are described as new: Streptognathodus binodosus, S. denticulatus, S. elongianus, S. florensis, S. lineatus, S. nevaensis, S. postconstrictus, S. postelongatus, S. robustus, S. translinearis, and S. trimilus.
Part B Maximum-marine flooding levels and marine-condensed sections from uppermost Carboniferous and Lower Permian fourth-order (0.1-1 m.y.) depositional sequences of the North American midcontinent reveal a rich stratigraphic succession of species of Streptognathodus and Sweetognathus conodonts that permits high-precision correlation of the Carboniferous-Permian boundary as well as the Asselian-Sakmarian and Sakmarian-Artinskian boundaries. Eleven new species of Streptognathodus are described: Streptognathodus binodosus, S. denticulatus, S. elongianus, S. florensis, S. lineatus, S. nevaensis, S. postconstrictus, S. postelongatus, S. robustus, S. translinearis, and S. trimilus. Seventeen species are redescribed and clarified and include Streptognathodus alius, S. barskovi, S. bellus, S. brownvillensis, S. conjunctus, S. constrictus, S. elongatus, S. farmeri, S. flexuosus, S. fuchengensis, S. fusus, S. invaginatus, S. isolatus, S. longissimus, S. minacutus, S. nodulinearis, and S. wabaunsensis.
The correlated level of the Carboniferous-Permian boundary is recognized in the lower part of the Red Eagle Depositional Sequence based on the introduction of Streptognathodus isolatus Chernykh, Ritter, and Wardlaw; Streptognathodus minacutus Barskov and Reimers; Streptognathodus invaginatus Reshetkova and Chernykh; Streptognathodus fuchengensis Zhao; and Streptognathodus nodulinearis Reshetkova and Chernykh. The correlated Carboniferous-Permian boundary occurs in the depositional sequence that represents the maximum-marine highstand of the Council Grove Composite Third Order Sequence. This level represents a significant marine-flooding event that should be correlatable in numerous shelfal sections throughout the world.
Although the Asselian-Sakmarian boundary has not been rigorously defined, Sweetognathus merrilli has been informally utilized as a Sakmarian indicator. Due to the ecologically controlled distribution of species of Sweetognathus, we prefer to use a species of Streptognathodus as a defining species. We propose that Streptognathodus barskovi (Kozur) Reshetkova be considered as a potentially defining or ancillary defining species for the Sakmarian Stage. In the North American midcontinent, Streptognathodus barskovi appears in the same depositional sequence with Sweetognathus merrilli in the Eiss (Lower Bader) Depositional Sequence. Historically, Sweetognathus whitei has been used to mark the Sakmarian-Artinskian boundary. In our succession Sweetognathus whitei and Streptognathodus florensis appear in the basal part of the Barneston Depositional Sequence. We suggest that Streptognathodus florensis be further investigated as a possible defining or ancillary defining taxon for the base of the Artinskian Stage. This depositional sequence also forms the maximum-marine highstand of the Chase Third-Order Composite Depositional Sequence suggesting that this level is a significant marine-flooding event that should be widely traceable in numerous shelfal sections.