A diverse assemblage of microfossils is present in a 6m thick sequence of three debris flow deposits interbedded with thin turbidite limestone beds and fine grained siliciclastics exposed above the megaconglomerate in a section (known as the "Rader Slide" in numerous guidebook stops) of the Rader Limestone Member of the Bell Canyon Formation of Capitanian age (Middle Permian) in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas. Each debris flow, derived from nearby Capitan Reef shelf-margin and slope deposits, contains a distinct microfossil assemblage. Small foraminifers and fusulinaceans, conodonts, radiolarians, sponge spicules, fish dermal plates and teeth, and other fragmental fossils are present in this sequence. Conodonts are relatively scarce in the first (or lowest) debris flow, except in its upper part, but they are common to abundant in the other two debris flows, and very abundant in several of the thin turbidite limestone beds. All of the conodonts present appear to be morphotypes of one population of the species Jinogondolella postserrata, except for one new conodont species, and the Jinogondolella postserrata Zone is clearly documented in this sequence. The debris flows contain the fusulinaceans Rauserella, rare Codonofusiella, Polydiexodina, Leella? and various species of the small foraminifers Globivalvulina, Hemigordius, Baisalina, Abadehella, Deckerella, Neoendothyranella, Vachardella, Geinitzina, and Polarisella. Some of the thin turbidite limestone beds contain a foraminiferal assemblage similar to that found in the debris flows, but with lower diversity. Many small foraminiferal species appear to be endemic, although a few are closely related to species known in Permian age strata in Italy, Greenland, the Russian Far East, northeastern part of Russia (Omolon massif), and the Zechstein of Germany and the Baltic area. Two thin limestone beds above the second debris flow contain primarily radiolarian species known from the Follicucullus japonicus Zone of Japan. Nine new species of small foraminifers (Bisphaera? improvisa, Vissariotaxis? nativus, Multidiscus raderensis, Baisalina miscella, Agathammina minuscula, Polarisella globosa, Geinitzina jucunda, Robustopachyphloia texana and Spireitlina capitanensis) and one new conodont species Jinogondolella gladirobusta are described.
Additional Publication Details
Integrated biostratigraphy of foraminifers, radiolarians and conodonts in shallow and deep water Middle Permian (Capitanian) deposits of the "Rader slide", Guadalupe Mountains, West Texas