Paleontological evidence from the Upper Triassic Chatham Group in the three subbasins of the Deep River basin (North Carolina, USA) supports a significant revision of the ages assigned to most of this non-marine continental sedimentary sequence. This study confirms an early(?) or mid-Carnian age in the Sanford subbasin for the base of the Pekin Formation, the lowest unit of the Chatham Group. However, diagnostic late Carnian palynomorphs have been recovered from coals in the lower part of the Cumnock Formation in the Sanford subbasin, and from a sample of the Cumnock Formation equivalent in the Wadesboro subbasin. Plant megafossils and fossil verebrates from rocks in the Sanford subbasin also support a late Carnian age for the Cumnock Formation and its equivalents. The overlying Sanford Formation, which has not yet been dated paleontologically, probably includes beds of Norian age, as over 1000 m of strata may be present between the Cumnock Formation coals (dated here as late Carnian) and the top of the Sanford Formation. This chronostratigraphic interval appears similar to, but slightly longer than, that preserved in the Dan River-Danville and Davie County basins 100 km to the northwest. Our evidence, therefore, indicates that the Chatham Group was deposited over a much longer time interval [early(?) to mid-Carnian through early Norian] than previously was believed. ?? 1993.
Additional publication details
Revision of the biostratigraphy of the Chatham Group (Upper Triassic), Deep River basin, North Carolina, USA