The Pennsylvanian-Lower Permian Keeler Canyon Formation and lower part of the Lower Permian Lone Pine Formation in east-central California were deposited in a deep-water basin that originated in the Morrowan (Early Pennsylvanian), was fully established by the Desmoinesian (Middle Pennsylvanian), and lasted into the Sakmarian (Early Permian). Stratigraphic studies indicate that the Keeler Canyon Formation can be divided into members recognizable throughout the area of our detailed mapping. From older to younger they are the Tinemaha Reservoir, Tihvipah Limestone, Cerro Gordo Spring, and Salt Tram Members. Rocks in this basin, here referred to as the Keeler basin, contain numerous fusulinid and conodont faunas most of which were deposited by sediment-gravity flows probably originating at the margin of the Bird Spring carbonate platform to the northeast. Sixty-one species of Atokan to Sakmarian fusulinids and 38 species of Desmoinesian to Sakmarian conodonts are recognized. These, in addition to four species of Morrowan conodonts previously reported, show that every stage from the Morrowan to Sakmarian is represented in the basin. The fusulinid faunas are composed largely of taxa of the North American craton, especially the south-central USA, with important endemic constituents and some McCloud Limestone forms, representing the Eastern Klamath terrane. Conodonts are closely similar to species in the Ural Mountains region of Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as the American midcontinent. The co-occurrence of fusulinids and conodonts in the Keeler basin results in a better correlation of zones based on these two groups of fossils than generally is possible.
Additional publication details
Conodont and fusulinid biostratigraphy and history of the Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian Keeler Basin, east-central California