The Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota preserves a rich and varied palynoflora including pollen, spores, and algal cysts; this palynoflora provides insight into the nature of plant life in the region in late Maastrichtian time. This palynological record supplements extensive data from the same ancient vegetation preserved in the megafloral record, and it provides background biostratigraphic data necessary to determine the nature of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary event. This study of the Hell Creek palynoflora is based upon occurrences of palynomorphs in 71 samples from 20 measured sections in Bowman and Slope Counties, southwestern North Dakota. The palynoflora documented includes 115 or more palynomorph species, 98 of which are described. Three new genera are proposed, three new species are described, and five new nomenclatural combinations are made. The new taxa are Palaeoisoetes gen. nov., Styxpollenites gen. nov., Tschudypollis gen. nov., Aquilapollenites marmarthensis sp. nov., Osmundacidites stanleyi sp. nov., Styxpollenites calamitas sp. nov., Polyatriopollenites levis (Stanley 1965) comb. nov., Palaeoisoetes subengelmannii (Elsik 1968) comb. nov., Triporopollenites triplicatus (Anderson 1960) comb. nov., Tschudypollis retusus (Anderson 1960) comb. nov., and Tschudypollis thalmannii (Anderson 1960) comb. nov. The palynofloral taxa include 67 angiosperms, eight gymnosperms, 19 pteridophytes, and three bryophytes. Of these, 33 are regarded as characteristically uppermost Cretaceous taxa (K taxa). A few of the K taxa do not range all the way to the K-T boundary. Extinction of the Hell Creek palynoflora at the K-T boundary is ∼30%. The Hell Creek Formation is within theWodehouseia spinata Assemblage Zone.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Palynology and palynostratigraphy of the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota: A microfossil record of plants at the end of Cretaceous time|
|Series title||Geological Society of America Special Papers|
|Publisher||Geological Society of America|
|Other Geospatial||southwest North Dakota|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|