- © 2007 Cambridge University Press
The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for Stage 2 of the Ordovician System, now the Floian Stage and approximately equivalent to the lower and middle Arenig of England and Wales, is defined by the first appearance datum (FAD) of the graptolite Tetragraptus approximatus in the Diabasbrottet Quarry section at Mount Hunneberg, Sweden. One of the issues this raises is how to correlate the base of Stage 2 at the GSSP with areas and successions that do not contain a correlative graptolite fauna. The distinctive Cymatiogalea messaoudensis–Stelliferidium trifidum acritarch assemblage is present in the upper Tremadocian Araneograptus murrayi Graptolite Biozone of NW England and ranges across the Tremadocian–Stage 2 boundary there (the Tremadoc–Arenig boundary of Anglo-Welsh nomenclature). It also occurs widely at other high southern Ordovician palaeolatitudes around the margin of Gondwana, being reported from Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Turkey, and may also be present in Bohemia and Argentina (Eastern Cordillera). It therefore has the potential to contribute towards the recognition and correlation of the base of Stage 2 in those areas. Of particular interest are the First Appearance Datums of various taxa within the stratigraphical range of the messaoudensis–trifidum assemblage, notably that of Aureotesta clathrata simplex, which is considered to be close to the base of Stage 2 in NW England.
Elements of the messaoudensis–trifidum assemblage also occur in Baltica, the palaeoplate on which the GSSP for the base of Stage 2 is located. However, many of the taxa used to subdivide the messaoudensis–trifidum assemblage around Gondwana have not been recorded from Baltica and may be restricted palaeobiogeographically to the Gondwanan margin. Furthermore, acritarch microfloras have not been reported from the Diabasbrottet Quarry section itself, and there are hiatuses across the base of Stage 2 in the two sections from Baltica considered in this paper. Hence, direct correlation of the base of Stage 2 between the GSSP and other sections using acritarchs is not yet possible. Nevertheless, some taxa, for example the genera Peteinosphaeridium and Rhopaliophora, are shown to have FADs at similar stratigraphical levels in the late Tremadocian Stage of both Baltica and Gondwana, and therefore have the potential to correlate time slices in the late Tremadocian Stage between palaeoplates.