Here, we report that a lithostratigraphic unit that outcrops at Sararu village, 6 km northeast of Qumri village that had previously been assigned to the Baluti Formation is not Triassic in age and therefore can not be a correlative equivalent of the Baluti Formation. The outcropping unit at Sararu comprises intercalation of calcareous mudstones and limestones, and is indeed lithologically similar to the Baluti Formation (Late Triassic). The Baluti Formation (also known as the Baluti Shale) is known from a typical section found at the Gara Anticline and from many deep drilled oil exploration wells. It is generally composed of alternations of the shales, limestones, dolomites, and dolomitic limestones. It is underlain by the Kurra Chine Formation (Upper Triassic) and overlain by the Sarki Formation (Lower Jurassic). In this study, detailed field observations, an assessment of stratigraphic successions, studies of microfossils such as age-specific planktonic foraminifera (e.g., Globotruncana bulloides), and age-specific biomarkers (oleanane index and C28/C29 regular sterane index) reveal that the lithostratigraphic unit at Sararu village can not be a correlative equivalent of the Baluti Formation, and it is more likely from the Upper Cretaceous. There are a number of Upper Cretaceous formations found in this part of Kurdistan, but based on fossil-type and palaeoenvironmental associations, the Hadiena Formation, from the Upper Cretaceous, is considered as the most likely correlative equivalent to the calcareous mudstone and limestone succession found at Sararu village.
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The authors would like to thank Colin Taylor and Walter Ritchie from University of Aberdeen for their technical support and assistance with laboratory work. We would also like to thank Mr. Omer Kamil Ali, the Head of the Qumri village, for providing accommodation during fieldwork.
- Iraq stratigraphy
- Kurdistan stratigraphy
- Baluti formation
- Ora Anticline
- Age-specific biomarkers