Darriwilian (Middle Ordovician) conodonts and graptolites from the Cerro La Chilca Section, Central Precordillera, Argentina

Fernanda Serra, Nicolás A. Feltes, Matías Mango, Miles A. Henderson, Guillermo L. Albanesi, Gladys Ortega


The Ordovician System is extensively represented in the Precordillera of San Juan Province, Argentina. At the Cerro La Chilca in the Jáchal area, the limestone of the San Juan Formation is paraconformably overlain by interbedded limestone and shale of the Gualcamayo Formation. The present contribution reports new data on the conodont fauna and biostratigraphy of these darriwilian units, revising local and regional chronostratigraphic relationships. New information on the composition of conodont and graptolite associations through the stratigraphic sequence is presented. The presence of Paroistodus horridus horridus, Yangtzeplacognathus crassus, and Histiodella sinuosa constrain the uppermost strata of the San Juan Formation to the lower part of the Y. crassus Zone, according to the Baltoscandian scheme, and to the H. sinuosa Subzone of the Periodon macrodentatus Zone of the North American scheme. In the overlying Gualcamayo Formation the co-occurrence of Y. crassus with Histiodella holodentata enable the recognition of the Y. crassus Zone and the H. holodentata Subzone of the P. macrodentatus Zone. The identification of these zones allows for precise global and regional correlation. A graptolite assemblage that belongs to the epipelagic and deep-water biotopes with some components restricted to low paleolatitudes is recognized. This diverse assemblage is characteristic of the pelagic biofacies. The important diversity of graptolites in this section suggests a favorable environment for their development. Local changes in the taxonomic composition are recognized through the Gualcamayo Formation. When comparing this fauna with that of different study localities from the Central Precordillera (Cerro Potrerillo, Oculta Creek, Cerro Viejo de Huaco and Las Aguaditas Creek) slight differences in the generic composition are observed. Taxonomic differences support the preference of certain associations for particular environments; though, graptolites are more diverse in black shales facies, which represent deeper environments (the Los Azules Formation), in relation to the calcareous-shale facies of the Gualcamayo Formation from Cerro La Chilca and correlative unit at Las Aguaditas Creek.


Conodonts; Biostratigraphy; Graptolites; Middle Ordovician; Argentine Precordillera

How to cite this article Serra, F.; Feltes, N.; Mango, M.; Henderson, M.; Albanesi, G.; Ortega, G. 2020, Darriwilian (Middle Ordovician) conodonts and graptolites from the Cerro La Chilca Section, Central Precordillera, Argentina. Andean Geology 47 (1): 125-143. [doi:]