Recognition of algal rich facies from the Umlatdoh Limestone of Shella Formation, Jaintia Group, Meghalaya
Keywords:Algal rich facies, Growth-form, Taphonomy, Umlatdoh Limestone, Shella Formation, Jaintia Hills, Middle Eocene
The carbonate rocks of the Shella Formation (Middle Eocene) belonging to the Jaintia Group in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya are represented by two sandstone units in alternation with three limestone units, viz. Lakadong Limestone, Umlatdoh Limestone and Prang Limestone respectively in chronological order. Umlatdoh Limestone, the middle limestone unit of Shella Formation is conformably underlain by the Lakadong Sandstone and overlain by Narpuh Sandstone. Samples from the Umlatdoh Limestone were collected from the outcrop on the Jowai-Badarpur Road, about 1 km southwest of Lumshnong. Calcareous algae have been recovered from four samples and two distinct facies have been recognized. One of the facies is dominated by non-geniculate coralline red algae and benthic foraminifera. The non-geniculate corallines are represented by Lithothamnion and Mesophyllum (Family Hapalidiaceae), Lithoporella (Family Corallinaceae) and Sporolithon (Family Sporolithaceae). The other facies is rich in calcareous green algae along with benthic foraminifera. The green algal genera belong to families Dasycladaceae, Udoteaceae and Halimedaceae. Previously, a green algal assemblage was recorded from the Umlatdoh Limestone Member of Shella Formation exposed in the low lying hills between Sutnga and Litang valleys of Jaintia Hills. However, this is the first report on the occurrence of non-geniculate coralline red algae from the Umlatdoh Limestone Member of the Shella Formation. Based on the algal-foraminiferal assemblages, interpretation has been made on the palaeoenvironment and palaeobathymetry.
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