Late Cretaceous marine fossils and seawater incursion events in the Songliao Basin, NE China
Xi et al
The Songliao Basin is the largest non-marine oil-bearing basin in China. Because of the absence of substantial evidence, the hypothesis of seawater incursion events into the Songliao Basin remains controversial. The presence of marine fossils could provide direct proof to support this supposition. Here, we report new discoveries of foraminifera, calcareous nannofossils, brackish dinoflagellates, and other marine and brackish-water fossils to support the suggestion of seawater incursion events in the Songliao Basin. Relatively abundant benthic and planktonic foraminifera, calcareous nannofossils, marine and brackish-water dinoflagellates, fish, and bivalves have been discovered in Members 1 and 2 of the Nenjiang Formation, a few foraminifera and brackish-water dinoflagellates have been found in the lower Qingshankou Formation, and just a few brackish-water bivalves have been found in the uppermost Qingshankou Fm. Based on the presence of marine molecular fossils and other evidence, we suggest that relatively large seawater incursion events occurred during the sedimentation of the lower Nenjiang Fm., relatively smaller seawater incursions occurred during the deposition of the lower Qingshankou Fm., and possibly a very small seawater incursion occurred during the sedimentation of the uppermost Qingshankou Fm. These seawater incursion events in the Songliao Basin were controlled by regional tectonic activity, evolution of the palaeo Songliao Lake, and global sea level change. These periodic seawater incursions brought marine biota into the palaeo Songliao Lake.