Identification of the Oligocene-Miocene boundary in the Central Iran Basin (Qom Formation): Calcareous nannofossil evidences

Mohammad Parandavar, Fatemeh Hadavi


A diverse Late Oligocene to Early Miocene calcareous nannofossil assemblage was examined from the Qom Formation in the Central Iran Basin, and the Oligocene-Miocene boundary was identified based on the quantitative analysis of the assemblages in 303 smear slides. Eleven well-established calcareous nannofossil bio-events are delineated in the Upper Oligocene through Lower Miocene. The results clearly show that the Highest Occurrence (HO) of Sphenolithus delphix is the closest bio-event to the boundary as traditionally delineated on the lithostratigraphic criteria, and provides a distinct biohorizon below it. The Lowest Occurrence (LO) of the species Discoaster druggii is the oldest Miocene bio-event that is observed shortly after the HO of S. delphix, showing that calcareous nannofossils are well suited for approximating the Oligocene-Miocene boundary in the Qom Formation. The Oligocene-Miocene boundary is placed in the upper part of Sub-member “c1” in all three sections studied here and it is traceable throughout the Central Iran Basin, which makes a potentially reliable marker horizon for sequence stratigraphic and hydrocarbon studies in the area.


Oligocene-Miocene boundary; Calcareous nannofossil; Biohorizons; Central Iran Basin; Qom Formation, ʺc1ʺ member.

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