Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 December 2008
In the recently completed and formally ratified new series and stage classification of the Ordovician System, the base of the Middle Ordovician Series coincides with the base of the global Dapingian Stage. In the Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of this stage, which is located at Huanghuachang in southern China, the base of the Dapingian Stage is defined as the level of first appearance of the conodont Baltoniodus triangularis. The fact that this species, along with some other taxa present at the Dapingian GSSP, occurs in many sections in Baltoscandia makes it possible to recognise with considerable precision the level of this global stage boundary in Sweden, Estonia, northwestern Russia, and Denmark. In several, but not all, regions, especially in the East Baltic, the global stage boundary coincides with the base of the regional Volkhov Stage and can be tied to the base of the Megistaspis polyphemus Trilobite Zone. The regionally somewhat different relationships between the position of the global stage boundary and a very widespread hardground complex are probably due to the occurrence of local and/or regional unconformities in the upper Floian–lower Dapingian interval. Although biostratigraphically important graptolites are present in the study interval in some Baltoscandic sections, the precise graptolite correlation of the base of the Dapingian Stage remains somewhat unclear, although it appears to be near, or at, the base of the Isograptus victoriae victoriae Zone (Ca 2).