Skip to main content Accessibility help

Norian to Rhaetian scleractinian corals in the Ferdows Patch Reef (Nayband Formation, east central Iran)

  • Hannah M. E. Shepherd (a1), George D. Stanley (a1) and Fatemeh Amirhassankhani (a2)


The Nayband Formation is one of the best known sedimentary units in central Iran. The type section consists of a thick succession of shale, siltstone, reef limestone and sandstone that is subdivided into five distinct members: Gelkan, Bidestan, Hoz-e-Sheykh, Howz-e- Khan and Qadir. Abundant and well-preserved framework-building scleractinian corals are included among the macrofossils of the Nayband Formation; these corals characterize the formation and are the subject of this study. The Hassan-Abad section, located in northeast Iran in Lute Block (northwest of Ferdows city), was chosen for detailed study and sampling. Analysis of sedimentary lithofacies and faunal assemblages in the Bidestan and the Howz-e-khan members indicate both biostromal and biohermal characters for the former shallow-water patch reefs and support a Norian to Rhaetian age. The useful biostratigraphic hydrozoan Heterastridium conglobatum was studied along with 14 taxa of scleractinian corals: Stylophyllopsis rudis, Distichophyllia norica, Paradistichophyllum dichotomum, Retiophyllia frechi, Retiophyllia norica, Retiophyllia robusta, Chondrocoenia schafhaeutli, Chondrocoenia ohmanni, Astraeomorpha crassisepta, Astraeomorpha confusa, Astraeomorpha minor, Procyclolites triadicus, Pamiroseris rectilamellosa, and Eocomoseris ramosa. These fossils clarify the stratigraphy of the Nayband Formation, as well as provide new information on the patch reefs and the framework constructors of these reefs.



Hide All
Aghanabati, A. 2004. Geology of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, 586p.
Aghanabati, A. 2010. Stratigraphic Lexicon of Iran, Vol. 3 (Triassic). Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, 727p.
Alloiteau, J. 1952. Madréporaires post-paléozoïques, p. 539684. InPiveteau, J.(ed.), Traité de paléontologie, 1. Paris, Masson.
Amirhassankhani, F. and Ariyai, A. A. 2008. Biofacies and microfacies of Norian–Rhaetian patch reef complex in the Howz-e-Khan Member of the Nayband Formation, east of central Iran. Abstracts of International Geological Congress, Oslo, Symposia Programmes HPF-01.
Amirhassankhani, F., Ariyai, A. A., Ashouri, A. R., and Ghaderi, A. 2010. Introducing of Nayband Formation microproblematic fossils in Hassan-Abad section, northwest of Ferdows and their importance in paleoenvironmental studies. Sedimentary Facies, 2:129143.
Beagin, Y., Jahanbakhsh, F., Golubev, S., and Sadovikov, G. 1976. Stratigraphy of the Triassic–Jurassic coal-bearing deposits of Alborz. Unpublished Report, National Iranian Steel Corporation v/o “Technoexport”, Tehran, 51p.
Beauvais, L. 1980. Sur la taxinomie des madreporaires mesozoiques. Acta Paleontologica Polonica, 25:345360.
Bernecker, M. 2005. Late Triassic reefs from the Northwest and South Tethys: distribution, setting, and biotic composition. Facies, 51:442453.
Brönnimann, P., Zaninetti, L., Bozorgnia, F., Dashti, G. R., and Moshtaghian, A. 1971. Lithostratigraphy and Foraminifera of the Upper Triassic Nayband Formation, Iran. Revue de Micropaléontologie, 14 (5):716.
Brönnimann, P., Zaninetti, L., Moshtaghian, A., and Huber, H. 1974. Foraminifera and microfacies of Triassic Espahak Formation, Tabas area, east central Iran. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigraphia, 80:148.
Caruthers, A. H. and Stanley, G. D. Jr. 2008. Systematic analysis of Upper Triassic silicified scleractinian corals from Wrangellia and the Alexander Terrane, Alaska and British Columbia. Journal of Paleontology, 83:470491.
Cirelli, S., Buratti, N., Senowbari-Daryan, B., and Fürsich, F. T. 2005. Stratigraphy and palynology of the Upper Triasic Nayband-Formation of east-central Iran. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigraphia, 111:259270.
Cuif, J. P. 1967. Structure de quelques Polypiers phaceloides triasiques. Traité de paléontologie, France, série 7, 8:125132.
Cuif, J. P. 1975. Recherches sur les Madréporaires du Trias III. Étude des structures pennulaires chez les Madréporaires triasiques. Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, série 3, no. 310, Sciences de la Terre, 44:45127.
Cuif, J. P. 1977. Arguments pour une relation phylétique entre les Madréporaires paléozoïques et ceux du Trias. Mémoires de la Société Géologique de France, 129:154.
Deng, Z., 1989. Supplemental notes on Mesozoic Scleractinia from Mts. Hengduan, southwest China. Bulletin of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Academia Sinica, 9:285307.
Douglas, J.A. 1929. A marine Triassic fauna from eastern Persia. Quarterly Journal. Geological Society of London, 85 (4):24650.
Eftekhar-Nejad, D., Valeh, R., Ruttner, A., Nabavi, M. H., Maieni, N., and Haghipour, N. 1977. Geological quadrangle map of Iran, 1:250,000. No. J6, Ferdows. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran.
Emmrich, H. F. 1853. Geognostische Beobachtungen aus den östlichen bayerischen und den angrenzenden österreichischen Alpen. Jahrbuch der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Geologischen Reichsanstalt, III–IV, 4:326394.
Ezzoubair, F. and Gautret, P., 1993. Recherches sur les affinités des Spongiomorphidae Frech, 1890. 2. Révision des caractéristiques microstructurales des espèces initialement attribuées aux Spongiomorphidae. Geobios 26:279290.
Fantini-Sestini, N. and Motta, E., 1984. I Coralli del Calcare di Zu (Triassico Superiore) della Lombardia (Italia). Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 89:343376.
Flügel, E. 1982. Evolution of Triassic reefs: Current concepts and problems. Entwicklung der trias-Riffe: Kenntnisstand und Problem. Facies, 6:297328.
Flügel, E. and Hötzl, H., 1966. Hydrozoen aus Ober-Jura der Hesperischen Ketten (Ost Spanien). Neues Jahrbuch der Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 124:103117.
Flügel, E. and Kiessling, W. 2002. Triassic reef patterns, p. 391463. InKiessling, W., Flügel, E. and Golonka, J.(eds.), Phanerozoic Reef Patterns. SEPM Special Publication 72.
Frech, F. 1890. Die Korallenfauna der Trias. Die Korallen der juvavischen Triasprovinz. Palaeontographica, 37:1116.
Fürsich, F.T., Hautmann, M., Senowbari-Daryan, B., and Seyed-Emami, K. 2005. The Upper Triassic Nayband and Darkuh Formation of east central Iran: stratigraphy, facies patterns and biota of extensional basins on an accreted terrane. Beringeria, 35:53133.
Goodwin, D. H. and Stanley, G. D. Jr. 1997. Norian sponge and coral biostromes in the Antimonio Formation, northwestern Sonora, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geològicas, 14:160166.
González-León, C., Taylor, D. G., and Stanley, G. D. Jr. 1996. The Antimonio Formation in Sonora, Mexico, and the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 33:418428.
Haas, O. 1909. Bericht uber neue Aufsammlungen in den Zlambachmergeln der Fischerwiese bei Alt-Aussee. Beiträge zur Paläontologie und Geologie, Österreich-Ungarns und des Orients. Mitteilungen des Geologie und Paläontologie Institut der Universität Wien, 22:145167.
Hautmann, M. 2001. Taxonomy and phylogeny of cementing Triassic bivalves (families Prospondylidae, Plicatulidae, Dimyidae and Ostreidae). Beringeria, 29:1181.
Kluyver, H. M., Tirrul, R., Chance, P. N., Johns, G. W., and Meixner, H. M., 1983a. Explanatory Text of the Naybandan Quadrangle map, 1:250000. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Quadrangle J8, 143p.
Kluyver, H. M., Tirrul, R., Chance, P. N., Johns, G. W., and Meixner, H. M. 1983b. Explanatory text of the Naybandan Quadrangle map, 1:250000. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Quadrangle J9, 175p.
Koby, F. 1889. Monographie des Polypiers jurassiques de la Suisse. Mémoires De La Société Paléontologique Suisse, 16:456490.
Kristan-Tollmann, V. E., Tollmann, A., and Hamedani, A. 1979. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Trias von Persien: I. Revision der Triasgliederung, Rhätfazies im Raum von Isfahan und Kössener Fazieseinschlag bei Waliabad SE Abadeh. Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geologischen Gesellschaft, 70:119186.
Kristan-Tollmann, E., Tollmann, A. and Hamedani, A. 1980. Beitraege zur Kenntnis der Trias von Persien; II, Zur Rhaetfauna von Bagerabad bei Isfahan (Korallen, Ostracoden). Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geologischen Gesellschaft, 73:163235.
Krystyn, L. 1990. A Rhaetian Stage—Chronostratigraphy, subdivisions and their intercontinental correlation. Albertiana, 8:1524.
Lemaitre, D. 1935. Etude paléontologique sur le Lias du Maroc: Description des Spongiomorphides et des Algues. Notes et Mémoires du Service des Mines du Maroc, 34:1959.
Lucas, S. G. 2010. The Triassic chronostratigraphic scale: history and status, p. 1739. InLucas, S. G.(ed.), The Triassic Timescale. The Geological Society of London Special Publication 334.
Matzner, C. 1986. The Zlambach beds (Rhaetian) of the Northern Limestone Alps: platform-slope-environments with allochthonous carbonate sedimentation. Facies, 14, 102p.
Melnikova, G. K. 1975. Pozdnetriasovie skleraktinii yugo-vostochnogo Pamira, Akademie Nauk Tadschikskoi. SSSR Institute of Geology, 234p.
Melnikova, G. K. 1989. Monstroseris, a new Upper Triassic scleractinian coral from Iran. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 34:7174.
Melnikova, G. K., Roniewicz, E., and Loeser, H. 1993. New Microsolenid Genus Eocomoseris (Scleractinia, early Lias–Cenomanian). Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, 63:312.
Melnikova, G. K. 2001. Chapter on corals, p. 3080. InRozanov, A. Yu. and Shevyrev, A. A.(eds.), Atlas of Triassic Invertebrates of the Pamirs. Nauka, Moscow, Russia, 190p.
Nützel, A. and Senowbari-Daryan, B. 1999. Gastropods from the Late Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) Nayband Formation of central Iran. Beningeria, 23:93132.
Nützel, A., Hamedani, A., and Senowbari-Daryan, B. 2003. Some Late Triassic gastropods from the Nayband Formation in central Iran. Facies, 48:127134.
Nützel, A., Mannani, M., Senowbari-Daryan, B., and Yazdi, M. 2010.Gastropods from the Late Triassic Nayband Formation (Iran), their relationships to other Tethyan faunas and remarks on the Triassic gastropod body size problem. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen, 256:213228.
Purlatifi, A. 2001. Ferdows geological map, 1:100000. Geological Survey Iran, Tehran.
Rashidi, K. and Senowbari-Daryan, B. 2011. Sponges from a section of the Upper Triassic Nayband Formation, northeast of Esfahan, central Iran. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, Serie A, 113:309371.
Reuss, A. E. 1854. Beitrage zur Charakteristik der Kreideschichten in den Ostalpen, besonders im Gosauthale und am Wolfgangsee. Österreiche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche, Klasse. Denkschriften, 7:67133.
Roniewicz, E. 1989. Triassic scleractinian corals of the Zlambach beds, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria. Österreiche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche, Klasse. Denkschriften, 126, 152p.
Roniewicz, E. 2011. Early Norian (Triassic) corals from the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria, and the intra-Norian faunal turnover. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 56:401428.
Schäfer, P. and Senowbari-Daryan, B. 1981. Facies development and paleoecologic zonation of four Upper Triassic patch-reefs, Northern Calcareous Alps near Salzburg, Austria, p. 241259. InTommey, D. F.(ed.), European Fossil Reef Models. SEPM, Special Publication 30.
Schäfer, P., Senowbari-Daryan, B., and Hamedani, A. 2003. Stenolaemate bryozoans from the Upper Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) Nayband Formation, Central Iran. Facies, 46:135150.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. 1996. Upper Triassic reefs and reef communities of Iran, p. 299304. InReitner, J., Neuweiler, F., and Gunkel, F.(eds.), Global and Regional Controls on Biogenic Sedimentation. Gottinger Arbeiten Geologie und Paläontologie Sb2.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. 2003. Peronidellen (Schwämme) der Trias und Beschreibung von Peronidella iranica n. sp. aus der Obertrias (Nor–Rhät) des Iran und Österreich. Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt, Wien, 143:7786.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. 2004. Tabasosphaera pustulosa new genus, new species, a microproblematicum (Foraminifera?) from the Upper Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) reef limestones of Nayband Formation (NE Iran). Studia Universittatis Babes–Bolyai, Geologia, XLIX, 2:8594.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. 2005a. Hypercalcified sphinctozoan sponges from Upper Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) reefs of the Nayband Formation (central and northeast Iran). Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt, Wien, 145:171277.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. 2005b. Inozoide Schwämme aus obertriassischen (Nor–Rhät) Riffen der Nayband-Formation (NE und Zentraliran). Senckenbergiana Lethaea, 85:261299.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. and Hamedani, A. 1999a. Thalamid sponges from the Upper Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) Nayband Formation near Wali Abad, SE Abadeh, central Iran. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigraphia, 105:79100.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. and Hamedani, A. 1999b. Girvanella coated udoteacean oncoids from the Upper Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) Nayband Formation, south of Abadeh (central Iran). Revue de Paléobiologie, 18:597606.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. and Majidifard, M. R. 2003. A Triassic “Problematic Microfossil” revealed: Probolocuspis espahkensis Brönnimann, Zaninetti, Moshtaghian and Huber 1974 is attributed to the dasycladacean algae. Facies, 48:107114.
Senowbari-Daryan, B., Torabi, H., and Rashidi, K. 2008. New solenoporaceans from Upper Triassic (?Norian–Rhaetian) reef limestones in central Iran. Geologia Croatica, 61:135157.
Senowbari-Daryan, B., Rashidi, K., and Taorabi, H. 2010. Foraminifera and their associations of a Rhaetian? section of the Nayband Formation in central Iran, northeast of Esfahan. Facies, 56:567596.
Senowbari-Daryan, B., Rashidi, K., and Bettollah, H. 2011. Hypercalcified sponges from a small reef within the Norian–Rhaetian Nayband Formation near Yazd, central Iran. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 117:269281.
Senowbari-Daryan, B. and Stanley, G. D. Jr. 1992. Late Triassic thalamid sponges from Nevada. Journal of Paleontology, 66:183193.
Seyed-Emami, K. 2003. Triassic in Iran. Facies, 48:91106.
Stanley, G. D. Jr., 1979. Paleoecology, structure and distribution of Triassic coral buildups in western North America. University of Kansas Paleontological Contribution 65, 68p.
Stanley, G. D. Jr., 1994. Upper Triassic corals from Peru. p. 7598. InStanley, G. D. Jr.(ed.), Paleontology and Stratigraphy of Triassic to Jurassic Rocks in the Peruvian Andes. Palaeontographica Abteilung A, 233.
Stanley, G. D. Jr., 2001. Introduction to reef ecosystems and their evolution, p. 139. InStanley, G. D. Jr.(ed.), The History and Sedimentology of Ancient Reef Systems. Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York.
Stanley, G. D. Jr., and Lipps, J. H. 2011. Photosymbiosis: the driving force for reef success and failure. Paleontological Society Paper, 17:3360.
Stocklin, J. and Setudehnia, A. 1991. Stratigraphic Lexicon of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Republic 18, third edition, 376p.
Stolarski, J. and Russo, A. 2002. Microstructural diversity of the stylophyllid (Scleractinia) skeleton. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 47:651666.
Stoppani, A. 1858 –1860. Les Pétrifications d'Esino ou description des fossiles appartenant au dépôts superieur des environs d'Esino en Lombardie. Joseph Bernardoni, Milan, 151p.
Şengör, A. M. C. 1979. Mid-Mesozoic closure of Permo–Triassic Tethys and its implications. Nature, 279:590593.
Vaughan, T. W. and Wells, J. W. 1943. Revision of the suborders, families and genera of the Scleractinia. Geological Society of America Special Paper 44, 363p.
Verrill, A. E. 1865. Classification of polyps. (Extract condensed from a synopsis of the Polypi of the North Pacific Exploring Expedition under Captains Ringgold and Rodgers, U. S. N.). From the Proceedings Essex Institute. Journal of Natural History Series 3 16:191197.
Winkler, G. 1861. Der Oberkeuper, nach Studien in den bayerischen Alpen. Zeitschrift Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft, 13:459521.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed