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    Review of 'GLOBAL EVOLUTION AND PALEOGEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF MID - CRETACEOUS ORBITOLINIDS'

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    GLOBAL EVOLUTION AND PALEOGEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF MID - CRETACEOUS ORBITOLINIDS

     Marcelle Boudagher-Fadel (corresponding) ,  G. Price (2019)
    Members of the Larger Benthic Foraminiferal (LBF) family Orbitolinidae occured from the Cretaceous to the Paleogene, however, they were most diverse during the mid-Cretaceous, and dominated the agglutinated LBF assemblages described from limestones of that period. Various orbitolinid species have been used to zone and date lithologies formed in the shallow, warm waters of the Aptian to the Early Cenomanian, and many, sometimes inaccurate, generic and sub-generic nomenclatures have been proposed to differentiate the often subtle morphological changes that orbitolinids exhibit over time. Until now, it has not been possible to develop an effective global overview of their evolution and environmental development because descriptions of specimens from Asia have been relatively rare. Following our recent study of over 1800 orbitolinid-rich thin sections of material from 13 outcrops of the Langshan Limestone, from the Southern Tibetan Plateau, and from the Barito Basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, it has been possible to compare the stratigraphic ranges of these orbitolinids with previously described Tethyan and American forms, based on the use of a planktonic zonal (PZ) scheme, itself tied to the most recent chronostratigraphic scale. This has allowed the reconstruction of the phylogenetic and paleogeographic evolution of the orbitolinids from their Valanginian origin in the Tethys. Although Tethys remained the paleogeographic focus for the orbitolinids, it is inferred here for the first time that a bi-directional paleogeographic migration of some orbitolinid genera occurred from Tethys to the Americas and also to the Western Pacific region. Our observations and dating confirm that global marine regressions in the Aptian were coincident with, and may well have facilitated, these orbitolinid transoceanic migrations. However, migration stopped after rising sea-level in the Early Albian appears to have again isolated these provinces from each other. Tectonic forces associated with the subduction of the Farallon Plate and further sea-level raises led to the opening of the Western Interior Seaway in the North America, which correlates with, and may have been the cause of, the Middle Albian (top of PZ Albian 2) extinction of the American orbitolinids. The extinction of the orbitolinids revealed that the Western Pacific province was split into two sub-provinces, with extinction occurring at the end of the Early Albian (top of PZ Albian 1) in the Northwest Pacific sub-province, and at the end of the Albian (top of PZ Albian 4) in the sub-province that is today South East Asia (on the margins and west of the Wallace Line). The final virtual extinction of the orbitolinids occurred at the end of the Cenomanian in the Tethyan province, which coincides with, and may have been caused by, global anoxic oceanic events that correlate with a near-peak Mesozoic eustatic sea-level high-stand that led to the overall global collapse of the paleotropical reef ecosystem at that time.
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      Review information

      10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EARTH.APTAK0.v1.RCVDYK

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

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      Review text

      I acknowledge the Editor to give me the opportunity to review the paper entitled "Global Evolution and Paleogeographic distribution of Mid - Cretaceous orbitolinids"

      Overall, the paper is well written and interesting to read and I found it very informative. This work represents a comprehensive study on one of the taxonomically and morphologically complex groups of benthic marine microfauna in the ancient oceans. These fauna are of particular importance for Cretaceous biostratigraphy and paleogeography. Their biostratigraphically significance is important in petroleum explorations. However, the following comments and suggestions will improve the paper.

      1- More references can be used to support statements in the text.

      2- Are there references for figures 4, 7, 9 and 12?

      3- I recommend including a list of the identified orbitolinid taxa (with their indicated biostratigraphy ranges) from Southern Tibetan Plateau and Barito Basin in the paper.

      4- Analysis of new material and the re-analysis of the published data and also a general comparison between the orbitolinid taxa from your recent studies and those from other regions can be clearly explained or illustrated.

      5- In the introduction section, more papers concerning with the Cretaceous orbitolinid-rich deposits of Iran can be cited. I recommend citing the following references:

      Rahiminejad, A.H. & Hassani, M.J. 2016a. Paleoenvironmental distribution patterns of orbitolinids in the Lower Cretaceous deposits of eastern Rafsanjan, Central Iran. Marine Micropaleontology 122: 53-66.

      Rahiminejad, A. H. & Hassani, M.J. 2016b. Depositional environment of the Upper Cretaceous orbitolinid– rich microfacies in the Kuh–e Mazar anticline (Kerman Province, Central Iran). Historical Biology 28 (5): 597-612.

      Schlagintweit, F., Wilmsen, M., 2014. Orbitolinid Biostratigraphy of the Top Taft Formation (Lower Cretaceous of the Yazd Block, Central Iran). Cretaceous Research. 49, 125-133.

      6- Figure5 caption: …………………from morphological Group…..

      7- Figure7 caption: Do you mean middle Cretaceous?

      8- Figure7 caption: If possible, please briefly mention the Groups that are illustrated in Figure 7.

      9- Figure12: This figure represents a very good model of orbitolinid distribution in the Tethyan Cretaceous paleoenvironments. However, in the Tethys, Cretaceous orbitolinid-rich facies have also been reported from inner ramp shoals and lagoons (e.g., Rahiminejad and Hassani, 2016a, b). Discoidal orbitolinids were reported from non-pelagic micritic facies of middle lagoon environment. I think adding such details to the facies model can improve the paper. I recommend adding other details to Figure 12. Listing of taxa with different test morphologies in Figure 12 can be useful. I would suggest the authors to define similar facies model for the Cretaceous orbitolinid-rich deposits of the Western Pacific and the Americas, whenever possible.

       

       

      Comments

      Dear Amir

      Thank you for reviewing our papers and for the positive comments. In response to your specific comments here are our answers:

       

      More references can be used to support statements in the text.

      The references in the text cover most studies on key orbitolinids.

       

      Are there references for figures 4, 7, 9 and 12?

      Yes. All of the figures (including the above) are referenced in the text.

       

      I recommend including a list of the identified orbitolinid taxa (with their indicated biostratigraphy ranges) from Southern Tibetan Plateau and Barito Basin in the paper.

      As mentioned in the paper, the Tibet orbitolinids are studied in detail and listed in BouDagher-Fadel et al. (2017) and those in the barito Basin are listed in this paper.

       

      Analysis of new material and the re-analysis of the published data and also a general comparison between the orbitolinid taxa from your recent studies and those from other regions can be clearly explained or illustrated.

      More than 1800 sections of orbitolinids are studied in this paper and compared to most published data worldwide. 

       

      In the introduction section, more papers concerning with the Cretaceous orbitolinid-rich deposits of Iran can be cited. I recommend citing the following references:

      The orbitolinids in Iran are already referenced, but we will make reference to your more recent work.

       

      6- Figure5 caption: …………………from morphological Group…..

      Figure 5 states: Example of evolutionary Tethyan lineages from Group (ii) to (v). We will include morphological groups (ii) to (v).

       

      Figure7 caption: Do you mean middle Cretaceous?

      Figure 7 caption states: The provincial distribution of the orbitolinids during Early Cretaceous in the Tethys
      (1), the Western Pacific (2), and the Americas (3), with paleo-oceanic currents shown by the
      white arrows.
      We will replace Early Cretaceous by the exact stratigraphic age, Early Albian.

       

      Figure7 caption: If possible, please briefly mention the Groups that are illustrated in Figure 7.

      The Groups are already registered and embedded in Figure 7.

       

      Figure12: This figure represents a very good model of orbitolinid distribution in the Tethyan Cretaceous paleoenvironments. However, in the Tethys, Cretaceous orbitolinid-rich facies have also been reported from inner ramp shoals and lagoons (e.g., Rahiminejad and Hassani, 2016a, b). Discoidal orbitolinids were reported from non-pelagic micritic facies of middle lagoon environment. I think adding such details to the facies model can improve the paper. I recommend adding other details to Figure 12. Listing of taxa with different test morphologies in Figure 12 can be useful. I would suggest the authors to define similar facies model for the Cretaceous orbitolinid-rich deposits of the Western Pacific and the Americas, whenever possible.

      Fig. 12 states: The facies range of the dominant orbitolinids in a Tethyan carbonate shelf. Integrated reef/ramp model for Neogene carbonates. The ramp model is indicated by the blue dotted line. In the case of gently sloping ramp, the outer ramp lithofacies are made of mudstones and wackestones, while in the middle ramp mudstone with carbonate nodules would develop. So this figure plots the dominant orbitolinids Tethyan facies, however the orbitolinids reported from lagoonal deposits are rare and local.

       

      2019-04-09 14:27 UTC
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