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Abstract

The lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, ammonite and inoceramid faunas of the Upper Albian, Cenomanian, and Lower Turonian Karai Formation, the highest unit of the Uttatur Group in the Pondicherry Sub-Basin of the Cauvery Basin in Tamil Nadu, south India, are documented. Detailed logs and descriptions of sections between Karai and Kulakkalnattam, Odiyam and Kunnam, and north-west of Garudamangalam are presented. They provide the evidence for an ammonite zonal scheme that can be correlated in detail with sequences developed in Europe, with successive Upper Albian zones of Pervinquieria (Subschloenbachia) rostrata and P. (S.) perinflata (the latter on slight evidence), Cenomanian zones of Mantelliceras mantelli, Cunningtoniceras cunningtoni, Calycoceras (Newboldiceras) asiaticum, Pseudo calycoceras harpax, Euomphaloceras septemseriatum and Pseudspidoceras footeanum. The Lower Turonian is represented by a Neoptychites cephalotus–Mytiloides borkari fauna. Over 120 ammonite species are described, of which Puzosia (Bhimaites) falx, Protacanthoceras parva, Watinoceras elegans, Euomphaloceras varicostatum, Kamerunoceras multinodosum, and Carthaginites multituberculatus are new. The new genus Kunnamiceras, with Ammonites tropicus Kossmat, 1865 as type species, is interpreted as a paedomorphic dwarf derivative of Pseudocalycoceras harpax (Stoliczka, 1864). Ammonite faunas from shales are dominated by feebly-ornamented taxa: leiostraca; those from sandstones by strongly ornamented taxa: trachyostraca, differences interpreted as reflecting the preferred habits of adults in life. 15 species of inoceramid bivalves, including a newly described species Inoceramus chiplonkari, are recognised, with a mixed East African–Euramerican–North Pacific affinity. On the basis of the stratigraphic framework developed, a sequence stratigraphic interpretation of the Karai Formation is proposed, and correlated with those recognised in Europe, Morocco, and the United States Gulf Coast and Western Interior.
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