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Episodes 2021; 44(4): 359-383

Published online December 1, 2021


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The Xiaoyangqiao section, Dayangcha, North China: the new global Auxiliary Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (ASSP) for the base of the Ordovician System

by Xiaofeng Wang1, Svend Stouge2*, Jörg Maletz3, Gabriella Bagnoli4, Yuping. Qi5, Elena G. Raevskaya6, Chuanshang Wang1, and Chunbo Yan1

1Wuhan Center of China Geological Survey (Wuhan Institute of Geology & Mineral Resources), Wuhan, China
2Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Institute of Geology, Free University of Berlin, Germany
4Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Via S. Maria 53, I-56126 Pisa, Italy
5State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing, 210008, China
6AO ‘Geologorazvedka’. Fayansovaya Stra 20, building 2, lti. A, St-Petersburg, 192019, Russia

Correspondence to:E-mail: svends@snm.ku.

Received: February 4, 2020; Revised: November 6, 2020; Accepted: November 6, 2020

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 2019 the Sub-Commission on the Ordovician System approved the Xiaoyangqiao section, North China as a new ASSP section for the base of the Ordovician System. The sedimentary succession of the section is exposed in a natural outcrop near the Dayangcha Village at a position of 42°3'24''N, 126°42'21''E. It has a well-preserved, abundant and diverse fossil record across the boundary with key markers (conodonts and graptolites), which provide improved intercontinental correlation of the Cambrian– Ordovician boundary. The appearance of the first planktonic graptolites is immediately below the base of the Cordylodus lindstromi Conodont Zone. Other fossils, including acritarchs, brachiopods and trilobites are also present in the Xiaoyangqiao ASSP section. Non-biotic secondary global markers near the base of the Ordovician System include a positive carbon isotopic excursion with the maximum peak (named HSS) below the boundary, a prominent unnamed negative peak immediately below the boundary and a prominent carbon isotope excursion with positive peaks above the boundary. The latter excursion is associated with the appearance of the planktonic graptolites in the Ordovician. The strength of the Xiaoyangqiao ASSP section is the correlation between the conodonts and graptolites, correspondence of sea-level lowstands, and the matches of geochemical parameters.