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Episodes 2022; 45(1): 87-95

Published online March 1, 2022


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Corals from Asturian substage in Cantabrian Mountains: A review

by Sergio Rodríguez1,2*, Ismael Coronado3, and Isabel Rodríguez-Castro1

1 Departamento de Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, UCM, c/José Antonio Novais, 2. 28040 Madrid, Spain
2 Departamento de Geología Sedimentaria y Cambio Medioambiental, Instituto de Geociencias, CSIC, UCM, c/José Antonio Novais, 2. 28040 Madrid, Spain
3 Departamento de Geografía y Geología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana, s/n, 24071 León, Spain

Correspondence to:E-mail: sergrodr@geo.ucm.es, isrodr01@ucm.es

Received: February 16, 2021; Revised: June 23, 2021; Accepted: June 23, 2021

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.


The subdivision of the Pennsylvanian divided the Namurian, Westphalian and Stephanian regional stages in substages named with letters. During the second half of the 20th Century, some of these substages were more properly defined. Westphalian A, B and C were defined as Langsettian, Duckmantian and Bolsovian. The Stephanian A was renamed as Barruelian and the transition between Westphalian and Stephanian as Cantabrian. The Westphalian D, defined in continental strata from Saar-Lorraine, was proposed to be substituted by the Asturian substage with the stratotype in the Cantabrian Mountains. An extensive documentation with assemblages and stratigraphic distribution of plants, fusulinids, brachiopods, corals, molluscs and ostracods was presented. But a formal definition of the stratotype was never proposed. The Asturian substage in the Cantabrian Mountains comprises both marine and terrestrial strata rich in fossils and allows easy correlations with other areas. Recent studies have improved the stratigraphic data and the knowledge on the coral assemblages, mainly in the eastern area of Asturias and Palencia. The entire coral assemblage from Asturian substage in the Cantabrian Mountains is composed of 48 named species and 20 species described in open nomenclature. The short stratigraphic range of many of them may be the basis for the characterization of the Asturian stage with corals. Although some species are endemic in the Cantabrian Mountains, there are some species that are also present in other regions of the Palaeotethys. At the generic level there are significant similarities that should be the basis for wider correlations with North America and East Asia.