Occurrence of Fossil Resins in the Oil-Shales of the Punjab Saline Series


IN a recent discussion1 on the age of the Saline series, Dr. E. R. Gee disputes Prof. B. Sahni's evidence of micro-fossils for an Eocene age2 on two grounds: first, the discovery by Messrs. Ghosh, Sen and Bose3 of similar post-Palæozoic micro-fossils in overlying beds of undoubted Cambrian age shows that Prof. B. Sahni's fossils are exotic in origin and of no stratigraphical significance; and secondly, the contact between the Saline series and the overlying Talchirs in the western parts of the Range is a normal sedimentary overlap and, therefore, the Saline series must be pre-Talchir in age. Dr. Gee further states: “It is considered that the Saline series of the Salt range, together with the overlying higher Cambrian, was deposited in the coastal waters of the Vindhyan sea which, prior to the formation of the Gondwanaland, flooded the region from the south”. In the present communication, attention is directed to the presence of fossil resins in the oil-shales of the Saline series, and it is pointed out that, as resin-bearing plants are unknown from strata older than the Carboniferous, a Cambrian age for the Saline series is untenable. It is further noted that the late pre-Cambrian (or possibly Cambrian) coal found interbedded with the Vindhyan limestones is algal in nature, and does not show any evidence of being derived from vascular plants as is the case in the Punjab oil-shales.

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NARAYANA RAO, S. Occurrence of Fossil Resins in the Oil-Shales of the Punjab Saline Series. Nature 165, 654–655 (1950). https://doi.org/10.1038/165654a0

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