Stellenbosch University: Geology in the Jungles of Thailand

SU Sedimentologist, Dr Ryan T Tucker (Department of Earth Sciences) in on-going international collaboration with palaeontologists and sedimentoliogists from the United States, Australia and Thailand have recently published a refined temporal framework for historical and newly uncovered fossil assemblages within the Sao Khua Formation, Khorat Basin of Northeastern Thailand. This recent publication in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology serves to strengthen once cryptic correlations across Early Cretaceous Asia. Dr Tucker mentioned that the age of deposition, obtained via U/Pb LA-ICMPS of detrital zircon, is between 133.6 and 132.1 Ma. Specifically, this is interesting for key fossil assemblages preserved within as it would be the oldest records of those respective clades globally. Additional results within the manuscript elucidate palaeoenvironmental conditions for the Sao Khua Formation, indicating that sedimentary successions accumulated within a humid subtropical floodplain. This work is part of “PASSAGE” (Partnership for Southeast Asian Geological Exploration) with Thailand’s; Department of Mineral Resources, Suranaree University of Technology; Sirindhorn Museum and Kasetsart University and was funded in part by AC21 Special Projects Fund Award (2019).