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Paleontologic Investigations of the Uppermost Santa Susana Formation, South Side of Simi Valley, Southern California

SQUIRES, R. L., California State University, Northridge, CA

Strata assignable to the provincial macroinvertebrate Meganos stage, equivalent to the calcareous nannofossil CP8 zone (late Paleocene) to CP9 zone (early Eocene), are uncommon on the Pacific coast of North America. This stage has been recognized in southern California only in the uppermost Santa Susana Formation, north side of Simi Valley. Although early workers reported Meganos stage strata from the south side of Simi Valley, most of these deposits have since been assigned to younger or older stages.

Intensive collecting by the author now proves that Meganos stage fossils are present in the upper 100 m of the Santa Susana Formation on the south side of Simi Valley, east of the Runkle Canyon fault. This 100-m-thick interval consists of gray, very fine-grained sandstone that has a gradational lithology from the underlying gray mudstone. Calcareous nonnofossils were found only near the bottom of the 100-m-thick interval, and they are suggestive of the late Paleocene Discoaster multiradiatus (CP8) zone. Rare, macrofossil-bearing lenses near the bottom of the 100-m-thick interval contain the solitary coral Trochocyathus zitteli, the gastropods Turritella subuvasana and Velates californicus(?), and the bivalve Fimbria susanensis.

Sparsely occurring, macrofossil-bearing lenses in the upper 20 m of the 100-m-thick interval contain the colonial coral Archohelia clarki and the gastropod Turritella andersoni susanae (= T. andersoni n. subsp. of authors). Turritella andersoni susanae indicates the early Eocene part of the Meganoz stage because it is found just above the earliest Eocene Discoaster diastypus (CP9) zone in the upper Santa Susana Formation on the north side of Simi Valley.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)