- © 2012 American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists
A palynological investigation of marine uppermost Maastrichtian to lower Paleocene strata in two New Zealand sections, mid-Waipara River and Fairfield Quarry, revealed well-preserved dinoflagellate cyst assemblages including three new dinoflagellate cyst species. A formal description of the new dinoflagellate cyst species are presented here. Furthermore a variation of Carpatella cornuta, named C. aff. cornuta is discussed. In the mid-Waipara River section the ranges of the new species Adnatosphaeridium regulatum sp. nov., Alterbidinium mcmillanii sp. nov. and Canningia fairfieldensis sp. nov. are calibrated directly with other microfossil groups including foraminifera, radiolarian and terrestrially derived spores and pollen. The last occurrence of Adnatosphaeridium regulatum sp. nov. is within the lowermost Danian foraminiferal zone Pα and this event is recorded in sections located in several New Zealand sedimentary basins. Alterbidinium mcmillanii sp. nov. has a very restricted range within the latest Maastrichtian to basal Danian with its last occurrence within foraminferal zone P0. Canningia fairfieldensis sp. nov. has so far only been recorded in lower Danian strata and occurs within the foraminiferal zones Pα to P1c and radiolarian zones RP1?–RP2. A morphological variation of Carpatella cornuta named Carpatella aff. cornuta is only observed in a very narrow interval across the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary in the mid-Waipara River section. Based on comparison with other New Zealand K-Pg boundary sections, A. mcmillanii sp. nov. and C. fairfieldensis sp. nov. seem to have a palaeoenvironmental affinity for shallow marine to inner neritic depositional environments.