112 Part IV 1982, p 31- 38

BY SUJIT DASGUPTA Geological Survey of India (With Plate 7.1)

ABSTRACT Faunal records from different parts of the Surma Basin have been summarized and reviewed. This indicates that the ‘Surma Series’ of Evans may transgress the Palaeogene-Neogene boundary and the Lower Bhuban Formation may be of Upper Oligocene age. More systematic palaeontological study is suggested for biostratigraphjc correlation and zonation. Similarities in invertebrate megafossil content between the Surma and Central Burma Basin indicate close connection during the Neogene times. The name ‘Surma Series’ first coined by Evans (1932) is after the name of river Surma, a distributary of the Barak river, in the Sylhet District of Bangladesh, for a thick (>6000m) group of Oligo- Miocene argillaceous and arenaceous sediments. Originally, these rocks were studied and described from the Cachar Valley of Assam and further west bordering the Shillong Plateau. Subsequently these rocks have been found to occur in Tripura and Mizo hills, beneath the alluvial plains and Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh and further south in Coastal Burma. Evans (1932), from his study in the Surrna and Cachar Valley classified these rocks as Surma Series and subdivided into younger Boka Bil and older Bhuban Stage. Evans’ classification is based entirely on lithology and at best it can be designated as local stratigraphy not being corelatable lithologically with other areas. Subsequent mapping in this area (Surma Basin) within India has been undertaken by the Geological Survey of India and ONGC; and in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) by the Oil Companies. Unfortunately, no standard stratigraphic nomenclature and subdivision evolved for the Surma Group of rocks mainly due to some inherent inconsistencies of the sediments. The first to mention is the rocks are notoriously devoid of faunal content, which is the major key in subdividing monotonous sediments of huge thickness, limiting the scope of biostratigraphic subdivision and correlation. Lithostiatigraphic classification is possible as has been done by Evans, but correlation from one part to the other is difficult, if not impossible, due to wide spread litho-facies variation, absence of marker horizon and the monotonous nature of the sediments. Structural complexity has added to the difficulty. Attempts have been made to classify and subdivide the sediments by sand/shale ratio (Holtrop and Kaizer, 1969) for the rocks below the Bangladesh alluvial plains and by heavy mineral analysis (Sinha and Sastri, 1973) for the exposed rocks of Cachar and Tripura hills. Such attempts, though partially successful, need further work for a complete stratigraphic picture to emerge. Though faunal records are scanty, some studies have been undertaken from different samples collected earlier by the geologists from G.S.I. and B.O.C. and recently by the author and others working in Tripura-Mizoram area. In this compilation an attempt has been made to present an exhaustive summary of available data on fossil occurrences in the Surma Basin (Plate 7.1). It will help to understand our present status of knowledge about the age of the sediments from its faunal content and will also throw light on future lines of work that may contribute to evolve a stratigraphic hierarchy. To systematize the description of faunal remnants, the area has been divided into six regions, namely— (1) Surma sediments bordering the Garo hills, (2) Cachar Valley, (3) Sediments

below the alluvium of Sylhet and Comilla Districts of Bangladesh, (4) Fossil localities in Tripura, (5) Fossil localities in Mizoram and (6) The Chittagong hill tracts. Fossil localities in Coastal Burma have not been included in this account. This has been summarized recently by, A.B. Dasgupta (1977) in his Presidential Address delivered before the fifty-second annual general meeting of the Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Society of India. Surma sediments bordering the Garo hills First fossil collection from this area was by Scott and Colebrooke (1822, quoted from Mukherjee, 1939) from the Karaibari hills (not shown in Plate 7.1) lying between the western extremity of the Garo hills and the Brahmaputra river. From this collection, Mukherjee (1939) identified the following species:
GASTROPOD: Turritella (Torculoidella) angulata Sow. Calyptraea rugosa Noet. LAMELLIBRANCH: Anadara submultiformis Vred. Ostrea latimarginata Vred. Ostrea cf. digitata Eich. ANTHOZOA: Paracyathus sp. ARTHROPODA: Balanus (Chirona) sublaevis Sow. MAMMALIA: Anthracotherium silistrense Pentland. Choeromery silistrensis Pentland.

The mammalian remains are closely related or identified with similar mammalian fauna from the Gaj (Burdigalian) of Sind. Turritella angulata Sow. has been recorded from Upper Gaj of Kirthar region having allies in the estuaries of the present day. The general faunal assemblage in the Karaibari exposure indicates approximately a Lower Miocene age equivalent to AquitanianBurdigalian and in all probability identical in age with the Bagmara- Dalu fossil horizons discussed below. Pinfold (l919) discovered two fossil localities from the southern Garo hills and the organic remains were described by Vredenburg (1921). Of the two 1ocalilies, the more easterly one is near the banks of the Someswari river, 2.4 Km. southwest of the village Bagmara (25°11′: 90°40′) and the westerly one is 6.4 Km north of the town Dalu (25°14′: 89°15′). The two localities are separated by a distance of about 48 Km and the fossil horizons occur under similar conditions.

The organic remains are mostly those of mollusca with delicate shells, a few sharks’ teeth and Otoliths. The shells are mostly fragmentary and include specifically indeterminable specimens of Conus, Oliva, Murex, Natica, Solerium, Calyptarea, Arca, Pecten, Ostrea, Lucina, Dosinia, Venus and Tellina. Nine gastropod forms that have been specifically identified are: (1) Terebra protomyuros Noet. (2) Surcula promensis var. silistrensis Vred. (3) Drillia proto cincta Noet (4) D. tjemoroensis Mart. (5) Mitra chinesis Gray var. subscrobiculata d’ Orbigny (6) Siphonalia subspedicea Vred. (7) Turritella pinfoldi Vred. (8) T. angulata Sow and (9) Calliostoma promense Vred. This specific determination was of great palaeontological interest and importance because some precise age connotation could be assigned for the first time to some late Tertiary formation of Assam. Amongst these nine species, Species No. 3 occurs in the Kama beds (Aquitanian) of Burma and in the Pliocene Soude’ Series of Java. No. 4 also characterizes the Kama stage of Burma; No. 7 occurs in beds of Burma along with Ostrea latimarginata which must be referable to the Pyalo stage (Burdigalian). No. 8 occurs in the Singu (Chattian), Kama and the Pyalo beds of Burma. No. 5 is the only undoubted living species recognized in the fauna of the Garo hills where it is represented by the variety subscrobiculata, also present in the Gaj Series of Cutch. This assemblage suggests an age approximately coinciding with the Pyalo stage of Burma and with the Upper Gaj Stage of Cutch. Another small collection by C. A. Phillips (quoted from Mukherjee, 1939) of B.O.C. from Bagmara was studied by Coggin Brown and the species identifled include 7 gastropods, of which 3 are common to Pinfolds’ collection, 2 lamellibranchs and 1scaphopod:
(1) Drillia protocincta Noet. (2) Turritella pinfoldi Vred. (3) T. angulata Sow. (4) Terebra (Myurlla) cf intermedia Vred. 5) Terebra (Duplicaria) woodwardiana Mart, var. mindegyiensis Vred. (6) Sigaretus loevgaus Lam. (7) Clavetula (Perrona) birmanica Vred. (8) Arca (Anamolocardia) yawensis Noet. (9) Arca (Anamolocardia burnesi d’ Arch and Haime. and (10) Dentalium junghuhni Mart.

More attention was paid to these two fossil localities and Mukherjee (1924, see Mukherjee, 1939) collected a large number of fossils. This new collection, besides including almost all the forms already recorded by Vredenburg (1921) and Brown (see Mukherjee, 1939), comprises a very large number of well preserved forms which are known to occur in beds ranging from Oligocene to Pliocene from different parts of the world. This collection of Mukherjee inc1udes mostly mollusca, in which thirty-eight species of lamellibranchs and seventy-four species of gastropods have been described (Mukherjee, 1939). Besides these, the following forms have also been noticed: Foraminifera: Rotalia becearii (Linn) Anthozoa: Paracyathus cf. coeruleus Duncan. Scaphopoda: Dentalium junghuhni Mart. Arthropoda: Balanus (Chirona) sublaevis Sow. Calianassa birmanica Noet. Pisces: Carcharias sp. Mylicbatis sp. Reptilia: Garialis sp. The following species (eleven lamellibranchs and nine gastropods) described from the Garo hills have been considered by many workers to be of great value as time indices and characteristic of Lower Miocene. (1)Taras incerta d’ Arch (2) Aplometis (Tellina) grimesi Noet. (3) Cardium minbuense Noet. (4) Antigona garnosa Sow. (5) Timoclea subspedicea Cossm. (6) Macrocalista erycina Linn. (7) Clementia papyracea Gray. (8) Trisidos semitorta Lam. (9) Anadara craticulata Nyst. (10) Chlamys senatoria Gmel. (11) Ostrea latimarginata Vred. (12) Turritella angulata Sow. (13) T. pinfoldi Vred. (14) Rimella subrimosa d’Orbg. (15) Siphonalia subspadicea Vred. (16) Melongena ponderosa Vred. (17) Marginella birmanica Vred. (18) Terebra protomyuros Noet. (19) T. reticulata Sow. and (20) Cancellaria dertonesis Bell. That the fauna of the Garo hills is not younger than Lower Miocene is further evidenced by the presence of a nautiloid species, definitely referable to the characteristic Mediterranean Miocene form Aturia aturi (Basterot): The faunal assemblage indicates an age close to the Lower Miocene approximately equivalent to the quitanian-Burdigalian and is therefore equivalent to the Gaj of Northwest India.

Cachar Valley Owing to the rarity of fossils in the Upper Tertiaries of the Surma Basin a special interest is attached to the fossil bed at Kanchanpur (24°39′ : 92°31′) of Cachar valley. In this locality a comparatively rich marine fauna of Lower Miocene age occur in a thin fossiliferous bed which is placed stratigraphically in the uppermost part of the Bhuban Stage. Dr. CS. Fox visited the piace with Mr. H.M. Sale of B.O.C. and collected the specimens from northwest of Kanchanpur, about 6.4 kms west-south-west of Hailakandi. Amongst the collection, Mukherjee (1928) found only two which admitted specific determination. These are two species of Meiocardia of which one is closely related to Meiocardia metavulgaris Noet., while the other was new. Noetling recorded the species M. metavulgaris from his zone of Mytilus nicobaricus Reeve., from the Singu Stage of Burma. Vredenburg correlated the Singu stage with the Upper Nari of northwest India and, therefore regarded it as Chattian (Upper Oligocene). The collection was enriched afterwards by Sale of B.O.C. and the following specific determination was made by Mukherjee (1929) besides the above two species of Isocardia (Meiocardia): Gastropod: Drillia (Crassispira) cf. delabeensis Vred. Drillia cf. protointerrupta Noet. Pyrula dissumieri Valenc. Lamellibranch: Nucula alcockij Noet. Mactra protoreevesi Noet.. Ledo virgo Mart. Anthozoa: Flabellum distinctum Noet. Dendrophyllia sp. Arthopoda: Balanus(Chirona)cf.birmanicus With. Hipponyx sp. Echinoidea: Cidaris sp. Drillia cf. delabeensis Vred. closely resemble D. harpularia Desm. from the Miocene of Australia. D. terebra Bast. and D. fratercula Bell. from the Miocene of Europe also resemble the Kanchanpur fossil. Pyrula dissumieri is very closely related to P. ficus Linn. from the Makran beds of Baluchistan and the Mio-Pliocene of Java. The above assemblage shows that the age of the Kanchanpur fossil bed is not Upper Oligocene but more likely of Miocene (Gaj) age.

Sediments below the Alluvium of Sylhet and Comilla District, Bangladesh In the Surma Valley of Bangladesh several wells have been sunk in connection with oil exploration. Nine anticlinal structures have been penetrated starting from Cachar-Bangladesh border in the northeast to Tripura-Bangladesh border in the southwest. Palaeontological and stratigraphical data from these drillings have been summarised by Holtrop and Kaizer (1969). Faunal development has been found to be discontinuous, and these are (a) Bulimina 2, (b) Rotalia 2, (c) Globigerinoides 1and (d) Bulimina 3. The individuals constituting the assemblage zone are numerous and only the important ones are mentioned below: Bulimina 2: Bulimina, Bolivina, Eponides, Haplophragmoides, Rotalia, Buliminella, Cassidulina, Anommlina, Cibicides and Nonion. Rotalia 2: Rotalia, Uvigerina Elphidium, Bolivina, Cibicides and GIobgerinoides. Globigerinoides 1: Globigerinoides, Cassigerinella, Globigerina, Rotalia, Bolivina, Cibicides, Cassidulina, Haplophragmoides, Porticulasphaero, Globorotalia and Globoquadrina. Bulimina 3: Bulirnina, Rotalia, Bolivina, Clavuluioides, Trochamnina, Gyroidina, Cristellaria, Bathysiphon and Globigerina. Specific identification of some of the above genera include Globigerinoldes triloba, G.triloba immatura, G. triloba disphaerica, Globigerina ouachitaensis varsenites, G. ciperoensis, Globorotalia foshi borisanensis, Globoquadrina cf. altispira, Cassigerinella chipolensis and Proticulasphaera glomerosa. Assemblage zone Bulimina 2 has been found to be associated with the Upper BokaBil marine shales and the age is assumed to be lower Miocene and/or younger. This zone has been encountered in wells Chhatak l (between 527m519m), Sylhet 2 (1286m-1329m), Kailash Tila l (2206m-2286m), Fenchuganj 1 (1231m-1365m), Rasidpur l and 2 (1250m-1408m), Habiganj 1 (1250m-1436m), Titas 1 (853m-957m) and Lalmai l and 2 (1103m-1250m).

Rotalia 2 assemblage zone corresponds roughly with the major part of the BokaBil Formation and the age is Lower Miocene and/or younger. In the Chhatak structure this zone has been encountered between 1433m-1530m depth; between 1950m2112m in Rashidpur 1 and 2; between 1716m1950m depth in Habiganj structure; from l347m to l458m in Titas-l and between 1469m and 1685 in Lalmai l and 2. Globigerinoides 1 represents grossly the Bhuban Formation with a Lower Miocene age and has been encountered in Kailash Tila-1 (3761m3770m); Rashidpur 1 and 2 (3737m-4133m); Habiganj 1 (2963 m- to the bottom of the well, 3505m); Titas l and 2 (2445 m to more than 3237 m probably up to the bottom of the well, 3758m) and Bakhrabad 1 (2396m to bottom, 2838m). Bulimina 3 assemblage zone has been encountered only in Rashidpur 2 drillings at a depth of 4163m. This zone is thought to represent the Barail and is probably of Oligocene age. Fossil Localities in Tripura First collection of fossils from this area, was by K.L. Das (1938, see Vachell, 1942), State Geologist to His Highness, the Maharaja of Tripura. F.E. Eames identified the organic remains which include remains of mollusca and pisces. Das collected the fossil from the Jarnpui range of Tripura from localities southwest and east of village Manpui (24°2.5′: 92°17′), east and west of village Tlangsang (23°54.5′ 92°17.5′) and in the Deo river section. Specifically determined fauna include (1) Polinices (Euspira) globosus Chemn. (2) Turritella (Zaria) angulata Sow. (3) Paphia (Protapes) galius Gmel. (4) Arca (Larkinia) submultiformis Vred. (5) Arca craticulata burnesi Nyst. (6) Carcharias (Prionodon) gengeticus Muller and Henle and (7) Carcharon megalodon Ag. This assemblage indicates an Oligocene-Lower Miocene age of the sediments. From the same area, west of the village Manpui, two bands of shell limestone have recently been discovered by Dasgupta and Bhattacharyya (1977). Samples were sent to the Palaeontological Laboratory, GSI at Calcutta and Shillong and the following faunal remnants were identified by R.S. Misra, B.P. Chatterjee and A. Bhattacharyya.

R.S. Misra identified the following forms: (1) Miogypsina sp. (2) Globorotalia sp. (3) Globigerina sp. (4) Operculina sp. and (5) Rotalids. Along with these foraminifera occur broken and unidentifiable fragments of coral, fish remains, gastropods and shark teeth. B.P. Chatterjee identified the following forms: (1) Miogypsina (?Miolepidocyclina) sp. and (2) Rotalids. Identification of A. Bhattacharyya includes (1) Rotalia sp. (2) Nonion sp. (3) Eponides sp. (4) Sigmoilopsis sp. and Ostracods include (1) Acutioythercis sp. (2) Bairdia sp. and (3) Leguminocythereis sp. The above faunal assemblage also indicates an Upper Oligocene-Lower Miocene age of the limestone, stratigraphically located on the upper part of the Bhuban Formation. From a shale pebble conglomerate within the BokaBil shales, western flank of Gajalia anticline, upstream of Hichha Chara, south Tripura, B. P. Chatterjee described larger foraminifera Miogypsina (Miolepidocyclina) sp. indicating an Upper Oligocene- Lower Miocene age. Sar (1968) collected some samples of calcareous sandstones and shell limestones from Lalkung and Lawan Chara in North Tripura, western flank of Sakhan range. The samples were studied by Oil India Limited and they reported: (1) Rotalia sp. (2) Cibicides sp. (3) Anomalina sp. and (4) Valvulineria sp. All the forms are ill preserved but Rotalia sp. from these samples is comparable to the type species (Oil India) number 4. This Rotalia 4 in Assam has been recorded from the Middle Bhubans of Masimpur wells, Damchara area and Kikar shales (Middle Bhuban). Since these are benthonic forms not much reliance can be placed for age determination. North of the above locality on the AssamAgartala Road, in between two tributaries of Chidang Chara, Dasgupta (1974) collected some vertebrate fossils from a conglomerate horizon within the BokaBil shales. These organic remains have been studied by P. K. Basu of Palaeontological Laboratory, Calcutta and identified the following species:

Pisces (Shark tooth): Carcarias gangeticus Muller and Henle., Isurus (Oxyrhina) spallanzani Bonap. Reptilia (Crocodilian tooth): Gavialis sp. Mammalia: Gomphotherium cf. pandionis Falc. Pachyportax nagrii Pilg. Basu and Dasgupta (1977) summarised that Gomphotherium cf. pandionis Falc. is a Middle Miocene elephantoid form described earlier from the Lower Manchar Stage of Sind and Kamlial Zone of Salt range. Pachyportax nagrii is an Upper Miocene primitive bovid and has been described from the Nagri Zone of Salt range. Thus the age of the intraformational conglomerate is probably not older than Upper Miocene. Trivedy (1966) reported the occurrence of the vertebrate fossils from a conglomerate horizon within the BokaBil shale from (1) about 9 km. west of Teliamura (23°50′20″ : 91°38′30″) and (2) NarengBari (23°47′15″ : 91°033′45″) in the Baramura Range, Tripura. The following fossils have been identified by Trivedy: Pisces: (1) Oxyrhina spallanzanii Bonap. (2) Oxyrhina sp. (3) Oxyrhina cf. pagoda Noet. (4) Prinodon gangeticus Muller and Henle. (5) Siluroid gen. (bony fish) Reptilia: (1) Crocodilus palustris Less. (2) Gharialis gangeticus Gmel. (3) Gharialis cf. gangeticus Gmel. (4) Gharialis sp. Mammalia: (I) Trilophodon angustidens Lyd. (2) Dorcatherium sp. This assemblage reveals an Upper Miocene age for the BokaBil stage. Trilophodon angustidens found in the Manchar Series of northwest India and Dorcatherium found in the Chingi Stage of Siwalik, indicate a Tortonian age for the conglomerate bed in which these fossils have been found. Fossil Localities in Mizoram Organic remains from the Lushai hills were first discovered by La Touche (1891) at Lungleh, south Mizoram and a species of Schizaster has been

reported. Nandy and Mukheree (1972) collected a few samples from about 4.5 km. west of Aizawl on the Aizawl-Sirang road presumably from the Upper Bhuban Formation. These samples yielded sorne ill preserved micro- fossils and B. P. Chatterjee identified them as different species of foraminifera and ostracoda. These include (1) Ammonia cf. beccarii (2) A. cf. pappillosa (3) Globigerina sp. (4) Leguminocythereis sp. The forms are long ranging but ostracod-foraminiferal assemblage is indicative of Miocene age. Mukherjee and Saxena (1973) mapped a few bands of shell conglomerate within Upper and Middle Bhuban rocks on the Lungleh-Demagiri road in between villages Pachang and Rothlang. About thirty samples were studied and yielded fragments of Mollusca, Echinoid, Shark tooth and Carbonised wood pieces. The invertebrates include specifically indeterminable specimens of Pecten, Crassatella, Spondvlus, Rimella, Lunalia, Volutospira and Opissaster. Banerjee, Sarkar and Dasgupta (1977) collected a few samples of calcareous sandstone and shell limestone from boulders of huge dimensions occurring in the narrow gorge of Ngharum Lui and Suibal Lui, tributaries of Sonai river just south of the Bridge on Sonai river on the AizawlSeling road. From their collection R. S. Misra identified foraminifera up to genus level that include Archeis, Austrotillina, Eponides, Globorotalia, ?Lepidocyclina, Rotaliids and Miliolids, A. Bhattacharyya identified some molluscs that include Venus, Barbatia, Cardium and Tellins. This assemblage is indicative of Oligocene-Miocene age. Dasgupta (1977) collected two samples of shell limestone from the Kolodyne river bed, south of Kalchaw (22°23′50″: 92°58′) that yielded mollusca and foraminiferal remains. A. Bhattacharyya identified the followings: Venericardia, Venus, Cardium, Solen and Unio; Ammonia sp., Textularia sp., Globigerina sp., Quinqueloculina sp. and Sigmoilopsis sp. Recently Banerjee and Dasgupta (1978) discovered three fossil localities (? Lower Bhuban rocks) from a remote corner of the country, in the Mizo hills, in and around Tuipang (22°19′: 93°01′40″). A large number of mollusca, foraminifera and ostracoda have been identified by the Palaeontolgical Laboratory, Calcutta.

A. Bhattacharyya studied the megafossils while M. Sen studied the microfossils. MEGAFOSSILS Lamiellibranch: (1) Lima protosquimosa Noet. (2) Cardium sp. (3) Tellina sp. (4) Tellina grimesi Noet. (5) Venreicardia sp. (6) Batissa sp. (7) Tellina indifferns Noet. (8) Nucula aleocki Noet. (9) Septifer sp. (10) Meretrix sp. (11) Meratrix protophilippinarum Noet. (12) Corbula socialis Mart. (13) Unio sp. (14) Trachycardium minbuense Noet. (15) Chlamys sp. (16) Pecten sp. (17) Chlamys senatorius Gmel. (18) Corbula sp. (19) Venericardia noetlingi Cott. (20) Nucula sp. (21) Siliqua sp. (22) Vericorbula sp. (23) Pectuncalina sp. Gastropods: (1) Turritella noetlingi Vred. (2) Carithium sp. (3) Conus decollatus Linne′ (4) Terabra sp. and (6) Conus sp. MICROFOSSILS Foraminifera: (1) Textularia sp. (2) Cibicides sp (3) Ammonia sp. (4) Globigerina sp. (5) Sigmoilopsis sp. (6) Eponides sp. (7) Rotalia sp. (8) Nonion sp.(9) Quinqueloculina sp. (10) Textularia agglutinans (11) T. akminei, (12) Quinqueloculina seminulum (13) Q. oblique camerata (14) Q. seminulangulata and (15) Opeiculina sp. Ostracoda : (1) Bairdia sp. (2) Krithe sp. (3) Acuticythereis sp. 4) Leguminocytheris sp. and (5) Neomonoceratina sp. In general the state of preservation is very poor. Microfossils are rarely present in the samples and most of the megafossils are either casts or impressions. Megafossil assemblages contain fossils indicating Eocene to Miocene age and microfossil assemblage indicates a Miocene age. Most of the megafossils mentioned above have been described from the Pegu Series of Burma. Among the lamellibranchs Lima protosquimosa (No.1) have been described from the Singu (Chattian) and Kama (Aquitanian) Stage of Burma. No. 4 reported from Singu and Kama Stage of Burma and from Bagmara and Dalu area of Garo hills. No. 7 has been reported from the Padaung (Lower Nari) and Kama Stage of Burma, and from the Bagmara area of Garo hills. No. 8 occurs in Padaung, Singu and Kama Stage of Burma, in the Upper Bhubans of Kanchanpur and

Bagrnara area. No. 11 is present in all the stages of Pegu Series and in the Garo hill sediments. No. 12 occurs within Miocene Quilon beds of Kerala, Garo hills of Assam and in the Kama Stage of Burma. No. 14 is present in the Garo hills and in Singu and Kama sediments. No. 17 has been reported from the Gaj Series of Sind and Surma Series of Garo hill. No. 19 occurs in all the stages of Pegu Series. Among the Gastropods, No. 1 and 3 is present in the Upper Tertiary of Garo hills and in Kama Stage of Burma. Analysis of the invertebrate fauna present in the Tuipang area of Mizo hills indicates a faunal resemblance with that of Burma and the assemblage indicates an age equivalent to the Kama Stage of Burma. Chittagang Hill Tract The Gajalia anticline of Tripura continues further south in the Chittagong hills of Bangladesh with a slight knee bend near the Tripura-Bangladesh border. From the western flank to this structure, south of Sitakund, Pascoe (1914) reported rocks containing moluscan fragments and correlated it with the Pegu Series of Burma. Some fossils were also collected by C. M. P. Wright from this area. Among them was an Oyster which has been identified as Ostrea digitalina Eich. (Syn.O.prymansis Noet.). Pascoe found several fragments of this Ostrea, the hinge area of a thick Ostrea (O. grypoides Schi. syn. with O. crassissima, Lam.), many plates of Balanus, a broken Shark’s tooth and indeterminable fragments of Arca, Pecten, Trochus, Oliva, and Corals. These fossils occur ‘within hard conglomerate and shell limestone. Conclusion Faunal development in the Surma sediments is poor and discontinuous. Planktonic foraminifera are rare or absent from all the samples that have been studied and this restricts giving precise age connotation for a sequence of sediments. Even when present they do not admit specific determination due to ill preservation. However, systematic sampling from within an uninterrupted sedimentary sequence and faunal study there from has also not been undertaken. More study of microfauna is necessary towards building up a unified stratigraphy for the basin.

From our present knowledge on fossil occurrences it seems that the ‘Surma Series’ of Evans may extend downwards up to the Upper Oligocene. Most of the localities from where fossils have been studied are either from the socalled Boka Bil or the Upper Bhuban Stage (Formation) and the fossil assemblage indicate mostly a Lower Miocene age approximately equivalent to the Aquitanian-Burdigalian age. The Bagmara and Dalu fossil horizon of Garo hills occur within, what has been considered by Evans as BokaBil Stage indicating a Lower Miocene age. The fossil bed of Kanchanpur, stratigraphically occurs at the top of the Bhuban Formation and indicate a Miocene age. In Tripura, the Jampui and Sakhan shell limestone occur within the Upper Bhuban rocks and has yielded foraminifera belonging to Upper OligoceneLower Miocene age. Thus the Upper Bhuban and BokaBil Formation which constitute the Upper part of Surma Group, indicate a Middle-Lower Miocene age. In that case, what has been described as Middle and Lower Bhuban will possibly enter into the Paleogene. Specific identification of Jampui limestone foraminifer assemblage may help biostratigraphical correlation. Fossil occurrences in Tuipang area is probably from an older horizon and demands critical study. Almost all the invertebrate megafossils reported from different parts of the Surma basin have also been recorded from the Upper Tertiaries of Central Burma. This indicates a close connection between the paired Neogene basins on either side of the Chin hills-Arakan Yoma Orogen. Acknowledgements Without the help of a large of personnel in Geological Survey of India, it would not have been possible for the author to prepare this account. D. R. Nandy, Geologist (Sr.), inspired to write this account and helped in collecting the data. K. V. Krishnamurthy, Director, Mrinal Sen and J. Bhattacharyya, Geologists (Jr.), GSI kindly went through the manuscript and offered suggestions for its modification.

BIBLIOGRAPHY BANERJEE S.P. and DASGUPTA, S., 1978: Geological mapping in Tuipang area, South Mizoram. Unpublished G.S.I Progress Report for 1977-78. BANERJEE, S.P., SARKAR, K. and DASGUPTA, S. 1977: Geological Mapping and Mineral investigation in Serchip-Thenzual area. Unpublished G.S.I Progress Report for 1976-77. BASU, P.K., and DASGUPTA, S.C., 1982: New fossil mammals from the Boka Bil Formation near Kumarghat, North Tripura. Rec. GSI, 112, IV, 3941 DASGUPTA, A.B., 1977: Geology of Assam Arakan Region. Quart. Jour. Geol. Min. Met. Soc. lndia, 49 (1/2). DASGUPTA, S. and BHATTACHARYYA, J. 1977: Systematic Geological Mapping in parts of North Tripura. Unpublished G.S.I Progress Report for 1976-77. DASGUPTA, S.C., 1974: Section Measurement in the Assam-Agartala Road. Unpublished G.S.I Progress Report for 1973-74. DEY, A.K., 1962: The Mioeene mollusca from Quilon, Kerala (India). Pal. Indica, New Series, 36. EAMES, F.E., BANNER, F.T., BLOW, W.H. and CLARKE W.J. 1962: Fundamentals of MidTertiary stratigraphical correlation. Camb. Uni. Press., 163. EVANS, P., 1932: Tertiary succession in Assam. Trans. Min. Geol. Inst. India, 21(3). HOLTROP, J.F. and KAIZER, J., 1969: Some aspects of the stratigraphy and correlation of the Surma Basin wells, East Pakistan. U.N.E.C.A.F.E. Committee on Industry and Natural Resources, Proc. 4th Session. LA TOUCHE, 1891: Note on the Geology of the Lushai Hills. Rec. Gaol. Surv. India, 24(2). MUKHERJEE P.N., 1928: General Report. Rec. GeoI. Surv. India, 61, 20.

MUKHERJEE P.N., 1929: General Report. Rec. Geol. Surv. India, 62, 23-25. MUKHERJEE P.N., 1939: Fossil fauna from the Tertiary of Garo hills, Assam. Pal. Indica, 23, New Series 1. MUKHERJEE R. and SAXENA A. 1973: Geological mapping in parts of Lungleh District, Mizoram. Unpublished G.S.I. Progress Report for 1972-73. NANDY D.R. and MUKHERJEE R. 1972: Geological Mapping in parts of Aizawl District, Mizoram. Unpublished G.S.I. Progress Report for 1971-72. PASCOE, E.H., 1914: The petroleum occurrences of Assam and Bengal. Mem. Geol. Surv. India, 40 (2). PASCOE, E.H., 1973: A manual of the Geology of India and Burma. 3rd Ed. PINFOLD, E.S. 1919: Two new fossil localities in the Garo hills. Rec. Geol. Surv. India, 50 (2), 126-129. SALE, H.M., 1932: The Kanchanpur fossil bed. 19th Ind. Sci. Cong., 381. SAR, S.N., 1968: Investigation of reported occurrence of limestone in the Sakhan Range, Tripura. Unpublished G.S.I. Progress Report. SINHA, RN. and SASTRI, V.V., 1973: Correlation of the. Tertiary geosynclinal sediments of the Surma Valley, Assam and Tripura State. Sed. Geology, 10, 107-134. TRIVEDY, A.N., 1966: A note on the findings of the vertebrate fauna in the Surma Series of Tripura and its bearing on the stratigraphy of the area. Curr. Sci., 35 (3), 68-69. VACHELL, E.T., 1944: Note on the Tertiary Sequence in Tripura State, Bengal. Quart. Jour. Geol. Min. Met. Soc. India, 14 (1), 12. VREDENBURG, E., 1921: Marine fossils collected by Mr. Pinfold in the Garo hills. Rec. Geol. Surv. India. 51(3), 303-337.

Note from the author: There are spelling mistakes both in the original printed document and also added during running the OCR after scanning. Sorry but can’t help. The author is not a serious paleontologist and cannot correct them now in August 2010.

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