Abstract: Late Cretaceous-Eocene carbonate rocks (with some sandstone or mixed siliciclastic-carbonate interlayers) widely expose in western Tarim Basin, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. Study of these carbonate rocks can help restore the Cretaceous-Paleogene paleogeographical evolution of the Tarim Basin and the tectonic evolution of the northern margin of Tibetan Plateau, reveal the aridification process of Central Asia, and evaluate oil and gas exploration. Although these stratums have been researched for over 30 years, the petrological data remain scarce and seldom publicly accessible, leading to a waste of time and effort in repetitive work. In view of this, this paper presents a polarized light micrograph dataset of the thin sections of 682 rocks of the Late Cretaceous-Eocene paralic facies strata collected from the West Kunlun Mountains and the Tianshan piedmonts in western Tarim Basin. Among of them, there are thin sections of 436 limestones, 129 terrigenous clastic rocks, 91 mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks, 14 dolomites, 11 evaporites, and 1 tuff. Micrographs included into the dataset should contain information that could be obtained through repeatable observation. The dataset includes such information as sampling location, stratigraphic age, rock name, and rock characteristics. This micrograph dataset can be widely used for geological research concerning the Late Cretaceous-Eocene era in western Tarim Basin, and can be used to guide petroleum exploration and engineering survey. Besides, the typical shallow marine sedimentary characteristics of the thin sections can also be applied to scientific research, teaching, and public outreach.
Keywords: thin section; polarized light micrograph; carbonate rocks; western Tarim Basin; Late Cretaceous-Eocene