Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Tectonic and Glacio-Eustatic Influences on Late Cambrian-Early Devonian First-Order Stratigraphic and Faunal Suites in the Great Basin

BERRY, WILLIAM B. N., University of California, Berkeley, CA

The Late Cambrian to middle Devonian stratigraphic and faunal record in the western United States may be divided into at least five first-order or primary depositional cycles delimited by tectonically controlled sea level changes. These tectonically controlled sea level changes essentially are changes in rate of platform subsidence. Rate of platform subsidence is reflected in changes in the succession of depositional environments. Tectonically controlled sea level changes are reflected in the succession of faunas as well as in the depositional environment record. The primary rate of subsidence-related sea level changes took place at the following times: latest Cambrian, latest Ibexian (Early Ordovician), latest Whiterockian (early middle Ordovician), late middle Ordovician, and late E rly Devonian. A prominent set of glacio-eustatic sea level changes occurred in the latest Ordovician-earliest Silurian. That glacial interval was one in which significant mass mortalities and subsequent re-radiations took place among marine invertebrates. Although the boundaries of the first-order cycles, both in the stratigraphic depositional cycles appear to be diachronous across the Great Basin, the rock suites comprising the cycles are delimited clearly. Second-order cycles may be recognized within the first-order cycles, both in the stratigraphic and faunal record. The second-order cycles also reflect sea level changes. Major oceanic surface water currents were deflected around plate and related platform margins during intervals of regression from the platform, enhancing upwelling a ong the plate margins during such intervals.


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