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The earliest Phanerozoic carbonate hardground (Cambrian Stage 5, Series 3): Implications to the paleoseawater chemistry and early adaptation of hardground fauna

Cited 3 time in scopus
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Title
The earliest Phanerozoic carbonate hardground (Cambrian Stage 5, Series 3): Implications to the paleoseawater chemistry and early adaptation of hardground fauna
Authors
Lee, Jeong-Hyun
Chen, Jitao
Woo, Jusun
Subject
Physical Geography; Geology; Paleontology
Keywords
Hardground; Calcite sea; Cambrian Series 3; North China Platform
Issue Date
2015
Citation
Lee, Jeong-Hyun, Jitao Chen, and Jusun Woo. 2015. The earliest Phanerozoic carbonate hardground (Cambrian Stage 5, Series 3): Implications to the paleoseawater chemistry and early adaptation of hardground fauna. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 440: 172?179.
Abstract
Carbonate hardgrounds are lithified seafloors formed by synsedimentary cementation of carbonate sediments, which dominantly occur during the period of calcite seas. The earliest typical Phanerozoic hardground known until now was reported from the Furongian of USA, which was suggested to indicate onset of the early Paleozoic calcite sea period. In this study, we report hardgrounds from the early and middle parts of the Cambrian Series 3 (Stage 5 and Drumian) of the North China Platform, which predate previously reported hardgrounds. The hardground surfaces developed on oolitic grainstone, oncolitic wackestone, and microbialite (thrombolite and dendrolite),which sharply truncate the underlying deposits. The radial fibrous calcite cements between the carbonate grains below the hardground surfaces indicate that the cements formed by early marine cementation. EPMA analysis reveals that the fibrous cements typically consist of low-Mg calcite. The hardgrounds are sometimes encrusted by microbialites and coated by hematite, suggesting long exposure to the open seawater after formation of the surface. In addition, detailed review on the sedimentological studies of Cambrian Series 3 to Furongian deposits throughout the world reveals that there may be several other hardgrounds during these times, which could have been overlooked. The abundant occurrence of hardgrounds in Cambrian Series 3 deposits suggests that the general paleoseawater chemistry was suitable to induce synsedimentary cementation of low-Mg calcite, implying that seawater chemistry would have changed fromthe aragonite to calcite seas during the Cambrian Series 3 or even earlier period. Metazoan encrustors and macroborers possibly could not have adapted to the newly appeared substrate condition yet, until the latest Cambrian Series 3.
DOI
10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.043
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