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First Evidence for Cambrian Glaciation Provided by Sections in Avalonian New Brunswick and Ireland--Additional Data for Avalon-Gondwana Separation by the Earliest Palaeozoic

TitleFirst Evidence for Cambrian Glaciation Provided by Sections in Avalonian New Brunswick and Ireland--Additional Data for Avalon-Gondwana Separation by the Earliest Palaeozoic
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLanding, E, MacGabhann, BA
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume285
Pagination174-185
KeywordsBooley Bay Formation, Cambrian, Chapel Island Formation, Diamictite, Glaciation, Ireland, Mystery Lake Member, New Brunswick, sequence stratigraphy
Abstract

The first evidence for Cambrian glaciation is provided by two successions on the Avalon microcontinent. The middle lowest Cambrian (middle Terreneuvian Series and Fortunian Stage–Stage 2 boundary interval) has an incised sequence boundary overlain by a fluvial lowstand facies and higher, olive green, marine mudstone on Hanford Brook, southern New Brunswick. This succession in the lower Mystery Lake Member of the Chapel Island Formation may be related to melting of an ice sheet in Avalon. The evidence for this interpretation is a muddy diamictite with outsized (up to 10 cm in diameter), Proterozoic marble and basalt clasts that penetrated overlying laminae in the marine mudstone. That eustatic rise was associated with the mudstone deposition is suggested by an approximately coeval rise that deposited sediments with Watsonella crosbyi Zone fossils 650 km away in Avalonian eastern Newfoundland. A sea-level rise within the Watsonella crosbyi Chron, at ca. 535 Ma, may correspond to a unnamed negative 13C excursion younger than the basal Cambrian excursion (BACE) and the ZHUCE excursion in Stage 2 of the upper Terreneuvian Series. Cambrian dropstones are now also recognized on the northern (Gander) margin of Avalon in continental slope–rise sedimentary rocks in southeast Ireland. Although their age (Early–Middle Cambrian) is poorly constrained, dropstones in the Booley Bay Formation provide additional evidence for Cambrian glaciation on the Avalon microcontinent. Besides providing the first evidence of Cambrian glaciation, these dropstone deposits emphasize that Avalon was not part of or even latitudinally close to the terminal Ediacaran–Cambrian, tropical carbonate platform successions of West Gondwana.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.11.009
DOI10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.11.009