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Precambrian-Cambrian Boundary Interval Deposition and the Marginal Platform of the Avalon Microcontinent

TitlePrecambrian-Cambrian Boundary Interval Deposition and the Marginal Platform of the Avalon Microcontinent
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsLanding, E
JournalJournal of Geodynamics
KeywordsAvalon microcontinent, MacCodrum Brook, New Brunswick, Saint John, southern Cape Breton Island, terminal Proterozoic–lowest Cambrian successions

Thick terminal Proterozoic–lowest Cambrian successions allow reference of the Saint John, New Brunswick, and MacCodrum Brook, southern Cape Breton Island, areas to the marginal platform of the Avalon microcontinent. Marginal-platform siliciclastic-dominated sequences form a cover on Late Precambrian arc successions from southern New Brunswick to North Wales. Their deposition in fault-bounded basins began with the origin of the Avalon microcontinent and development of a persistent transtensional regime in the latest Precambrian. The terminal Proterozoic–lowest Cambrian on the Avalonian marginal platform consists of three successive lithofacies associations: lower subaerial rift to marginal-marine facies; overlying cool-water, wave-influenced, marine platform sandstones and shales; and higher macrotidal quartz arenites (=Avalonian depositional sequences 1–2). Only the Lower Cambrian macrotidal quartz arenites onlap southeast, where they form the oldest Cambrian unit on the inner platform. These major lithofacies are the Rencontre, Chapel Island, and Random formations, respectively, in Avalonian North America. Southwest thinning of the Rencontre–Chapel Island–Random interval in southern New Brunswick reflects slower subsidence of a fault-bounded area in the city of Saint John. The depositional sequence 1–2 unconformity, which falls in the sub-trilobitic Lower Cambrian Watsonella crosbyi Zone of the Chapel Island Formation, persists for 650 km along the marginal platform from southeastern Newfoundland to southern New Brunswick and, potentially, appears in Cape Breton Island. Latest Precambrian-earliest Cambrian epeirogenic and depositional history was very uniform along the marginal platform, and a unified lithostratigraphic nomenclature is appropriate.