Lithistid sponge-microbial reefs, Nevada, USA: filling the late Cambrian 'reef gap'

Lee, Jeong-Hyun, Dattilo, Benjamin F., Mrozek, Stephanie, Miller, James F., and Riding, Robert (2019) Lithistid sponge-microbial reefs, Nevada, USA: filling the late Cambrian 'reef gap'. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 520. pp. 251-262.

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Abstract

Cambrian-Ordovician sponge-microbial mounds in the Great Basin of the western USA reveal reef structure and composition immediately prior to the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE). Here we describe lithistid sponge-microbial reefs from the upper Cambrian (Furongian, Stage 10) strata of the Arrow Canyon Range, Nevada. The reefs are mound-like structures up to 1 to 2 m high and a few meters wide that consist of an unidentified thin-walled, bowl-shaped anthaspidellid sponge, columnar microstromatolite fabric, and the calcified microbe Angusticellularia. The reefs formed in low-energy, subtidal environments in which lime mud filled spongocoels and inter-reef spaces around undisturbed, in place, thin-walled sponges. The reefs colonized stable substrates provided by oolitic and bioclastic grainstone shoals. The mutually attached lithistid sponges form the main framework of the reefs. These thin-walled and bowl-shaped lithistids most likely were adapted to low-energy environments. Spaces beneath the overhanging sponge walls were filled by microbial carbonates. These include pendent micro-dendritic Angusticellularia attached to dermal sponge surfaces and upward-growing masses of microstromatolites. After death the lithistid spongocoels were mainly filled by micritic sediment that hosted soft-bodied burrowing organisms and keratose-like sponges. These lithistid sponge-microbial reefs, together with an earlier example of late Cambrian (Paibian) dendrolite-lithistid reefs in the same area, characterize skeletal-microbial reefs immediately prior to the GOBE.

Item ID: 58032
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-616X
Keywords: Arrow Canyon Range, Great Basin, skeletal-microbial reefs, GOBE
Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Funders: National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Chungnam National University, Missouri State University
Projects and Grants: NRF 2016R1C1B1012104 & 2018R1A4A1059956
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 09:16
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
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