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Trace fossils of Ordovician radiolarian chert and siliceous mudstone in Newfoundland, Canada

Kakuwa, Yoshitaka
Sedimentary geology 2017 v.358 pp. 176-186
basins, fossils, mudstone, sandstone, Canada
Ordovician radiolarian chert and siliceous mudstone in Newfoundland are examined to elucidate the development of trace fossils in and on the Early Paleozoic ocean bottom. Chert sedimentation in the Shoal Arm Formation (SAF) is limited to a short interval, but its sedimentation rate is high with few siliciclastic materials. Trace fossils are common in chert in the SAF, but their development is interrupted by frequent anoxic events. The trace fossils are larger than trace fossils in the contemporary chert of other areas. In contrast, trace fossils in the Strong Island Chert (SIC) are moderately-sized to small, with a few sandstone beds interbedded with chert. Those characteristics reflect differences in the sedimentary environments. Rocks of the SIC were deposited in a basinal part of a back-arc basin; whereas, those in the SAF were deposited on a small isolated basin. Red chert or siliceous rocks that underlie grey cherts and siliceous rocks of the SIC and the SAF bear small and simple trace fossils. This is a common feature of “oceanic red rocks.” Radiolarian chert and siliceous rocks in Newfoundland also showed that trace fossils are widespread by the Middle Ordovician in the deep-sea environment. The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event is confirmed in the radiolarian siliceous rocks there.