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Micritic fabrics define sharp margins of Wenlock patch reefs (middle Silurian) in Gotland and England
Kershaw, S.; Li, Y.; Guo, L. (2007). Micritic fabrics define sharp margins of Wenlock patch reefs (middle Silurian) in Gotland and England, in: Álvaro, J.J. et al. (Ed.) Palaeozoic reefs and bioaccumulations: climatic and evolutionary controls. Geological Society Special Publication, 275: pp. 87-94
In: Álvaro, J.J. et al. (Ed.) (2007). Palaeozoic reefs and bioaccumulations: climatic and evolutionary controls. Geological Society Special Publication, 275. Geological Society: London. ISBN 978-1-86239-221-2. viii, 291 pp., more
In: Hartley, A.J. et al. (Ed.) Geological Society Special Publication. Geological Society of London: Oxford; London; Edinburgh; Boston, Mass.; Carlton, Vic.. ISSN 0305-8719, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Kershaw, S.
  • Li, Y.
  • Guo, L.

Abstract
    Silurian reefs are well known to comprise frame-building corals, stromatoporoids and algae, but also a range of calcimicrobial components and micritic sediments of possible microbial origin. The margins of Wenlock patch reefs tend to have diffuse edges that grade into the surrounding bedded facies because of talus shed from the reefs. However, portions of patch reefs show sharp-bounded reef margins, with bedded limestones terminating abruptly against the reef edge, Examples of sharp boundaries where the reef comprises only carbonate mudstone-wackestone with poorly-defined gross fabric, and containing no metazoan framework, have been found in Wenlock patch reefs the UK and Gotland. Although in some cases the micrite may demonstrate a peloidal structure, in others there is no clear structure, broadly fitting the aphanitic (structureless) type of fabric found in leiolites (suspected microbial facies that show no structure). The fabrics are interpreted to have been formed by microbial mediation of micrite precipitation as part of reef construction, and are therefore automicrites. In all cases the sharp reef edges indicate coherence of the micritic fabric, interpreted as a lithified wall against which bedded limestones were deposited. This arrangement supports published interpretations of pronounced topography of Wenlock patch reefs, and shows the presence of steep, vertical and, possibly, overhanging reef margins, formed prior to bedded sediment accumulation. Thus, there is likely to have been a time interval between reef formation and deposition of bedded sediments, possibly caused by reef upward growth in transgressive settings, followed by catch-up of bedded limestone deposition.

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