Proposed stratotype for the base of the Lawsonian Stage (Cambrian Stage 10) at the First Appearance Datum of Eoconodontus notchpeakensis (Miller) in the House Range, Utah, USA

 

Authors: Miller JF, Evans KR, Freeman RL, Ripperdan RL, Taylor JF

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 86, issue 3; pages: 595 - 620; Received 1 January 2011; Accepted in revised form 11 July 2011; Online 5 August 2011

Keywords: Cambrian, Furongian, Lawsonian, Stage 10, chronostratigraphy, conodonts, trilobites, brachiopods, carbon isotopes, HERB Event,

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Abstract

The name Lawsonian Stage is proposed as the highest stage of the Cambrian System (Stage 10). The base of the proposed Lawsonian Stage is at the First Appearance Datum (FAD) of the euconodont Eoconodontus notchpeakensis (Miller, 1969). That horizon, the base of the E. notchpeakensis Subzone of the Eoconodontus Zone, is 3mabove the base of the Red Tops Member of the Notch Peak Formation at the Steamboat Pass section in the House Range, western Utah, USA. The conodont fauna of the Eoconodontus Zone is widespread in North America and occurs in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America in facies that include cratonic nearshore sandstones, shallow and intermediate-depth platform carbonates, deep-water ramp, continental slope deposits, and deep-ocean radiolarian chert. This horizon lies at or slightly below the top of the Illaenurus trilobite Zone of western North America and within the lower part of the Saukiella junia Subzone of the Saukia Zone in areas east of the Rocky Mountains. These trilobite and conodont faunas can be traced into slope deposits containing cosmopolitan trilobites. The horizon is nearly coincident with the boundary between the Billingsella and the Finkelnburgia calcitic brachiopod Zones; ranges of organophosphatic brachiopods also characterize the horizon. A high-amplitude, negative, carbon-isotope excursion, the HERB Event, occurs in the Eoconodontus notchpeakensis Subzone. This distinctive geochemical signal is known in western Utah, Australia, China, and in poorly fossiliferous slope deposits in Newfoundland, Canada. The proposed boundary fits between two closely spaced sequence-stratigraphic boundaries described from Utah and Texas, USA.

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