Conodont Faunas of the Late Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Lower Kittanning Cyclothem, U.S.A.
Robert G. Stamm, Bruce R. Wardlaw, 2003. "Conodont Faunas of the Late Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Lower Kittanning Cyclothem, U.S.A.", Climate Controls on Stratigraphy, C. Blaine Cecil, N. Terence Edgar
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A middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) conodont fauna was used to identify the interval represented by the Lower Kittanning cyclothem across the North American continent. The conodonts show both a succession through the cyclothem and a geographic variation that is related to the water mass and depositional environment. The faunas can be divided into normal-marine, high- and (or) variable-salinity, and high-productivity assemblages. Normal-marine faunas are dominated by Idiognathodus, which can be further divided into low-diversity and high-diversity faunas. The low-diversity Idiognathodus faunas characterize the marine deposits of the nearshore, marginal environments of the Appalachian Basin, and also the bulk of the black and gray shale and carbonate depositional environments of Midcontinent cyclothems. The high-diversity Idiognathodus faunas characterize fossiliferous limy shale and shaly limestone depositional environments typical of the shale–limestone transition in Midcontinent cyclothems and the richly fossiliferous limestone deposition in carbonate sequences in much of the western U.S., within the dolomite beds associated with sandstone deposition of the Tensleep Sandstone, and in fossiliferous limestones between sandstones and carbonate mudstones of the Paradox Basin. High-salinity and (or) variable-salinity faunas are dominated by Neognathodus and (or) Adetognathus, and characterize carbonate deposition in the Bird Spring–Ely platform, southwestern U.S., and shallow-water, typically algal facies within the Midcontinent cyclothems. High-productivity faunas are dominated by Gondolella, are extremely rare, and characterize horizons of surface substrate accumulation within black-shale and mud depositional environments. Maximum flooding within the cycle, as indicated by the highest diversity of normal-marine macrobiota and conodont fauna, does not occur in black shales but at the shale–limestone transition. Sixteen species of conodonts in eight genera are recognized in the cyclothem. The following four species are new: Idiognathodus crassadens, I. ignisitus, Neognathodus intrala, and Hindeodus calcarus. Two of these new species, N. intrala and I. crassadens, together with I. robustus, define an assemblage zone that allows correlation of the marine portion of the Lower Kittanning cyclothem across North America.
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The role of climate as a primary control on stratigraphy is the cornerstone of this volume. The emphasis on climate is in distinct contrast to most previous studies, in which stratigraphic variability has been related to changes in sea level and in tectonic activity. Furthermore, the findings, derived from several years of detailed study of modern and ancient key geologic sections around the world, indicate that traditional depositional models generally do not fully explain the origin of fossil fuels. Although the results of the studies presented in this volume are intended to contribute to the disciplines of sedimentary geology and stratigraphy, the contributors recognize that their results may also contribute to a better understanding of global climate change. The theoretical background of climate control on sediment supply and stratigraphy is presented in the volume. With this background in place, detailed documentation and analysis of climate control on the lithologic variation of a single Middle Pennsylvanian.