The rise of pinnacle reefs: Islands of diversity in seas of despair
Patrick I. McLaughlin, Alyssa M. Bancroft, Carlton E. Brett, Poul Emsbo, 2018. "The rise of pinnacle reefs: Islands of diversity in seas of despair", Ancient Oceans, Orogenic Uplifts, and Glacial Ice: Geologic Crossroads in America’s Heartland, Lee J. Florea
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Pinnacle reef tracts are geomorphic features of carbonate systems that originated in the early Silurian and display an episodic distribution into the Cenozoic. Detailed study of Silurian pinnacle reefs of the United States midcontinent demonstrates repeated motifs, but most enigmatic is the coincidence of carbonate carbon isotope (δ13Ccarb) excursions and reef pulses. Silurian δ13Ccarb excursions were associated with environmental changes and extinctions, and reefs appear to mark a resurgence of conditions favorable to biomineralizers following those extinction events. Previous workers in the region identified six discrete reef origination events in the United States midcontinent during the Silurian. Our reevaluation of outcrops and cores, conodont collections, and the generation of considerable new chemostratigraphic data across the region are clarifying the age relations of these events and their relationships to perturbations of the global carbon cycle.
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This volume, prepared for the 130th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Indianapolis, includes compelling science and field trips in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. A wealth of geologic and human history collides in the Midwest, a confluence that led to the growth of America's industry over the past two centuries. Guides in this volume depict this development from the establishment of New Harmony, the birthplace of American geology, through the construction of Indianapolis's modern skyline. Underpinning this growth were the widespread natural resources-limestone, coal, and water-that built, powered, and connected a growing nation. Take a journey through the Heartland to sand dunes, outcrops, quarries, rivers, caves, and springs that connect Paleozoic stratigraphy with the assembly of Gondwana, continental glaciation with Quaternary geomorphology and hydrology, and landscape with the human environment.