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The rise of pinnacle reefs: Islands of diversity in seas of despair

By
Patrick I. McLaughlin
Patrick I. McLaughlin
Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Alyssa M. Bancroft
Alyssa M. Bancroft
Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Carlton E. Brett
Carlton E. Brett
Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, USA
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Poul Emsbo
Poul Emsbo
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado 80225, USA
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Published:
December 10, 2018
Publication history
16 August 2018

ABSTRACT

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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GSA Special Papers

Ancient Oceans, Orogenic Uplifts, and Glacial Ice: Geologic Crossroads in America’s Heartland

Lee J. Florea
Lee J. Florea
Indiana Geological and Water Survey Indiana University 611 N. Walnut Grove Avenue Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
51
ISBN electronic:
9780813756516
Publication date:
December 10, 2018

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