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ABSTRACT

Mississippian (Tournaisian–Viséan) carbonate mounds in the Compton and Pierson limestones, Ozark region, North America, have been called Waulsortian. However, European Waulsortian mounds contain features such as geopetals with multigenerations of carbonate mud (polymuds) and stromatactis cavity systems that are rare to absent in Ozark mounds. To determine similarities and differences, examine their origins, and clarify nomenclature, mounds in the Compton and Pierson limestones are compared with Waulsortian mounds in the Feltrim Limestone, Ireland. Features considered included mound size, geometry, style of aggradation, composition, depositional setting, and diagenetic history.

Mounds in the Compton and Pierson limestones are <10 m (33 ft) thick and form singular knoll-form or aggregates with a strong lateral growth component. In contrast, individual Waulsortian mounds in the Feltrim Limestone range from 5 to >30m(16100ft) thick, but coalesce and vertically aggrade to form complexes that exceed 500m(1600ft). Pierson mounds are crinoidal and grain-rich, whereas Compton and Feltrim mounds are bryozoan-rich and mud-dominated. All mounds have similar cement stratigraphy and diagenetic histories. Mud-rich Compton mounds and Feltrim mounds are interpreted as deeper water than skeletal-rich Pierson mounds. Limited accommodation constrained Compton and Pierson mound size and forced lateral aggradation. Subsidence-driven accommodation in the Dublin Basin allowed Feltrim mounds to grow larger, coalesce, and aggrade vertically. Three types of mounds are recognized: true Waulsortian in the Feltrim Limestone, mud-cored Waulsortian-type Compton and Pierson mounds, and Pierson transported bioaccumulation mounds. Small dimensions of Waulsortian-type Pierson and Compton mounds limit their potential as oil and gas reservoirs, whereas Pierson crinoidal sediment piles are known to form reservoir-size accumulations.

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