Abstract

The Somerset Island Formation of Somerset Island is a newly defined unit consisting of interbedded fine-grained, grey, planar-laminated dolomite and limestone, grey mottled limestone and dolomite, red quartzose siltstone and red dolosiltite. It forms a transitional unit between the limestone and dolomite of the underlying Read Bay Formation and the sandstone and conglomerate of the overlying Peel Sound Formation, and ranges in thickness from 150 to more than 400 m. The formation was formed predominantly in intertidal and supratidal environments and forms the lowest part of a regressive sequence that culminates in boulder conglomerates of alluvial fan origin in the Peel Sound Formation. The Somerset Island Formation is predominantly Pridolian in age, but may include some strata of Ludlovian and Gedinnian age.The regressive sequence reflects a major pulse of the Cornwallis Disturbance of Boothia Uplift. A similar sequence occurs in Prince of Wales Island, although the lower part of the succession there contains conglomerate and sandstone, rock types that are absent in Somerset Island. These rocks are formally assigned to the Lower Peel Sound Formation but are of similar age to the Somerset Island Formation of the type area.Rocks of similar facies to the Somerset Island Formation of Somerset Island comprise the upper member of the Drake Bay Formation on Russell Island and Member D of the Read Bay Formation on Cornwallis Island. The latter unit is younger than the Somerset Island Formation, reflecting a later commencement of regression in that area.

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