Abstract

Paleobathymetric interpretation of strata from the Bruce Peninsula and Lake Timiskaming District of Ontario shows strong correlations with data from the Michigan Upper Peninsula and Ontario's Manitoulin Island. Three to four cycles of fluctuating sea level occurred during Early Silurian (Llandoverian) time throughout much of the northern Great Lakes area, and involved the highly regular replacement of ostracode–vermiform, coral–algal, and pentamerid communities by one another. Although exposure is more limited than on Manitoulin Island or the Michigan Upper Peninsula, important clues regarding Early Silurian geography are found in strata of the Bruce Peninsula and Lake Timiskaming District. Continued thinning of stratigraphic units and an increased incidence of disconformities from north to south on the Bruce Peninsula suggest the episodic rise of the Algonquin Arch farther to the south and west. Contrary to earlier paleogeographic reconstructions, the patterns of community changeovers preserved in the Silurian outlier of the Lake Timiskaming District indicate a persistent, open connection between the seas of the northern Great Lakes area and the Hudson Bay Lowlands. This interpretation is more in keeping with recent paleontologic work on faunal distributions.

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