Abstract

Lower Silurian (Llandovery: Aeronian) carbonates of the Burnt Bluff Group, northwestern Michigan Basin, represent a transect along a southward-dipping ramp that extends from tidal-flat to basin environments. Benthic megafaunas include an ostracod biofacies (tidal flat), stromatoporoid–coral biofacies (very shallow subtidal), pentamerid, crinozoan, and crinozoan–stromatoporoid biofacies (deeper subtidal), and a crinozoan–sponge biofacies (distal ramp and basin). The crinozoan–sponge biofacies, which includes diverse, small crinozoan ossicles, 19 types of siliceous sponge spicules, and at least 65 other taxa, has a biota that is similar to those of Silurian continental margins. Megafaunal biofacies indicate an Early Silurian gradient going from a shoreline in the north to water depths of perhaps 60 m in the south. The Burnt Bluff Group contains conodonts of the Icriodella discretaIcriodella deflecta zone as an onshore biofacies with Panderodus, Kockelella, Ozarkodina, Icriodella, and Oulodus, and an offshore biofacies with Panderodus, Walliserodus, and Aspelundia.

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