Abstract

The Taconian Humber Zone stretches from western Newfoundland to southern Quebec. The Early Cambrian slope succession in Newfoundland is found in the Curling Group, whereas in Quebec, various units were deposited during that first time slice. Biostratigraphic data allow correlation of the Curling Group with the Labrador Group in Newfoundland and with the newly time-constrained slope succession in Quebec. The end of the rift–drift transition is marked by a sea-level lowstand at the end of the Early Cambrian. The Middle Cambrian to latest Early Ordovician passive margin history recorded five cyclic sea-level fluctuations. Three of these cycles are recorded in the shallow-marine Middle to Late Cambrian platform (Port au Port Group) and slope sediments preserved in the Cow Head and Northern Head groups in Newfoundland. The biostratigraphic information assists correlation with Cambrian passive margin units in Quebec. Major sea-level lowstands are recognized along the continental margin in early–middle Late Cambrian (Steptoan) and in late Late Cambrian (Sunwaptan). Even if the Quebec succession can be tied with its Newfoundland correlative, some significant differences in the nature of Upper Cambrian slope conglomerates argue for a tectonic control on the depth of erosion of the Cambrian continental margin. The Lower Ordovician record of the passive margin consists of two depositional cycles (Tremadocian–Arenigian) separated by a sea-level lowstand. This last event is well expressed in platform succession and is also recognized in conglomerate units found in the slope succession.

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