Abstract

Fossiliferous clasts occur in Carboniferous conglomerate in the Horton Group on western Isle Madame and in the Mabou Group on eastern Isle Madame. Most of the clasts (21 of 23 examined) are calcareous siltstone and sandstone that contain Silurian – Lower Devonian faunas comparable to those in the Arisaig area, northern mainland Nova Scotia, although the lithologies are coarser grained and less calcareous than those of the Arisaig section. These middle Paleozoic faunas are well constrained to the Silurian (uppermost Llandovery through Pridoli) and lowest Devonian and are characteristic of those known from shallow siliciclastic-dominated platforms of the Avalon microcontinent in Wales and England. The remaining two clasts have abundant inarticulate brachiopod shells that indicate provenance from Middle Cambrian proximal marine facies on the Avalonian marginal platform. No clasts were found that are likely to have been derived from the Torbrook Formation, and thus from the Meguma terrane in southwestern Nova Scotia, as has been previously reported. The association of relatively large, reworked fossiliferous clasts in Carboniferous conglomerate on Isle Madame suggests local derivation from lower and middle Paleozoic units not presently exposed, although probably present as subcrop under the Carboniferous units, in southwestern Cape Breton Island and adjacent mainland Nova Scotia.

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