Abstract

The age of the upper McKay Group based on conodont biostratigraphy is latest Cambrian (Cordylodus proavus Zone) to late Early Ordovician (middle Floian; Oepikodus communis Zone). A collection of 12 940 conodont elements was recovered from 306 samples of upper McKay Group strata exposed in the Western Main Ranges of the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains, southeastern British Columbia. The conodont fauna is assigned to 53 species representing 30 genera. Twelve zones are recognized, two of which are cosmopolitan: Cordylodus proavus Zone and Iapetognathus Zone. Seven Midcontinent Realm zones, in ascending order, include Polycostatus falsioneotensis, Rossodus tenuis, Rossodus manitouensis, low diversity interval, Scolopodus subrex, and Acodus kechikaensis zones, and Tropodus sweeti Subzone (of the Oepikodus communis Zone). Three Atlantic Realm zones, in ascending order, include Cordylodus angulatus, Acodus deltatus, and Paroistodus proteus zones. The zonation for the upper McKay Group establishes correlation with the Survey Peak Formation and lower Outram Formation of the Bow Platform, and with the Kechika Formation and lower Skoki Formation of the Macdonald Platform and Kechika Trough in the northern Rocky Mountains. The McKay Group represents deposition during post-rift thermal subsidence of the margin, although its thickness, abrupt transition to black shale of the overlying Glenogle Formation, and intercalation of volcanogenic rocks imply a history of differential subsidence similar to that of the northern Cordillera, probably related to periodic extension.

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