Abstract

The conodont biostratigraphy for the Upper Ordovician – Upper Silurian carbonate shelf (Irene Bay and Allen Bay formations) and interfingering basinal (Cape Phillips Formation) facies is established for parts of Devon and Ellesmere islands, central Canadian Arctic Islands. Revisions to the interpreted regional stratigraphic relationships and correlations are based on the stratigraphic distribution of the 51 conodont species representing 32 genera, identified from over 5000 well-preserved conodonts recovered from 101 productive samples in nine stratigraphic sections. The six zones recognized are, in ascending order, Amorphognathus ordovicicus Local-Range Zone, Aspelundia fluegeli Interval Zone, Pterospathodus celloni Local-Range Zone, Pt. pennatus procerus Local-Range Zone, Kockelella patula Local-Range Zone, and K. variabilis variabilisOzarkodina confluens Concurrent-Range Zone. These provided a more precise dating of the members and formations and, in particular, the range of hiatuses within this stratigraphic succession. The pattern of regional stratigraphy, facies changes, and hiatuses is interpreted as primarily related to the effects of glacioeustasy associated with the terminal Ordovician glaciation and smaller Early Silurian glacial phases, the backstepping of the Silurian shelf margin, and the geodynamic effects of the collision with Laurentia by Baltica to the east and Pearya to the north. Conodont colour alteration index values (CAI 1–6.5) from the nine sections complement earlier graptolite reflectance data in providing regional thermal maturation data of value in hydrocarbon exploration assessments.

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