Cambrian–Devonian sedimentary rocks of the northern Canadian Cordillera record both the establishment and demise of the Great American Carbonate Bank, a widespread carbonate platform system that fringed the ancestral continental margins of North America (Laurentia). Here, we present a new examination of the deep-water Road River Group of the Richardson Mountains, Yukon, Canada, which was deposited in an intra-platformal embayment or seaway within the Great American Carbonate Bank called the Richardson trough. Eleven detailed stratigraphic sections through the Road River Group along the upper canyon of the Peel River are compiled and integrated with geological mapping, facies analysis, carbonate and organic carbon isotope chemostratigraphy, and new biostratigraphic results to formalize four new formations within the type area of the Richardson Mountains (Cronin, Mount Hare, Tetlit, and Vittrekwa). We recognize nine mixed carbonate and siliciclastic deep-water facies associations in the Road River Group and propose these strata were deposited in basin-floor to slope environments. New biostratigraphic data suggest the Road River Group spans the late Cambrian (Furongian) – Middle Devonian (Eifelian), and new chemostratigraphic data record multiple global carbon isotopic events, including the late Cambrian Steptoean positive carbon isotope excursion, the Late Ordovician Guttenberg excursion, the Silurian Aeronian, Valgu, Mulde (mid-Homerian), Ireviken (early Sheinwoodian), and Lau excursions, and the Early Devonian Klonk excursion. Together, these new data not only help clarify nomenclatural debate centered around the Road River Group, but also provide critical new sedimentological, biostratigraphic, and isotopic data for these widely distributed rocks of the northern Canadian Cordillera.
The Road River Group of northern Yukon, Canada: early Paleozoic deep-water sedimentation within the Great American Carbonate Bank
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Justin V. Strauss, Tiffani Fraser, Michael J. Melchin, Tyler J. Allen, Joseph Malinowski, Xiahong Feng, John F. Taylor, James Day, Benjamin C. Gill, Erik A. Sperling; The Road River Group of northern Yukon, Canada: early Paleozoic deep-water sedimentation within the Great American Carbonate Bank. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences ; 57 (10): 1193–1219. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2020-0017
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