The Maritimes Basin of Atlantic Canada contains a rich record of Pennsylvanian cyclothems. Previous studies have focused on rapidly subsiding depocenters in the central part of the basin where Carboniferous successions feature cyclic alternations between terrestrial and marginal marine strata. In contrast, the Pennsylvanian Clifton Formation was deposited on the relatively stable New Brunswick platform and contains almost entirely terrestrial strata. Although early studies of the Clifton Formation noted a cyclic architecture, particularly within Member B, this unit has remained understudied. We provide a sedimentological and sequence stratigraphic framework for the lower 85 m of Member B and interpret our results relative to a broader regional framework. Near the base of the study interval, the highstand systems tract is composed of red floodplain mudrocks; overlying sequence boundaries are composed of calcretes and (or) channels. The transgressive systems tract and maximum flooding surface are represented by coals and aquatic bivalve-bearing mudrocks. Moving upward through the section, the architecture of the highstand systems tract remains largely unchanged while sequence-bounding paleosols become less well developed, the transgressive systems tract becomes thinner and eventually not preserved, and the maximum flooding surface is only occasionally preserved, possibly represented by carbonaceous shales. These changes in cyclic architecture may be attributed to changes in the magnitude of glacioeustatic fluctuations, climate, and (or) the accommodation/sediment supply ratio. The results of this study show that the Clifton Formation represents the terrestrial/proximal endmember for cyclicity in the Maritimes Basin and provide new insight into paleotopography as a possible control on cyclothem architecture.
Sequence stratigraphy of the late Carboniferous Clifton Formation, New Brunswick
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Brandon M. Keough, Olivia A. King, Matthew R. Stimson, Page C. Quinton, Michael C. Rygel; Sequence stratigraphy of the late Carboniferous Clifton Formation, New Brunswick. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 2020;; 57 (11): 1289–1304. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2019-0223
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