Abstract

The 3.46 Ga Marble Bar Chert Member of the East Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, is one of the earliest and best-preserved sedimentary successions on Earth. Here, we interpret the finely laminated thin-bedded cherts, mixed conglomeratic beds, chert breccia beds and chert folded beds of the Marble Bar Chert Member as the product of low-density turbidity currents, high-density turbidity currents, mass transport complexes and slumps, respectively. Integrated into a channel-levee depositional model, the Marble Bar Chert Member constitutes the oldest documented deep-sea fan on Earth, with thin-bedded cherts, breccia beds and slumps composing the outer levee facies tracts, and scours and conglomeratic beds representing the channel systems.

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