Abstract

Facies and stratigraphic analysis of the Port Lazo and Roche Jagu formations, together the lower part of the Plourivo-Plouézec Group, suggests deposition in three distinct depositional systems. The lower part of the Port Lazo Formation comprises red conglomerate, sandstone and shale of alluvial fan to alluvial plain origin. A conformable interval of grey sandstone and shale succeeds the lower Port Lazo red beds and records a period of subtidal sedimentation dominated by river-fed, shallow-water turbidity currents (hyperpycnites). The succeeding Roche Jagu Formation comprises red sandstones and shales of braided fluvial origin. It is intercalated with, and succeeded by, andesites. The andesites succeeding the fluvial strata overlie a prominent erosion surface and are lava flows, whereas those intercalated with the fluvial strata are intrusions. Rb–Sr radiometric dating of the andesites at 472+/−5 Ma is commonly used as evidence for the whole Plourivo-Plouézec Group being Early Ordovician in age. However, the stratigraphic relationships and patterns of sedimentation in the Port Lazo and Roche Jagu formations, together with the localized presence of Arumberia, suggest they are most likely of early Cambrian age and related to a phase of post-Cadomian rifting. The facies deposited show both similarities to and differences from neighbouring strata of equivalent age, and highlight the control exerted by sediment load on alluvial and nearshore processes on early Palaeozoic environments.

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