Abstract

An unconformity between the Silurian Xibiehe Formation and Ordovician igneous rocks marks the perimeter of a small paleoisland near Bater Obo in north-central Inner Mongolia, 180 km northwest of the provincial capital of Hohhot. The stratigraphic position of the lower part of the Xibiehe Formation is correlated by means of conodonts with the upper part of the Ancoradella ploeckensis Zone in the basal Ludfordian Stage (corresponds to mid-Ludlovian Epoch, ca. 421 Ma). Elongate in plan (610 m × 200 m), the exhumed diorite core rises 30 m above the lowest elevations of surrounding Silurian strata. Paleoshores along the principal axis of the inlier delineate contrasting facies. Robust stromatoporoids are in growth position within silty limestones, some directly encrusting the unconformity surface of the sheltered southeast margin. A basal conglomerate of diorite cobbles and boulders characterizes the high-energy northwest margin. The depositional constraints and timing of transgressive facies associated with this continental paleoisland have implications for the eustatic and paleogeographic history of the parent Sino-Korean plate. Burial of the island corresponds to the beginning of a global rise in sea level that peaked in late Ludlovian time. Our interpretation of windward and leeward facies requires an approximate 90° clockwise rotation of the parent plate to accommodate the dominant pattern of low-latitude trade winds and storms.

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