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Testing the limits of Paleozoic chronostratigraphic correlation via high-resolution (<500 k.y.) integrated conodont, graptolite, and carbon isotope (delta (super 13) C (sub carb) ) biochemostratigraphy across the Llandovery-Wenlock (Silurian) boundary; is a unified Phanerozoic time scale achievable?

Abstract

The resolution and fidelity of global chronostratigraphic correlation are direct functions of the time period under consideration. By virtue of deep-ocean cores and astrochronology, the Cenozoic and Mesozoic time scales carry error bars of a few thousand years (k.y.) to a few hundred k.y. In contrast, most of the Paleozoic time scale carries error bars of plus or minus a few million years (m.y.), and chronostratigraphic control better than + or -1 m.y. is considered "high resolution." The general lack of Paleozoic abyssal sediments and paucity of orbitally tuned Paleozoic data series combined with the relative incompleteness of the Paleozoic stratigraphic record have proven historically to be such an obstacle to intercontinental chronostratigraphic correlation that resolving the Paleozoic time scale to the level achieved during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic was viewed as impractical, impossible, or both. Here, we utilize integrated graptolite, conodont, and carbonate carbon isotope (delta (super 13) C (sub carb) ) data from three paleocontinents (Baltica, Avalonia, and Laurentia) to demonstrate chronostratigraphic control for upper Llandovery through middle Wenlock (Telychian-Sheinwoodian, approximately 436-426 Ma) strata with a resolution of a few hundred k.y. The interval surrounding the base of the Wenlock Series can now be correlated globally with precision approaching 100 k.y., but some intervals (e.g., uppermost Telychian and upper Sheinwoodian) are either yet to be studied in sufficient detail or do not show sufficient biologic speciation and/or extinction or carbon isotopic features to delineate such small time slices. Although producing such resolution during the Paleozoic presents an array of challenges unique to the era, we have begun to demonstrate that erecting a Paleozoic time scale comparable to that of younger eras is achievable.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 122
Serial Issue: 9-10
Title: Testing the limits of Paleozoic chronostratigraphic correlation via high-resolution (<500 k.y.) integrated conodont, graptolite, and carbon isotope (delta (super 13) C (sub carb) ) biochemostratigraphy across the Llandovery-Wenlock (Silurian) boundary; is a unified Phanerozoic time scale achievable?
Affiliation: Ohio State University, Division of Earth History, Columbus, OH, United States
Pages: 1700-1716
Published: 201009
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 90
Accession Number: 2010-068251
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010130
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., strat. cols., sketch map
Secondary Affiliation: University of Portsmouth, GBR, United KingdomUniversitaet Kiel, DEU, Federal Republic of GermanyUniversitaet Erlangen, DEU, Federal Republic of GermanyTallinn University of Technology, EST, EstoniaLund University, SWE, SwedenTexas Tech University, USA, United StatesU. S. Geological Survey, USA, United StatesUniversitaet Bremen, DEU, Federal Republic of Germany
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201037
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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