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Cambrian geology of the Baraboo Hills

Robert H. Dott and Charles W. Byers
Cambrian geology of the Baraboo Hills (in Geology of the Baraboo, Wisconsin, area, Richard A. Davis (editor), Robert H. Dott (editor) and Ian W. D. Dalziel (editor))
Field Guide (Geological Society of America) (2016) 43: 47-54


Cambrian strata in Wisconsin compose a sheet of mostly marine sandstone, with minor dolomite, deposited during the fluctuating advance of the North American epeiric sea. Sedimentary features and fossils indicate that deposition took place in both shallower, current-dominated regimes and deeper quiet-water settings swept by episodic storm surges. The sand sheet surrounds inliers of Precambrian rocks in the Baraboo area. The Baraboo inliers are remnants of an elliptical ring of islands in a subtropical shallow sea, which were gradually buried by Cambrian and Ordovician sediments. Spectacular conglomerates composed of red quartzite clasts accumulated around the islands, which were pounded repeatedly by waves that we presume to have been generated by tropical storms. Paleomagnetic evidence places Cambrian Wisconsin in the southern tropics. Boulders up to 1.5 m in diameter are well rounded whereas larger ones (up to 8 m) are not. This suggests the possibility of estimating the magnitude of the Cambrian storm waves using knowledge from modern oceanography and from wave trough experiments by coastal engineers. Such analysis suggests waves necessary to tumble quartzite boulders 1.5 m in diameter were of the order of 7-8 m high at their point of breaking. Such magnitudes are not uncommon today during storms on many modern rocky coasts.

ISSN: 2333-0937
EISSN: 2333-0945
Serial Title: Field Guide (Geological Society of America)
Serial Volume: 43
Title: Cambrian geology of the Baraboo Hills
Title: Geology of the Baraboo, Wisconsin, area
Author(s): Dott, Robert H., Jr.Byers, Charles W.
Author(s): Davis, Richard A., Jr.editor
Author(s): Dott, Robert H., Jr.editor
Author(s): Dalziel, Ian W. D.editor
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin at Madison, Department of Geoscience, Madison, WI, United States
Affiliation: Texas A&M University, Harte Research Institute, Corpus Christi, TX, United States
Pages: 47-54
Published: 2016
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
References: 13
Accession Number: 2016-088127
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., strat. col.
N43°27'00" - N43°27'00", W89°45'00" - W89°45'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201643
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