The Nonesuch Formation and related sedimentary units of the Oronto Group, southern Lake Superior region, midwestern United States, are commonly held to have been deposited in a lacustrine rift basin within interior continental Laurentia. Here, we present new sedimentologic and stratigraphic evidence that shows a marine influence on deposition. Tidally influenced shallow-marine sandstone and evaporitic, sandy and muddy tidal flat facies pass upward into fine-grained estuarine and sandy turbidite deposits, which are sharply overlain by mixed sandy and muddy tidal flat and floodplain deposits. These observations are evidence that the lower Oronto Group was deposited in an epeiric seaway, one of several such seaways that developed during the final amalgamation of Rodinia at a time of globally high sea level. Retrogradational-aggradational-progradational-degradational stratal architecture records changes in the relative balance between generation of accommodation space and sedimentation rates, which we interpret to reflect the combined influence of Grenvillian Ottawan phase tectonic subsidence and thermal subsidence from earlier Midcontinent Rift magmatism.

We use this revised stratigraphic framework to show that the geochemical proxies of the Nonesuch Formation are tied closely to sedimentary facies and reflect intrabasinal redox heterogeneity rather than global anoxia at the end-Mesoproterozoic. Further, our sedimentology shows that the microfossils recovered from the Nonesuch rocks are primarily associated with tidal flat facies. The combined influence of marine and local nonmarine conditions must be considered when invoking the Nonesuch Formation, or similar marine-influenced interior basin deposits, as global analogues.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.