—The paper presents data on the classification, structure, and biota of reef complexes from the Late Ordovician–early Silurian Altai Basin. The early Paleozoic history of the Altai Basin included the early–middle Katian, late Katian, early Hirnantian, late Telychian, and middle–late Sheinwoodian events of large-scale reef formation which produced framework reefs, mud mounds, and coral meadows. The early Paleozoic reefs of the area formed at rates of 40 to ~12 cm per thousand years. The late Telychian reef system, which formed in 0.51–1.0 Myr, occupied the largest area of the basin. The lateral extent of reef systems in the Late Ordovician–early Silurian basin of Altai depended more on the rates of vertical and lateral growth, as well as on the previous sea bottom topography and clastic inputs, than on the duration of reef formation. Carbonate deposition in the Altai basins of that time can be simulated with a general model implying formation of distal barrier reefs.

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