Abstract

The Ironwood iron-formation of the Gogebic Range of Michigan and Wisconsin is made up of several rock types, each of which is characterized by a different iron-rich mineral: hematite, magnetite, pyrite, iron carbonate, or iron silicate (minnesotaite, stilpnomelane). Where the Ironwood iron-formation is relatively unaltered the Plymouth, Norrie, and Anvil members consist of wavy-bedded magnetite and silicate-rich rocks, whereas the Yale and Pence members consist of even-bedded carbonate, silicate, magnetite, and pyrite-rich rocks. These rock types represent primary facies of the iron-formation that were deposited under differing physical and chemical conditions during a period of continuous iron-rich sedimentation. Animikie sedimentation in the Gogebic district began with the deposition of sandstone and dolomitic limestone in a shallow sea advancing over a low-lying land mass of lower Precambrian granite and green-stone. Continued advance of the sea, with effective separation of clastic material near shore, permitted the dominantly chemical sedimentation of the iron- formation in somewhat deeper water. The development of an off-shore basin with partially restricted circulation would have facilitated such deposition. Minor fluctuations in the physical and chemical conditions within the depositional environment are reflected in the differing facies of the iron-formation. Deposition of the iron and silica-rich chemical sediments was terminated by increased tectonism and the deposition of the thick sequence of slates and graywackes of the Tyler formation.

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