In southern New Mexico and West Texas, USA, the Late Cambrian–Early Ordovician Bliss Formation is a relatively thin and dominantly siliciclastic succession that was deposited on the Proterozoic basement during a major global transgression. The Bliss Formation can be divided into two members: 1) a lower, coarser-grained member composed mostly of sandstone (quartz arenite and subarkose) that lacks glauconite and calcite cement, and 2) an upper, finer-grained member that includes glauconitic sandstone, arkosic sandstone, and mixed siliciclastic–carbonate siltstone to fine-grained sandstone, intercalated with thin carbonate beds of grainstone, packstone, and rudstone. Iron oolite and oolitic sandstone are locally exposed at the base of the upper member. Sandstone of the lower member represents upper-shoreface to foreshore deposits, whereas sedimentary structures in the upper member indicate deposition in a middle- to lower-shoreface setting, and locally in a tidal-flat environment. Intercalated carbonate beds are storm layers (tempestites). Glauconite grains are abundant in the upper member as mostly rounded to well-rounded, spheroidal to ovoidal pellets. Two types of glauconite grains are present: homogeneous, dark green grains with high K2O contents (> 8 wt.%; stage 4) and mottled pellets composed of a mixture of glauconite and apatite. Glauconite of the Bliss Formation is not autochthonous as proposed by earlier workers, but of allochthonous (parautochthonous) origin. Thus, the glauconite grains were reworked from deeper shelf environments in northern Mexico to the south and were transported and deposited under regressive–transgressive conditions. Mottled glauconite grains formed by the reworking of phosphatized and glauconitized micritic sediments during regression and were transported and deposited by storm-induced currents, particularly in storm layers during transgressive events. Homogeneous, mature glauconite grains probably were derived from the reworking of glauconitized fecal pellets or completely glauconitized micritic sediments during regressive–transgressive cycles. The world-wide occurrence of glauconite in Cambrian–Early Ordovician sediments indicates that glauconite formation during that period can be considered as a “global event.”

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