ABSTRACT: TheCambrian strata at the northwestern margin of the North China Platform in InnerMongolia hold thick oolitic-grain bank deposits.Generally, the strata are dominated by calcareous mudstone of shelf facies in the lower part, micritic limestone consisting of deep to middle ramp facies in the middle part, and oolitic limestone encompassing shallow ramp to grain bank facies in the upper part of each formation. The shelf and deep ramp facies are the result of relative sea-level rise, while oolitic limestones developed in response to relative sea-level fall. Microscopically, the studied ooids are represented by radial crystal structures and concentric laminations with or without cores, single crystal or neomorphosed ooids, and highly bored ooids. The size andmorphology of the ooids indicate a two-fold mechanical influence of microbes; constructive in the Miaolingian and destructive in the Furongian ooids. Based on these observations, it can be inferred that microbes (predominantly composed of filamentous fossils of cyanobacteria) excreted extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) to develop multiple bacterial biofilms microbial mats. The subsequent decay of the EPS through sulfate reducing bacteria most likely caused precipitation around these ooids. The depositional style of ooids occupying the upper parts of the formations, and their possible genesis from microbes provide clue for regional correlation, as well as affirm biological control in the formation of ooids.
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