, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 27–39 | Cite as

Palaeoecological significance of calcimicrobial communities during ramp evolution: An example from the Lower Cambrian of Germany

  • Olaf Elicki


The palaeoecology of calcimicrobial communities from the only Gondwana-related Lower Cambrian in Central Europe (eastern Germany, carbonates and siliciclastics) has been studied. Six morphological groups of calcimicrobes are described. Some of them show a significant ability for sediment stabilization and construction of biohermal reef mounds. Other types of calcimicrobes were more common in biostromal thickets. Some of them were capable of populating different environments, growing in different modes and on different substrates. AnEpiphyton-archaeocyathan reef mound is described, illustrating the importance of calcimicrobes for mound formation. The fossil communities together with a complex of sedimentary features allow a reconstruction of the depositional history of the environment. Based on comparison with similar Gondwanan Lower Cambrian successions (Sardinia/Italy, Spain) and facies development a model is proposed describing the sedimentary history. Three depositional stages are distinguished: (1) deep subtidal ramp, (2) shallow subtidal ramp, (3) shallow subtidal to intertidal mixed siliciclastic-carbonate ramp with migrating oolitic shoals. In spite of similarities with the deposits in southern Europe, some distinct differences exist with respect to the succession of facies, the completeness of the sections, the fossil spectrum, and the nature of the siliciclastic sediments. For the German Lower Cambrian, a facies development from a low energy deep environment to a high energy shallow environment (partly restricted and with some evaporites) can be reconstructed. As compared with Sardinia and Spain, the depositional environment of the eastern German Lower Cambrian successions was predominantly characterized by low-energy conditions.


Calcimicrobes Palaeoecology Carbonateramps Reefs Germany Lower Cambrian 


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Copyright information

© Institut für Paläontologie, Universität Erlangen 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olaf Elicki
    • 1
  1. 1.Geologisches InstitutTU Bergakademie FreibergFreiberg

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