Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 143–150 | Cite as

Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician (Sauk) platform carbonates of the northern Appalachian (Gondwana) passive margin

  • Gerald M. Friedman


Sauk platform carbonates of the northern Appalachian passive (Gondwana) margin are composed of high-frequency stacking patterns containing fifth-order depositional cycles. Most of the these cycles, termed parasequences in this study, display upward-shoaling peritidal patterns, commonly terminating in emergence. Parasequence surfaces are erosional resulting from this emergence and have associated karst features, especially solution-collapse breaccia. The carbonates, mostly fine- to medium-crystalline and locally vuggy dolostones, are generally of low permeability. Solution-collapse breccias increase whole-rock permeability through fractures. In addition to solution-collapse breccias, emergence generated terra-rossa soil, now lithified, as well as silcrete, now chert, and caused the dedolomitization of dolostones.

Upward-coarsening facies cycles, in which flat-pebble conglomerates overlie erosional surfaces, are thought to be storm generated. Yet storm deposits with intraclasts sufficiently angular to be termed breccia may also terminate parasequences.

Fifth-order upward-shoaling peritidal parasequences may be the result of extraterrestrial forcing or tectonic events causing rapid eustatic or relative changes in sea-level, respectively. Hence porosity-permeability development may likewise relate to these mechanisms. During the Sauk interval anomalous storm periods may have held sway on a global scale and generated upward-coarsening parasequences. Storm-weather periods probably resulted from astronomical changes (extraterrestrial forcing). Porosity and permeability in the storm deposits may also be controlled by extraterrestrial forcing functions.


Cambrian Breccia Ordovician Stromatolite Micrite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald M. Friedman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Brooklyn College and Graduate School of the City University of New YorkBrooklyn
  2. 2.Rensselaer Center of Applied GeologyNortheastern Science Foundation, affiliated with Brooklyn CollegeTroy

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