Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 203–210 | Cite as

Cambrian ichnofossils from the Zhoujieshan Formation (Quanji Group) overlying tillites in the northern margin of the Qaidam Basin, NW China

  • Yue Wang
  • Xunlian Wang
  • Ye Wang


The Quanji Group is composed of siliciclastics and carbonates and was deposited on a relatively stable block, in the northern margin of the Qaidam Basin, NW China. It is one of the research hotspots in the Qilian-Qinling-Kunlun tectonic zones. However, it has long been argued whether the upper Quanji Group should be assigned to the Precambrian or the Cambrian for lack of convincing fossil evidence. The discovery of ichnofossils, including Rusophycus, Cruziana, Dimorphichnus, Treptichnus, Skolithos, Arenicolites, Palaeophycus, and Helminthopsis, indicates that the upper member of the Zhoujieshan Formation (top Quanji Group) is Cambrian in age, and at least above the Treptichnus (Phycodes) pedum Biozone, the lowermost biozone in the Cambrian. The lower member of the Zhoujieshan Formation should belong to the Cambrian. During the time when the upper member of the Zhoujieshan Formation was deposited, the northern margin of the Qaidam Basin was dominated by the Cruziana Ichnofacies, characterizing a lower-energy shelf (shallow) sea environment with moderate-rich oxygen contents. In addition, the conglomerates in the Hongtiegou Formation of the Quanji Group underlying the Zhoujieshan Formation were generally regarded as tillites. However, the dolostones of the lower member of the Zhoujieshan Formation are, in lithology and geochemistry, different from the typical cap-dolostones of the Doushantuo Formation in South China, so it is necessary to further study the origins of the lower member of the Zhoujieshan Formation and the conglomerates of the Hongtiegou Formation.

Key Words

Cambrian ichnofossil Zhoujieshan Formation Quanji Group Daqaidam NW China 


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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Resources and EnvironmentsGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina
  2. 2.School of Earth Sciences and ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina

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