Stromatolites in Middle Ordovician carbonate–evaporite sequences and their carbon and sulfur isotopes stratigraphy, Ordos Basin, northwestern China

  • Fan-Wei Meng
  • Zhi-li Zhang
  • Xian-qin Yan
  • Pei Ni
  • Wen-Hang Liu
  • Fu Fan
  • Gu-Wei Xie
Original Article


At the present day, stromatolites are very rare and limited to high-salinity settings. However, abundant and variable stromatolite fossils occur in thick evaporite sequences, the Middle Ordovician Majiagou Formation of the Ordos Basin, northwestern China. The setting and fossil assemblage imply that the high salinity prevented metazoan grazing and allowed stromatolites to flourish. The carbon isotope curve based on new data (average data range from −4.52 to +0.56‰) from drilling cores in Majiagou Formation is in good agreement with Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian), and supports the Middle Ordovician age inferred from biostratigraphy. Sulfur isotopes values (range from +27.1 to +28.0‰) are higher than those of the Upper Ordovician but much lower than those of the Lower Middle Cambrian; thus, the sulfur values imply that the Majiagou Formation is of Middle Ordovician age. New carbon and sulfur isotope data imply that these strata are of Middle Ordovician age, in good agreement with previous paleontological dating.


Stromatolites Ordovician Carbonate Ordos Basin China 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers 41473039, 4151101015 and 41302005). Many thanks to Professor Bian Lizeng for providing the precise drilling core samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fan-Wei Meng
    • 1
  • Zhi-li Zhang
    • 2
  • Xian-qin Yan
    • 3
  • Pei Ni
    • 4
  • Wen-Hang Liu
    • 5
  • Fu Fan
    • 6
  • Gu-Wei Xie
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and StratigraphyNanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Petroleum Exploration and Development Research Institute, SINOPECBeijingChina
  3. 3.Geological Exploration Technology Institute of Jiangsu ProvinceNanjingChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory for Mineral Deposit Research, Institute of Geo-Fluids, School of Earth Science and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  5. 5.Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  6. 6.Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological ScienceBeijingChina
  7. 7.Institute of Exploration, Development and Research of PetroChina Company Limited Changqing Oilfield BrandXi’anChina
  8. 8.National Engineering Laboratory for Exploration and Development of Low-Permeability Oil and Gas FieldsXi’anChina

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