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Cap carbonate platform facies model, Noonday Formation, SE California

Creveling, Jessica R. and Bergmann, Kristin D. and Grotzinger, John P. (2016) Cap carbonate platform facies model, Noonday Formation, SE California. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 128 (7-8). pp. 1249-1269. ISSN 0016-7606. doi:10.1130/B31442.1.

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The Neoproterozoic outcrop belt of the Death Valley region, California, preserves an oblique cross section of the Noonday Formation, a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic platform that hosts distinctive basal Ediacaran cap carbonate−affiliated sedimentary structures, stromatolite textures, and δ^(13)C_(carb) values. The Noonday platform encompasses two depositional sequences that reveal two cycles of relative sea-level change within strata conventionally considered to record a single, rapid, postglacial sea-level rise. In updip localities, facies of the first depositional sequence record the transition from a carbonate ramp to a stromatolite-bearing, “tubestone”-textured, reef-rimmed platform; downdip, localities seaward of the reefal escarpment variably preserve a thin and condensed onlapping foreslope wedge. Base-level fall exposed the reef crest to karstic dissolution and propagated submarine incised valleys into the seaward margin of the reef. Overlying strata record the backfilling of a submarine incised valley and reestablishment of a back-stepping, carbonate-dominated ramp prior to a second subaerial exposure event that defines the contact between the Noonday and Johnnie formations. We address the relative contributions of syndepositional tectonism and recovery from low-latitude deglaciation in dictating Noonday platform architecture and the intra−Noonday Formation sequence boundary. Noonday Formation deposition coincided with extension of the Laurentian margin during disaggregation of the Rodinian supercontinent. Within this framework, previous work has suggested that the intra−Noonday Formation sequence boundary records growth faulting that reinforced differential topography, uplifting reef-rimmed horsts—exposing the reef crest to karstic dissolution—and downdropping grabens. However, we trace the intra−Noonday Formation sequence boundary seaward of the reef crest and demonstrate that, for a time, wave base was situated downdip of the reef escarpment on putatively downdropped fault blocks. Thus, if the Noonday margin were undergoing extension, then the creation of the intra−Noonday Formation sequence boundary required a concomitant decrease in accommodation due, perhaps, to postglacial isostatic uplift attendant with low-latitude deglaciation. We speculate that Noonday Formation sequence architecture records (1) immediate deglacial flooding, (2) shoaling and exposure due to isostatic rebound induced by either a hiatus in meltwater flux or rapid ice-sheet collapse against a background of global deglaciation, and (3) resumed flooding following complete deglaciation. As rift-related tectonism could amplify or counter glacial isostasy, inferences of the amplitude of local postglacial sea-level change will require robust estimates of syndepositional extension across the Noonday margin.

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Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:© 2016 Geological Society of America. Manuscript Received 10 October 2015; Revised Manuscript Received 11 February 2016; Manuscript Accepted 8 March 2016; First published online April 20, 2016. Postdoctoral fellowships from Agouron Institute of Geobiology and California Institute of Technology (to Creveling) supported this research. Frank Sousa, Ken Ferrier, Ted Present, Tessa McGann, Kat Dawson, Renata Cummins, Jen Hammon, and M.X. Chia provided enthusiastic field assistance. Robert Mahon graciously shared his generalized stratigraphic section for the Saddle Peak Hills 7.5′ quadrangle. We thank Ryan Petterson, Carol Dehler, Francis Macdonald, and Paul Myrow for thoughtful discussion; we are indebted to Carol Dehler, Tony Prave, and Associate Editor Rob Rainbird for comprehensive and constructive reviews of the manuscript.
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Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7-8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160421-151718661
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Official Citation:Jessica R. Creveling, Kristin D. Bergmann, and John P. Grotzinger Cap carbonate platform facies model, Noonday Formation, SE California Geological Society of America Bulletin, July 2016, v. 128, no. 7-8, p. 1249-1269, first published on April 20, 2016, doi:10.1130/B31442.1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66377
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Apr 2016 00:01
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:57

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