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Late Ordovician brachiopod faunas from Pomeroy, Northern Ireland: a palaeoenvironmental synthesis

  • Yves Candela (a1)

Abstract

Comparisons of the Caradoc assemblages with North American biofacies indicate that the Bardahessiagh Formation was deposited during a transgressive regime, which peaked with the presence of a typical Sericoidea association (member (II)). These diverse and exceptionally preserved faunas lived below the storm-wave base. The assemblages also contained a shallower water brachiopod component typical of transition zone environments or above, which may have been transported during periods of instability. A deep-water regime (BAs 4 to 4–5) through the Rawtheyan occurs with the deposition of the Killey Bridge Formation, which yielded a diverse brachiopod fauna including Bimuria, Chonetoidea and Christiania. The Rawtheyan assemblage also contains a shallower water component. Representatives of the deep-water Proboscisambon assemblage occur in middle parts of the Tirnaskea Formation. This distinctive low-diversity assemblage yields small, thin-shelled brachiopods including Dedzetina, Sericoidea, Protozyga and Proboscisambon. The upper parts of the Tirnaskea Formation yielded the low diversity, shallow water (BA 3) Hirnantia fauna, which is characterised by the presence of Eostropheodonta, which is a key form of the fauna, Dysprosorthis and the absence of Hirnantia. As a whole the changing brachiopod biofacies monitor environmental fluctuations, on part of the Laurentian margin, driven mainly by eustatic and tectonic events.

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