Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Look Back…5 years—Paleozoic Subtropical Carbonates

Carbonate sediments can be subdivided into two end-member realms, heterozoan and photozoan, that in many cases relate to “cool water” and “warm water” conditions respectively.  Between these end members are “subtropical” carbonates that can include a mix of both realms.  In this paper, Bensing et al. describe Lower Permian strata from Arctic Canada that include a temporally changing, sedimentologically mixed assemblage.  The sediments suggest a gradual cooling and decrease in seawater temperature, but that changes in sea level and oceanographic conditions complicated trends.  The results represented a refinement of criteria for recognizing and interpreting heterozoan carbonates in Paleozoic strata.

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