Metazoan-microbial framework fabrics in a Mississippian (Carboniferous) coral-sponge-microbial reef, Monto, Queensland, Australia

Shen, Jian-Wei and Webb, Gregory E. (2005) Metazoan-microbial framework fabrics in a Mississippian (Carboniferous) coral-sponge-microbial reef, Monto, Queensland, Australia. Sedimentary Geology, 178 1-2: 113-133. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2005.03.011

Author Shen, Jian-Wei
Webb, Gregory E.
Title Metazoan-microbial framework fabrics in a Mississippian (Carboniferous) coral-sponge-microbial reef, Monto, Queensland, Australia
Journal name Sedimentary Geology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0037-0738
Publication date 2005-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2005.03.011
Volume 178
Issue 1-2
Start page 113
End page 133
Total pages 21
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Microbial fabrics (stromatolites, thrombolites and calcimicrobes) occur in many Paleozoic carbonate buildups and commonly dominated reefs after mass extinction events (e.g., Middle Cambrian, Famennian [Late Devonian] and early Mississippian). By Viséan (middle Mississippian) time, eastern Australian reefs were mostly small, microbialite-dominated structures, but they contained diverse reef-building metazoans (e.g., rugose and tabulate corals, bryozoans) that came to dominate limited reef facies in some cases. Reefs in the Cannindah Limestone at Old Cannindah Homestead, Monto region, Queensland are exceptional in being the largest such reefs and in having the most complex and differentiated reef facies. They occurred on an oolitic–crinoidal bank characterized by long-term continuous carbonate deposition in a shallow, high-energy setting. Cannindah reef framework contained lithistid sponges and diverse corals, but was dominated by microbialite. The microbialites contain diverse thrombolites, microdigitate stromatolites, and calcimicrobes. Abundant syndepositional cavities in the microbial framework supported a diverse cryptic fauna including numerous calcimicrobes (e.g., Renalcis, Palaeomicrocodium, Girvanella, Ortonella, Aphralysia, and problematica), crinoids, and ostracodes. Cavities indicate that the framework was suprastratal both where microbialite-dominated and where skeletal organisms played a role in framework construction. Although these reefs grew following Late Devonian extinction events that affected skeletal reef builders, the dominance of microbialites is difficult to attribute to the absence of appropriate skeletal reef builders. The reefs occurred ∼20 million years after the Devonian–Mississippian transition, and diverse, potentially reef-building corals and algae occur throughout the reefs, but never rose to dominate framework construction. High siliciclastic flux, turbidity, abnormal salinity, low oxygen levels, low light penetration, and climatic deterioration can be eliminated as limiting factors for skeletal organisms in the reefs suggesting either that: 1) subtle nutrient or ecological factors governed the community membership; or 2) that the microbial biofilms competed well for reef substrate.
Keyword Microbialite
Eastern Australia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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