Famennian (Upper Devonian) stromatolite reefs at Shatang, Guilin, Guangxi, South China

Shen, Jian-Wei and Webb, Gregory E. (2004) Famennian (Upper Devonian) stromatolite reefs at Shatang, Guilin, Guangxi, South China. Sedimentary Geology, 170 1-2: 63-84. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2004.06.004

Author Shen, Jian-Wei
Webb, Gregory E.
Title Famennian (Upper Devonian) stromatolite reefs at Shatang, Guilin, Guangxi, South China
Journal name Sedimentary Geology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0037-0738
Publication date 2004-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2004.06.004
Volume 170
Issue 1-2
Start page 63
End page 84
Total pages 22
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Stromatolites occurred in many reef complexes throughout the Phanerozoic, and microbial communities played an important role in both ancient and modern stromatolite reefs. Famennian (Upper Devonian) limestone outcrops at Shatang, northwest of Guilin, South China contain stromatolite reefs. Calcimicrobes and algae are also abundant in the reef limestones, highlighting the importance of microbial communities in initial reef formation after the Frasnian/Famennian biotic crisis. In some cases, the Shatang stromatolites are connected to form a rigid framework, showing a significant ability for construction of biohermal reefs; and in other cases, they occur as isolated structures. The cores of stromatolite reefs were formed by massive limestone containing columnar and dichotomous branching stromatolites. Calcimicrobes and algae (e.g., Solenopora, Parachaetetes, Garwoodia, and problematic forms) are also common. Some of the calcimicrobes formed stromatolites, and other calcimicrobes played a role in sediment stabilization and were more common in biostromal thickets. Shatang stromatolitic reefs grew on a shoal deposit composed of sand- and pebble-sized bioclasts. Field observation and facies analysis suggest that Shatang stromatolitic reefs formed platform margin facies, which, together with previously described Renalcis - Epiphyton reefs, Renalcis reefs, ooid shoals, brachiopod-shell shoals, and nautiloid shoals, rimmed the northwest part of the Guilin carbonate platform. The fossil microbial/algal communities, together with a complex of sedimentary features, allow reconstruction of the depositional history of the environment. Based on comparison with coeval reefs in the Guilin area and the previously developed regional tectonic history, a model is proposed describing the sedimentary history of Famennian reefs in Guilin. Interpretation of the Shatang stromatolites as disaster biota is equivocal, as other factors may also have influenced the abundance and type of microbialites in shallow-platform margin reef settings in the Late Devonian.
Keyword Devonian
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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