2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 313-7
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM


LOUGHNEY, Katharine M., Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 2534 C.C. Little, 1100 North University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, JAROCHOWSKA, Emilia, GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Fachgruppe Paläoumwelt, Universität Erlangen, Loewenichstrasse 28, Erlangen, D-91054, Germany, KELLER, Allison L., Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521, KIMMIG, Julien, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 114 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N5E2, Canada, LARINA, Ekaterina, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210, SINGER, Amy, Geosciences, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive #1296, Missoula, MT 59812-1296, MCMULLEN, Sharon K., Department of Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, CHRISTIE, Max, Geology, Pennsylvania State University, 434 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802, HOLLAND, Steven M., Department of Geology, Univ of Georgia, Geology Building, Athens, GA 30602 and PATZKOWSKY, Mark E., Pennsylvania State University, 503 Deike Bldg, University Park, PA 16802-2714, loughney@umich.edu

Sequence stratigraphy provides the tools to model and predict the occurrences of marine taxa and test hypotheses on the diversity of faunal assemblages in response to relative sea-level change. We examined this relationship during the Stratigraphic Paleobiology field course sponsored by the Paleontological Society. The Mississippian Lodgepole Fm is represented by three depositional sequences interpreted to have formed on a sub-tropical carbonate platform. We identified five depositional environments: peritidal, shoal, foreshoal, deep subtidal, and offshore, based on two localities (Sappington East and Milligan Canyon) in south-central Montana. The Sappington East section captures the complete thickness, whereas the Milligan Canyon section is limited to the uppermost depositional sequence.

We counted over 3000 faunal specimens in 93 field counts within the sequence stratigraphic architecture. Cluster analysis of faunal counts for both sections identified four clusters representing deep to shallow water facies. Rugose corals were consistently more abundant in shallow-water facies, whereas brachiopods were more abundant in deeper-water facies. Taxonomic richness within shallow water facies is significantly less than in the deeper water facies. Similar results were established using raw abundance data plotted against stratigraphic position. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) revealed that the largest variability was explained by an onshore-offshore gradient, also in agreement with the cluster analysis. DCA revealed no directional change in the position along the onshore-offshore gradient within bedsets representing the same lithofacies across consecutive parasequences, but the influence of the sequence-stratigraphic architecture was visible in the faunal composition at the level of systems tracts. At Milligan Canyon, the transgressive systems tract was characterized by cyclic changes in the onshore-offshore gradient, but no detectable directional change. However, most offshore assemblages, as assigned by DCA, concentrated around the maximum flooding surface. The highstand systems tract was characterized by a rapid shift towards shallower-water communities, visible at the level of individual lithofacies corresponding to the deep subtidal and foreshoal environments.