A Marine Incursion in the Lower Pennsylvanian Tynemouth Creek Formation, Canada: Implications for Paleogeography, Stratigraphy and Paleoecology

Howard Falcon-Lang, Martin R. Gibling, Peir Pufahl, Arden Bashforth, randy Miller, Nic Minter

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We document the occurrence of a marine bed, and its associated biota, in the Lower Pennsylvanian (Langsettian) Tynemouth Creek Formation of New Brunswick, and discuss its implications for paleogeography, stratigraphy, and paleoecology. This is only the second marine interval found in the entire Pennsylvanian fill of the Maritimes Basin of Canada, the other being recently found in the broadly same-age Joggins Formation of Nova Scotia. Evidence for the new marine transgression comprises an echinoderm-rich limestone that infills irregularities on a vertic paleosol surface within the distal facies of a syntectonic fluvial megafan formed under a seasonally dry tropical climate. Gray, platy ostracod-rich shales and wave-rippled sandstone beds that directly overlie the marine limestone contain trace fossils characteristic of the Mermia Ichnofacies, upright woody trees, and adpressed megafloras. This association represents bay-fills fringed by freshwater coastal forests dominated by pteridosperms, cordaites, and other enigmatic plants traditionally attributed to dryland/upland habitats. The fossil site demonstrates that marine transgressions extended farther into the interior of Pangea than has previously been documented, and may allow correlation of the Tynemouth Creek and Joggins Formations with broadly coeval European successions near the level of the Gastrioceras subcrenatum and G. listeri marine bands. It also helps explain the close similarity of faunas between the Maritimes Basin and other paleotropical basins, if transgressions facilitated migration of marine taxa into the continental interior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-791
Number of pages13
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

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