Abstract

Exposure of carbonate rocks within the uplifted mountains of southwestern Utah presents a unique opportunity to study the growth, morphology and ecology of two upper Cambrian microbialite reefs located within the Hellnmaria Member of the Notch Peak Formation. The first reef contains meter-length, strongly elongate microbialites that grew in a deep, subtidal marine environment. These elongate microbialites formed as a result of coalescence of round ‘algal’ heads, a process known to produce compound microbialite structures in shallow water, but seldom explored as a key factor in the elongation of deep, subtidal forms that grew in ancient environments. The second reef contains lithistid sponge-microbial ‘stromatolites,’ a new type of metazoan bio-structure that has only been described from the Carboniferous and Triassic periods. This discovery has important implications when reconstructing middle to upper Cambrian reef-building communities, as these periods are assumed to have a very low diversity of metazoan reefal components. Taken together, both reefs shed light on the paleoecology and paleoenvironment of upper Cambrian microbialite reef-building communities.

LLU Discipline

Earth Sciences

Department

Basic Sciences

School

School of Medicine

First Advisor

Brand, Leonard R.

Second Advisor

Awramik, Stanley M.

Third Advisor

Boskovic, Danilo

Fourth Advisor

Buchheim, H. Paul

Fifth Advisor

Nalin, Ronald

Sixth Advisor

Nick, Kevin E.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level

Ph.D.

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Date (Title Page)

6-2016

Language

English

Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Geomicrobiology; Geology, Stratigraphic -- Cambrian; Geology -- Utah

Subject - Local

Upper Cambrian microbialite reefs; Microbialites; Metazoan Bio-structures; Paleoecology; Paleoenvironments

Type

Dissertation

Page Count

129

Digital Format

PDF

Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.

Collection

Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website

http://scholarsrepository.llu.edu/etd/

Repository

Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

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