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.
School of Medicine
Brand, Leonard R.
Awramik, Stanley M.
Buchheim, H. Paul
Nick, Kevin E.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Geomicrobiology; Geology, Stratigraphic -- Cambrian; Geology -- Utah
Subject - Local
Upper Cambrian microbialite reefs; Microbialites; Metazoan Bio-structures; Paleoecology; Paleoenvironments
Loma Linda University Libraries
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.
Coulson, Ken P., "The Growth and Ecology of Upper Cambrian Microbialite Biostromes from the Notch Peak Formation in Utah" (2016). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 367.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives