Aspects of Proterozoic stromatolite biostratigraphy in Western Australia

Kathleen Grey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Stromatolites are abundant at many horizons in the Proterozoic of Western Australia. Recent advances in knowledge of Proterozoic stratigraphy of the state have provided a more detailed framework for interpreting the stromatolite data than has been available previously. In the 1.7 Ga Earaheedy Group of the Nabberu Basin a characteristic stromatolite assemblage occurs, and within the basin a biostratigraphic succession can be recognized. The assemblage contains several new forms which belong to new groups. The need to erect new groups for these early Proterozoic stromatolites is in agreement with recent studies in Canada, northern Europe and South Africa, and suggests that the problem of 'younger' or late Proterozoic stromatolite groups in early Proterozoic rocks mentioned by previous workers is a result of a lack of rigour in defining taxa. Examination of type material is necessary to determine how closely the Earaheedy forms resemble those described from these other regions. In Western Australia some stromatolite forms have a restricted vertical range and similar taxa occur in beds of approximately the same age in widely-separated areas: e.g. Kimberley Group and Earaheedy Group; Scorpion Group and Limbunya, Birrindudu, McArthur, Mt. Rigg and Mt. Albert Groups and Bungle Bungle Dolomite; Tolmer and Bullita Groups; Moora and Bangemall Groups; Kai Ki Beds, Louisa Downs, Mount House and Albert Edward Groups. Stromatolite diversity shows a decline in the number of taxa at about 1.1. Ga in the Bangemall Group. More data are required to determine whether this decline is universal or specific to the Bangemall Group. This study indicates that a stromatolite biostratigraphy for Western Australia is feasible and is consistent with data from other parts of Australia. Thus emphasis on correlation should be placed on the stromatolite form rather than the group, and intercontinental correlations should be attempted only when local biostratigraphic schemes have been firmly established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-365
Number of pages19
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1982

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