Brachiopod-dominated communities and depositional environment of the Guanshan Konservat-Lagerstätte, eastern Yunnan, China

Feiyang Chen, Glenn A. Brock, Zhiliang Zhang, Brittany Laing, Xinyi Ren, Zhifei Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    7 Citations (Scopus)
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    The Guanshan Biota is an unusual early Cambrian Konservat-Lagerstätte from China and is distinguished from all other exceptionally preserved Cambrian biotas by the dominance of brachiopods and a relatively shallow depositional environment. However, the faunal composition, overturn and sedimentology associated with the Guanshan Biota are poorly understood. This study, based on collections through the best-exposed succession of the basal Wulongqing Formation at the Shijiangjun section, Wuding County, eastern Yunnan, China recovered six major animal groups with soft tissue preservation; brachiopods vastly outnumbered all other groups. Brachiopods quickly replace arthropods as the dominant fauna following a transgression at the base of the Wulongqing Formation. A transition from a botsfordiid-, eoobolid-and acrotretid-to an acrotheloid-dominated brachiopod assemblage occurs up-section. Four episodically repeated lithofacies reveal a relatively low-energy, offshore to lower shoreface sedimentary environment at the Shijiangjun section, which is very different from the Wulongqing Formation in the Malong and Kunming areas. Multiple event flows and rapid obrution are responsible for faunal overturn and fluctuation through the section. A detailed lithofacies and palaeontological investigation of this section provides a better understanding of the processes and drivers of faunal overturn during the later phase of the Cambrian Explosion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberjgs2020-043
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of the Geological Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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