Lithostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy of salt diapir sedimentary inclusions: unravelling Ediacaran salt–sediment interaction in the Flinders Ranges

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Rachelle Kernen , Asmara Lehrmann , Piper Poe 


Patawarta Diapir, located in the Central Flinders Ranges, South Australia, has been interpreted as a single allochthonous salt sheet containing Tonian-aged igneous and layered evaporite sedimentary intrasalt inclusions derived from the Callanna Group. Using detailed field mapping, petrographic analysis, and lithostratigraphic correlation within Patawarta Diapir, five primarily silty limestone inclusions are re-interpreted as Ediacaran-aged Wonoka Formation and Patsy Hill member of the Bonney Sandstone (Wilpena Group). The Ediacaran-aged inclusions are concentrated on the diapir’s south side where they are juxtaposed against 300-million-year older Tonian-aged Curdimurka Subgroup (Callanna Group) inclusion. The Ediacaran-aged silty carbonate inclusions in the Patawarta Diapir are interpreted to represent a suprasalt condensed section forming a carapace composed of Wonoka Formation and lower beds of the Patsy Hill member (Bonney Sandstone). Based on this geometric configuration, the Patawarta Diapir is composed of two separate evaporite bodies that encase the suprasalt carapace at an allosuture zone. The encasement process was likely driven by a combination of factors including regional shortening during the Delamerian Orogeny, high sedimentation rates forming local depocenters, and down-dip gravity sliding on the low-angle regional shelf. By using modern concepts in salt tectonics, this study represents the first documented example of a diagenetically altered Ediacaran Shuram Excursion due to the stratigraphy being encased in a diapir in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.



Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Ediacaran, salt tectonics, Flinders Ranges, diagenesis, Ediacaran, South Australia, Flinders Ranges, Shuram Excursion, chemostratigraphy, diagenesis, South Australia, Shuram Excursion, chemostratigraphy


Published: 2021-02-24 19:04

Last Updated: 2021-11-03 22:50

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