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Lower Devonian reef structures in Russia: an example from the Urals

, : Lower Devonian reef structures in Russia: an example from the Urals. Facies 54(2): 233-251

The Lower Devonian reefs of the Urals were formed in two different environmental settings: (1) the Novaya Zemlya-West-Uralian reefs were rigid organic structures that grew at a passive platform at the eastern margin of Baltica; (2) reefal limestones from the Eastern Urals developed in an island arc during a phase of volcanism. The reef belts can be traced for more than 2,500 km. The largest barrier reefs (up to 1,500 m thick) formed during the Pragian-Lower Emsian (West-Urals zone) and Emsian (East-Urals zone). They are characterized by rather uniform faunal and sedimentary features from the Arctic Ocean as south as near the Aral Lake. The Uralian reef facies was constructed mainly with algal and microbial communities (calcimicrobes and cyanobacteria) in association with low-diverse metazoan assemblages. In the Lower Devonian reefs of both regions, there are similar groups of organisms comprising some of the major taxa of reef-builders and reef-dwellers. The distinctive feature of the Lower Devonian reefs of both regions is the stromatolite-like framework structure. A clear palaeobiogeographic link is obvious between West-Uralian and East-Uralian environment settings during the Early Devonian.


DOI: 10.1007/s10347-008-0135-7

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