Argillaceous Rock Atlas by Neal R. O’Brien, Roger M. Slatt (auth.)

By Neal R. O’Brien, Roger M. Slatt (auth.)

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CLEAR FORK FORMATION (Permian) Swisher County, Texas. This mudstone was deposited in a saline mudflat associated with other Permian evaporite deposits. The sample is not bioturbated and it is sandwiched between thin halite layers, thus indicating the clay was deposited in water high in electrolytes and hence flocculated. Domains are abundant. Scale = 1 ~m. Used with permission SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). MODELS OF FLOCCULATED CLAY D. CASHAQUA MEMBER (Sonyea Formation, Devonian) Wyoming County, New York.

Although above the sediment water interface sufficient oxygen was present, anoxic conditions existed in the organic-rich bottom muds. The next unit reconstructs a "moment" in geological history in this Devonian environment. Whole Rock Composition Quartz K-Feldspar Plagioclase Feldspar Calcite Dolomite Siderite Pyrite Layer Silicates Illite-Mica Kaolinite Chlorite TOC Black Shale ~ 38 Tr. 4 45 Gray Shale IDJQ. 39 Tr. 5 52 X-radiograph shows a pyrite-rich zone (large arrow) separating well-laminated, black shale from overlying non-laminated gray shale (small arrow).

Tunneling deeper, apparently the organism approached more reduced sediment. However, in this case, less than a centimeter below the sediment-water interface highly anoxic conditions existed in the area (shown by the diamonds). Frame C. Upon penetrating this reduced zone, the burrower was surprised when it encountered the top of the anaerobic sediment rich in H2S. Frame D. The organism may have quickly stopped tunneling and retreated vertically, digging another escape burrow in the overlying safer, more oxygenated sediment.

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