Sedimentology and taphonomy of storm-generated shell beds from the Verulam formation (Ordovician), Lakefield and Gamebridge quarries, Southern Ontario, Canada /
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The Verulam Formation (Middle Ordovician) at the Lakefield Quarry and Gamebridge Quarry, southern Ontario, is comprised of five main lithofacies. These include shoal deposits consisting of Lithofacies 1, winnowed crinoidal grainstones and, shelf deposits consisting of: Lithofacies 2, wackestones, packstones, grainstones, and rudstones; Lithofacies 3, laminated calcisiltites; Lithofacies 4, nodular wackestones and mudstones; and, Lithofacies 5, laminated mudstones and shales. The distribution of the lithofacies was influenced by variations in storm frequency and intensity during a relative sea level fall. Predominant convex-up attitudes of concavo-convex shells within shell beds suggest syndepositional reworking during storm events. The bimodal orientations of shell axes on the upper surfaces of the shell beds indicates deposition under wave-generated currents. The sedimentary features and shell orientations indicate that the shell beds were deposited during storm events and not by the gradual accumulation of shelly material. Cluster and principal component analysis of relative abundance data of the taxa in the shell beds, interbedded nodular wackestones and mudstones, and laminated mudstones and shales, indicates one biofacies comprised of three main assemblages: a strophomenid (Sowerbyelladominated) assemblage, a transitional mixed strophomenid-atrypid assemblage and an atrypid (Zygospira-dominatQd) assemblage. The occurrence of the strophomenid, the strophomenid-atrypid and atrypid assemblages were controlled by storm-driven allogenic taphonomic feedback.