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New insights into the early evolution of horizontal spiral trace fossils and the age of the Brioverian series (Ediacaran–Cambrian) in Brittany, NW France

Abstract : In northwestern France, the Brioverian series is a thick siliciclastic succession deposited during the Cadomian cycle (c. 750–540 Ma). In the uppermost Brioverian beds, previous studies unravelled an assemblage dominated by simple horizontal trace fossils associated with microbially stabilized surfaces. Here, we report Spirodesmos trace fossils – one-way, irregular and regular horizontal spirals – from Crozon (Finistère, Brittany), Montfort-sur-Meu and St-Gonlay (Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany). After reviewing the literature on horizontal spiral trace fossils, an Ediacaran–Fortunian Spirodesmos pool is identified from marginal-marine to shelf settings, while an Ordovician–Recent trend formed in the deep-marine realm. These results suggest that an onshore–offshore migration in Spirodesmos took place during Ediacaran–Fortunian to Ordovician time, similar to what happened in graphoglyptids. In addition, the age of the uppermost Brioverian beds (Ediacaran or early Cambrian) is still a pending question. Here, we report two new U–Pb detrital zircon datings from sandstone samples in St-Gonlay, giving maximum deposition ages of 551 ± 7 Ma and 540 ± 5 Ma. Although these results do not discard an Ediacaran age for the uppermost Brioverian beds, a Fortunian age is envisioned because the new dating corroborates previous dating from Brittany, Mayenne and Normandy. However, the intervals of error of the radiometric dating, and the dominance of non-penetrative trace fossils associated with matgrounds (an ecology more typical of the Ediacaran Period), do not allow definitive conclusions on the age of the uppermost Brioverian beds.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 29, 2021 - 9:55:44 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 4:16:44 AM



Romain Gougeon, Didier Néraudeau, Alfredo Loi, Marc Poujol. New insights into the early evolution of horizontal spiral trace fossils and the age of the Brioverian series (Ediacaran–Cambrian) in Brittany, NW France. Geological Magazine, Cambridge University Press (CUP), In press, pp.1-11. ⟨10.1017/S0016756820001430⟩. ⟨insu-03124898⟩



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