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Depositional model for mixed carbonate-clastic sediments in the Middle Cambrian Lower Zhangxia Formation, Xiaweidian, North China

Xingwen Zhang, Xiongqi Pang, Zhenkui Jin, Tao Hu, Abdulkareem Toyin, Ke Wang

(Published: 2020-02-25)

Corresponding Author and Email:Xiongqi Pang,; ORCID:

Citation:Zhang, X., Pang, X., Jin, Z., Hu, T., Toyin, A., Wang, K. Depositional model for mixed carbonate-clastic sediments in the Middle Cambrian Lower Zhangxia Formation, Xiaweidian, North China. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2019, 4(1): 29-42, doi: 10.26804/ager.2020.01.04.

Article Type:Original article


In order to make accurate decisions in interpreting depositional environments of sedimentary rocks, a multi-proxy approach is best employed. In the Middle Cambrian Lower Zhangxia Formation exposed at Xiaweidian in the Northern China, lack of this form of approach puts doubts on the various models (e.g. carbonate ramp and isolated platform) proposed by previous workers. In this study, we integrated field outcrop investigation with laboratory examinations of thin sections with light and electron microscopies to further understand sedimentary environments of the Lower Zhangxia Formation. Dominant rock types of this formation include oolitic limestone, muddy limestone, flat-pebble limestone and calcareous mudstone. Evidence from ooid features and lime-mud content of oolitic limestones suggests their deposition in an environment with intermittent high energy level. The muddy limestones were formed on a restricted platform with lower wave energy, which is supported by the existence of pyrites in a reducing environment and the input of terrestrial clays from neighboring clastic environments. The flat-pebble limestones were formed by storm reworking of early deposits on restricted platform below a fair-weather wave base, due to their composition and clast features. Mudstones with occurrences of terrestrial silts could be associated with clastic shallow marine adjacent to the restricted platform. A mixed carbonate-clastic depositional model is suggested for this formation and can be used as model for other researchers working in the North China.

Keywords:Depositional model, mixed carbonate-clastic sediments, Middle Cambrian, the Lower Zhangxia Formation, Xiaweidian, North China.


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