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Discovery of oil and gas in the western overthrust belt has spurred renewed efforts in the southwestern and eastern overthrust belts. Reinterpretations of existing data and acquisition of new data, both geologic and geophysical, have led to several interpretations of the sedimentary history and overthrust geometry of these belts.
Although the Carolina Slate belt (CSB) is not a prime petroleum exploration target, the documentation of metazoan elements belonging to the late Precambrian Ediacaran fauna in the CSB is new data pertinent to interpretations of sedimentary history and accretion geometry of an exotic terrane that by some interpretations may be involved in overthrusting and is thus concealing potentially petroleum-bearing strata. The presence of Pteridinium in the CSB provides correlation with late Precambrian strata of the Russian platform, South West Africa, and South Australia, and is thus very significant in paleogeographic reconstructions.
Pteridinium in the CSB is represented by 4 specimens that are impressions of "petal-like" metazoans. These metazoans are approximately bilaterally symmetrical, crudely ovoid-shaped, and composed of curved segments that join across a medial zig-zag groove created by the proximal
ends of alternating left and right segments. The segments curve toward one end of the organism, terminating distally in spines. Individual segments exhibit longitudinal ornamentation, and grooves separating adjacent segments indicate articulation.
Data from the USSR, Africa, and South Australia suggest that Pteridinium lived in a shallow water, near-shore, high-energy environment. However, the CSB examples are preserved in an essentially bedding-parallel position in deep-water flysch, suggesting transportation from nearshore into deep water.
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