Depositional conditions and revised age of the Permo-Triassic microbialites at Gaohua section, Cili County (Hunan Province, South China)
Wang et al
In many tropical shallow water regions the end-Permian mass extinction event occurs at the top fossiliferous packstone beds and is immediately followed by the development of microbialite facies. Both the age and redox conditions of the microbialite have been debated and both factors are addressed here in a study of the Gaohua section (Cili County, Hunan Province, China): specifically the size distribution of pyrite framboids and high-resolution conodont biostratigraphy. The framboids populations show a broad size range with examples up to 30 microns in diameter, and indicating dysoxic but not anoxic depositional conditions. More intense dysoxia is recorded in interbedded laminated micrites but not beds of giant ooids. Both the Hindeodus parvus zone and Isarcicella isarcica zones were established with the microbialite beds being confined to the H. parvus zone. Therefore, the formation of microbialite postdates the end Permian main mass extinction and records oxygen-poor conditions even in a shallow-water setting such as Gaohua section at Cili.