Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




W. David Liddell


The Bloomington Formation (~425 m thick) is a latest Middle Cambrian (~506.5-505 Ma), mixed, warm water, continental-shelf carbonate and fine-grained siliciclastic unit on the Cordilleran passive margin exposed in northern Utah and southern Idaho. Thicknesses of the Bloomington Formation at Calls Fort Canyon are 111 m in the Hodges Shale Member, 230 m in the middle limestone Member, and 84 m in the Calls Fort Shale Member.

The Hodges Shale and Calls Fort Shale Members are shale dominated and represent outer detrital belt deposition. The Logan Canyon outcrop of the Hodges Shale Member shows an environmental change that may represent a transition form an open marine facies into what appears to be a lagoonal facies. The middle limestone member represents shallow marine carbonate deposition on the passive margin shelf.

The Bloomington Formation has a low fossil abundance and diversity when compared to correlative units such as the Wheeler and Marjum Formations. There are, however, 10-50 cm thrombolite bioherms, associated with Girvanella oncoliths. These bioherms indicate a shallow-water carbonate facies that experienced a small flooding event that gives the bioherms time and proper conditions to build up.

δ18O and δ13C results both show positive and negative shifts with δ13CVPDB values of 1.0 to -4.7 per mil and δ18OVSMOW values of -12.9 to -20.8 per mil. A negative δ13C excursion in the Hodges Shale may correlate to a similar excursion in the base of the Wheeler Formation that represents the DICE event. Lower and Middle Cambrian Formations in the Wellsville Range have been interpreted as being part of a second order transgressive system and containing third and higher-order cycles. The contact of the Hodges Shale Member and the underlying Blacksmith Dolomite represents a flooding surface and a sequence boundary, followed by a third order cycle. Flooding is indicated by shale deposits that overlie carbonates with a shallowing upward trend. High frequency fourth or fifth order cycles are expressed as laminated shale and thick-bedded limestones as well as thick packages of interbedded, thin limestones and shales.

A PCA analysis of thin section point counts indicates that the limestone lithologies of all three members repeat throughout the entire Formation, suggesting cycles of relative sea level rise that cause repeating facies.



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