Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

W. David Liddell


W. David Liddell


Dennis L. Newell


Benjamin J. Burger


The Lower to Middle Ordovician Garden City Formation and Pogonip Group are coeval successions of mixed carbonate and siliciclastic rocks deposited under normal marine conditions on a shallow carbonate ramp on the western margin of Laurentia. The Garden City Formation was deposited in the Northern Utah Basin and the Pogonip Group was deposited in the Ibex Basin. These two basins experienced different rates of thermal subsidence following Neoproterozoic rifting along the western margin of Laurentia resulting in significant thickness differences between rock units and varying lithologic expressions of eustatic change. This study provides a unique opportunity to examine the lithologic, geochemical, and paleontological responses to eustatic oscillations of two coeval sedimentary basins in Utah that formed under different tectonic settings and subsidence rates.

The Garden City Formation is composed of fourteen lithotypes and the Pogonip Group is composed of eleven lithotypes. These lithotypes mainly represent depositional environments ranging from inner ramp and middle ramp with minor outer ramp deposits. Many lithologies appear to be storm influenced due to the presence of abundant rip-up clasts (intraclasts), fragmented bioclasts, and occasional mega-ripples. Other lithologies have been extensively bioturbated and burrowed.

Nine stratigraphic sequences have previously been identified within the Pogonip Group. Eight equivalent, albeit compressed, sequences within the Garden City Formation were located using biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic correlations, and increases in insoluble residues often found at the bases of sequence boundaries. Sequences are expressed as deepening-upward packages containing silty/sandy lowstand deposits that transition into wackestones and lime mudstone-rich highstand deposits. Several sequence boundaries appear to coincide with conodont and/or trilobite extinction events. Important sequence boundaries mark the Sauk III-m and Sauk IV-m transition and the Ibexian- Whiterockian Series boundary. Meter-scale cycles are common and likely related to Milankovitch cyclicity.

Insoluble residue increases upsection at each location which may indicate a gradual overall drop in sea level due to the onset of the regressive upper portion of the Sauk III supersequence. Insoluble residue from the Pogonip Group ranges from 1.2 to 84.7 wt. % with an average of 16.0 wt. % ± 0.7 wt. %. Insoluble residue from the Garden City Formation ranges from 1.5 to 63.8 wt. % with an average of 13.4 wt. % ± 1.0 wt. %.

New stable carbon isotope data (δ13C) from the Garden City Formation and the Pogonip Group range from -2.92 to 1.23 ‰ V-PDB and -2.19 to 0.56 ‰ V-PDB, respectively. Four distinct δ13C trends are recognized in both sections: 1) a drop in δ13C from positive values between 0.2-1.0 ‰ to negative values approaching -1.0 ‰ near the base of the Ordovician, 2) a 0.5 to 1.0 ‰ positive δ13C excursion near the top of the Rossodus manitouensis Zone, 3) a drop in δ13C values to near -2.0 ‰ through most of the Acodus deltatus –Oneotodus costatus Zone, and 4) a gradual increase in δ13C from - 2.0 ‰ to -1.0 ‰ throughout the remainder of the sections. δ13C of the Garden City Formation and the Pogonip Group appear to be correlative based on these distinct trends. This correlative relationship was verified by the lowest occurrence of conodont species Scolopodus filosus and Scalpellodus n. sp. A of the Low Diversity Interval which coincides with the positive δ13C excursion in both the Garden City Formation and the Pogonip Group. New δ13C data likely represent global primary seawater chemistry based on the correlation of similar δ13C trends from the Argentine Precordillera and western Newfoundland.



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