Carboniferous Lisburne Group carbonates of the Porcupine Lake Valley: Implications for surface to subsurface sequence stratigraphy, paleogeography, and paleoclimatology
This study utilizes high-resolution stratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy to document the response of the Carboniferous Lisburne Group carbonate platform during a change from greenhouse to icehouse conditions. The Lisburne Group in northern Alaska represents a laterally extensive carbonate ramp deposited on a passive continental margin during a greenhouse to icehouse transition. The Lisburne Group is subdivided into the Mississippian Wachsmuth and Alapah Limestones and Mississippian to Pennsylvanian Wahoo Limestone. I have identified six depositional sequences and corresponding systems tracts within the Lisburne Group based on bounding surfaces, cycle stacking patterns, and lateral lithofacies relationships.
The Wachsmuth Limestone (Sequences I and II) is comprised of relatively thick cycles that have a “layer cake” stacking pattern that records minor migration of facies. Cycles in the uppermost Wachsmuth Limestone and the Alapah Limestone (Sequences III and IV) are thick, less “layer cake”-like, have deep water tongues at the base, and record significant migration of facies. Cycles in the uppermost Alapah Limestone and the Wahoo Limestone (Sequences V and VI) are thin, juxtapose deep water over shallow water facies, and record significant migration of facies. An unconformity marked by paleosols and karst features has been documented near the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian boundary in the Wahoo Limestone. I interpret the distinct change in cycle stacking patterns between the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian Lisburne Group to be related to changes in Paleoclimate. I interpret Sequences I through IV to be deposited during a greenhouse and transitional climate; whereas, Sequences V and VI were deposited during an icehouse climate.