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The Hydrozoan? Palaeoaplysina from the Upper Paleozoic of Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada

G. R. Davies and W. W. Nassichuk
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 47, No. 2 (Mar., 1973), pp. 251-265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1302890
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

Middle Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian biohermal and biostromal carbonate sediments containing the unique hydrozoan? Palaeoaplysina Krotov have been discovered on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Palaeoaplysina was known previously only from upper Paleozoic rocks in the western Soviet Union, east-central Idaho, and northern Yukon Territory. Palaeoaplysina is characterized by a tabular or platy skeletal form, a surface layer of mamelon-like protuberances, an internal canal system, and a cellular fabric within the calcareous skeleton. Although some of these structures are found in other taxonomic groups, the consensus of opinion places Palaeoaplysina tentatively within the Class Hydrozoa of the Phylum Coelenterata. On Ellesmere Island, Palaeoaplysina is the dominant biogenic component in carbonate mounds and lenses of Asselian or Sakmarian age within the Belcher Channel Formation, and in bedded deposits of Asselian age within the Tanquary Formation. Belcher Channel mounds form in multiple buildups, with individual mounds up to 70 feet thick and at least 600 feet wide; they occur in the marginal facies belt of the Sverdrup depositional basin. Fragmented plates of Palaeoaplysina occur also as accessory components of phylloid algal mounds of Middle to Late Pennsylvanian age within the Hare Fiord Formation. Lithologies of Palaeoaplysina biofacies on Ellesmere Island vary from bioclastic wackestones and packstones to dolomitized skeletal-plate grainstones. Palaeoaplysina mounds ("reefs") and associated facies form reservoir rocks for petroleum in the western Urals of the Soviet Union. Extension of the mound facies on Ellesmere Island into the subsurface, particularly the dolomitized grainstone lithofacies with primary interparticle porosities, might result in a potential hydrocarbon reservoir.

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