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Fluviodeltaic sedimentology and ichnology of part of the Silurian Grampians Group, western Victoria

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The mid‐Silurian Major Mitchell Sandstone of the Grampians Group outcrops at Mt Bepcha, western Victoria, represent a prograding fluviodeltaic sequence comprising four lithofacies and five ichnofacies. The stratigraphically lowest Interbedded Sandstone/Siltstone Facies is characterised by thin sandstone and siltstone beds with soft‐sediment deformation and scours with gravelly lag deposits. This lithofacies contains Thalassinoides, Palaeophycus, Rhizocorallium and intrastratal burrows, together indicative of the Cruziana Ichnofacies, and is interpreted as a shallow‐marine depositional environment on a low‐energy delta front with minor tidal influences. The overlying Massive Sandstone Facies lacks silt, and consists of predominantly massive and some plane‐laminated sandstone, abundant Skolithos linearis , rare Palaeophycus and a single small Cruziana problematica ; the trace‐fossil assemblage is assigned to the Skolithos Ichnofacies. This facies is believed to have been deposited in a marine high‐energy shoreface environment with continuously shifting sands, affected by periodic flooding events from the mouth of a nearby river. Above this is the Trough Cross‐bedded Facies, which contains trough cross‐bedding with gravelly lag deposits, a northwest palaeocurrent direction and large Taenidium barretti burrows (Burrowed Ichnofacies). This facies also contains abundant plane‐laminated sandstone with a northeast‐southwest palaeocurrent direction and ichnofossils of Scoyenia and Daedalus , representing the Scoyenia Ichnofacies. The Trough Cross‐bedded Facies is interpreted to have been deposited in shallow low‐sinuosity channels by overbank‐flooding events, most likely on a delta plain. The uppermost facies, the Plane‐laminated Facies, contains thin beds of current‐lineated, plane‐laminated graded coarse to fine sandstone that preserve arthropod trackways (Arthropod Ichnofacies). This facies was deposited on a periodically sheet‐flooded, subaerially exposed delta plain.
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Keywords: Grampians Group; Silurian; Victoria; fluviodeltaic; ichnology; sedimentology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia 2: Department of Earth Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic. 3086, Australia 3: Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic. 3086, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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