Marine pisolites from Upper Proterozoic carbonates of East Greenland and Spitsbergen



Upper Proterozoic carbonate successions from central East Greenland (the Limestone-Dolomite ‘Series’ of the Eleonore Bay Group) and Svalbard (the Backlundtoppen Formation of the Akademikerbreen Group, Spitsbergen, and the Upper Russö Formation of the Raoldtoppen Group, Nordaustlandet) contain thick sequences dominated by pisolites. These rocks were generated in shallow marine enviroments, and the pisoids are essentially oversized ooids. A marine environment is supported by the thickness and lateral extent of the carbonates; by a sedimentary association of pisolites with stromatolites, flake-conglomerates, calcarenites, calcilutites, microphytolites, and ooids similar to that found in numerous other Proterozoic carbonate successions; by sedimentary structures, including cross-beds and megaripples that characterize the pisolitic beds; and by microfossils of endolithic cyanobacteria that are specifically comparable to microorganisms that inhabit modern marine ooids of the Bahama Banks. Petrographic features and strontium abundances suggest that the pisoids were originally aragonitic, but neomorphism, silicification, calcitization, and dolomitization have extensively modified original mineralogies and fabrics. The East Greenland and Svalbard pisolitic carbonates reflect similar depositional environments and diagenetic histories, reinforcing previous bio-, litho-, and chemostratigraphic interpretations that the two sequences accumulated contiguously in a coastal zone of pisoid genesis which extended for at least 600, and probably 1000 or more, kilometres.