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Palaeoenvironmental implications of geochemistry and radiolarians from Upper Devonian chert/shale sequences of the Truong Son fold belt, Laos

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 21:27 authored by Udchachon, M, Thassanapak, H, Feng, Q, Burrett, C
A new locality of Frasnian radiolarian chert and siliceous shale is reported in the Vilabouly area, within the Truong Son fold belt of central Laos, in the eastern part of the Indochina Terrane. Samples from this locality, together with previously described radiolarian–bearing siliceous shale from Ban Phonxai, 100 km further north, have been geochemically analysed. Most of the Ce anomalies from Vilabouly and Ban Phonxai exhibit negative normalized values suggesting deposition in an open–marine basin and in a transition zone between open–marine and continental margin environments, respectively. NASC and chondrite-normalized REE and La/Ce plots and trace element contents support this interpretation. Normalized La/Yb values indicate removal of LREEs relative to HREEs from the water column, suggesting deposition far from terrigenous sources for the Vilabouly samples. The Eu/Eu* values are not pronounced which, with the high values of Al2O3/(Al2O3 + Fe2O3), indicate minimal hydrothermal influence. Both sections are characterized by a distinctive Frasnian radiolarian and tentaculitid assemblage. The new radiolarian fauna from Vilabouly includes 23 species including Ceratoikiscum sp. cf. C. bujugum, Archocyrtium sp., Astroentactinia cf. stellata, Helioentactinia aster, H. perjucunda, Spongentactinella corynacantha, S. veles, Spongentactinia concinna, S. exquisita, Stigmosphaerostylus profundisulcus, Trilonche davidi, T. echinata, T. elegans, T. hindea, T. palimbola, T. vetusta, Palaeoscenidium cladophorum and others. The tentaculitids, Homoctenus ultimus and Costulatostyliolina vesca, have been previously described from South China and from Ban Phonxai. The similarity of the radiolarian fauna to those from South China, northern Thailand and Western Australia suggests free interchange of species. Based on geochemistry, stratigraphic sequences and structural geology, the radiolarian chert/siliceous shales are interpreted as highstand deposits in pull-apart basins. This was possibly caused by transtension along the NW–SE–trending strike–slip fault of the Thakhek–Danang Shear Zone during the Late Devonian.


Publication title

Geological Journal








School of Natural Sciences


John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, England, W Sussex, Po19 8Sq

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