The Upper Ordovician Zhe-Gan Platform was a short-lived carbonate platform that formed near the northern margin of the Cathaysian Land of the South China Block. The Zhe-Gan Platform is less well understood than the adjacent Yangtze Platform due to the absence of detailed sedimentological study as well as the structural complexity of the area. The aim of this study was to reconstruct the Zhe-Gan Platform based on detailed facies analysis of the middle to upper Xiazhen Formation. A total of 24 shallowing-upward depositional cycles (C1–24) are identified and subdivided into three types based on the vertical association of facies: (1) mixed carbonate–clastic subtidal cycles; (2) carbonate subtidal cycles; and (3) peritidal-capped subtidal cycles. The reconstructed depositional model indicates a ramp-type, mixed siliciclastic–carbonate platform, generally similar to other Late Ordovician carbonate platforms characterised by dominant skeletal grains, less common ooids, and an absence of skeletal barrier reefs. The newly developed Late Ordovician ramp-type carbonate platforms could have been induced by the evolution of skeletal organisms and the accompanying palaeoceanographic changes prior to the Hirnantian glaciation. The complex palaeogeography of the South China Block would have influenced the co-occurrence of the Xiazhen carbonate platform and black shales of the adjacent Yangtze Platform on the same block during the Late Ordovician.
- Mixed siliciclastic–carbonate ramp
- South China Block
- Upper Ordovician
- Zhe-Gan Platform
ASJC Scopus subject areas