I’m pleased to announce the online publication of a new paper from a Chinese-American geological team (Zhang et al., 2022). I’m the sole American! My role was minor, being mostly useful for literature review and writing. The senior author is my friend Yong-Li Zhang from Northeastern University, Shenyang. He was my host on my adventurous (and painful) trip to China in 2014. We’ve been colleagues ever since and have authored additional papers together.
This paper is a description of well-preserved stromatolites (sedimentary structures formed by microbial mats in supratidal and intertidal environments) in the Ganjingzi Formation (southern Liaoning Province), which was deposited about 930 Ma during the Tonian Period of the early Neoproterozoic Era. The Neoproterozoic is a fascinating time interval spanning the transition from single-celled to multicellular life. The lower stromatolite mounds formed in a transgression, while the stromatolite columns in the more complex upper biostrome changed vertically from dispersed to clumped growth. Biostratigraphic analysis shows that the stromatolites in the Ganjingzi Formation are similar to those from coeval strata in the Xuzhou-Huainan Region and in southern Jilin. Comparisons of the morphotype genera of stromatolites and the sedimentary setting between different areas imply that sea-level was fluctuating in the east of the North China Craton (NCC) during the Ganjingzi interval and that the transgressions were beneficial to stromatolite growth, as indicated by the increased number of stromatolites in the study area. Ultimately this work adds another piece to the puzzle of Neoproterozoic environments and life in northeastern China.
The image at the top of this post is figure 7 from the paper: Morphological characteristics in the lower stromatolite mound of the Ganjingzi Formation and stromatolites at three stages: I = supratidal; II = shallow intertidal; III = medium intertidal.
Li, Z.X., Bogdanova, S., Collins, A.S., Davidson, A., De Waele, B., Ernst, R.E., Fitzsimons, I.C.W., Fuck [his real name!], R.A., Gladkochub, D.P., Jacobs, J. and Karlstrom, K.E. 2008. Assembly, configuration, and break-up history of Rodinia: a synthesis. Precambrian Research 160: 179-210.
Zhang, Y-L., Lai, G-M, Gong, E-P., Wilson, M.A., Huang, W-T., Guan, C-Q. and Yuan, D-C. 2022. Early Neoproterozoic well-preserved stromatolites from south Liaoning Province, North China: characteristics and paleogeographic implications. Palaeoworld (in press as a pre-proof pdf).