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Volume 38 Issue 1
Jul.  2020
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XiaoBo LI, YiNi WANG, Han WANG. Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) in Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation Sandstone, Xingcheng Area, Liaoning Province, China[J]. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica, 2020, 38(1): 32-45. doi: 10.14027/j.issn.1000-0550.2019.022
Citation: XiaoBo LI, YiNi WANG, Han WANG. Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) in Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation Sandstone, Xingcheng Area, Liaoning Province, China[J]. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica, 2020, 38(1): 32-45. doi: 10.14027/j.issn.1000-0550.2019.022

Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) in Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation Sandstone, Xingcheng Area, Liaoning Province, China

doi: 10.14027/j.issn.1000-0550.2019.022
Funds:

Geological Mapping Project of China Geological 1212011120730

Practical Teaching Research Program of Jilin University PB2014004

  • Received Date: 2019-01-07
  • Rev Recd Date: 2019-05-16
  • Publish Date: 2020-02-10
  • Numerous crack structures are found in the intertidal facies sandstone of the Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation in Jiashan, Xingcheng area, Liaoning Province. The structures comprise 0.8-3.0 cm spindle-shaped short cracks, and extended cracks over 7 cm long. They are mainly isolated, some partially connected. By comparing them with other similar surface crack structures and the desiccation cracks developed in modern microbial mats, they are explained as shrinkage cracks in microbial mats ('mat-cracks'). Unconnected spindle-shaped mat-cracks indicate incomplete mat shrinkage; mat-crack polygons form when shrinkage is complete. The presence of MISS indicates that the microbial ecosystem was already affecting the paleocoastal geological processes during the early transgression stage of the North China Craton in the Mesoproterozoic. This information is crucial for reconstructing the biosedimentary mechanisms and paleoenvironment of the aulacogenic Yanshan Basin during its early evolution.
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Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) in Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation Sandstone, Xingcheng Area, Liaoning Province, China

doi: 10.14027/j.issn.1000-0550.2019.022
Funds:

Geological Mapping Project of China Geological 1212011120730

Practical Teaching Research Program of Jilin University PB2014004

Abstract: Numerous crack structures are found in the intertidal facies sandstone of the Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation in Jiashan, Xingcheng area, Liaoning Province. The structures comprise 0.8-3.0 cm spindle-shaped short cracks, and extended cracks over 7 cm long. They are mainly isolated, some partially connected. By comparing them with other similar surface crack structures and the desiccation cracks developed in modern microbial mats, they are explained as shrinkage cracks in microbial mats ('mat-cracks'). Unconnected spindle-shaped mat-cracks indicate incomplete mat shrinkage; mat-crack polygons form when shrinkage is complete. The presence of MISS indicates that the microbial ecosystem was already affecting the paleocoastal geological processes during the early transgression stage of the North China Craton in the Mesoproterozoic. This information is crucial for reconstructing the biosedimentary mechanisms and paleoenvironment of the aulacogenic Yanshan Basin during its early evolution.

XiaoBo LI, YiNi WANG, Han WANG. Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) in Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation Sandstone, Xingcheng Area, Liaoning Province, China[J]. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica, 2020, 38(1): 32-45. doi: 10.14027/j.issn.1000-0550.2019.022
Citation: XiaoBo LI, YiNi WANG, Han WANG. Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) in Mesoproterozoic Changzhougou Formation Sandstone, Xingcheng Area, Liaoning Province, China[J]. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica, 2020, 38(1): 32-45. doi: 10.14027/j.issn.1000-0550.2019.022
  • 二十多年来,砂岩沉积中的微生物成因沉积构造(Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures,简称MISS)被识别和深入研究[1-13],引起了沉积学和古生物学领域的一场“革命”[6]。越来越多的微生物成因沉积构造在前寒武纪滨浅海相砂岩和泥岩中被发现[14-16],为了解早期地球环境的演化,尤其是地质—微生物系统的交互作用提供了新的材料[17-19]。太古宙至古元古代是华北克拉通早期地壳演化和结晶基底形成阶段[20-22],随着哥伦比亚超大陆自中元古代早期广泛裂解[21, 23],华北克拉通上也开始出现大陆裂谷盆地。位于现今河北北部和辽西地区的中、新元古代盆地被称为燕山裂陷槽[24],盆地沉降中心(天津蓟县)沉积的中、新元古界不仅是全球地层对比的标准剖面之一[25],地层中的微体和宏体藻类化石[26-29]、叠层石[30]、沉积建造[31]、以及同位素地球化学记录[32-33]等更是为了解前寒武纪地球环境演化提供了关键数据。

    前寒武纪砂岩中MISS构造也引起了国内学者的密切关注[34-36],在华北长城系串岭沟组、大红峪组、以及蓟县系碳酸盐岩地层中发现了大量MISS构造[37-45]。常州沟组是燕山裂陷槽盆地发育最早期形成的一套滨海—浅海相陆源碎屑岩组合,文献中有提到产出微体化石[28]、形似宏观藻类的泥质斑点/假化石[46]、以及疑似的后生动物潜穴[47]。于晓辉等[48]报道了在辽宁兴城常州沟组砂岩薄片内观察到的微生物席碎片结构,与本文所研究的是同一剖面,层位相近。本文描述及讨论产自兴城夹山西剖面常州沟组的一些宏观的层面裂隙状构造,将其与多种类似构造进行了对比分析,认为其属于微生物成因沉积构造分类体系中的收缩裂隙(Shrinkage crack),参考席裂多边形(Mat-crack polygon)的术语称其为席裂(Mat - crack),并初步讨论了席裂构造的古环境意义。

  • 研究区位于中国东北辽西南部,辽宁省葫芦岛市兴城地区(图 1)。研究区大地构造位置位于华北克拉通中、新元古代燕山裂陷槽盆地的东部(图 1b);区内大面积分布的新太古代花岗岩是构成山海关古陆(古隆起)的主体,时代大约为2.5 Ga[49];前寒武纪至晚古生代发育典型的华北地台型地层序列[50-54];中生代受印支运动和燕山运动的强烈影响,发育火山—沉积盆地[55-56];新生代相对隆起为辽西山地,成为渤海盆地沉降充填的物源区之一。

    Figure 1.  (a) Geographic location of study area; (b) sketched geological map of the study area (modified from Zhao et al.[20]); (c) geological map by the authors

    辽西南部中、新元古界的特征总体可与蓟县剖面对比[50, 57-60],经1:25万区调工作的修订[60],自下而上划分为:长城系(常州沟组、串岭沟组、团山子组、大红峪组)(图 2),蓟县系(高于庄组、杨庄组、雾迷山组),青白口系(长龙山组、景儿峪组)。但是本区地层的特殊性也很明显,比如:厚度总体较小,长城系碳酸盐岩发育很少,陆源碎屑沉积粒度较粗,蓟县系铁岭组、洪水庄组、待建系下马岭组缺失,几大沉积层序的底界超覆明显。上述特征是典型的盆地边缘沉积特点。

    Figure 2.  The columns of the Changchengian System in Xingcheng area and the sedimentary sequence of Changzhougou Formation in West Jiashan Section. Left: Sequences of Changchengian System compiled from Jiashan, Shoushan, Chapengan, Mopanshan and Wanghaisi sections

    研究区长城系主要分布在兴城和葫芦岛沿海丘陵,蓟县系和青白口系主要分布在八家子、杨家杖子、钢屯以及娘娘庙等区域[50, 57, 60]。中元古界常州沟组至团山子组为一套局限分布的滨浅海相海进至海退旋回沉积[51-52, 61-62];大红峪组以石英砂岩和粉砂质页岩为主,下部发育复成分角砾岩和单成分砾岩[52, 63],与下伏地质体有不整合(沉积接触)、角度不整合、微角度不整合、岩溶不整合等多种接触关系[52, 54, 63-66]。这些不整合形成的古地理背景是大红峪组沉积之前发生过局部的盆地内部或边界断裂活动,导致早期地层发生倾斜和褶皱(图 1c),之后经历不长时间的风化剥蚀,形成复杂的古地形和基岩分布;蓟县系高于庄组在兴城北部磨盘山—小盖州地区出露,为一套海侵序列,底部石英砂岩质砾岩微角度超覆不整合在大红峪组之上。前人曾将其作为大红峪组与常州组之间的不整合[64],或者认为属于扇三角洲沉积[65],对地层修订后认为属于高于庄组与大红峪组之间的超覆不整合[60]。由于特殊的古地理位置,兴城地区前寒武纪地层中记录了丰富的生物、事件沉积现象[52, 54, 66-67]图 2),对于探讨古陆边缘沉积古地理有重要意义。

  • 兴城地区的常州沟组是一套滨—浅海相陆源碎屑岩,沉积覆盖在新太古代花岗岩之上,剖面出露于兴城北部的首山、夹山、以及葫芦岛望海寺海滨[50, 58]。1:20万区域地质图中兴城市铁马山、磨盘山、地藏寺等地区表示的常州沟组经1:25万区调工作修订为大红峪组的下段[50, 60]。常州沟组在兴城北东约10 km的夹山区域出露最好最全(图 1),下段岩性(图 2)如下:最底部为磨圆及分选均不好的含砾长石粗砂岩,局部富集磨圆中等的石英岩质中、粗砾岩,底砾岩之上为含砾长石砂岩,含有一些暗色的风化残余铁锰质碎屑物。向上为紫灰色中厚层具槽状交错层理的中、细粒砂岩,再逐渐变为灰黑色中、薄层和纹层状粉砂岩、细砂岩、中粒砂岩、粗砂岩等组成的韵律沉积。粉砂岩层面见有裂隙状构造,本文解释为微生物席收缩脱水相关的席裂构造(Mat-crack)(图 2, 3, 4)。上述岩石组合主体为紫红色调,碎屑物自下而上由粗到细、岩层由厚变薄,发育小—中型槽状交错层理、丘状交错层理、冲洗层理以及浪成波痕等沉积构造,指示干旱气候下的滨海相环境;上段岩性为:紫灰色、灰色中厚层中粗粒长石石英砂岩,向上砂岩粒度变细、厚度变薄,逐渐向上覆串岭沟组粉砂质页岩渐变,体现海进演化过程(图 2)。国际地层表和中国区域地层表对于古/中元古代界线年龄有1.6 Ga和1.8 Ga的长期争议,本文暂以中国地学界传统认识将常州沟组时代表示为中元古代,不讨论更多时代问题。

    Figure 3.  Microbial mat crack structures on the sandstone surface of the Changzhougou Formation in West Jiashan Section, Xingcheng

    Figure 4.  Comparison between mat-cracks in the Changzhougou Formation and similar structures

  • 本文描述的席裂构造来自三个层面,但属于同一分层(第10层)(图 2),野外可见明显的裂隙状构造分布在灰黑色粉砂岩薄层表面(上层面)(图 3, 4),裂隙内部充填浅肉红色细—中粒砂质颗粒。裂隙大部分为弯曲状,长度主要0.8 cm至3 cm不等,个别可超过7 cm(图 3a),延伸方向和形状不规则。砂质颗粒充填向上突起0.1 m至0.3 cm(图 5)。裂隙边缘的灰黑色粉砂质层卷曲变形普遍,部分在裂隙边缘发生褶叠(图 3c)。短裂隙常呈纺锤状(图 3d),大部分孤立,部分有交割或连接关系(图 3c),未见到多组裂隙交割围限的多边形构造—席裂多边形(Mat-crack polygon)。

    Figure 5.  Sedimentary characteristics of the mat-crack bed in the Changzhougou Formation and in the Xingcheng area of the Dahongyu Formation

    于晓辉等[48]描述了辽宁兴城常州沟组下部粗碎屑砂岩薄片内观察到的微生物砂质颗粒结构,其论文中表示出的层位相当于图 2所列剖面的第⑥层,薄片中的MISS构造为沿着粗碎屑砂岩交错层理分布的磨圆状微小颗粒[48]。本研究未在第⑥层发现宏观的微生物席相关沉积构造,而在之上的第⑩层波状层理、透镜状层理砂岩中发现大量的席裂构造。

  • 本文分析这些构造与微生物席相关主要是基于宏观特征,虽然目前还缺少进一步的微观数据,但由于该层位之下可能存在MISS构造[48],说明微生物生态系统已经在该沉积区域形成。通过对多种沉积岩中裂隙状构造的对比,本文认为上述裂隙构造与微生物席的收缩张裂有关。根据形态特征,这些席裂构造与天津蓟县剖面串岭沟组页岩内发育的“纺锤状裂隙”最为相似(图 4e),只是后者延伸平直,弯曲较少。通过与现代微生物席中的脱水裂隙对照(图 4bdf),两者的轮廓和尺寸也非常接近,但后者尚未有碎屑物在裂隙内充填。在陆源碎屑岩中微生物席被发现和大量研究以前,这种类似裂隙构造常常被描述为“泥裂”或者“泥裂状构造”[25, 68],或者解释为古地震引起的层面裂隙[69],甚至有时候被误认为后生动物的遗迹化石[70]。串岭沟组的裂隙构造和本文的材料不仅地层时代与后生动物的起源和演化序列有巨大差异[71],形态也有明显区别。席裂构造内充填的砂质颗粒一般来自微生物席之下,在层面向上突起(图 3图 4a图 5cd),而遗迹化石中的类似结构因为一般是潜穴铸模而在下层面向下突出。史晓颖等[72],汤冬杰等[73]对天津蓟县串岭沟组的纺锤状裂隙构造进行了详细研究,认为与微生物席的破裂有关,将其解释为甲烷气体逃逸成因。

    关于天津蓟县剖面串岭沟组纺锤状裂隙构造的成因曾长期争论,最近的焦点是其为古地震还是微生物席相关成因[68-69, 72-73]。在同沉积古地震的作用下,一些泄水砂脉也会从细碎屑层下方上突,但这种情况下沉积层表面的裂隙会交割围限成复杂且不规则的多边形网络,裂隙边缘不均匀锯齿状,岩层侧面可见到震裂结构[74]。串岭沟组的材料从其层面特征和样品镜下切面来看,裂隙发生的层面确定存在微生物席,侧面可见类似臼齿状构造的砂脉(Sand vein)[68-69, 72-73]。关于碳酸盐岩中臼齿状构造的成因有一种甲烷气体逃逸引起碳酸钙质沉淀的解释[75],而古地震产生的砂脉一般不伴随钙质沉淀的过程[74]。仅从形态而论,地震液化砂脉和臼齿状构造有时是难以区分的[74, 76]。串岭沟组砂脉的成因虽然解释为甲烷气体逃逸引起[72, 73]比较合理,但并不能排除古地震事件对这一机制的诱发[68-69]。兴城地区大红峪组中部粉砂质页岩与砂岩薄层互层岩性中也产出席裂构造(图 5eh),显微镜下能见到确切的微生物席残余碎屑纹层(图 5f),岩层侧面见有大量类似臼齿状构造的砂脉(图 5g),这样的现象与天津蓟县串岭沟组“纺锤状裂隙”(席裂)层位非常类似[69]。因此,微生物席和泄水砂脉的共同产出并不冲突。

    本文描述的常州沟组席裂内的充填物砂质颗粒(图 3图 4cd),砂脉下部宽,顶部圆滑收窄(图 5cd),说明是由下向上充填。含微生物席层面之上覆盖的岩层仍然是灰黑色粉砂质沉积物为主,也说明砂质流体不是来自上覆岩层。部分区域砂质颗粒横向分布呈片状(图 5d),说明砂质颗粒也曾沿着层理界面运移(图 6u)。在剖面上该段地层还可见到同沉积生长小断层和包卷构造等现象(图 5b),所以有可能古地震诱发的同沉积变形引起微生物席之下的砂质流体向席裂流动及充填,但变形时微生物席之上是否已有沉积物覆盖尚难以确定。部分纺锤状席裂发生比较强烈的弯曲变形(图 3),可能也与同沉积变形有关,因为纺锤状席裂本身代表脱水程度较弱,仅干缩过程难以造成这样程度的变形。常州沟组席裂构造的成因是微生物席脱水产生裂隙,之后发生砂脉上涌及顺层运移将其充填(图 6u)。另外,常州沟组保存席裂岩层的侧面未见明显的砂脉和震裂构造,可能说明泄水作用不强烈,也可能是出露断面的局限性所限。

    Figure 6.  Sketches of typical crack structures seen on the surface and in lateral profile of sedimentary rocks: (a), (b), (c), (i), (n), (o), (r) and (s) after McMahon et al.[77]; (d)-(h), (j)-(m) after Pratt[74]; (p) and (q) after Qiao et al.[76]

    席裂与泥裂也有明显区别。泥裂一般发生在细碎屑沉积物暴露在水上的环境,形成向下较深的“V”字型裂隙(图 6t),上覆岩层以铸模形式向裂隙填充[77-79],不具有完整而平滑的微生物席降解残余碎屑层。而标准的席裂构造保存在岩层上层面,大部分情况下微生物席埋藏降解之后会有含碳质的黏土碎屑保留纹层状的藻席结构[8, 13, 80]。此外,泥裂构造因为发生在黏土质沉积表面,沉积物脱水后容易出现裂隙交割而成的多边形网络,裂隙间角度一般呈90°~120°[79]图 4c),裂纹常常延伸较长且平直(图 4c)。而微生物席的脱水收缩作用会形成一些直径3~40 cm、边缘圆状的不规则多边形(图 4b[79]。微生物席的结构具有较强(对比碎屑沉积物)的黏性和韧性,所以在脱水不完全和不剧烈的情况下形成纺锤状裂隙(图 4df),相互间不连通或很少连接,而且裂隙边缘容易发生褶叠卷曲。需要注意的是,在有些情况下也有席裂和泥裂两种机制共同作用的现象[77]

    MISS构造是一个包含广泛的统称,虽然有学者已经对其中的裂隙构造分类做了详细研究[11, 81],但主要涉及干缩程度较高的Mat-crack polygon。微生物席收缩成因的裂隙构造在前寒武纪地层中有广泛的出现,却经常被记录为泥裂构造,这将影响对古生态和古环境的正确解释。Kovalchuk et al.[79]曾用microbially influenced desiccation cracks表述过微生物席相关的裂隙构造,Polygonal oscillation cracks也被作为近似术语使用过[8]。本文描述的这种情况在宏观形态上还没有形成多边形,有孤立存在的、部分连接的、还有一些长延伸的裂隙存在,可以对应到图 6中的(b)~(e)等所示的不同形态,并且本文描述的几种特征在一个层面上产出,说明他们的形成机理具有共同的部分,理应有个统一的术语来表达。为了避免过渡性特征导致的术语和实际不贴切,本文提议将这种与微生物席脱水收缩所产生的裂隙构造称为席裂(Mat-crack),与席裂多边形(Mat-crack polygon)代表收缩裂隙(Shrinkage crack)的不同发育程度,避免“泥裂状构造”、“纺锤状裂隙”、“分枝状裂隙”等纯形态表述。在进一步描述时可以使用形态+席裂的方式,比如“纺锤状席裂”。这样做有助于更准确的描述和分析沉积环境。此外,地层中各种裂隙的形态表述可以参考图 6所示。有些形态可能不仅出现在有微生物席的情况,在一些砂质和泥质沉积表面也会出现,所以需要多方面论证分析。

  • 海相环境微生物席大量出现在潮间带区域,Bose et al.[11, 81]对不同水深环境下的微生物席相关构造的特征和分布进行了归纳,Tang et al.[82]又进行了部分补充。席裂多边形主要分布在潮间带上部至潮上带下部,水深20 cm左右,之下是经过搬运的微生物席砂质碎片和微皱饰构造,之上是各种上拱构造。本文描述的MISS构造岩性特征是肉红色中粗粒砂岩、细砾岩透镜体、以及灰黑色调的纹层状粉细砂岩交替产出,具透镜状层理和波纹层理,纹层厚度不规则,说明水体的运动能量较强,是典型的潮间带沉积特征[11, 48]。形成纺锤状席裂构造与席裂多边形的古环境条件接近,但影响它们张裂程度的因素可能不仅仅是古水深,光照条件、暴露时间、古气候等均需要考虑。夹山西剖面常州沟组席裂构造层位之下主要是一些滨海相的粗碎屑砂岩(图 2),陆源碎屑补给多且沉积速率较高、水底冲刷频繁,不适合微生物席大量,仅有少量的、再沉积的微生物碎屑[48]。演化至潮间带环境时,虽然水体能量依然较强,但是陆源碎屑物减少,微生物席得以大量生长繁殖,并对水底沉积物表面产生稳固作用[1, 81]

    微生物席一般需要生存在透光带内,所以在极浅水环境下因海平面升降而时常暴露于空气下,蒸发脱水导致席裂产生[11, 81]。通过对现代微生物席的观察,发现由于脱水干燥的程度不同,干缩裂隙的形态呈现分带特征,在完全干燥的区域出现了席裂多边形(图 4e),而继续有水分补给的区域则保持完好或只发育不连通的纺锤状裂隙(图 4e),说明微生物席的含水性和活性与其抗张裂能力正相关。

  • 辽宁兴城夹山常州沟组砂岩层面上一些“裂隙状构造”的成因是微生物席的脱水收缩,属于MISS构造中的收缩裂隙—席裂构造。微生物席在脱水不充分的情况下形成纺锤状席裂,脱水充分的情况下形成席裂多边形,建议在术语上将它们区分。

    砂岩中MISS构造的发现和识别,扩大了人们对前寒武纪生态环境和生物总量的认知。砂岩中与微生物席干缩作用相关的各种裂隙构造常见,描述和分析沉积环境时需要将其与泥裂区别开来。辽宁兴城常州沟组中的这些微生物成因沉积构造出现在潮间带环境,代表了区内最早的微生物生态系统及其与沉积过程的相互作用。微生物生命形式在华北克拉通东部中元古代海侵早期已经开始影响古海岸带的地质过程,这对于了解燕山裂陷槽盆地的生物—沉积作用和环境演化有重要意义。

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