By Martin Keller
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Extra info for Argentine Precordillera: Sedimentary and Plate Tectonic History of a Laurentian Crustal Fragment in South America (Special Paper (Geological Society of America))
San Juan Formation The San Juan limestones have been known since the pioneer work of Kayser (1876) and Stelzner (1873). At that time, the limestones were attributed to the “Infra-Silurian”. Kobayashi (1937) proved that the upper fossiliferous part of the entire carbonate succession was of Ordovician age. , 1994). The lower boundary coincides with the sudden appearance of a fully developed and very diverse marine fauna, which is commonly accompanied by a lithologic change from thick-bedded to thin-bedded and platy limestones.
The boundary with the La Silla Formation is marked by 20 cm of dark gray silty dolomite. Above this bed light gray grainstones are present, in which several white dolomitic microbial mounds are developed. Above the silty dolomite, almost all the chert and the majority of the stromatolites disappear. In addition, the dominant rock type is limestone, whereas in the underlying La Flecha Formation dolomites prevail. In the La Flecha section, a similar transition is observed. The upper part of the La Flecha Formation consists of an alternation of lime mudstones, dolomites, and silicified stromatolites.
Lithofacies. The La Silla Formation is composed of a variety of rocks which were deposited in a peritidal environment. Boundstones are very abundant in all sections. In the type section, several white microbial mounds are found near the base of the formation. These mounds have a height of as much as 50 cm; the bases are as wide as 80 cm. No internal structures are visible. Peloidal grainstones onlap the mounds, but irregular erosional contacts have also been observed. Microbial laminites (5 in Fig.