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Kansas Geological Survey, Current Research in Earth Sciences, Bulletin 251, part 1
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Paleoecology of the Permian (Wolfcampian) Phylloid Alga Calcipatera from an In Situ Occurrence in Kansas, U.S.A.

Robert S. Sawin1 and Ronald R. West2
1Kansas Geological Survey, 1930 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas 66047
2Department of Geology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506

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In situ occurrences of the calcareous marine phylloid alga Calcipatera cottonwoodensis in the Permian Cottonwood Limestone Member (Beattie Limestone) occur in Greenwood County, Kansas, in association with platy algal packstones, which are the phylloid algal facies most commonly described in the literature. The in situ algal facies occurs in the upper 0.45 m of an exposure where it is overlain and underlain by algal packstones composed of transported and broken fragments of Calcipatera cottonwoodensis.

Calcipatera cottonwoodensis colonized coarse carbonate sands or carbonate mud substrates. During growth, carbonate mud accumulated in the cup-shaped thalli, and death followed when the rate of sedimentation exceeded the rate of algal growth. The three lithologies--substrate, cup-filling, and smothering--are easily recognized on polished surfaces.

Other members of the Calcipatera cottonwoodensis benthic community are Shamovella, encrusting and boring algae, foraminiferids, fenestrate and ramose bryozoans, brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, trilobites, ostracodes, and echinoids. This occurrence and biotic association compares well with those described by Toomey (1976) and Wahlman (1988, 2002) from the Permian (Wolfcampian) of West Texas.

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Kansas Geological Survey
Web version Feb. 18, 2005