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Article: Vendian microfossils in metasedimentary cherts of the Scotia Group, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 35
Part: 4
Publication Date: November 1992
Page(s): 751 774
Author(s): Andrew H. Knoll
Addition Information

How to Cite

KNOLL, A. H. 1992. Vendian microfossils in metasedimentary cherts of the Scotia Group, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard. Palaeontology35, 4, 751–774.

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The Palaeontological Association (Free Access)


Sedimentary rocks of the Scotia Group, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard, have been metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies. Yet Scotia chert nodules contain abundant organic-walled microfossils belonging to at least seventeen taxa. Their black colour indicates that the fossils underwent substantial thermal alteration. However, it is suggested that preservation in a matrix of early diagenetic silica shielded them from the most destructive mechanical and chemical effects of metamorphism. Microbial mats and large acanthomorphic acritarchs suggest a coastal marine depositional environment; the acritarchs further indicate an early Vendian age for the sediments. The Scotia fossils bear a close resemblance to assemblages described from the Doushantuo Formation, China and elsewhere, demonstrating the broad geographical distribution of biostratigraphically important Vendian taxa. Briaretts and Echinosphaeridium are described as new genera; Briareus borealis is described as a new species, while Echinosphaeridium maximum is proposed as a new combination.
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