Ediacaran and Cambrian rocks on Scatarie Island and nearby Hay Island, Avalonian Mira terrane, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Scatarie Island and adjacent Hay Island, located 2 km east of the eastern tip of the Avalonian Mira terrane of southern Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, contain a succession of epiclastic and other sedimentary rocks of inferred Ediacaran to Cambrian age. The age assignment was based previously on lithological comparison with the Main-à-Dieu Group and overlying Bengal Road and MacCodrum formations of the Mira River Group. Detrital zircon grains from two sandstone samples from the Bengal Road Formation yielded typical Avalonian detrital zircon spectra with middle to late Neoproterozoic, Meso- to Paleoproterozoic (1300–2200 Ma) and Neoarchean ages. They indicate maximum depositional ages of 532.4 ± 4.2 Ma and 525.4 ± 2.4 Ma from essentially the same stratigraphic level, consistent with the interpretation that the rocks are Cambrian. The Bengal Road Formation also yielded scarce organic-walled microfossils including an acanthomorphic acritarch identified as Polygonium sp., also consistent with Cambrian age. The fine-grained siliciclastic succession on Hay Island, tentatively attributed to the MacCodrum Formation, yielded trace fossils, including Teichichnus isp. and Gyrolithes scintillus, that confirm Cambrian age. The Hay Island Gyrolithes scintillus expands the geographical distribution of this ichnospecies, previously known mainly from the Chapel Island Formation of Newfoundland, and represents a younger occurrence.
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