Soom Shale

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Soom Shale
Stratigraphic range: Hirnantian
Thickness 10–15 m
Primary Silts and mudstones
Location South Africa

The Soom Shale is a member of the Late Ordovician (Hirnantian) Cedarberg Formation (Table Mountain Group) in South Africa, renowned for its remarkable preservation of soft-tissue in fossil material.[1] Deposited in still waters, the unit lacks bioturbation, perhaps indicating anoxic conditions.[1]

It overlies the Pakhuis tillite and is overlain by the Disa Siltstone.[1]

It contains typical Ordovician microfossils, such as chitinozoa, acritarchs and spores, and its shelly fauna is also typical of this time period.[1]

Its macrofauna comprises pelagic organisms that sank rapidly to a barren sea floor.[2] These include brachiopods,[3] eurypterids, conodonts,[4] naraoiid trilobites, and orthoconic cephalopods.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Gabbott, S. E. (1999). "Orthoconic cephalopods and associated fauna from the late Ordovician Soom Shale Lagerstatte, South Africa". Palaeontology. 42: 123–148. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00065. 
  2. ^ Aldridge, R.J.; Gabbott, S.E.; Theron, J.N. (2001). "The Soom Shale". Palaeobiology II. p. 340. doi:10.1002/9780470999295.ch79. ISBN 9780470999295. 
  3. ^ Bassett, Michael G.; Popov, Leonid E.; Aldridge, Richard J.; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Theron, Johannes N. (2009). "Brachiopoda from the Soom Shale Lagerstätte (Upper Ordovician, South Africa)". Journal of Paleontology. 83 (4): 614. doi:10.1666/08-136.1. 
  4. ^ Aldridge, Richard J.; Murdock, Duncan J. E.; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Theron, Johannes N. (2013). "A 17-element conodont apparatus from the Soom Shale Lagerstätte (Upper Ordovician), South Africa". Palaeontology. 56 (2): 261. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2012.01194.x.