The classic type section of the Devils Gate Limestone at Devils Gate Pass is situated on the eastern slope of a proto-Antler forebulge that resulted from convergence of the west side of the North American continent with an ocean plate. The original Late Devonian forebulge, the site of which is now located between Devils Gate Pass and the Northern Antelope Range, separated the continental-rise to deep-slope Woodruff basin on the west from the backbulge Pilot basin on the east. Two connections between these basins are recorded by deeper water siltstone beds at Devils Gate; the older one is the lower tongue of the Woodruff Formation, which forms the basal unit of the upper member of the type Devils Gate, and the upper one is the overlying, thin lower member of the Pilot Shale. The forebulge and the backbulge Pilot basin originated during the middle Frasnian (early Late Devonian) Early hassi Zone, shortly following the Alamo Impact within the punctata Zone in southern Nevada. Evidence of this impact is recorded by coeval and reworked shocked quartz grains in the Northern Antelope Range and possibly by a unique bypass-channel or megatsunami-uprush sandy diamictite within carbonate-platform rocks of the lower member of the type Devils Gate Limestone. Besides the Alamo Impact and three regional events, two other important global events are recorded in the Devils Gate section. The semichatovae eustatic rise, the maximum Late Devonian flooding event, coincides with the sharp lithogenetic change at the discordant boundary above the lower member of the Devils Gate Limestone. Most significantly, the Devils Gate section contains the thickest and most complete rock record in North America across the late Frasnian linguiformis Zone mass extinction event. Excellent exposures include not only the extinction shale, but also a younger. Early triangularis Zone tsunamite breccia, produced by global collapse of carbonate platforms during a shallowing event that continued into the next younger Famennian Stage. The Northern Antelope Range section is located near the top of the west side of the proto-Antler forebulge. Because of its unusual, tectonically active location, unmatched at any other Nevada localities, this section records only four regional and global events during a timespan slightly longer than that of the Devils Gate section. The global semichatovae rise and late Frasnian mass extinction event are largely masked because of the depositional complexities resulting from this location.
Additional Publication Details
Middle Devonian to Early Carboniferous event stratigraphy of Devils Gate and Northern Antelope Range sections, Nevada, U.S.A