A Cambrian–Ordovician boundary section in the Rafnes–Herøya submarine tunnel, Skien–Langesund District, southern Norway

Accepted manuscript

Rock specimens and contained fossils collected in 1976 from a submarine tunnel driven between Herøya and Rafnes in the Skien–Langesund area of southern Norway, have been restudied. The contained fossils include olenid and agnostoid trilobites, graptolites and brachiopods, groups described in detail for the first time from the area and documenting a Cambrian–Ordovician boundary section unique in the district where the upper Cambrian Alum Shale Formation is elsewhere overlain by the Middle Ordovician Rognstranda Member of the Huk Formation (Kundan in terms of Baltoscandian chronostratigraphy). The hiatus at the base of the Huk Formation is thus smaller in the section described herein, beginning at a level within rather than below the Tremadocian. Estimated thickness of the Alum Shale includes 10–12 m of Miaolingian and 20–22 m of Furongian strata with trilobite zones identified, and a Tremadocian section of 8.1 m identified by species of the dendroid graptolite Rhabdinopora in the basal 2.6 m and Bryograptus ramosus at the top. The Tremadocian section is preserved in a postulated zone of synsedimentary subsidence along the Porsgrunn–Kristiansand Fault Zone, while at the same time there was extensive erosion across an emergent, level platform elsewhere in the Skien–Langesund District and the southern part of the Eiker–Sandsvær District to the north. Aspects of stratigraphy and tectonics are highlighted together with a discussion on the Cambrian– Ordovician boundary locally and worldwide.