Lisburne Group, undivided

Unit symbol: Clg
Age range Carboniferous (358.9 to 298.9 Ma)
Lithology: Sedimentary
Group name: Lisburne Group, undivided
Carbonate and chert unit widely distributed in northern Alaska. As thick as 1,800 m, chiefly limestone and dolomite, in part cherty, with variable but generally minor amounts of interbedded shale. Exposed throughout the Brooks Range, it is also a well-developed horizon in the subsurface of the North Slope. The Lisburne Group is divided formally into several units. In eastern Alaska, in ascending order, these are the Wachsmuth Limestone, Alapah Limestone, and Wahoo Limestone. In western Alaska, the Lisburne Group includes, in ascending order, the Nasorak and Utukok Formations, Kogruk Formation, and Tupik Formation. Two other formations of the group, the Akmalik Chert and the Kuna Formation, are locally mapped, primarily in the central and western part of northern Alaska. The unit descriptions here, after the Kuna Formation, list the western units first followed by the eastern units of the group. The Lisburne Group is a component of most of the allochthons of the Brooks Range, and its various formations and their facies are important tools used in defining the allochthons. In general, the Mississippian rocks consist of crystalline and hydroclastic limestone, which locally is oolitic and lithographic. The limestone ranges from thin-bedded to massive. The massively bedded limestone is generally lighter in color than the somewhat siliceous blue-gray thin-bedded variety. Chert lenses and nodules, both primary and diagenetic, are common throughout. Phosphate-rich shale and limestone are present in the Lisburne Group, typically in the Tupik, Kuna, or Kogruk Formations or the Alapah Limestone (see Dumoulin and others, 2008, 2011). The entire sequence of rocks in the group has a strong organic odor and is generally fossiliferous. The carbonates of the Lisburne Group represent a variety of marine environments, the trend is that the portion of deep-water units increases westward; the eastern third of the Brooks Range exposures are almost entirely shallow water facies (J.A. Dumoulin, oral commun., 2012). In the Philip Smith Mountains quadrangle, the mapped upper part of the Lisburne Group contains Late Mississippian corals and brachiopods, Pennsylvanian brachiopods, and in upper 30m near Galbraith Lake, brachiopods that may be early Permian (Brosgé and others, 1979; although this age assignment is considered unlikely, J.A. Dumoulin, oral commun., 2012). Late Mississippian and Early Pennsylvanian foraminifera are common (Brosgé and others, 1979). In some areas, the Lisburne Group is mapped as informally recognized upper and lower units. Locally subdivided into the following eight formal units: Mlgk, Clgt, Clgk, Mlgac, Mlgnu, IPlgw, Mlga, Mlgw

Source map information

Source map Kelley, J.S., 1990, Generalized geologic map of the Chandler Lake quadrangle, north-central Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2144-A, 19 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.
Symbol Maw
Unit name Lisburne Group, Alapah and Wachmuth Limestones, undivided
Description Mostly light-brownish-gray packstone and wackestone composed of bioclastic framework clasts and interstitial lime mud. Bedding ranges from thin to massive and includes crossbedded and cross-laminated beds. Dark-gray shale, carbonaceous limestone, shaly limestone, and limy shale constitute between 10 and 30 percent of section. Very dark-gray to medium-dark-gray argillaceous limestone, limy shale and nodular chert in lower part of Alapah Limestone. Beds include abundant phosphatic nodules or ooids
Lithology Sedimentary

Correlated geologic units

Label Mlgl
Description Lisburne Group, informal lower part
Geologic age Early-Mississippian to Late-Mississippian
Geologic setting Sedimentary, carbonate
Lithology Form Importance
Dolostone < Carbonate < Sedimentary Bed Major
Limestone < Carbonate < Sedimentary Bed Major
Chert < Chemical < Sedimentary Bed Major