The stratigraphical position of the Haengmae Formation can provide clues towards solving the hot issue on the Silurian formation, also known as Hoedongri Formation. Since the 2010s, there have been several reports denying the Haengmae Formation as a lithostratigraphic unit. This study aimed to clarify the lithostratigraphic and chronostratigraphic significance of the Haengmae Formation. The distribution and structural geometry of the Haengmae Formation were studied through geologic mapping, and the correlation of relative geologic age and the absolute age was performed through conodont biostratigraphy and zircon U-Pb dating respectively. The representative rock of the Haengmae Formation is massive and yellow-yellowish brown pebble-bearing carbonate rocks with a granular texture similar to sandstone. Its surface is rough with a considerable amount of pores. By studying the mineral composition, contents, and microstructure of the rocks, they have been classified as pebble-bearing clastic rocks composed of dolomite pebbles and matrix. They chiefly comprise of euhedral or subhedral dolomite, and rounded, well-sorted fine-grained quartz, which are continuously distributed in the study area from Biryong-dong to Pyeongan-ri. Bedding attitude and the thickness of the Haengmae Formation are similar to that of the Hoedongri Formation in the north-eastern area (Biryong-dong to Haengmae-dong). The dip-direction attitudes were maintained 340°/15° from Biryong-dong to Haengmae-dong with a thickness of ca. 200 m. However, around the southwest of the studied area, the attitude is suddenly changed and the stratigraphic sequence is in disorder because of fold and thrust. Consequently, the formation is exposed to a wide low-relief area of 1.5 km × 2.5 km. Zircon U-Pb age dating results ranged from 470 to 449 Ma, which indicates that the Haengmae Formation formed during the Upper Ordovician or later. The pebble-bearing carbonate rock consisted of clastic sediments, suggesting that the Middle Ordovician conodonts from the Haengmae Formation must be reworked. Therefore, the above-stated evidence supports that the geologic age of the Haengmae Formation should be Upper Ordovician or later. This study revealed that the Haengmae Formation is neither shear zone, nor an upper part of the Jeongseon Limestone, and is also not the same age as the Jeongseon Limestone. Furthermore, it was confirmed that the Haengmae Formation should be considered a unit of lithostratigraphy in accordance with the stratigraphic guide of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Economic Geology