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High-precision U-Pb zircon ages on SE Newfoundland tuffs now bracket the Avalonian Lower–Middle Cambrian boundary. Upper Lower Cambrian Brigus Formation tuffs yield depositional ages of 507.91 ± 0.07 Ma (Callavia broeggeri Zone) and 507.67 ± 0.08 Ma and 507.21 ± 0.13 Ma (Morocconus-Condylopyge eli Assemblage interval). Lower Middle Cambrian Chamberlain’s Brook Formation tuffs have depositional ages of 506.34 ± 0.21 Ma (Kiskinella cristata Zone) and 506.25 ± 0.07 Ma (Eccaparadoxides bennetti Zone). The composite unconformity separating the Brigus and Chamberlain’s Brook formations is constrained between these ages. An Avalonian Lower–Middle Cambrian boundary between 507.2 ± 0.1 and 506.3 ± 0.2 Ma is consistent with maximum depositional age constraints from southwest Laurentia, which indicate an age for the base of the Miaolingian Series, as locally interpreted, of ≤ 506.6 ± 0.3 Ma. The Miaolingian Series’ base is interpreted as correlative within ≤ 0.3 ± 0.3 Ma between Cambrian palaeocontinents, although its exact synchrony is questionable due to taxonomic problems with a possible Oryctocephalus indicus-plexus, invariable dysoxic lithofacies control of O. indicus and diachronous occurrence of O. indicus in temporally distinct δ13C chemozones in South China and SW Laurentia. The lowest occurrence of O. indicus assemblages is linked to onlap (epeirogenic or eustatic) of dysoxic facies. A united Avalonia is shown by late Early Cambrian volcanics in SW New Brunswick; Cape Breton Island; SE Newfoundland; and the Wrekin area, England. The new U-Pb ages revise Avalonian geological evolution as they show rapid epeirogenic changes through depositional sequences 4a–6.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.