The Proterozoic formations are unconformable on the Archean in most places where their relations are known.
Proterozoic, Widespread unconformity.
Prolerozoic (Algonkian) Systems.The Proterozoic group of rocks (called also Algonkian) includes all formations younger than the Archean and older than the Palaeozoic rocks.
The Proterozoic formations have a wide distribution.
In some places this is because the regions where they occur have net been carefully studied since the subdivision into Archeozoic and Proterozoic was made, and in others because of the inherent difficulty of separation, as where the Proterozoic rocks are highly metamorphosed.
On the whole, the Proterozoic rocks are predominantly sedimentary and subordinately igneous.
The first of these differences between the two systems is significant of the dynamic changes suffered by the Archean before the beginning of that part of the Proterozoic era represented by known formations.
The Proterozoic formations have been studied in detail in few great areas.
The aggregate thickness of the Proterozoic systems in the Lake Superior region is several miles, as usually computed, but there are obvious difficulties in determining the thickness of such great systems, especially when they are mtich metamorphosed.
The Proterozoic formations in other parts of the continent cannot be correlated in detail with those of the Lake Superior region.
The Proterozoic formations have yielded a few fossils in several places, especially Montana and northern Arizona; but they are so imperfect, their numbers, whether of individuals or of species, are so small, and the localities where they occur so few, that they are of little service in correlation throughout the United States.
,Among the known fossils are vermes, crustacea and probably brachiopods and pteropods The character of the sediments of the Proterozoic is such as to show that mature weathering affected the older rocks before their material was worked over into the Proterozoic formations.
In all but a few places where their relations are known, the Proterozoic rocks are unconformable beneath the Palaeozoic Where conformity exists the separation is made on the basis of fossils, it having been agreed that the oldest rocks carrying the Olenellus fauna are to be regarded as the base of the Cambrian system.
More accessible, and better known than the Proterozoic and Archeozoic, and will be taken up by systems.
The system is also exposed in many of the western mountains or about their borders, especially about those the cores of which are of Archean or Proterozoic rock.
The extent of the unconformity is usually significant of the geographic changes of the interval unrecorded by known Proterozoic rocks.