, Volume 51, Issue 1-4, pp 522-540
Date: 07 Jun 2005

Taphonomy of Early Permian benthic assemblages (Carnic Alps, Austria): carbonate dissolution versus biogenic carbonate precipitation

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During the Early Permian, in the area of the Carnic Alps, a quartz-gravelly beach fringed a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate lagoon with fleshy algal meadows and oncoids; seaward, an ooid shoal belt graded down dip to a low-energy carbonate inner shelf with phylloid algal meadows. In limestones, foraminiferal biomurae and bioclast preservation record tapholoss by rotting of non-calcified organisms (interpreted as fleshy algae) and by dissolution of aragonitic fossils. Carbonate loss by dissolution was counteracted and, locally, perhaps exceeded by carbonate precipitation of encrusting foraminifera and as oncoids. Sites of abrasion and carbonate dissolution (beach), sites with tapholoss by rotting and dissolution, but with microbialite/foraminiferal carbonate precipitation (lagoon, inner shelf), and sites only of carbonate precipitation (ooid shoals) co-existed on discrete shelf compartments. Compartmentalized, contemporaneous carbonate dissolution and precipitation, to total amounts yet difficult to quantify, impede straightforward estimates of ancient carbonate sediment budget.