, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 209-227

Analysis of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous algal debris-facies of the Plassen carbonate platform in the Northern Calcareous Alps (Germany, Austria) and in the Kurbnesh area of the Mirdita zone (Albania): a tool to reconstruct tectonics and palaeogeography of eroded platforms

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Abstract

A characteristic microfacies of the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous allodapic Barmstein Limestone of the Northern Calcareous Alps are clasts of wackestones with numerous fragments of calcareous algae (“algal debris-facies”). According to dasycladale palaeocoenoses, several subtypes comprising different associations can be distinguished. One association is characterized by the debris of an unknown large dasycladalean alga reported as dasycladalean alga indet. sp. 1 from different localities in the Northern Calcareous Alps, typically forming a monospecific assemblage. Another microfacies type contains star-like calcitic bodies tentatively referred to the morphospecies Coptocampylodon pantici Ljubović-Obradović and Radoičić, originally described as being from the Turonian of NW-Serbia. Other Coptocampylodon-like bodies represent the calcified tufts of the laterals of Selliporella neocomiensis (Radoičić). The occurrence of Coptocampylodon pantici-like microfossils in the Late Tithonian to Early Berriasian, shows that obviously different species of dasycladaleans display identical to similar shaped tufts of laterals in transverse sections when becoming fragmented. Coptocampylodon pantici Ljubović-Obradović and Radoičić was observed only from different occurrences of Barmstein Limestone, but not from the autochthonous platform carbonates of the Plassen carbonate platform. The Coptocampylodon algal debris-facies is also reported from the Late Jurassic of Albania, Mirdita zone. Occurrences of different types of algal debris-facies in components of mass-flow deposits can be used as a tool to reconstruct eroded carbonate platforms and tectonics, as demonstrated in the Northern Calcareous Alps and the Albanides. Finally, the general occurrences of algal debris-facies in both settings—intra-Tethyan mostly isolated platforms (Alps, Albanides) vs. extended epeiric platforms (Middle East)—are compared and discussed.