, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 703-716
Date: 02 Nov 2012

Growth and demise of a Burdigalian coral bioconstruction on a granite rocky substrate (Bonifacio Basin, southeastern Corsica)

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Abstract

During the Early Miocene, coincident with the Sardinia–Corsica block rotation, mixed carbonate–siliciclastic sediments of the Cala di Labra Formation were deposited on the southern margin of the Bonifacio Basin (southeastern Corsica, France). The Burdigalian marine transgression is spectacularly represented by a peculiar coral bioconstruction, unconformably lying on the eroded Variscan granitic basement. Superb exposures allowed detailed, three-dimensional field mapping, lithofacies analysis, and characterization of the Cala di Labra coral bioconstruction. As a result of the extremely irregular and articulated substrate, the coral buildup appears as an organized lens-shaped structure, and its core is constituted by a relatively dense coral domestone with a moderate increase of platy corals in the upper part. A coral rubble associated with granitic cobbles and pebbles is locally present at the base. The inter-coral sediment consists of poorly sorted bioclastic wackestone to packstone. Results from this study clearly show evidence for the occurrence of a former submerged granitic substrate that, as very rarely documented in the geological record, is here interpreted as the subtidal substrate for growth of a small bioconstruction under relatively high energy and clear water conditions. The Cala di Labra bioconstruction is overlain by a fining-upward quartzose conglomerate and sandstone succession interpreted as deposited in a coastal setting near fluvial point sources. The demise of coral growth was caused by a regressive event and by the consequent quite-sudden burial and related changes of trophic conditions.