, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 779-801
Date: 08 Nov 2012

Stratigraphic framework, discontinuity surfaces, and regional significance of Campanian slope to ramp carbonates from central Dalmatia, Croatia

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Abstract

The sedimentology, microfacies, and stratigraphic age (from planktonic and benthic foraminifera and strontium-isotope stratigraphy) of a 300-m-thick Upper Cretaceous carbonate succession from the Island of Čiovo (central Dalmatia, Croatia) were analyzed in order to determine the lithostratigraphic, depositional, and chronostratigraphic framework. The Cretaceous strata were deposited in the southern part of the long-lasting (Late Triassic to Paleogene) Adriatic-Dinaridic Carbonate Platform (ADCP), one of a few late Mesozoic, intra-Tethyan, peri-Adriatic (sub)tropical archipelagos. The succession is separated by a firmground formational boundary into two lithostratigraphic units: the underlying Middle to Upper Campanian Dol Formation consisting of slope pelagic limestone with intercalated turbidites and debrites, and the overlying Upper Campanian Čiovo Formation composed of outer-ramp bioclastic-lithoclastic and echinoderm-dominated packstone. Age, lithology, and depositional settings of the Čiovo Formation are different from other penecontemporaneous, regionally important inner-platform carbonate successions within the ADCP domain. Therefore, the Čiovo Formation is proposed here as a new lithostratigraphic unit. Regionally important condensed intervals in the form of at least two firmground surfaces, characterized by Thalassinoides burrows (with phosphatic mineralization) that belong to the Glossifungites ichnofacies, occur in the lowermost part of the Čiovo Formation. Abrupt shallowing of depositional environments at the boundary between the Dol and the Čiovo Formation, and the generation of the formational boundary firmground, likely correlate with the regionally recorded Upper Campanian Event that represents a global eustatic sea-level fall. A regionally important subaerial exposure surface with nodular calcrete, rhizoliths, and Microcodium aggregates in the upper part of the Čiovo Formation represents a regional subaerial unconformity that was recorded across the ADCP domain and was interpreted as a consequence of diachronous and differential uplift of various parts of the platform in response to the formation of a forebulge in front of the approaching Dinaridic orogen.