, 56:89 | Cite as

Facies models of a shallow-water carbonate ramp based on distribution of non-skeletal grains (Kimmeridgian, Spain)

Original Article


The internal facies and sequence architecture of a Late Jurassic (Late Kimmeridgian) shallow carbonate ramp was reconstructed after the analysis and correlation of 17 logs located south of Teruel (northeast Spain). The studied rocks are arranged in five high-frequency sequences A–E (5–26 m thick) bounded by discontinuities traceable across the entire study area (20 × 25 km). Facies analysis across these sequences resulted in the reconstruction of three sedimentary models showing the transition from interior ramp environments (i.e., lagoon, backshoal, and shoal) to the progressively deeper foreshoal and offshore areas. Coral-microbial reefs (meter-sized patch and pinnacle reefs) have a variable development throughout the sequences, mostly in the foreshoal and offshore-proximal environments. The preferential occurrence and down-dip gradation of non-skeletal carbonate grains has been evaluated across the three models: low-energy peloidal-dominated, intermittent high-energy oolitic-dominated and high-energy oolitic–oncolitic dominated. The predominance of these non-skeletal grains in the shoal facies was mainly controlled by the hydrodynamic conditions and spatial heterogeneity of terrigenous input. The models illustrate particular cases of down-dip size-decrease of the resedimented grains (ooids, peloids, oncoids) due to storm-induced density flows. Offshore coarsening of certain particles (intraclasts, oncoids) is locally observed in the mid-ramp areas favorable for microbial activity, involving coral-microbial reef and oncoid development. The observed facies variations can be applicable to carbonate platforms including similar non-skeletal components, where outcrop conditions make the recognition of their three-dimensional distribution difficult.


Carbonate ramp Carbonate grains Sequences Late Jurassic Iberian basin 



Financial support was provided by the research Spanish government projects CGL2007-62469/BTE, CGL2008-01237/BTE and CGL2008-04916/BTE, and by the Aragón government (Grupo “Reconstrucciones Paleoambientales”). We are grateful to André Strasser and André Freiwald for their constructive comments, which improved the original version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dpto. Ciencias de la TierraUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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