Discontinuity surfaces in Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene carbonates of central Dalmatia (Croatia): Glossifungites ichnofacies, biogenic calcretes, and stratigraphic implications
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- Brlek, M., Korbar, T., Košir, A. et al. Facies (2014) 60: 467. doi:10.1007/s10347-013-0378-9
Substrate-controlled ichnofacies and biogenic calcretes represent key features for identification and interpretation of discontinuities in the carbonate rock record, which are of great significance for stratigraphic interpretations and correlations. Intraformational firmground and composite surfaces, as well as a regional Cretaceous to Paleogene (K–Pg) subaerial unconformity, developed in Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene intra-platform peritidal successions in central Dalmatia, Croatia (Adriatic-Dinaridic Carbonate Platform, ADCP), were analyzed for their trace fossil and subaerial exposure features. Thalassinoides (probably T. paradoxicus) box-work burrow systems of the substrate-controlled Glossifungites ichnofacies characterize the two documented firmgrounds and one composite (polygenic) surface. Rhizogenic laminar calcretes developed subsequently inside burrows of the composite surface through diagenetic overprint of marine sediment that passively infilled the burrows. While the formation of the two firmgrounds was probably caused by cessation of precipitation and/or deposition of calcium carbonate due to relative sea-level fall, the recorded trace fossils associated with the composite surface indicate that this surface developed through both submarine firmground and subaerial exposure stages probably caused by several episodes of regression and transgression, and exemplifies the general complexity of hiatal surfaces in shallow-marine carbonate successions. The regional K–Pg subaerial unconformity is characterized by biogenic (beta microfabric) calcretes with rhizoliths including Microcodium aggregates, root tubules, as well as alveolar-septal structures. Laminar calcretes and pisoids, together with in situ and resedimented speleothems, and bauxitic deposits, were also recorded. The unconformity developed due to formation of a forebulge in front of the approaching Dinaridic orogen. Ichnological and subaerial exposure features, together with stratigraphic implications derived from the analyzed discontinuities, serve as examples that can be applied to discontinuities present in carbonate successions elsewhere.