Facies variability in mixed carbonate–siliciclastic platform slopes (Miocene)
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Miocene tropical carbonate platform slopes in southern Spain contain classical reef-slope facies distribution but also an unexpected abundance of serpulid-rich facies, locally forming build-ups. Two sections from the Miocene Sorbas and Níjar Basins were mapped and analyzed petrographically in order to identify the factors determining this facies variability. Reef-slope facies is intercalated with serpulid-rich facies and siliciclastic bodies. Serpulids are the pioneers colonizing the substrate in zones of quiet hydrodynamic conditions after hydrographical changes such as eventual river discharge. The interplay of sea-level changes and hydrographical conditions, together with episodic terrestrial influx, control lateral and along-slope facies variability as well as the facies distribution across the carbonate platform. Neither a deterministic distribution of facies belts nor a stochastic partitioning of facies in mosaics can accurately explain the facies distribution. A new model is proposed to explain facies variability in the context of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
KeywordsBuild-ups Serpulids Facies belts Facies mosaics Encrusters Reef
The authors wish to thank the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) for financial support through the Grant Be 1272/21-1 (NEOCARPS). We also wish to thank Prof. Dr. José Manuel Martín for his insightful discussions concerning the Miocene carbonate platform slopes from Almería. The authors also thank the reviewers Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Braga and Prof. Dr. James Nebelsick for their most valuable comments. Eva Vinx is thanked for producing the thin-sections, and JR thanks Dr. Matías Reolid for his valued support in the field and the lab.
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