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Timing and facies analysis of the Middle Miocene Badenian flood deposits in southern Central Paratethys—insights from KC-4 borehole, western Serbia

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Abstract

We provide new insights into the Badenian transgression (Langhian to early Serravallian) in western Serbia, focusing on the marginal part of the Central Paratethys. Nano- and microfossils (calcareous nannofossils, foraminifers, and ostracods) are used along with U–Pb radioisotope dating of a tuff layer near the Badenian lower boundary to reconstruct the timing of the middle Badenian marine flooding. Our findings reveal the occurrence of a second (main) Badenian transgression (TB2.4 third-order cycle) around 14.2–13.8 million years ago. The Badenian marine waters flooded the continental formation of the poorly defined early-middle Miocene sequences. The sedimentary succession (KC-4 core, 490–205 m) is grouped into five units (I–V). The lower two units (I–II) are non-marine alluvials that are characterized by coarse-grained siliciclastics. Unit III represents the basal coarse-grained clastites and sandy limestones of the initial shallow-marine environment and unit IV consists of marls and high-calcitic fine-grained clastites of neritic facies. Unit V contains carbonaceous marlstone and limestone deposited in a restricted marine shallow-water environment. Biostratigraphically, over 154 m of dominantly fine-grained clastites (units III–IV) confirm the presence of the marine middle and upper Badenian. Its lower part (366–325 m) corresponds to the nannofossil NN5 Zone and the youngest Upper Lagenidae Zone (local Zone Ammonia viennensis–Trilobatus trilobus), as well as a part of the Spirorutilus carinatus Zone. The upper part (325–212 m) corresponds to the nannofossil NN6 Zone as well as the foraminifer Bulimina-Bolivina Zone. The U–Pb age for zircon grains is 14.58 ± 0.08 Ma. Petrographic data from the tuff sample show a strong correlation with volcanic records along the S-SW margin of Central Paratethys (N Croatia, NE Bosnia, and central Serbia). The U–Pb age as well as tuff glass composition and mineralogy suggest the possible source of the tuff as from the Subotica area (N Serbia) or the Bükkalja Volcanic Field in NE Hungary.

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Data availability

All samples and data reported in this paper are available, and stored at the Faculty of Mining and Geology, Belgrade and the Geological Survey in Vienna.

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Acknowledgements

The core samples obtained courtesy of Ultra Balkans Co. Many thanks go to Prof. N. Vasić (Belgrade), an expert in sedimentology, who was initially involved in the project. Lj. Rundić partly funded by the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of the Republic of Serbia based on Contract no. 451-03-65/2024-03/200126. V. Gajić and D. Prelević were supported by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia through project RECON TETHYS (7744807). We are very grateful to Ulrich Riller, the Editor-in-Chief of IJES, for the guidance on manuscript corrections, as well as for the attention and patience that have significantly contributed to the improvement of our work. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for the helpful comments that improved this paper. We would like to express gratitude to Prof. S. Foley (Sydney, Australia) for the manuscript proofreading.

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Supplementary Information

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Supplementary file1 Table 1. Analyses of minerals observed and the volcanic glass of the KC-4 tuff (XLSX 11 KB)

Supplementary file2 Table 2. Single zircon U-Pb age data (XLSX 12 KB)

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Supplementary file3 Table 3. Allochthonous Upper Cretaceous calcareous nannofossils from borehole KC-4, interval 389.30 m to 480.80 m, listed alphabetically (XLSX 13 KB)

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Supplementary file4 Table 4. Autochthonous Neogene calcareous nannofossils from borehole KC-4, interval 205.30 m to 368.30 m, listed alphabetically (XLSX 14 KB)

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Supplementary file5 Table 5. Reworked calcareous nannofossils from borehole KC-4, interval 205.30 m to 368.30 m, listed alphabetically (XLSX 17 KB)

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Supplementary file6 Table 6. Distribution of the Badenian foraminifera species per sample (r - rare, f – frequent, a - abundant). Light grey fields show the most widely distributed species along the studied section (XLSX 23 KB)

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Supplementary file7 Table 7. Distribution of the Badenian ostracods per sample (r - rare, f – frequent, a - abundant). Light grey fields show the most widely distributed species along the studied section (XLSX 912 KB)

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Rundić, L., Gajić, V., Ćorić, S. et al. Timing and facies analysis of the Middle Miocene Badenian flood deposits in southern Central Paratethys—insights from KC-4 borehole, western Serbia. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 113, 1067–1094 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-024-02430-w

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