Origin and Tectonic Significance of Radiolarian Chert in the Austroalpine Rifted Continental Margin

  • A. Vecsei
  • W. Frisch
  • M. Pirzer
  • A. Wetzel


Rhythmically bedded radiolarian chert of Late Jurassic age (Ruhpolding Formation) was deposited by bottom currents and low-density turbidity currents in the Northern Calcareous Alps. The radiolarians were concentrated by sorting of hydrodynamically equivalent particles. High production of radiolarians and low terrigenous input were characteristic of these deposits. Carbonate dissolution was of secondary importance. The radiolarian chert was deposited below the aragonite compensation depth, but for the most part, above the calcite compensation depth.

Deposition of the radiolarian chert marks a change in the tectonic and topographic setting of the Austroalpine rifted continental margin. A horst and graben pattern, formed at the beginning of the Jurassic, was replaced at the time of the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian boundary by a tilted block array facing the Piemont Ocean. The change in topography enabled an open, low-energy current system to be established, which was responsible for the deposition of the radiolarian chert. Steepening of the topography resulted in sedimentation by high-energy bottom currents and various types of sediment gravity flows along the steep flanks of the asymmetrical tiltblock basins (Tauglboden Formation).


Debris Flow Bottom Current Turbidity Current Ferromanganese Crust Northern Calcareous 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Vecsei
  • W. Frisch
  • M. Pirzer
  • A. Wetzel

There are no affiliations available

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