Rates of Sedimentation Varying Between Positive (Net), Zero, and Negative (Erosion)

  • Reinhart A. Gygi


The maximal rate of normal sedimentation of mud-grade calcareous or argillaceous particles out of suspension in the deeper part of the Rhodano-Swabian Basin was in the deposits investigated probably less than 5 m of now compacted sediment thickness per 10,000 years. The lower limit to a normal rate of sedimentation in a given deposit is where fossils of distinct biozones, like for instance ammonite casts, are still vertically separate, but not yet mixed within one and the same level because of stratigraphic condensation (see below). Rates of sedimentation in deeper water were calculated using biochronology of ammonites combined with mineral stratigraphy and radiochronology. The mixed calcareous and argillaceous mud, which includes biostromes of abundant colonies of hermatypic corals in the Liesberg Member (LIE in Fig. 5), was calculated to have accumulated at an average rate of at least 2.7 m of compacted sediment per 10,000 years in the following way. The thickness of the Liesberg Member was measured to be 25 m at the type locality in the clay pit of Hinter Chestel south of Liesberg, in section RG 306, which is represented in Gygi (2000a, Pl. 31). The Liesberg Member is part of the Antecedens Zone. The entire thickness of sediments of the Antecedens Zone is in section RG 306 approximately 120 m. On the assumptions, that sedimentation proceeded at an even rate throughout the Antecedens Chron and that a chron lasted on average 370,000 years as it was calculated above, the total thickness of the Liesberg Member at Liesberg was sedimented during about 93,000 years at the average rate of now compacted, ca. 2.7 m per 10,000 years. This is one of the highest rates of net sedimentation which was calculated in the deposits investigated.


Bottom Current Detrital Quartz Silty Limestone Calcareous Concretion Limestone Succession 
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© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhart A. Gygi
    • 1
  1. 1.ZürichSwitzerland

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