Cenozoic zooxanthellate corals are commonly considered to form framework-dominated buildups in shallow, well illuminated (euphotic) and oligotrophic conditions. In contrast, detailed outcrop study and facies-component analysis show that Eocene non- framework coral buildups also developed in turbid, poorly illuminated (mesophotic) and relatively nutrient-rich conditions. The study area is located in the South-Central Pyrenean Zone (Jaca Basin). Here, middle to upper Eocene prodelta clay/marl succession passes up-section into prograding delta-front sandstones and, subsequently, into continental sandstones and conglomerates. Coral-rich lithosomes occur in the upper part of the clay/marls succession and are completely encased in clay.Within coral buildups, facies consist of: 1) coral boundstone with different coral growth fabrics (platestone and domestone, and subordinate pillarstone and mixstone) and abundant red algae, in a mud-dominated matrix; 2) well sorted fine-grained or poorly sorted coarse-grained skeletal packstones with abundant coral fragments, red algae, bryozoans, benthonic foraminifers and rare planktonic foraminifers, locally rich in larger benthic foraminifers and siliciclastic sand; 3) red-algae-rich coral rudstone with pack-wackestone matrix; 4) bryozoan floatstone in a mud-dominated matrix. These carbonate lithofacies pass laterally and vertically into 4) thinly laminated clay to marls with interbedded sandstone beds.Coral boundstone and associated packstone and rudstone wedges form single bioherms and discrete biostromes (1-8 m thick) that stack into larger carbonate buildups, commonly 20-30-m thick, with some up to 50-m thick. Facies associations, textures, and photo-dependent components indicate these buildups to have grown in the mesophotic (lithofacies 1, 2 and 3) and aphotic (lithofacies 4) zones and in low energy conditions below fair-weather wave base, where they were only occasionally hit by exceptional storms. Dominance of corals and bryozoans (plankton catchers) over sponges and molluscs (plankton pumpers) indicates predominance of phyto- and zooplankton over picoplankton, which suggest mesotrophic conditions.Our results highlight the contrast with present-day “classic” reef models and suggest that by the late Eocene reef coral assemblages where able to thrive in low-light, low-energy, turbid and nutrient-rich conditions. The location of these coral buildups, encased in prodelta clays, can be regarded as a new, unexplored, potential play.ReferencesBerner, R.A., and Z. Kothavala, 2001, GEOCARB III: A revised model of atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic time: American Journal of Science, v. 301, p. 182-204.Demicco, R.V., T.K. Lowenstein, and L.A. Hardie, 2003, Atmospheric pCO2 since 60 Ma from records of seawater pH, calcium, and primary carbonate mineralogy: Geology, 31, p. 793-796.Dreyer, T., J. Corregidor, P. Arbues, and C. Puigdefabregas, 1999, Architecture of the tectonically influenced Sobrarbe deltaic complex in the Ainsa Basin, northern Spain: Sedimentary Geology, v. 127-3-4, p. 127-169.Hallock, P., and L. Pomar, 2009, Cenozoic evolution of larger benthic foraminifers: Paleoceanographic evidence for changing habitats: Proc. 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008, v. 1, p. 16-20.Lear, C.H., H. Elderfield, and P.A. Wilson, 2000, Cenozoic deep-sea temperatures and global ice volumes from Mg/Ca in benthic foraminiferal calcite: Science, v. 287/5451, p. 269-272.Liebau, A., 1984, Grundlagen der Ökobathymetrie, Paläontologische Kürsbucher, v. 2, p. 149-184.Millán, H., M. Aurell, and A. Meléndez, 1994, Synchronous detachment folds and coeval sedimentation in the Prepyrenean External Sierras (Spain): a case study for a tectonic origin of sequences and systems tracts: Sedimentology, v. 41, p. 1001-1024.Pagani, M., J.C. Zachos, K.H. Freeman, B. Tipple, and S. Bohaty, 2005, Marked decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during the Paleogene: Science, v. 309, p. 600-603.Pearson, P.N., and M.R. Palmer, 2000, Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years: Nature, v. 406, p. 695-699.Pochon, X., J.I. Montoya-Burgos, B. Stadelmann, and J. Pawlowski, 2006, Molecular phylogeny, evolutionary rates, and divergence timing of the symbiotic dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, v. 38, p. 20-30.Pomar, L., and P. Hallock, 2008, Carbonate factories: A conundrum in sedimentary geology. Earth-Science Reviews, v. 87, p. 134- 169.Riding, R., 2002, Structure and composition of organic reef and carbonate mud mounds: Concepts and categories: Earth-Science Reviews, v. 58, p. 163-231.Sanders, D., and R.C. Baron-Szabo, 2005, Scleractinian assemblages under sediment input: their characteristics and relation to nutrient input concept: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 216, p. 139-181.Teixell, A., 1996, The Anso transect of the southern Pyrenees; basement and cover thrust geometries: Journal of the Geological Society of London, v. 2, p. 301-310.Vergés, J., M. Fernàndez, and A. Martinez, 2002, The Pyrenean orogen: Pre-, syn-, and post-collisional evolution, in G. Rosenbaum and G.S. Lister, eds., Reconstruction of the Evolution of the Alpine-Himalayan Orogen: Journal of the Virtual Explorer, v. 8, p. 55-74.Zachos, J., M. Pagani, L. Sloan, E. Thomas, and K. Billups, 2001, Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present: Science, v. 292, p. 686-693.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Titolo:||Coral Buildups in Mesophotic, Siliciclastic Prodelta Settings (Late Eocene, Southern Pyrenees, Spain): An As Yet Unexplored Play?|
|Autore/i:||M., Morsilli; Bosellini, Francesca; L., Pomar; P., Hallock; M., Aurell; Papazzoni, Cesare Andrea|
|Volume:||Article #50311 (2010)|
|Citazione:||Coral Buildups in Mesophotic, Siliciclastic Prodelta Settings (Late Eocene, Southern Pyrenees, Spain): An As Yet Unexplored Play? / M., Morsilli; Bosellini, Francesca; L., Pomar; P., Hallock; M., Aurell; Papazzoni, Cesare Andrea. - In: SEARCH AND DISCOVERY. - ELETTRONICO. - Article #50311 (2010)(2010), pp. 1-40.|
|Tipologia||Articolo su rivista|
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