Sedimentation in a synclinal shallow-marine embayment: Coniacian of the North Sudetic Synclinorium, SW Poland
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Depositional Record. 2020, 6 (1), 144-171. 10.1002/dep2.92
This study is a reconstruction of the Coniacian palaeogeographic and palaeoenvironmental development in the North Sudetic Basin, a synclinal trough within the Late Cretaceous Central European seaway linking the Boreal and Tethyan marine provinces. The basin formed as an early side effect of the Alpine orogeny combined with the mid-Cretaceous eustasy, and crucial stages of its evolution occurred during the Coniacian. The basin in the early Coniacian was a long and narrow shallow-marine embayment with a hypothetical (non-preserved) bayhead strait funnelling tidal currents. Coalescing tidal sand ridges formed a littoral platform that prograded from the bayhead zone along the basin axis, impinged on laterally by the basin-margin shoreface and local river deltas. A mid-Coniacian forced marine regression and closure of the bayhead strait, attributed to the Alpine tectonism combined with eustasy, brought about a dramatic change in the basin, whereby the basin-wide littoral sand platform emerged and turned briefly into a denudated coastal plain. The late Coniacian eustatic marine transgression formed an in-place growing coastal sand barrier at the outer edge of the former littoral platform, sheltering a paralic limno-lagoonal plain with peat-forming mires. The coastal barrier was eventually drowned by the sea and maximum marine flooding occurred, followed by a normal regression recorded as a rapidly upwards-shallowing succession of offshore-transition to fluvio-deltaic deposits. This case study of the sedimentation pattern in an evolving, tectonically controlled marine embayment contributes to the existing facies models for estuarine embayments formed by a passive marine drowning of large fluvial or glacial valleys.