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Tectonic and eustatic control on a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate platform during the Late Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian (La Rochelle platform, western France)

Abstract : Boreal and Tethyan realms of Western Europe present significant sedimentological, paleontological, and stratigraphic differences. The purpose of this study is to constrain regional versus global controls on the dynamics of a sedimentary system located at the interface of these two realms in order to better understand the origin of their differences. Detailed sedimentological, palynofacies and calcareous nannofossil analyses were performed on two sections from the La Rochelle platform (western France). The Pas section includes part of the Late Oxfordian and Early Kimmeridgian, and the Rocher d'Yves section is assigned to the Late Kimmeridgian. They correspond to monotonous marl-argillaceous limestone alternations. Limestones are essentially mudstones with echinoderms, bivalves and foraminifera that suggest low-energy, open-marine conditions. Highly bioclastic and/or peloidal deposits occur commonly, and show wackestones to wacke-pack-grainstones textures. These deposits indicate frequent high-energy events, and are interpreted as storm deposits. Marls dominate in the most proximal depositional environments, while calcareous deposits are more important in more distal environments. The Rocher d'Yves section is globally more marly than the Pas section, suggesting a more proximal setting. Palynofacies are dominated by woody particles, suggesting shallow-water, proximal depositional environments. Calcareous nannofossils are ascidian spicules, coccoliths, and schizospheres. Watznaueria britannica dominate calcareous nannofossil assemblages in the Pas section. The Rocher d'Yves assemblages are quasi-exclusively composed of Cyclagelosphaera margerelii, and indicate more proximal paleoenvironments than those of the Pas section. Different orders of depositional sequences are defined, with sequence boundaries corresponding to the most rapid relative sea-level falls. They are hierarchically stacked, and correlate, on the basis of ammonite zones, with the sequences of contemporaneous sections from Tethyan and boreal realms. The stacking pattern of these sequences suggests an orbital control on sedimentation. Small-, medium- and large-scale sequences correspond to precession (20 ky) cycles and to 100 ky and 400 ky eccentricity cycles, respectively. The elementary sequences have durations shorter than 20 ky. The Kimmeridgian was a period of global sea-level rise that ended in the Late Kimmeridgian. More proximal depositional environments in the Rocher d'Yves section (Late Kimmeridgian) than in the Pas section (Early Kimmeridgian) imply a progradation of the La Rochelle platform during the Kimmeridgian. This progradation resulted from a slowdown of the subsidence in the Aquitaine Basin during the Kimmeridgian, corresponding to the first steps of Atlantic Ocean opening. High-frequency cycles on the La Rochelle platform formed in sync with Milankovitch orbital cycles, while tectonics controlled the formation of the low-frequency cycles.
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D. Carcel, Claude Colombié, F. Giraud, B. Courtinat. Tectonic and eustatic control on a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate platform during the Late Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian (La Rochelle platform, western France). Sedimentary Geology, Elsevier, 2010, 223 (3-4), pp.334-359. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2009.11.018⟩. ⟨insu-00649491⟩



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