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Growth faults affecting depositional geometry, facies and sequence stratigraphy record on a carbonate platform edge (South Vercors Urgonian platform, SE France)

Abstract : The first two calcarenite units at the base of the Urgonian limestones on the southern edge of the platform bear different depositional geometries depending on place (Cirque d'Archiane to Montagnette and Rocher de Combau). The lower calcarenite unit (Bi5 of Arnaud H. 1981. De la plate-forme urgonienne au bassin vocontien. Le Barrémo-Bédoulien des Alpes occidentales entre Isère et Buëch (Vercors méridional, Diois oriental et Dévoluy). Géologie Alpine, Grenoble, Mémoire 12: 3. Disponible sur https://tel.archivesouvertes.fr/tel-00662966/document), is up to 200 m thick and shows three different patterns, in terms of accommodation space, from the western Archiane Cirque to the Montagnette to the east. On the western side of the Cirque, the unit begins on slope fine-grained limestone with thin sigmoïdal offlap geometry, suggesting little available space after a relative sea level fall. It is overlain by thick progradational/ aggradational, then purely aggradational calcarenite capped by a coral and rudist-bearing bed. This bed is, therefore, interpreted as a maximum (although moderate) flooding facies. The depositional geometry is different on the eastern side of the Cirque, where a progradational pattern in the lower part of the unit is interrupted by a rotational movement affecting the depositional profile. The deformation promoted aggradation updip and retrogradation downdip as a result of starvation. The inferred growth fault updip (thought to be responsible for the change) began to function earlier at the Montagnette, explaining the huge calcarenite clinoforms found there, filling a deeper saddle created in the depositional profile. The same fault probably was reactivated later during the deposition of the overlying, thinner Bi6-1 unit, which appears at Rocher de Combau with an uncommon tidal facies at the base. A rotational bulge, created by the inferred growth fault, would have protected a small area behind it to spare the local calcarenite deposition from the waves for a while. These two examples show that sequence stratigraphic interpretation may differ from one place to the other, and even show opposite trends due to this kind of disturbance.
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Serge Ferry, Daniele Grosheny. Growth faults affecting depositional geometry, facies and sequence stratigraphy record on a carbonate platform edge (South Vercors Urgonian platform, SE France). Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Société géologique de France, 2019, 190, pp.1. ⟨10.1051/bsgf/2018017⟩. ⟨insu-03116962⟩

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