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The Miocene Sommières basin, SE France: Bioclastic carbonates in a tide-dominated depositional system

Abstract : The Miocene Sommières Basin in SE France is a semi-enclosed depression that was connected to the Mediterranean Sea by a flooded paleo-incised valley and then filled by a suite of sediments comprising carbonate grains coming from temperate factories that were largely deposited in tidal-dominated paleoenvironments. The strata are partitioned into two sequences that reflect repeated flooding of the incised valley system, one of several similar situations in this region of France. The carbonate grains are mostly bioclasts, namely from barnacles, bryozoans, coralline algae (encrusting, branching, and rhodoliths), echinoids, and benthic foraminifers (large and small) with ostracods, sponge spicules and planktic foraminifers prominent in muddy facies. Particles were produced by shallow water carbonate factories on hard substrates (valley walls in particular), associated with subaqueous dunes, and in deeper water basinal settings. Each depositional sequence is underlain by an eroded and bored hard surface that is progressively overlain by TST subaqueous tidal dunes or storm deposits that grade up, in one case, into HST marls (the HST of the upper sequence has been removed by erosion). The lower sequence is ebb tide dominated whereas the upper sequence is flood tide dominated. The succession is interpreted to represent a TST whose tidal currents were focused by the narrow valley and a HST that reflected flooding of the overbanks. This stratigraphic and depositional motif is comparable to that in other spatially separated Neogene paleovalleys that are filled with tide-dominated clastic carbonates in the region. Together with other recently documented similar systems, these limestones constitute an important new group of carbonate sand bodies in the carbonate depositional realm.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 1:43:57 PM
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Jean-yves Reynaud, Noël P. James. The Miocene Sommières basin, SE France: Bioclastic carbonates in a tide-dominated depositional system. Sedimentary Geology, 2012, 282, pp.360-373. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2012.10.006⟩. ⟨insu-03641584⟩

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