Palustrine sedimentation in an episodically subsiding basin: the Miocene of the northern Teruel Graben (Spain)



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Alonso-Zarza, Ana María and Calvo Sorando, José Pedro (2000) Palustrine sedimentation in an episodically subsiding basin: the Miocene of the northern Teruel Graben (Spain). Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 160 . pp. 1-21. ISSN 0031-0182

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Lacustrine deposits form most of the sedimentary record accumulated throughout the Miocene in the northern
part of the Teruel Graben, a landlocked basin situated in NE Spain. Three main stratigraphic units ( Units I–III )
spanning Late Vallesian to Late Turolian in age, are distinguished in the area. The two former units comprise mainly
carbonate lacustrine deposits that were deposited in a palustrine or a more permanent but shallow lacustrine setting,
the latter being related mainly to periods of lake expansion under more humid and cooler climatic conditions. In
contrast, deposition of Unit III, characterised by gypsiferous lacustrine sediments in central parts of the basin, reflects
the influence of source rocks of evaporitic nature (Upper Triassic formations) that were emplaced by diapiric uplift
in the eastern margin during the Middle Turolian. Carbonate lake sediments belonging to Units I and II consist of
four main lithofacies associations: (a) distal–alluvial lake margin deposits; (b) lacustrine carbonates and pedogenically
modified lacustrine carbonates; (c) carbonate fill channels; and (d) organic-rich marlstone and carbonate (marshes).
Lithofacies association (a) shows typically a sequential arrangement formed, from bottom to top, of red mudstone,
carbonate palaeosols and biomicrite beds (sequence type 1a). These sequences are interpreted as a result of slow but
continuous aggradation of the floodplain areas and subsequent rise of the water table, probably reflecting equilibrium
between subsidence and sedimentation. Lithofacies association (b) consisting of biomicrite beds passing upward into
palaeosols (sequence type 1b) is thought to be caused by marked pulses of tectonic subsidence that created the
accommodation space required for fast development of a carbonate lake. Carbonate fill channels, showing erosive
lower surfaces dig out on previous channels, marsh deposits and/or lacustrine carbonates, exhibit well-developed
prismatic structure at their bed tops. The sequential arrangement suggests similar tectonic constrains than the
envisaged for lithofacies 1b. The comparison of depositional styles of the lake systems with the palaeoclimatic
evolutionary pattern of the basin throughout the Miocene indicates that the combined effect of tectonism, climate
and source rock played a major role in the stratigraphic framework of the basin during this period.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Climate; Lacustrine deposits; Miocene; Palaeosols; Tectonics; Teruel Graben
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:25255
Deposited On:05 May 2014 12:28
Last Modified:05 May 2014 12:28

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