Anisian Muschelkalk carbonates of the southern Germanic Basin containing silicified ooidal grainstone are interpreted as evidence of changing pH conditions triggered by increased bioproductivity (marine phytoplankton) and terrestrial input of plant debris during maximum flooding. Three distinct stages of calcite ooid replacement by silica were detected. Stage 1 reflects authigenic quartz development during the growth of the ooids, suggesting a change in the pH–temperature regime of the depositional environment. Stages 2 and 3 are found in silica-rich domains. The composition of silica-rich ooids shows significant Al2O3 and SrO but no FeO and MnO, indicating that late diagenetic alteration was minor. Silicified interparticle pore space is characterized by excellent preservation of marine prasinophytes; palynological slides show high abundance of terrestrial phytoclasts. The implications of our findings for basin dynamics reach from paleogeography to cyclostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy, since changes in the seawater chemistry and sedimentary organic matter distribution reflect both the marine conditions as well as the hinterland. Basin interior changes might overprint the influence of the Tethys Ocean through the eastern and western gate areas. Stratigraphically, such changes might enhance marine flooding signals. Ongoing research needs to address the complex interaction between an intracratonic basin and an open-ocean system by comparing local and regional biotic and abiotic signals.
Palynology and palynofacies patterns of terrestrial Triassic/Jurassic boundary series of the South Hungarian Mecsek Mountains were studied in search of paleoenvironmental and vegetation changes and climatic signatures related to one of the major mass extinction events in Earth's history. Two selected and studied boreholes comprise continuous boundary sections and yield a diverse Late Rhaetian to Hettangian palynomorph assemblage. The most striking feature within the boundary interval is the series of cyclic short-term paleoenvironmental changes from fluvial/deltaic to swamp settings, as inferred from changes in palynomorph associations. However, increasing humidity is documented by a striking increase in trilete spores. These signatures display the response of terrestrial vegetation to regional and global environmental changes, although we found no clear evidence for a mass extinction as documented in the microflora.
The Permian/Triassic boundary was recognized in continuous marine successions in several outcrops in the Bükk Mts, North Hungary and in a few core sections in the northeastern part of the Transdanubian Range. In the Bükk Mts, of four studied boundary sections only two proved to be complete. They represent an outer ramp setting. In these sections the topmost Permian is made up of dark gray limestone, rich in fragments of crinoids, calcareous algae, mollusks, brachiopods, ostracods, and foraminifera. There is a dramatic decrease in the amount of the bioclasts in the last two limestone layers, which are overlain by a 1 m-thick shale bed. The lower two-thirds of this bed still contain Permian fauna but its upper part is almost free of bioclasts. The overlying platy limestone contains a pauperized fossil assemblage indicating stress conditions. The two core sections studied in the Transdanubian Range represent an inner ramp setting. The uppermost Permian is made up of lagoonal-sabkha cycles. It is overlain by subtidal packstone-grainstone, rich in Late Permian fossils. Oolitic facies characterizes the boundary interval. Onset of ooid formation was probably the consequence of biotic decline leading to cessation of skeletal carbonate production. Along with oolite beds, stromatolites, micrite with "microspheres" and fine siliciclastic microlayers characterize the basal Triassic succession, reflecting overall stress conditions and the changing energy of the depositional environment.
Remains of Triassic vertebrates discovered in the Villány Hills (SW Hungary) are described here. After the well-documented Late Cretaceous Iharkút locality, this material represents the second systematically collected assemblage of Mesozoic vertebrates from Hungary. Fossils were collected from both the classical abandoned road-cut at Templom Hill (Templom-hegy) and a newly discovered site at a construction zone located 200 meters west of the road-cut. Macrofossils of the construction site are mainly isolated bones and teeth of nothosaurs from the Templomhegy Dolomite, including a fragmentary mandible referred to as Nothosaurus sp. and placodont teeth tentatively assigned here to cf. Cyamodus sp. Affinities of these fossils suggest a Middle Triassic (Ladinian) age of these shallow marine deposits.
New palynological data prove for the first time a Late Triassic (Carnian) age of the lower part of the Mészhegy Sandstone Formation. Vertebrate remains discovered in this formation clearly represent a typical Late Triassic shallow-marine fauna including both chondrichthyan (Lissodus, Palaeobates, Hybodus) and osteichthyan (cf. Saurichthys, ?Sphaerodus sp.) fish fossils. The presence of reworked nothosaur and placodont tooth fragments as well as of possible archosauriform teeth, suggest an increase of terrestrial influence and the erosion of underlying Triassic deposits during the Late Triassic.
A belemnite rostrum collected from the lowermost beds of the Somssichhegy Limestone Formation proves that this Lower Jurassic (Pliensbachian) layer was deposited in a marine environment. Most of the vertebrate remains (nothosaurs, placodonts, hybodont shark teeth, perhaps Palaeobates, Lissodus) recovered from these beds are also reworked Triassic elements strongly supporting an erosive, nearshore depositional environment.
The 1,200-m-deep Budaörs-1 borehole provided important data for our understanding of the stratigraphy and tectonic setting of the southern part of the Buda Hills. Although previous reports contained valid observations and interpretations, a number of open questions remained. The importance of this borehole and the unsolved problems motivated us to revisit the archived core. The new studies confirmed the existing stratigraphic assignment for the upper dolomite unit (Budaörs Dolomite Formation) as the dasycladalean alga flora proved its late Anisian to Ladinian age assignment. An andesite dike was intersected within the Budaörs Dolomite. U–Pb age determination performed on zircon crystals revealed a Carnian age (~233 Ma), and settled the long-lasting dispute on the age of this dike, proving the existence of a Carnian volcanic activity in this area after the deposition of the Budaörs Dolomite. Palynostratigraphic studies provided evidence for a late Carnian to early Norian age of the upper part of the lower unit (Mátyáshegy Formation). This result verified an earlier assumption and reinforced the significance of the tectonic contact between the upper unit (Budaörs Formation) and the lower unit (Mátyáshegy Formation). Based on structural observations and construction of cross sections, two alternative models are presented for the structural style and kinematics of the contact zone between the Budaörs and Mátyáshegy Formations. Model A suggests a Cretaceous age for the juxtaposition, along an E–W striking sinistral transpressional fault. In contrast, model B postulates dextral transpression and an Eocene age for the deformation. The latter one is better supported by the scattered dip data; however, both scenarios are considered in this paper as possible models.