Authors:János Haas, Fotini Pomoni-Papaioannou and Vassiliki Kostopoulou
For comparative studies of Upper Triassic cyclic platform carbonates, the Transdanubian Range (Hungary) and the Pelagonian Zone (Greece) were chosen. Paleogeographically they represent two distant segments of the passive margin of the Neotethys Ocean. During the Late Triassic, on this wide margin a very extensive tropical carbonate platform domain was developed, referred to as the Dachstein-type carbonate platform system. The Transdanubian Range (TR) represents a segment of a continent-encroaching platform system, whereas the Pelagonian-Subpelagonian Zone (PG) may have been a large isolated platform, surrounded by deep-water basins. The discussed Upper Triassic thick platform carbonates (Fődolomit/Hauptdolomit Formation and Dachstein Limestone in the TR, and Pantokrator Formation in the PG) are made up of cyclically arranged facies deposited under similar environmental conditions in the interior zones of carbonate platforms. Three characteristic major facies types can be distinguished: shallow subtidal-lagoonal, intertidal and supratidal-pedogenic, which correspond to the three typical lithofacies (members C, B and A) of Fischer's (1964) Lofer-cycle. The cycles are usually bounded by discontinuity surfaces related to subaerial exposure and pedogenic alteration. The meter-scale (Lofer) cyclicity is predominant throughout the successions. However, various stacking patterns including symmetric complete, truncated, incomplete, and condensed cycles or even alternating peritidal and subtidal facies without any disconformity are recognized in both areas studied. Pervasive or partial early diagenetic dolomitization affected some parts of the cyclic successions in both areas. However, age-dependence of the early dolomitization was clearly demonstrated only in the TR, where the older part of the platform carbonate succession was subject to pervasive dolomitization, whereas the younger part is non-dolomitized and there is a transitional unit between them. This trend is attributed to the climate changing from semiarid to more humid. The Upper Triassic platform carbonates of the TR and PG show strikingly similar features concerning the litho- and biofacies, the stacking pattern and the thickness of the elementary cycles, despite their distant and different paleogeographic setting within the western Neotethys realm. This suggests a eustatic signal, i.e. the cyclic deposition was essentially controlled by orbitally-forced eustatic sea-level changes, although the contribution of autocyclic mechanisms cannot be excluded either. Definite signatures of subaerial exposure (karstic features and vadose meteoric diagenesis) at and below the cycle boundaries also support allocyclic control. In the northeastern part of the TR the carbonate platform was drowned at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, whereas platform conditions persisted until the end of the Hettangian in the southwestern part. However, the Hettangian part of the succession is characterized by non-cyclic subtidal limestone, implying an upward-deepening trend. In contrast, in the PG the platform conditions continued until early to middle Liassic, and the Liassic succession is typified by well-developed pedogenic features, suggesting long-lasting subaerial exposure intervals, i.e. an upward-shallowing trend.