Small-scale cyclic deposition in the Frasnian (Upper Devonian) of the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland

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Abstract

In sections exposing Frasnian limestones at five outcrops in the Holy Cross Mountains, five lithofacies (L1 to L5) that represent upper slope to basinal environments are identified. These lithofacies are characterised by dark-coloured micritic limestones-marly shale couplets with many light-coloured intercalations of fine- to coarse-grained limestones (= event beds). This lithofacies pattern characterises mostly low-energy domains punctuated by storm episodes. In addition, these upper-slope to basinal lithofacies are arranged into small-scale, coarsening-upward beds and cycles. The cycles are locally composed of fining/thinning-upward beds. The small-scale cycles have a calculated duration of 19 to 42 kyr. The differential thickness of beds and cycles within and between sections was probably caused by differential subsidence and local tectonics. Possible evidence of tectonic activity is also related to a difference in number of cycles recorded in the time-equivalent sections. The recognised cyclicity shows sea-level fluctuations and a few deepening episodes. Some of them are correlated with the Timan global eustatic events. However, local tectonics and episodic subsidence may have played a significant role in recording brief deepening pulses. Thus, low-amplitude sea-level changes were major factors in platform generation and evolution in the Frasnian of the Holy Cross Mountains modified by local, block-related subsidence.

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