Diagnostic criteria using microfacies for calcareous contourites, turbidites and pelagites in the Eocene–Miocene slope succession, southern Cyprus

Heiko Hüneke, F. Javier Hernández-Molina, Francisco J. Rodríguez-Tovar, Estefanía Llave, Domenico Chiarella, Anxo Mena, Dorrik A. V. Stow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Interbedded contourites, turbidites and pelagites are commonplace in many deep-water slope environments. However, the distinction between these different facies remains a source of controversy. This detailed study of calcareous contourites and associated deep-marine facies from an Eocene–Miocene sedimentary succession on Cyprus clearly documents the diagnostic value of microfacies in this debate. In particular, the variability of archetypical bi-gradational contourite sequences and their internal subdivision (bedding, layering and lamination) are explored. Contourites can be distinguished from turbidites, pelagites and hemipelagites by means of carbonate microfacies in combination with bed-scale characteristics. Particle composition provides valuable information on sediment provenance. Depositional texture, determined by the ratio between carbonate mud and bioclasts, is crucial for identifying bi-gradational sequences in both muddy and sandy contourites, and normally-graded sequences in turbidite beds. Equally important are the type and preservation of traction structures, as well as the temporality and impact of bioturbation. Shell fragmentation under conditions of increased hydrodynamic agitation (textural inversion) is recognized as a carbonate-specific feature of bioclastic sandy contourites.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSedimentology
Early online date17 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Carbonate microfacies
  • continental slope
  • contourites
  • Cyprus
  • deep-marine deposits
  • pelagites
  • turbidites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy

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