Paleocene to Miocene southern Tethyan carbonate factories of the Southwestern and Western Central Asia

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Giovanni Coletti, Lucrezi Commissario, Luca Mariani, Giulia Bosio, Mara Soldi, Or M. Bialik 


One hundred and forty-four sections of shallow-water carbonates, deposited between the Paleocene and the Miocene, from the Levant to the Himalaya, have been investigated to analyze the distribution of carbonate facies and carbonate producing organisms. Large benthic foraminifera resulted the volumetrically most important group of carbonate producers during the whole period, with a peak in abundance during the Eocene. Colonial corals are relatively abundant during the Paleocene and in the Miocene, their abundance peak during the Oligocene and has a minimum during the Eocene. Red calcareous algae have a similar pattern although their peak in abundance covers both the Oligocene and the Miocene. Green calcareous algae decrease from the Paleocene onward. Facies related to very shallow and/or restricted marine conditions peak during the Miocene and in particular during the Aquitanian. Both the pattern of large benthic foraminifera and of colonial corals seems to be related to temperatures, with warm periods favoring the former and cool periods the latter. Red calcareous algae display a pattern similar to that of colonial corals suggesting that the periods favorable for one group, on the large scale, are also favorable for the other. The progressive decrease of green calcareous algae could be tentatively related to a preservation bias connected to the transition from Paleogene assemblages that included presumably calcitic taxa of green algae and Neogene assemblages entirely constituted by aragonitic taxa with limited preservation potential. The Aquitanian peak in facies related to very shallow and/or restricted marine conditions is most likely connected to the progressive narrowing of the Tethys related to the collision between Arabia and Eurasia. These results denote an overall agreement between the abundance of the various types of shallow-water carbonate facies and large-scale environmental and geological processes, highlighting the potential for paleoenvironmental reconstruction locked in the shallow-water record.



Geology, Paleobiology, Paleontology, Sedimentology


Reefs, corals, calcareous algae, large benthic foraminifera, Asmari Formation, Qom Formation


Published: 2022-03-11 04:49

Last Updated: 2022-03-11 12:49


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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