Facies changes in the Cenomanian (Cretaceous) of the northwestern Elbe Valley near Dresden (Saxony, Germany)

Karl-Armin Tröger


The Upper Cretaceous of the Elbe Valley in Saxony and the erosion outliers west of it mark an Upper Cretaceous NW–SE-running strait between the Westsudetic Island in the NE and the Mid-European Island to the west. This street connected the NW-German-Polish Basin in the north and the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin (and adjacent regions of the Tethys) in the south. However, post-Cretaceous erosion north of Meißen removed any Upper Cretaceous deposits but erosion outliers at Siebenlehn and especially north of the Forest of Tharandt proof the presence of a marly through silty belt in this area. Three transgressions (base of uppermost Lower to Middle Cenomanian, base of Upper Cenomanian and base of the geslinianum Zone in the mid-Upper Cenomanian) have taken place. The sedimentation was influenced by the topography of the mentioned islands and by movements at structural lines in the Proterozoic and Palaeozoic basement. During the early Late Cenomanian, a marly-silty sedimentation (Mobschatz Formation) in the north existed besides sandy sedimentation in the south (Oberhäslich Formation). The transgression at the base of the geslinianum Zone caused the final  submergence of island chains between Meißen, Dresden and Pirna, and a litho- and biofacies bound to cliffs and submarine swells formed. A silty–marly lithofacies, a mixed sandy–silty lithofacies (Dölzschen Formation) and a sandy lithofacies in the south (Sächsisches Elbsandsteingebirge) co-existed during the latest Cenomanian. The first mentioned biofacies yields a rich fauna mainly consisting of oysters, pectinids, rudists, and near-shore gastropods accompanied by echinids and, in some cliffs, teeth of sharks. The Pennrich fauna (Häntzschel 1933; Uhlig 1941) especially consists of the very common serpulids Pyrgopolon (P.) septemsulcata and Glomerula lombricus (formerly Hepteris septemsulcata and G. gordialis).


Upper Cretaceous; Cenomanian; Elbe Valley zone; Biostratigraphy; Lithostratigraphy; Facies changes; Tectonics

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