Early Cretaceous hiatus in the Czorsztyn Succession (Pieniny Klippen Belt, Western Carpathians): submarine erosion or emersion?

Roman Aubrecht, Michał Krobicki, Milan Sýkora, Milan Mišík, Daniela Boorová, Ján Schlögl, Eva Šamajová, Jan Golonka


The Czorsztyn Succession is the shallowest Pienidic unit of the West Carpathian Pieniny Klippen Belt. After the Valanginian, a hiatus encompassing almost the whole Hauterivian, Barremian and Aptian occurred in this unit. The Tithonian-Lower Cretaceous limestones are overlain by pelagic Albian-Cenomanian marlstones, marly limestones and cherts (Chmielowa and Pomiedznik Formations). The nature of this hiatus was so far unclear, either representing a submarine non-deposition and erosion, or subaerial exposure.
The paper brings provides a summary of data collected from the literature and new data from 5 re-examined sites and 5 new sites: Dolný Mlyn, Vršatec (3 sites), Horné Sŕnie, Lednica, Jarabina, Kamenica (all Slovakia), Czerwona Skała Klippe (Poland) and Vilki Dil (Ukraine). At two sites, the Albian marlstones and limestones overlie rocks older than Tithonian or Neocomian. In Jarabina, the Barremian-Aptian erosion reached the level of Kimmeridgian red micritic limestones, though clasts of limestones with "filamentous" microfacies indicate that Bathonian-Callovian limestones were also exposed and eroded. At Horné Sŕnie, the Albian deposits overlie Bajocian crinoidal limestones. The Bathonian to Hauterivian sediments are missing, which indicates that this part of the Czorsztyn sedimentary area experienced the deepest erosion. Unequivocal indicators of subaerial exposure and karstification, e.g. karren landform with vertical drainage grooves, small cavities in the bottom rock filled with younger sediment, bizarre fractures and veinlets filled with calcite, were revealed mainly at Horné Sŕnie and Lednica sites. The emersion was followed by pelagic of pelagic Albian marlstones and limestones. At this time, the palaeokarst surface was bored by bivalves and encrusted by deep-water Fe-Mn to phosphatic stromatolites. This suggests a very rapid relative sea-level rise, causing marine ingression. There were two transgression pulses in the Late Aptian and Albian, separated by a temporary emersion and karstification. The Upper Aptian sediments are still organodetrital with crinoids and other benthic fauna, whereas those of the Albian contain exclusively pelagic planktonic fauna.

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