Sedimentary history and biota of the Zechstein Limestone (Permian, Wuchiapingian) of the Jabłonna Reef in Western Poland

Tadeusz Marek Peryt, Paweł Raczyński, Danuta Peryt, Krzysztof Chłódek, Zbigniew Mikołajewski


The Jabłonna Reef, one of the reefs formed in Wuchiapingian time in the western part of the Wolsztyn palaeo-High (SW Poland), is characterized by quite irregular outlines and consists of three separate reef bodies (ca. 0.5–1.5 km2 each; the thickness of the reef complex is usually >60 m). It is penetrated by four boreholes, which show two distinct phases of bryozoan reef development during deposition of the the Zechstein Limestone. The first one occurred early in the depositional history and botryoidal aragonitic cementation played a very important role in reef formation. This phase of bryozoan reef development terminated suddenly; one possible reason was that a relative change of sea level – first a fall and then a rise – disturbed the upwelling circulation. Consequently, bioclastic deposition predominated for a relatively long time until the second phase of bryozoan reef development occurred, but the latter was not accompanied by dubious early cementation. During this second phase, reticular fenestellid bryozoans were predominant. Subsequently, microbial reefs developed and abound in the upper part of the Zechstein Limestone sections. The general shallowing-upward nature of deposition in the Jabłonna Reef area resulted in reef-flat conditions with ubiquitous, microbial deposits, in the central part of the Jabłonna Reef. Then, the reef-flat started to prograde and eventually the entire Jabłonna Reef area became the site of very shallow, subaqueous deposition.

Five biofacies are distinguished in the Jabłonna Reef sections: the Acanthocladia biofacies at the base, then mollusc-crinoid, brachiopod-bryozoan, Rectifenestella and at the top, stromatolite biofacies. They represent a shallowing-upward cycle, possibly with some important fluctuation recorded as the distinctive lithofacies boundary, corresponding to the Acanthocladia/mollusc-crinoid biofacies boundary. The d13C curves of the Jabłonna 2 and Jabłonna 4 boreholes permit correlation of the trends in the middle parts of both sections and confirm the strong diachroneity of the biofacies boundaries, with the exception of the roughly isochronous Acanthocladia/ mollusc-crinoid biofacies boundary. The presence of echinoderms and strophomenid brachiopods indicates that until deposition of the lower part of the Rectifenestella biofacies, conditions were clearly stenohaline. The subsequent elimination of stenohaline organisms and progressively poorer taxonomic differentiation of the faunal assemblage are characteristic for a slight, gradual rise in salinity. The taxonomic composition of organisms forming the Jabłonna Reef shows a similarity to reefs described from England and Germany, as well as the marginal carbonate platform of SW Poland. Filled fissures were recorded in the lower part of the Jabłonna Reef. The aragonite cementation recorded in some fissure fillings implies that they originated in rocks exposed on the sea floor and are neptunian dykes.

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