Middle Devonian Skały Formation in the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland) – formal description and subdivision based on new field data

Grzegorz Racki, Krystian Wójcik, Adam T. Halamski, Marek Narkiewicz


The well-known fossiliferous and lithologically variable clay-carbonate series in the Łysogóry Region (northern part of the Holy Cross Mts, central Poland), enclosed between the Middle Devonian Amphipora dolomites and limestones (Kowala Formation) and siliciclastics (Świętomarz Beds), is defined formally as the Shaly-Calcareous Skały Formation. This Upper Eifelian to Middle Givetian, ca. 250–280 m thick unit, consists of marly and clay shales, interbedded many times with various limestone types (including encrinite and biohermal varieties), as well as with marls and siltstones. Its diagnostic feature is the presence of variable skeletal accumulations, formed by exceptionally numerous, well-preserved and diverse macrofauna (including brachiopods, corals, crinoids, bryozoans), described since the 19th century. The stratotype is located in the eastern slope of the Dobruchna stream near the Skały village and belongs to the Silurian to Upper Devonian Grzegorzowice-Skały section. Compared to the previously used term, Skały Beds sensu Pajchlowa (1957), the lower boundary is redefined, owing to a new exposure in the active Skała Quarry, and placed higher, at the base of the famous brachiopod shales (set XIV of Pajchlowa), instead of the formerly accepted lower boundary at the base of set XIII. Set XIV is formally distinguished as the Dobruchna Brachiopod Shale Member. The higher part of the Skały Fm (sets XV–XXVA) is not subdivided further, as the poorly exposed succession, including in particular the type area, precludes a more accurate recognition of lithological variability. The upper boundary of the Skały Fm is placed at the top of set XXV sensu Pajchlowa (1957), corresponding to the boundary between subsets XXVA and XXVB sensu Malec and Turnau (1997). A hypostratotype of the upper boundary is selected in the outcrop M0 at Miłoszów, 2.5 km westwards from the type section, allowing recognition of the diachroneity of lithological change defining the transition from the Skały Fm to Świętomarz Beds. A borehole situated in a key location would be an obvious next step in the further elucidation of the stratigraphic sequence of the Łysogóry Region.

Full Text:

PDF | Supplementary files