A close look at Late Carboniferous Algal Mounds: Schulterkofel, Carnic Alps, Austria.

Journal article
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Joachimski M
Journal: Facies
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2003
Journal issue: 49
Pages range: 325-350
ISSN: 0172-9179


During the uppermost Carboniferous and lowermost Permian algal mounds were formed in inner shelf settings of the Carnic Alps (Austria/Italy). A specific mound type, characterized by the dominance of the dasyclad green alga Anthracoporella was studied in detail with regard to geometry, relationship between mound and intermound rocks, composition of the sediment, biota and diagenetic criteria. The two meter-sized mounds studied, occur within depositional sequences of transgressive systems tracts in the Lower Pseudoschwagerina Limestones (uppermost Gzhelian) at the flank of the Schulterkofel. The mounds consist of an Anthracoporella core facies with a sponge-crust boundstone facies at the base and at the top. The massive limestones of the Anthracoporella core facies exhibit abundant algal tufts and bushes, frequently in life position. The limestones of the intermound facies represented by thin-bedded bioclastic wackestones and packstones with abundant phylloid algae underlie and overlie the mounds. Intercalations of intermound beds within the mound facies indicate sporadic disruption of mound growth. Onlapping of intermound beds on steep mound flanks indicate rapid stabilization and lithification of mound flanks and the existence of a positive paleorelief. Asymmetrical shape of the mounds may be current controlled. Mound and intermound biota differ in the prevailing algae but are relatively similar with regard to associated foraminifera. Conspicuous differences concern bioerosion and biogenic encrustations. Both are high in intermound areas but low in the Anthracoporella core facies. The mounds show no ecological zonation. The mounds grew by in-place accumulation of disintegrated algal material and trapped bioclastic material between erect algal thalli. The comparison of the various Anthracoporella mounds demonstrates that almost each mound had ist own history. Establishing a general model for these mounds is a hazardous venture.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Joachimski, Michael Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)

Last updated on 2018-09-08 at 10:23