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Abstract

The sequence stratigraphic methodology can be readily applied to the cratonic basin-fill of the German Triassic System, which consists of shallow-marine to terrestrial mixed carbonate/siliciclastic rocks. The whole Triassic succession represents a second-order transgression/regression cycle, in which the continental redbeds of the Buntsandstein pass gradually upwards into Muschelkalk carbonates and evaporites and back into continental Keuper redbeds. Peak transgression occurred during the Late Muschelkalk (Ladinian). The Triassic cycle is built by at least 13 3rd-order depositional sequences, consisting of systems tracts and parasequences. Many bounding surfaces represent widely used marker beds, long used in classical lithostratigraphy.

Using a synthesis of outcrop and well-log data on stratal geometry, facies, cycle stacking patterns and paleogeography, a regional coastal onlap chart was constructed. Within the limitations of the presently available biostratigraphic data, the observed cycles appear to correlate fairly well to those in other areas, but include a number of additional sequences not included in the Haq et al. (1987) chart. Comparative analysis of regional onlap curves from different, globally separate Triassic basins, together with an improved biostratigraphy, will be necessary to relate the accommodation changes to eustatic versus tectonic controls and to produce a refined eustatic chart. The German Basin could provide a favorable calibration point for such an analysis.

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