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Abstract

During Triassic times, the Northern Calcareous Alps were situated at the northwestern margin of the Tethys ocean. Succeeding the Permian and Lower Triassic red bed stage, shallow-water carbonates were the main constituents of the Middle and Late Triassic strata, in addition to some mixed carbonate-clastic deposits and basin carbonates. Biostratigraphic data enables exact positioning of the depositional sequences. Despite many good correlations with other Alpine regions as well as with epicontinental Triassic units of central, northwestern and northern Europe, no correlative sequences exist in the Northern Calcareous Alps during late Anisian, late Ladinian, early Carnian and probably Norian times. Variations resulted from local (basin-wide) controls, mainly caused by diverging subsidence patterns. While second-order trends roughly correspond with other Triassic basins, peak transgressions and maximum regressions show some differences.

Separated by postdepositional Alpine strike-slip and thrust tectonics from the stable European northern hinterland, definition of third-order sequence boundaries is often problematic in the Northern Calcareous Alps. Without unconformities, sequence stratigraphy sensu Vail and coworkers cannot be applied in a strict sense. Transgressive and maximum flooding surfaces comprised the best marker horizons for correlationing sequences. A working procedure that incorporates at least parts of the genetic stratigraphic sequence model of Galloway (1989) proved extremely helpful in working with these successions.

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