Valanginian–Early Aptian Carbonate Platforms from Provence, Southeastern France
Name: Urgonian limestones
Author: Jean-Pierre Masse
Location: From 43° to 44° north latitude and at 5° east longitude, Provence, southeastern France
Geologic time interval: Early Cretaceous, Valanginian-early Aptian
Tectonic-sedimentary setting: Passive trailing margin stage of the Alpine basin
Basin type: Epeiric shelf margin to oceanic basin
Paleoclimate: Generally humid, semitropical, possibly arid phases during the Barremian
Platform type: Isolated (epicontinental), flat, gently sloping toward the basin
Platform geometry: 200 to 400 m thick; up to 100 km wide and total length more than 1000 km (from Spain to Switzerland)
Facies and fossils: Littoral: stromatolites and mudstones to pelleted and oolitic grainstone. Inner platform: rudist assemblages in packstone–wackestone or fine-grained pelleted grainstone. Outer platfom: well-sorted cross-bedded sandstone and coral beds. Outer shelf: bivalve-echinoid argillaceous carbonates and calcisponge–bryozoan packstone and wackestone.
Systems tracts: Inter- to supratidal marginal-littoral; fine-grained subtidal carbonates with isolated rudist inner platfoms; coarse-grained subtidal carbonate sandstones and coral bed outer platforms; argillaceous carbonate outer shelf systems.
Stacking pattern: Three main stages of platform growth and progradation interrupted by drowning of the platform.
Figures & Tables
With the large amount of information from Cretaceous basins available for comparative studies in the early 1990s, it seemed appropriate and timely to make available these regional studies on carbonate platforms, aiming at a convenient and objective presentation in a standard format. This volume represents the result of that effort. It brings together 32 well-documented data sets on carbonate platforms from 17 countries, which represent a significant part of the spectrum of Cretaceous carbonate platforms in different geologic provinces and tectonic settings. Two introductory articles summarize some of the main aspects of the Cretaceous period, carbonate platforms, and economic resources, and review each case study. The objectives of this book are to document styles of formation, growth, and development of Cretaceous carbonate platforms and to compare platform geometries, dimensions, and styles of similar platforms but different tectonic-sedimentary settings.