Early Turonian Shallow Marine Red Beds on the Levant Carbonate Platform (Jordan), Southern Tethys
Published:January 01, 2009
Jens Wendler, Ines Wendler, Jochen Kuss, 2009. "Early Turonian Shallow Marine Red Beds on the Levant Carbonate Platform (Jordan), Southern Tethys", Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds: Stratigraphy, Composition, Origins, and Paleoceanographic and Paleoclimatic Significance, Xiumian Hu, Chengshan Wang, Robert W. Scott, Michael Wagreich, Luba Jansa
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A one-meter-thick marine red bed (Cretaceous oceanic red beds, CORBs) is reported from Early Turanian sediments associated with the Levant carbonate platform in central Jordan. These CORBs are of regional significance, in that deposits similar in facies and age are present in various sections of the Levant carbonate platform farther southwest in the Sinai. The red bed represents a rare shallow marine counterpart to the widely known deeper marine CORBs. The onset of sedimentation of these brick-red marls in a shallow sea (shallow subtidal) of the southern Tethys margin is shown to be synchronous with the Tethys-wide onset of marine red beds in oceanic settings in the latest Early Turonian. The transition into red marls marks a significant change in sedimentation from marly, gypsum-rich clay, representing lowstand deposits below, into a sequence including massive platform limestone beds forming a transgressive systems tract above the red bed. The sedimentary conditions on the Levant platform during red-bed deposition show some similarities to its deeper marine counterparts on the Northern Tethys margin: they are related to strongly fluctuating sedimentation rates, and they follow periods of high marine productivity, which occurred in the aftermath of OAE2. It is obvious that both strong synsedimentary fluctuations in water depth and accumulation rate and significant early and late evaporite diagenesis influenced the investigated section, so the cause of the red coloring is likely to be not solely a synsedimentary feature. The time-equivalent onset of shallow marine red beds and deep marine red beds in the Early Turonian indicates that both share common global prerequisites regardless of the paleobathymetry.
Key Words: Cretaceous oceanic red beds, diagenesis, shallow marine, Levant carbonate platform, Turonian
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Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds: Stratigraphy, Composition, Origins, and Paleoceanographic and Paleoclimatic Significance
The occurrence of marine red beds has been known for at least 140 years, since Stúr (1860) and Gümbel (1861) first described them from the Púchov beds in the Carpathians and the Nierental beds in the Eastern Alps. A few biostratigraphic and sedimentological studies followed, particularly in European countries. However, detailed investigations on paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic implications related to Cretaceous marine red beds were initiated by Prof. Chengshan Wang, Dr. Xiumian Hu, and their colleagues. This collection of papers resulted from two collaborative research projects funded in part by UNESCO/IUGS International Geosciences Project IGCP 463 and IGCP 494. The IGCP 463 “Upper Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds: Response to Ocean/Climate Global Change” (2002-2006) was led by Prof. Chengshan Wang (China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China), Prof. Massimo Sarti (Universitá Politecnica delle Marche, Italy), Dr. Robert Scott (University of Tulsa and Precision Stratigraphy Associates, USA), and Prof. Luba Jansa (Dalhousie University, Canada). The objective of IGCP 463 was to study major paleoceanographic phenomena recorded by sedimentary sequences in the world oceans. Cretaceous deposition changed several times from widespread organic-carbon-enriched shales that indicate a dysoxic to anoxic deep ocean environment, to mostly reddish clays and marls deposited in an oxic marine environment during the Late Cretaceous.