Abstract

The Early to Late Triassic development of a carbonate ramp system in the subtropical belt of the NW Tethys was controlled by the interplay of several global and regional factors: geotectonic setting (slow continuous subsidence on a passive continental margin), antecedent topography (low-gradient relief inherited from preceding depositional regime), climate and oceanography (warm and dry climatic conditions, storm influence), relative sea-level changes (Olenekian to Anisian eustatic rise, middle Anisian to early Carnian sea-level fall), lack of frame-builders (favouring the maintenance of ramp morphology), and carbonate production (abundant formation of lime mud, non-skeletal grains and marine cements, development of diverse biota controlled by biological evolution and environmental conditions). Elevated palaeorelief affected the ramp initialization on a local scale, while autogenic processes largely controlled the formation of peritidal cyclicity during the early stage of ramp retrogradation. Probably fault-driven differential subsidence caused a local distal steepening of the ramp profile in middle–late Anisian time. The generally favourable conditions promoted long-term maintenance of homoclinal ramp morphology and accumulation of carbonate sediments having great maximum thickness (~500 m). Shutdown of the carbonate factory and demise of the ramp system in the early Carnian resulted from relative sea-level fall and subsequent emergence. After a period of subaerial exposure with minor karstification, the deposition of continental quartz arenites suggests the possible effect of the Carnian Pluvial Episode.

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