Coastal sandy spit deposits (Lower Burdigalian/Eggenburgian) in the Alpine-Carpathian Foredeep of Lower Austria

Slavomír Nehyba, Reinhard Roetzel


In the type-area of the Eggenburgian regional stage (Lower Burdigalian) sands with large-scale clinoforms were studied north-west of Eggenburg (Lower Austria). Stratigraphic and facies architecture, palaeocurrent pattern and inferred palaeogeographic setting show that these sands are deposits of W–E trending and SW to SSE prograding coastal spit systems, attached to crystalline shoals or islets in the shallow marine Eggenburg Bay. The spits were dominantly formed by shoal parallel accretion above fair-weather wave base due to longshore transport. The 4–5 m thick clinoforms with bottomset, foreset and topset structures contain up to 3.6 m thick, steeply inclined foresets, dominated by sediment gravity-flow deposition. Relatively stable depositional conditions, characterized by strong unidirectional currents, high sand supply and sufficient accommodation space are assumed for their formation. However, internal reactivation surfaces indicate variations in current activity, orientation and velocity. The deposits of spit systems are interpreted as part of a transgressive systems tract. The provenance analysis reveals the local Moravian and Moldanubian crystalline rocks as principal source. The spit sands of the Burgschleinitz Formation show the highest mineralogical maturity within the studied Lower Miocene succession. Intense reworking and redeposition of material from older deposits is evident. Due to the ongoing transgression deposits of the following Gauderndorf Formation and Zogelsdorf Formation exhibit a larger catchment area with input of high amounts of fresh weathered material.


Alpine-Carpathian Foredeep; Early Miocene; Eggenburg Bay; coastal spit; provenance analysis

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