From palaeosols to carbonate mounds: facies and environments of the middle Frasnian platform in Belgium

Frédéric Boulvain, Anne-Christine Da Silva


This paper provides a synthetic sedimentological overview of the middle Frasnian carbonate platform of Belgium and associated carbonate mounds. Carbonate mounds started usually in a relatively deep, quiet subphotic environment with a crinoid-coral-sponge assemblage, then reached the fair-weather wave base and the euphotic zone with an algal-microbial facies. The upper parts of the mounds are characterised by lateral facies differentiation with the algal-microbial facies protecting a central sedimentation area with a dendroid stromatoporoids facies and fenestral limestone. The lateral facies reflect different kinds of input of reworked mound material in the proximal area, from transported fine-grained sediment to coarse-grained fossil debris. On the platform, environments range from the outer zone (crinoidal facies) to stromatoporoid-dominated biostromes and to the lagoonal area of the inner zones (subtidal facies with Amphipora floatstone, algal packstone, intertidal mudstone and laminated peloidal packstone and palaeosols). These facies are stacked in metre-scale shallowing-upward cycles. The larger scale sequential organisation corresponds to transgressions and regressions, whose cycles are responsible for differentiating a lower open-marine biostrome dominated unit from an upper lagoonal unit. The last regression-transgression cycle, responsible for the platform-scale development of lagoonal facies, can be correlated with an atoll-stage evolution of the carbonate mounds belonging to the Lion Member.


Belgium; middle Frasnian; carbonate platform; palaeogeography; facies; carbonate mounds

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