Facies transition and biostratigraphic correlation of the Upper Silurian and Lower Devonian in West Bulgaria

Iliana Boncheva, Valeri Sachanski, Iskra Lakova, Marlena Yaneva


Upper Silurian and Lower Devonian shelf deposits in West Bulgaria are exposed in three main Alpine tectonic units: the West Balkan Unit, the Lyubash Monocline and the Morava Unit. The West Balkan and Lyubash units consist of siliciclastic deposits: black graptolitic shales, banded pale shales and black siltstones. The Ludlow, Pridoli, Lochkovian, Pragian and Emsian were recognized on the basis of graptolite and tentaculite faunas. In the Morava Unit, the Ludlow black shales are progressively replaced by clayey limestones and nodular and micritic limestones in the Pridoli and Early Devonian. Newly obtained conodonts show the presence of the siluricus, eosteinhornensis, woschmidti, postwoschmidti, delta-pesavis, sulcatus, dehiscens and gronbergi zones. Petrographic study of the Morava Unit shows an increasing carbonate content and shallowing conditions upwards. The biostratigraphical correlation and facies interpretation reveal the coeval existence of two different depositional environments within the same shelf basin as well as a gradual shift in proximal direction.


Bulgaria; Upper Silurian; Lower Devonian; conodonts; graptolites; facies transition

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