Latest Triassic climate humidification and kaolinite formation (Western Carpathians, Tatric Unit of the Tatra Mts.)

Otília Lintnerová, Jozef Michalik, Peter Uhlík, Ján Soták, Zuzana Weissová


The Tomanová Formation, of Rhaetian age, overlying the Norian Carpathian Keuper in the Tatra Mts. is built of cyclic parasequences of mudstones  and sandstones. Quartz (15 to 70 wt.%), kaolinite (13 to 46 wt.%) and 2:1 Al dioctahedral phyllosilicates (dioct 2:1: muscovite, illite, illite/smectite: 5 to 39 wt.%) represent the major mineral phase. The kaolinite/dioct 2:1 ratio decreases upwards in the section (from 4.3 to 0.5) and signals variability in weathering/erosion intensity and changing water salinity. Major and trace elements (LILE, HSFS, REE) indicate a uniform source – felsic rocks located probably in the Vindelician Highlands. The sedimentation rate (83 mm/ky) was controlled by climate. Alternation of dry and humid periods is refered by sedimentary textures and by maturity of quartz (aeolian vs. fluvial grains), and organic matter content and composition (Corg and d13Corg). Authigenic siderite or bethierine documents wet and reduced conditions in the upper part of the Tomanová Formation. The sedimention rate of the marine Dudzinec Formation attained 25 mm/ka and the character of cycles preserved in the sequence is similar as that of the Tomanová Formation (fining upwards parasequences). However, the different clay mineralogy, the recycled character of the silicates, the different d13Corg and elevated imput of carbonate detritus with specific C and O isotopic patterns document a discontinuity in the section. The transgressive character of the Dudzinec Fm. was deduced from the stratigraphic distribution and environmental characteristics of the benthic foraminifera present. Involutinids and spirillinids dominate in the lower part, endothyrinids govern the middle part, and in the upper part nodosariids and Ammodiscus-type microfauna occur. These age-diagnostic microfossils indicate a late Rhaetian age. Sea level rise in the Tatric Zone triggered by thermal expansion of the Central Atlantic Rift was gradual, being affected by input of terrestrial clastic sediment both by freshwater and by wind. The Tatric Triassic sequence in the Western Carpathians helps understanding of the development of sedimentation, palaeoclimate (kaolinite weathering), and palaeogeography of the northernmost Tethyan Domain.




sedimentology; foraminifers; clay minerals; carbon isotopes; REE; palaeogeography

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