Growth rates of early Campanian rudists in a siliciclastic-calcareous setting (Pontid MTS., North-Central Turkey)

Thomas Steuber, Cemil Yilmaz, Hannes Löser

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35 Scopus citations


Rudist communities that developed on the southern slope of the Pontid magmatic arc during the late Cretaceous thrived in a tectonically unstable setting, and in environments that were strongly influenced by siliciclastic sedimentation. Strontium isotope stratigraphy indicates an early Campanian age of the investigated association at Höbek Tepe, near Amasya. Stable isotope analyses of sclerochronological profiles of several shells of the three dominating hippuritid species yielded cyclic variations of δ18O that delineate seasonal variations in palaeotemperature. This allowed for the determination of individual life spans, skeletal growth rates and the reconstruction of the living growth fabric. Annual vertical shell growth of 35-40 mm was maintained by cylindrical morphotypes of Vaccinites ultimus during several successive years, while adult annual shell accretion of conical morphotypes was only 27 to 30 mm. Vertical growth of the co-occurring Yvaniella alpani was considerably slower and rarely exceeded 10mm/year. Differential growth rates of the two most abundant species, and morphological characters of Yvaniella which indicate that skeletal growth capacity was similar to sediment accumulation, allowed for a consistent reconstruction of the original growth fabric. CaCO3 production of the rudist communities amounted to 20 kg x year-1 x m-2 and contributed significantly to the sedimentary budget. Large-scale formation of fine-grained calcareous sediments by bioeroders occurred only in environments of less rapid burial, indicated by associations of slowly-growing geniculate rudist morphotypes and patellate corals. The implications of these results for the distribution of rudists and corals in Cretaceous shallow-marine environments are discussed.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)385-401
Number of pages17
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Campanian
  • Growth rates
  • Palaeobiology
  • Rudists
  • Stable isotopes
  • Turkey


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