Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Paleokarst from the Ligurian Alps and its geological significance (Siderolitico Auct., Ligurian Briançonnais domain)

Alessandro Decarlis, Alberto Lualdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Ligurian Briançonnais domain, the thick Middle Triassic carbonateplatform units, formally known as the Costa Losera Fm. and S. Pietro dei Monti Dolomites, are followed by a significant unconformity separating them from the Rio di Nava neritic limestones of Bathonian age. According to the evolution of a passive continental margin, the end of subsidence and subsequent uplift led to the progressive erosion of the Triassic carbonate platform from outer to inner units, i.e., in the direction of the Ligurian Tethys. This erosion, possibly acting on a fault-controlled block system, created sedimentary sequences of differential composition, and the virtual absence of the entire Triassic complex and even the underlying Permian rocks. In the study area (and in many other locations belonging to the external Ormea unit), the so-called "briançonnais sedimentary gap" shows more than a nondepositional surface: the associated deposits (known as " Siderolitico" Auct.) include both red pelites between the above-mentioned units, and deep-penetrating karstic red breccia within the Ladinian carbonates. We performed detailed stratigraphic, microfacies and compositional analyses on the karsts and paleosoils associated with the unconformity in order to define their character, genesis and age. In addition, we discuss the regional context and importance of these deposits in a large-scale comparison with the classic Briançonnais domain and other locations of the Western Alpine Arch with the same unconformity. In light of these data, we propose an Upper Triassic to Early Jurassic age (until the Upper Bajocian?) for the karstic event in the Ligurian Alps.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)579-593
Number of pages15
JournalSwiss Journal of Geosciences
Volume101
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Bauxite
  • Early Jurassic
  • Ligurian Briançonnais
  • Paleokarst
  • Siderolitico
  • Syn-rift deposits

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