Palaeogeography of the western Pelagonian continental margin in Beotia (Greece) during the Cretaceous-biostratigraphy and isotopic compositions (δ13C, δ18O) of calcareous deposits

T. Steuber, R. Gotzes, M. Raeder, J. Walter

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The palaeogeography of Beotia, Greece, during the Cretaceous is outlined on the basis of biostratigraphic evidence derived predominantly from the distribution of rudist bivalves and planktonic foraminifera. Observed facies trends are evaluated together with carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of limestones and rudist shells. The interaction between global sea level fluctuations and gradual subsidence of the Pelagonian continental margin controlled facies distribution during most of the Cretaceous. The sedimentary record begins with Berriasian flysch-type deposits that accumulated during incipient Eohellenian orogenic movements. Barremian deposits with similar sedimentological characteristics probably belong to the same tectonostratigraphic unit. During Aptian-Cenomanian times, terrigenous clastics with a few intercalated marine limestones accumulated in South Beotia. The fossil content of patch reefs presents important biostratigraphic marks in this terrigenous sequence. Carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions recorded unstable marine environments and subsequent decrease of continental influx. Continuous subsidence and rising sea levels are evident in the Late Turonian onlap of rudist limestones on the Eohellenian basement of the Ptoon Mountains as well as in the interfingering of calcareous slope deposits and basinal Globotruncana-mudstones of South Beotia. During Late Coniacian-Early Santonian, a marked regression finally led to a regional emersion and the development of a karst relief. This regression is predated by "heavy" oxygen isotopic compositions in the Coniacian limestones, which probably resulted from isolation of a larger marine embayment from oceanic circulation. The subsequent Late Santonian-Campanian transgression flooded all of Beotia. Its sediments lie over allochthonous laterites. Extended rudist biostromes developed as soon as continental influx ceased, as indicated both by the stable isotope compositions of rudish shells and embedding limestones. During the Late Campanian, the rather uniform platform-type depositional environments differentiated and pelagic sedimentation recurred in South Beotia, whereas depositional environments to the north remained shallow. Incipient tectonics movements were responsible for a Late Maastrichtian emersion of North Beotia, while basinal conditions persisted in the south. The onset of flysch-type sedimentation occurred simultaneously during the Late Paleocene in North Beotia, as well as in the adjacent Parnassus and Pindos zones. However, this important facies transition has not yet been precisely dated in South Beotia.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)253-271
Number of pages19
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1993


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