Faculté des sciences

The stratigraphic architecture and evolution of the Burdigalian carbonate—siliciclastic sedimentary systems of the Mut Basin, Turkey

Bassant, P. ; Buchem, F.S.P. van ; Strasser, André ; Görür, N.

In: Sedimentary Geology, 2005, vol. 1-4(3), p. 187

This study describes the coeval development of the depositional environments in three areas across the Mut Basin (Southern Turkey) throughout the Late Burdigalian (early Miocene). Antecedent topography and rapid high-amplitude sea-level change are the main controlling factors on stratigraphic architecture and sediment type. Stratigraphic evidence is observed for two high-amplitude (100–150 m)... More

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    Summary
    This study describes the coeval development of the depositional environments in three areas across the Mut Basin (Southern Turkey) throughout the Late Burdigalian (early Miocene). Antecedent topography and rapid high-amplitude sea-level change are the main controlling factors on stratigraphic architecture and sediment type. Stratigraphic evidence is observed for two high-amplitude (100–150 m) sea-level cycles in the Late Burdigalian to Langhian. These cycles are interpreted to be eustatic in nature and driven by the long-term 400-Ka orbital eccentricity-cycle-changing ice volumes in the nascent Antarctic icecap. We propose that the Mut Basin is an exemplary case study area for guiding lithostratigraphic predictions in early Miocene shallow-marine carbonate and mixed environments elsewhere in the world. The Late Burdigalian in the Mut Basin was a time of relative tectonic quiescence, during which a complex relict basin topography was flooded by a rapid marine transgression. This area was chosen for study because it presents extraordinary large-scale 3D outcrops and a large diversity of depositional environments throughout the basin. Three study transects were constructed by combining stratal geometries and facies observations into a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework. 3346 m of section were logged, 400 thin sections were studied, and 145 biostratigraphic samples were analysed for nannoplankton dates (Bassant, P., 1999. The high-resolution stratigraphic architecture and evolution of the Burdigalian carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentary systems of the Mut Basin, Turkey. PhD Thesis. GeoFocus 3. University of Fribourg, 277 p.). The first transect (Alahan) is on the northwestern basin margin. Here, the siliciclastic input is high due to the presence of a river system. The siliciclastic depocentre migrates landwards during transgressions, creating an ecological window allowing carbonates to develop in the distal part of the delta. Carbonate production shuts down during the regression when siliciclastics return. The second transect (Pirinç) is also situated on the northern basin margin 12 km to the east of the Alahan section. It shows a complete platform-to-basin transition. An isolated carbonate platform complex develops during the initial flooding, which is drowned during a time of rapid sea-level rise and environmental stress, associated with prograding siliciclastics. The shelf margin then retrogrades forming large-scale clinoform geometries and progrades before a major sea-level fall provokes slumping collapse, followed by rebuilding of the shelf margin as sea level rises again. The third transect (Silifke) has a steep asymmetric Pre-Miocene valley-topography, forming a narrow strait, linking the Mut Basin to the Mediterranean. Strong tidal currents are generated in this strait area. Siliciclastic input is low and localised. Eighty metres of cross-bedded bioclastic sands are deposited in a tidal regime at the base. Subsequently, carbonate platforms backstep against the shallow-dipping northern flank, while platforms only develop on the steep southern flank when a firm wide shallow-marine substrate is provided by a bench on the footwall block. The energy of the environment decreases with increased flooding of the strait area. Third-order sequences and higher-order parasequences have been identified in each transect and correlated between transects. Correlations were made using biostratigraphic data and high-resolution sequence stratigraphy in combination with the construction of the relative sea-level curve for each site. The third-order highstands are stacked in a proximal position and separated by exposure surfaces, while the lowstands, deposited in a distal setting, are separated by deep-marine (offshore or subphotic) deposits. The parasequences produce dominantly aggradational and progradational geometries with transgressive ravinement surfaces and exposure surfaces developing at times. Reconstruction of the depositional profile shows that the third-order sequences are driven by relative sea-level oscillations of 100–150 m, and that these may be attributed to 400-Ka orbital eccentricity cycles. The parasequences are driven by eustatic 20–30 m sea-level oscillations, which may be attributed to the 100-Ka orbital eccentricity cycles. The isolated carbonate build-ups in the Pirinç and Alahan transects develop at the same time as bioclastic tidal deposits in the Silifke area during the transgression of sequence 1. This is caused by a difference in hydrodynamic regime: a direct result of basin morphology funneling tidal currents in the Silifke area. We also demonstrate how during the highstands a siliciclastic delta system progrades in the Alahan area, while only 12 km to the east, a fringing carbonate platform develops, showing how siliciclastic input can have a very localised effect on carbonate environments. The exceptional quality of the outcrops with its variety of environments and its location at the Tethyan margin make this site a good candidate for a reference model for Burdigalian reef and platform architectures.