GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 50, 2, BRATISLAVA, APRIL 1999
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY
APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT IN THE PIENINY KLIPPEN BELT,
SLOVAK WESTERN CARPATHIANS
, DANIELA REHÁKOVÁ
, OTÍLIA LINTNEROVÁ
, EVA HALÁSOVÁ
, JÚLIA KOTULOVÁ
, JÁN SOTÁK
, JANA HLADÍKOVÁ
and PETR SKUPIEN
Geological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 842 26 Bratislava,
Slovak Republic; * firstname.lastname@example.org
Geological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Branch: Severná 5, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic
Department of Mineral Deposits & Geology, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina G, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Department of Geology and Paleontology, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina G, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Geological Survey of the Slovak Republic, Mlynská dolina 1, 817 04 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3, 118 21 Praha, Czech Republic
Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Technical University, 17. listopadu, 708 33 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic
(Manuscript received February 20, 1998; accepted in revised form December 9, 1998)
Abstract: Orbital perturbations of Barremian/Aptian climate traceable by sedimentological, biological and chemical
proxies have been studied in Mt. Rochovica (Western Carpathians, Pieniny Klippen Belt) sedimentary sequence. This
pelagic carbonate sequence represents a record of sedimentation on a distal edge of the Paleoeuropean shelf. Pelagic
carbonate deposition was influenced by clastic input from the elevated Czorsztyn Ridge (microbreccia of Tithonian/
Berriasian limestones) and by fluxoturbidites derived from unknown carbonate buildups. Interruption of carbonate
deposition by the terrigeneous Koòhora Formation has been interpreted as a consequence of a humid event in the initial
stage of the mid-Cretaceous Greenhouse climate. Three anoxia models (depositional, productivity and stagnant one)
have been distinguished in the depositionary regime.
Key words: Lower Cretaceous, Western Carpathians, Slovakia, lithology, stratigraphy, bioevents, anoxic sediments,
second one was eroded by 1997 summer floods along the right
margin of the rocky bed of the Kysuca River (the K-section in
the text). The rock samples for microfacies analysis were tak-
en at one-meter intervals, more dense (up to decimeter scale)
sampling being provided in critical parts of the sequence.
Thin sections were made from each sample, then twenty one
microcomponents from each section were evaluated in the op-
tical microscope. A total of 448 thin sections have been exam-
ined. The results have been computed and illustrated (by the
use of the personal computer) graphically (Fig. 2).
Quantitative analysis of the allochem spectra including
plankton remnants can provide a base for the reconstruction
of oceanographic environmental changes during sedimentat-
ion. Moreover, changes of fossil associations if compared
with the carbon-isotope data can serve as a tracer of past en-
vironments. We focused on quantification of the full al-
lochem spectrum in order to understand its response to both
regional and global environmental changes and to analyze
the relationship between evolution, climate, ocean behaviour
and geological processes. The quantitative share of individu-
al microplankton constituents was analysed in thin sections
of limestone sample sets (see above). Biozonations intro-
duced by Vaíèek et al. (1994), Reháková (1995b), or Rehá-
A narrows formed by the Kysuca River (called the Kysuca
Gate) penetrating through a tectonic body of the Jurassic/Cre-
taceous pelagic limestone (Fig. 1) exposes the sequence of the
Kysuca Unit one of the typical units of the Pieniny Klippen
Belt. The Lower Cretaceous part of this sequence is exposed
along the right riverside on the Mt. Rochovica foothill. This
paper analyses the passage from the basinal Maiolica lime-
stone with Barremian calciturbidite intercalations to dark
shales of the successive Lower Aptian Koòhora Formation.
Our investigation is based on a multidisciplinary approach.
The data are used for an interpretation of the sedimentary de-
velopment of the Kysuca Basin from the paleoceanographical
and paleoclimatological points of view.
The Hauterivian to Lower Albian sequence (more than one
hundred meters) was sampled in two parallel sections: the first
one is exposed along the road escarpment from Vranie to
Rudinka villages (designated as the R-section in the text), the
170 MICHALÍK et al.
ková & Michalík (1997a) have been used. The foraminifers
from the Rochovica profile were studied mostly in thin sec-
tions (with the exception of samples No. K-385, K-422.8, K-
425.7, K-418). This fact, along with corrosion and recrystal-
lization of many tests sometimes hampered more precise
Thirty seven samples have been analysed for O a C isotope
content. Stable isotopes were measured by a Finigan MAT-2
mass spectrometer. The analyses were done by the Czech
Geological Survey in Prague. This laboratory method has
been described in Michalík et al. (1995). The isotopic data
are reported in the usual notation relative to the Interna-
tional Isotopic Standard PDB.
The TC, TIC and TOC was determined using an IR device,
model C-mat 5500 (Stroehlein). The TC was determined di-
rectly in the combustion tube in the furnace. As the second
step, 0.001 gram of rock sample was diluted in 1:10 HCl
acid to remove TIC by vaporization. The TOC in the residue
sample was determined by the same way at the TC. The TIC
was calculated as the subtraction TCTOC. The device was
calibrated using synthetic spectral-pure CaCO
In Mesozoic times, the Outer Western Carpathians formed
a part of the northern Tethyan margin SE of the Bohemian
Massif (Vaíèek et al. 1994). The Pieniny Klippen Belt is in-
terpreted as a deformed ridge on the edge of this shelf (Fig.
3). In spite of tectonic fragmentation of this complex struc-
ture, this area yields an almost complete record of the Juras-
sic and Cretaceous sedimentation. A Lower Cretaceous pe-
lagic carbonate sequence belonging to the Kysuca Basin
(adjacent to the main Czorsztyn Ridge) is well preserved in
several tectonic slices (Andrusov 1938; Andrusov & Scheib-
ner 1960; Scheibner 1968; Andrusov & Samuel 1973; Hako
1973; Birkenmajer 1977; Samuel et al. 1988; Vaíèek et al.
Upper Tithonian to lowermost Albian Maiolica type lime-
stones were deposited over wide parts of the Western Car-
pathians (Wieczorek 1988; Reháková 1995a; Michalík 1995).
Two formations were distinguished in the Rochovica maioli-
ca-type sequence. The lower one, called the Pieniny Lime-
stone Formation by Birkenmajer (1977) is separated by the
shaly Koòhora Formation from the upper limestone complex
named the Brodno Formation (Fig. 2).
The Upper TithonianBarremian Pieniny Limestone For-
mation consists of white to grey nannofossil limestones with
chert nodules and bands. Rhythmical bedding, best visible in
the Lower Valanginian part of the sequence, is expressed ei-
ther by alternation of limestone and marly layers or by repet-
itive mutual substitution of calcareous and siliceous plank-
ton remnants, as well (Reháková & Michalík 1994). The
Upper Valanginian facies variation, decrease of plankton and
Fig. 1. Geological sketch of the Kysuca Gate area, NNE of ilina, NW Slovakia (its position in Slovakia is indicated in the upper left cor-
ner) composition of the Kysuca Unit.
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 171
Fig. 3. Quantitative evaluation of share of organic remnants (radiolarians, sponge spicules, planktonic foraminifers and fragments of nerit-
ic benthic organism skeletons) and siliciclastics (quartz silt and clay) correlated with sequence stratigraphic division of the Vranie Mb.,
Koòhora-, Brodno- and Rudina Formations in the Rochovica (R) section.
Fig. 2. Aptian paleogeography of Europe (with use of data from Baraboshkin 1997, Mutterlose 1992, Vaíèek et al. 1994) with respect to
the Rochovica section (indicated by full circle).
172 MICHALÍK et al.
their relations to the fluctuations in the C-isotope record were
discussed by Michalík et al. (1995). Another five events with
minimum plankton abundance are recognizable in the overly-
ing Hauterivian to Aptian sequence. However, the carbon iso-
tope geochemistry has not been studied here, yet.
The Barremian Vranie Member (new name, Figs. 2, 4) rep-
resents a calciturbidite-rich section in the uppermost Pieniny
Limestone Formation. It consists of well bedded grey and dark
grey, marly spotted nannoconid and foraminiferal wacke-
stones to packstones interrupted by calcarenite layers with
abundant fragments of benthic organisms. Sporadically ob-
served gradation of biodetrital particles is considered a proof
of the distal turbidite origin of several beds.
The Vranie Mb. limestone sequence is covered by the
Koòhora Formation (Andrusov in Andrusov & Samuel
1973, or Andrusov & Fusán 1973; Fig. 4). Abrupt substitut-
ion of pelagic carbonates by dark marlstone with coalified
plant fragments and pyrite indicates an important environ-
The Koòhora Fm. is followed by the Upper AptianLower
Albian Brodno Formation (Scheibner in Buday et al. 1967;
Fig. 4) consisting of spotted limestones with intercalations of
dark and red marls. This formation is covered by Upper Albi-
an pelagic red marls of the Rudina Formation and by the Cen-
omanian Lalinok Member (Scheibner 1958) of the Jaworki
Formation (Birkenmajer 1977).
Sedimentological record and its sequence stratigraphic
The thickness variablity of pelagic limestone layers, thick-
ness variation or absence of marly interbeds, presence of al-
lodapic beds and intensity of bioturbation are the most ex-
pressive textural marks in the apparently monotonous
Rochovica sequence. These data, along with quantitative
changes in allochem representation in individual beds of the
sequence were correlated with respect to the sea level chang-
es in the HauterivianAptian time (Vail et al. 1977; Haq et
al. 1987). Individual allochem shares are of different inter-
pretational value from the sequence stratigraphical point of
view. First of all, the radiolarians, silicisponge spicules,
planktonic foraminifers, neritic biodetrital- and terrigeneous
clastic grains represent the constituents of the highest impor-
tance (Fig. 2).
The Vranie Member of the Pieniny Limestone Formation
The uppermost part of the Pieniny Limestone Formation
consists mostly of planktogenic limestones with occasional
intercalations of (calciturbiditic) calcarenites, slightly sili-
ceous (contourite) calcisiltites marlstones and marls. The
bedding is well developed, the thickness of beds attains 2 to
38 cm. Closer observation allowed us to distinguish inter-
vals attributable to the 3
-order sequence tracts.
The intervals interpreted as the lowstand tracts start with
apparent thick (2538 cm) layers of wackestones or pack-
stones with abundant fine organic debris and with only thin
(if any) intercalations of marl. The share of shallow benthic
organism (echinoids, crinoids, benthic foraminifers, ostra-
cods) debris is high (1830 %), sometimes accompanied by
a rise of the terrigenous clastic component (1 to 8 % in the
higher part of the sequence). Tiny globular planktonic hed-
bergellid foraminifers occurring in limestone matrix repre-
sent (in accordance with Robaszynski & Caron 1995) oppor-
tunistic organisms of an unstable marine environment.
Clasts of Berriasian calpionellid limestone (0.5 to 2 mm)
containing conoglobuligerinid foraminifers also occur.
Sometimes, indications of oriented debris lamination or ero-
sion marks can be observed. The bioturbation is very strong,
infaunal burrows being sometimes arranged in more-or-less
regular galleries. In a complete development, tiering patterns
of trace fossil generations similar to those illustrated by
Uchman (1997) or Kedzerski & Uchman (1997) from the
ValanginianBarremian Koscieliska Formation in the High
Tatra Mts. (ThalassinoidesPlanolitesChondrites) are pre-
The intervals interpreted as probable shelf margin tracts are
typically evolved in the upper part of the sequence studied.
The thickness of wackestone layers is much smaller, if com-
pared with the typical lowstands (attaining 1522 cm only),
slumping textures, or similar deformations occur. The amount
of biogenic neritic organisms debris is low (5 to 18 %). Bio-
turbation is common, sometimes being arranged in more and
less bioturbated bands (Pl. II: Figs.1, 6, 7).
The intervals interpreted as the transgressive tracts can be
distinguished by regularly bedded (819 cm) wackestones
with a medium bioturbation (PlanolitesChondrites, Pl. I:
Figs. 3, 8) and common chert nodules. Marly layers occur ir-
regularly. The content of calcareous dinoflagellates and
globochaetes is raised moderately (1 to 3 %) compared to the
lowstand- or highstand conditions. Silicification is infre-
quently observable. Calcarenite (packstone) layers with ero-
sive bases were interpreted as calciturbidite beds occurring
in the higher part of the sequence. They often replace inter-
beds of laminated siliceous calcisiltites (with thin lamina of
radiolarian sand with erosive base compared with contou-
rites), commonly occurring in the Pieniny Limestone Forma-
tion, but also in equivalent parts of both the Brodno and Ru-
dina Formations (Pl. I: Fig. 9).
The sediments interpreted as the highstand tract systems
are characterized by less bioturbated (mostly Chondrites),
sometimes laminated mudstones (Pl. I: Fig. 5). Thin light-
coloured beds (210 cm) with regular marly intercalations
are often arranged in a rhythmic pattern. Silicification is ex-
tensive, with cherts sometimes forming stratiform bands.
The maximum concentrations of radiolarians and/or sponge
spicules are usually associated with the maximum flooding
surfaces. On the sketch of Andrusov (in Andrusov & Fusán
1973), the uppermost beds of the Pieniny Fm. sequence be-
low the Koòhora Fm. are deformed, resembling subaquatic
slumping. Slumping phenomena have been also reported by
Arthur & Premoli Silva (1982), Bersezio (1994) in an equiv-
alent level (the uppermost part of the Maiolica Lst. Fm.), in-
dicating a loading of poorly consolidated sediment by a huge
input of terrigenous clastics.
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 173
Fig. 4. Lithology, microfacies and bioturbation of the Vranie Mb., Koòhora and Brodno Fms. of the Rochovica sequence, K (Kysuca) sec-
tion and its sequence stratigraphic interpretation correlated with the global sea level fluctuation curve (Vail et al. 1977).
174 PLATE I
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 175
Four different microfacies were recognized in the studied
section, all indicating open marine environments. Microfacies
F1 to F3 indicate pelagic to hemipelagic environments which
prevailed during sedimentation of the whole sequence stud-
ied. On the other hand, the microfacies F4 reflects the influ-
ence of outer platform (circalittoral) conditions: it occurs in
calciturbidite beds of the Vranie Mb. The microfacies F1 con-
sists of a biomicrite with rare ostracods, sponge spicules,
planktonic foraminifers and small echinoderms debris. It is
characteristic of a pelagic environment of the uppermost part
of the Koòhora Formation, as well as of the Brodno Formation
(Pl. II: Fig. 9). The microfacies F2 is a biomicrite with abun-
dant recrystallized sponge spicules and radiolarians. It indi-
cates hemipelagic to pelagic environments of the Koòhora
Formation (Pl. II: Fig. 6). The microfacies F3 is characterized
by a biomicrite with very abundant well preserved sponge spi-
cules and radiolarians (F3A, Pl. II: Figs. 7, 8), or with abun-
dant recrystallized planktonic foraminifers (Pl. II: Fig.10) with
silty matrix rich in organic matter and pyrite accumulations
(F3B). This microfacies indicates a pelagic to hemipelagic an-
oxic environment of the Koòhora Fm.
The microfacies F4 is represented by a biomicrite with an
increasing amount of crinoids accompanied by bivalves, echi-
noids, benthic foraminifers, ostracods, sponges, radiolarians,
dinoflagellates and planktonic foraminifers. Several beds con-
tain bioclasts with calpionellids and conoglobigerinids (or
almost free tests of them) evidently derived from older (mostly
Lower Berriasian) horizons (Pl. II: Figs.13; Pl. VII: Figs.1
2). This microfacies has been observed in fluxoturbidite beds
of the Vranie Member.
The Rochovica section study allows us to correlate several
results of detailed bio-, sequence- and isotope stratigraphy.
The biostratigraphic framework is based on integrated calpi-
onellid, calcareous nannofossil, planktonic and benthic fora-
minifer and radiolarian events.
The Hauterivian part of the Tintinnopsella Zone of Borza
(1984) was defined as an interval by the occurrence of the last
calpionellids represented by Tintinnopsella carpathica
(Murgeanu & Filipescu). It is present in the middle part of the
Pieniny Limestone Formation. Nannoconid mudstones (rarely
wackestones) contain tiny debris of organic remnants domi-
nated by ostracode tests and crinoid columnalia over benthic
foraminifers (Patellina subcretacea Cushman & Alexander,
Spirillina italica Dieni & Massari, Textularia sp., Lenticulina
cf. ouachensis (Sigal)) and calcareous dinoflagellate cysts
(Cadosina semiradiata fusca (Wanner), Cadosinopsis nowaki
Borza). A few cross-sections of Tintinnopsella carpathica
were observed in association with the first representatives of
planktonic foraminifers Favusella hoterivica (Subbotina).
Plate I: Limestone facies of the Rochovica section. Fig. 1. Ap-1
shelf margin tract facies (Vranie Mb., sample K-413.7) with Chon-
drites sp., and Planolites sp.; Fig. 2. Intensively bioturbated low-
stand facies Ap-2 (Koòhora Fm., sample K-419.2) with Planolites
sp.; Fig. 3. Transgressive stand facies (Pieniny Lst. Fm., sample K-
345), ?Planolites sp. with gallery-like infilling; Fig. 4. Transgressive
stand facies Ap-2 with lamination and Planolites sp. burrows
(Koòhora Fm., sample K-420.5); Fig. 5. High stand facies Ba-3 of
fine laminated limestones affected by slumping (Vranie Mb., sample
K-404.4); Fig. 6. Shelf margin tract facies Ba-5, lamination de-
stroyed by bioturbation (Vranie Mb., sample K-409); Fig. 7. Shelf
margin tract facies Ha-3, fine detrital limestone with irregular sea
urchins (Pieniny Lst. Fm., sample K-356); Fig. 8. Transgressive
stand facies Ha-7, cherty limestone with silicified burrows of Chon-
drites sp. containing sponge spiculae accumulations (Vranie Mb.,
sample K-383); Fig. 9. Highstand contourite facies Al-1, calcisilte
with radiolarian concentrations in laminae and with erosive base
(Rudina Fm., sample K-428.6). Scale = 10 mm.
The Koòhora Formation
According to Andrusov & Fusán 1973, it consists of a six
to twenty meters of black to dark brown clays rich in plant
fragments, common silt-sized quartz- and glauconite grains
(Pl. II: Figs. 4, 5). Pyrite concretions are commonly altered
into limonitic bodies. Benthic faunal remnants are missing,
but pyritized remnants of ammonites and carbonized fish
scales, bones and teeths occur sporadically. The major part
of this sequence can be attributed to the lowstand facies ex-
pressively influenced by terrigenous influx.
Clayey beds represent decreasing terrestrial input upward,
limestone intercalations appearing in the upper part of the for-
mation represent time slices with raised calcareous plankton
productivity (Pl. II: Fig. 9) and with sporadic marly limestone
intercalations in the higher part. Bioturbation is common here,
with infaunal burrows sometimes arranged in more-or-less
regular galeries (Pl. I: Fig. 4). Parallel laminated radiolarian-
rich laminae (Pl. II: Figs. 68) appear periodically in shaly se-
quence. In warmer intervals, indicated by an anoxic bottom
regime, more stable marine conditions favoured the develop-
ment of diversified planktonic foraminifer associations. This
part of the Koòhora Formation was deposited during ongoing
The Brodno Formation
This, 1316 m thick complex is represented by well bed-
ded marly limestones with intercalation of grey (in the upper
part reddish) marls. The Albian part of this formation is
characterized by a renewal of the turbidite deposition. The
sequence stratigraphic division is similar to that of the
Vranie Member. Three sequences in which shelf margin and
transgressive tracts have been distinguished, almost lack
their highstand parts (Fig. 4). The uppermost, 35 cm thick
layer of calciturbidite origin with large clasts of calpionellid
limestone already belongs to the base of the overlying, 25 m
thick Rudina Formation.
176 PLATE II
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 177
Calciturbidite interlayers in both the Vranie Mb. and Brodno
Formation contain rare, but surprisingly well preserved cross-sec-
tions of Berriasian calpionellids (Calpionella alpina Lorenz,
Crassicollaria parvula Remane; Pl. II: Figs. 2, 3) and planktonic
foraminifers Favusella hoterivica (Pl. VII: Figs. 1, 2).
Reháková & Michalík (1997b) stated, that the evolution of
this group of calcareous microplankton reflects changes of the
global climate. In turn, these changes directly influence the sa-
linity and the sea water temperature. It seems that the calpi-
onellid stagnation and radiation phases also coincided with
sea level oscillations.
Planktonic foraminifers, forming only a subordinate part
of the foraminiferal microfauna in the Pieniny Limestone
Formation, attain a dominant position in the Koòhora For-
mation. They are represented by Hedbergella sp., H. aff. del-
rioensis (Carsey), H. aff. infracretacea (Glaessner), H.
planispira (Tappan) (Pl. IV: Fig. 6), H. seminolensis (Harl-
ton), H. similis Longoria (Pl. IV: Fig. 3), H. trocoidea (Gan-
dolfi), H. tuschepsensis (Antonova). Hedbergellids co-occur
with Planomalina (Globigerinelloides) sp. (Pl. IV: Figs. 4
5), Pl. (Gl.) algerianus Cushman (Pl. V: Fig. 4), Pl. (Gl.)
blowi (Bolli), Pl. (Gl.) ferreolensis (Moullade), Pl. (Gl.) cf.
maridalensis (Bolli), Clavihedbergella eocretacea Neagu
(Pl. IV: Figs.12), Cl. subcretacea (Tappan), Leupoldina cf.
pustulans (Bolli) (Table 5, Figs.1, 2), L. reicheli (Bolli), Big-
lobigerinella barri Bolli, Loeblich & Tappan (Table 5, Fig.
3). Ancestral forms of the evolutionary lineage Hedbergella
trocoidea (Gandolfi) Ticinella roberti, appear in the higher
parts of the Koòhora Formation sequence.
Foraminifers represent a rock forming constituent in sev-
eral thin layers (sometimes rather laminae or nests) in the
Koòhora Formation. Current orientation was observed. Re-
crystallization of tests is obvious, pyrite fillings have been
recorded in almost all thin sections (Pl. IV: Fig. 7). Foramin-
iferal fauna is sometimes substituted by the spumellarian
type of radiolarians and sponge spicules. Common plankton-
ic foraminifer tests filled by quartz, pyrite or rough calcite
crystalls are represented by Hedbergella sp., H. aff. delri-
oensis (Carsey), H. aff. infracretacea (Glaessner), H.
planispira (Tappan), H. similis Longoria, H. tuschepsensis
(Antonova), Clavihedbergella sp., Cl. eocretacea Neagu,
Planomalina (Globigerinelloides) sp., Leupoldina reicheli
(Bolli) along with radiolarians and sponge spicules occur in
the sample R-420-A (Pl. IV: Figs.16). Both the complete
remnants of any benthic animals and the signs of bioturba-
tion are missing here. Therefore, it seems that the bottom
level was not inhabited by benthos and that skeletal frag-
ments came from another environment (surface waters and/
or more neritic parts of the bottom). Pyrite (now limonite)
infillings of the tests (sample K-418, etc.) represent early di-
agenetic processes in anoxic black shale facies. Surprisingly,
well preserved specimens of benthic Lenticulina muensteri
(Roemer) and Lenticulina sp. preserved in original calcite
test composition probably represent redeposits from the ner-
The Aptian part of the Brodno Formation yields an associ-
ation of Ticinella sp., T. bejaouaensis Sigal, Hedbergella
sp., H. seminolensis (Harlton) (Pl. VI: Figs. 25), Clavihed-
bergella subcretacea (Tappan) (Pl. VI: Fig. 1) Albian plank-
tonic foraminifers are represented by Ticinella roberti (Gan-
dolfi) (Pl. V: Fig. 5), Biticinella breggiensis (Gandolfi) (Pl.
V: Fig. 6), Thalmaninella ticinensis subticinensis (Gandolfi)
and Th. ticinensis ticinensis (Gandolfi) (Pl. V: Figs. 7, 8).
These are accompanied by radiolarians, smooth ostracods
and sponge spicules in the Brodno Formation. Rare glauco-
nite proves the presence of bottom currents.
Calcareous nannofossils in the Rochovica section were
mostly examined from marly shales intercalated in pelagic
limestones. Low diverse nannofossils were generally poorly
preserved, and dominated by the most common solution-re-
sistant long-ranging taxa like Nannoconus, Watznaueria, Mi-
crantholithus, or Rucinolithus. Nannofossil biostrati-
graphical markers are very rare.
According to Deres & Acheritequy (1980), the first ap-
pearence datum (FAD) (sample No. 325) of Nannoconus
bucheri aproximates to the Valanginian/Hauterivian boundary
near the sample 325. Nannoconids start to be abundant in the
upper part of the Lower Hauterivian interval of the Pieniny
Limestone Formation (sample 343). Other frequent taxa are
rather long ranging Micrantholithus hoschulzii, Zeugrhabdot-
us embergeri, Conusphaera mexicana. Rare occurrences of
the Early Hauterivian-Early Barremian index species (sensu
Mutterlose et al. 1996) Litraphidites bollii (with FAD in 331
and the last appearence datumLAD 343), Cruciellipsis cu-
villieri (LAD 331) denoting by its last occurrence the Early/
Late Hauterivian boundary, or Calcicalathina oblongata oc-
curing sporadically (FAD 331, LAD 337) in Lower Valangin-
ian to Lower Barremian deposits (Mutterlose et al. 1996) are
useful. The maximum dominance of Nannoconaceae (namely
N. steinmanni) was recorded in limestone sample No 368. The
Plate II: Microfacies of Vranie Mb., Koòhora- and Brodno Fms.
Figs. 13. Microfacies F4: biomicrite with abundant crinoids (Fig.
1) accompanied by rare benthic foraminifers, ostracods, and bio-
clasts with calpionellids. Calpionella alpina Lorenz, Crassicollaria
parvula Remane are shown on Figs. 23. Vranie Mb., samples K-
383.3; K-385; K-414. Figs. 45. Dark grey to black clayey Koòho-
ra Fm. marlstone. Silty matrix is rich in organic matter and pyrite ac-
cumulation. Organic remnants are sporadicaly presented
(Hedbergella sp. on the Fig. 5), Samples R-416; R-420. Figs. 68.
Microfacies F3A: radiolarian-sponge packstones with common
claystone fragments, glauconite and quartz grains occur occasional-
ly. Koòhora Fm., samples R-419, R-422.8. Fig. 9. Microfacies F1:
nannoconid mudstone with rare sections of planktonic foraminifers.
This microfacies is typical of the uppermost part of the Koòhora
Formation as well as of the Brodno Fm. Sample R-424 (thin nanno-
conid rich laminae were observed throughout all the Koòhora Fm.
too, samples R-417). Fig. 10. Microfacies F3B: packstone with
abundant diverse planktonic foraminiferal association. Brodno For-
mation, sample R-423.5. The bar in the Fig. 6 is equal to 200 µm,
other figures are related to the bar in Fig.10 = 100 µm.
178 MICHALÍK et al.
first representatives of Rucinolithus started in the Upper Hau-
terivian part of the section (sample 368).
The change in the nannoplankton assemblages near the
Hauterivian/Barremian boundary (sample 390) showed
decreasing nannoconid size, but increasing diversity of the as-
semblage (N. globulus, N. colomi, N. kamptneri, N. bucheri,
N. boneti, abundant micrantholiths).
The Vranie Member yields very abundant Watznaueria
barnesae and the Barremian-Early Aptian (Erba et al. 1996)
index species Nannoconus circularis (sample 409).
The Koòhora Formation contains a diverse nannofossil as-
sociation heavily damaged during diagenesis. Sudden increase
of the nannolith group Polycyclolithaceae (Assipetra infracre-
taceea, Rucinolithus irregularis, R. terebrodentarius) and de-
crease of Nannoconacea was observed. A similar decrease
event (nannoconid crisis) was described by Erba 1994. The
FADs of Chiastozygus litterarius (416) and Rucinolithus ir-
regularis (418) were recorded.
The Brodno Formation is characterized by abundant Ruci-
nolithus (423, 425), higher dominated Watznaueria barne-
sae and Nannoconus, while Rucinolithus occurs in low num-
bers only. According to Perch-Nielsen (1985) the LAD of
Conusphaera mexicana indicates the Early/Late Aptian
boundary. This event was recorded in the sample No. 423.
The FAD of Ephrolithus floralis and this of Rhagodiscus an-
gustus (436) could evidence the Late Aptian Rhagodiscus
The Rudina Formation include a relatively rich association
of poorly preserved calcareous nannoflora dominated by
Watznaueria barnesae. The presence of poorly preserved
Eiffelithus turriseiffelii (samples 437, 439) points to the
presence of Upper Albian-Lower Cenomanian (CC9 Zone)
nannofaunal complexes. On the other hand, the Early Albian
Prediscosphaera columnata (CC8) zonal index was not
In summary, nine nannofloral bioevents have been ob-
served in the section studied:
437 FAD Eiffelithus turriseiffelii
436 FAD Rhagodiscus angustus + Ephrolithus floralis
(see discussion in Bischoff 1998 and Bischoff & Mutterlose
423 LAD Conusphaera mexicana (redeposited speci-
mens have also been found in the beds up to 436)
418 FAD Rucinolithus irregularis + Chiastoyzgus lit-
390 FAD Rucinolithus terebrodentarius
356 LAD Calcicalathina oblongata (redeposited speci-
mens have also been found in the beds up to 420)
343 LAD Litraphidites bollii
331 FAD Litraphidites bollii + LAD Cruciellipsis cu-
337 FAD Calcicalathina oblongata
325 FAD Nannoconus bucheri
Several changes in assemblage composition, namely
abrupt increase of Rucinolithus terebrodentarius and de-
crease of Nannoconaceae were recorded in sample sequence
416423. Redeposition was observed several times (420,
Plate III: Barremian/Aptian benthic foraminifers of the Ro-
chovica section. Fig. 1. Aaptotoichus clavellatus (Loeblich &
Tappan), sample K-390; Fig. 2. Textularia haeusleri Kaptarenko,
sample K-410; Fig. 3. Proromarssonella praeoxycona (Moullade)
sample K-424; Fig. 4. Kadriayina granata (Berthelin), sample K-
416; Fig. 5. Dorothia praehauteriviana Dieni & Massari, sample
K-397; Fig. 6. Spirillina italica Dieni & Massari, sample K-361.5;
Fig. 7. Meandrospira favrei (Charollais, Bronnimann & Zaninetti),
sample K-377; Fig. 8. Haplophragmoides cf. vocontianus Moul-
lade, sample K-343. The magnification of all figures is uniform, in-
dicated by the bar on Fig. 8 = 100 µm.
Dinoflagellates and palynomorphs
The Vranie Member contains an association of long-rang-
ing Barremian-Aptian dinocysts (Table 1, sample 408.5) of
rather low diversity (8 species).
The dinocyst diversity of the Koòhora Fm. asociation is
much higher, being dominated by (30 %) Odontochitina
operculata. This association, in which the bisaccate pollen
grains form 1/3 of the assemblage, characterizes a restricted
shallow marine environment. Achomosphaera verdieri, A.
triangulata, Bathiacasphaera saidensis, Coronifera tubu-
losa found in layer 415, indicate Aptian age (Below 1981,
1982, 1984; Below & Hirsch 1996). An increasing share (27
%) of Achomosphaera and Spiniferites in the higher part of
the formation indicates more open marine conditions.
The presence of Callaiosphaeridium trycherium, Floren-
tinia laciniata and F. mantelii in the higher part of the
Koòhora Fm. (samples 419, 421) could indicate mid-Aptian
age (Below l.c.; Verdier 1974).
Frequent middle/upper Aptian dinocyst occurrence (40 %
of Cerbia tabulata, accompanied by 2837 % of Oli-
gosphaeridium) in the Brodno Formation (beds Nos. 421
425) confirms open marine conditions. Marly bed No. 429.2
contains a redeposited Upper Aptian association with Cerbia
tabulata (Leereveld 1995; Below l.c.).
Three radiolarian assemblages have been obtained from
chert nodules and siliceous bands of both the Koòhora and
Brodno Formations (samples Nos. 419, 422.9 and 422.7; Ta-
ble 2). Radiolarian tests are usually corroded, the nassel-
lariids/spumellariids ratio 4:2 could have been affected by a
preservation bias caused by preferable dissolution of the larg-
er and less resistent spumellariid tests.
The association from the Koòhora Formation (sample No.
419) is dominated by Archaedictyomitra apiarium and Xitus
spicularius over species of Angulobracchia, Dictyomitra,
Parvicilgula, Stylospongia and Thanarla.
The second association (sample No. 422.9) coming from
the Brodno Formation contains common Archaedictyomitra
apiarium, Dictyomitra pseudoscalaris, Pseudodictyomitra
lilyae, Pantanellium squinaboli accompanied by Cryptam-
phorella clivosa, Sethocapsa trachyostraca, Tritrabs cf. ew-
ingi, Orbiculiforma sp. and Sethocapsa sp. The third associ-
ation (sample No. 425.7 of the same formation) is composed
PLATE III 179
180 MICHALÍK et al.
Table 1: Relative abundance of dinoflagellate cysts and other palynomorphs in the Koòhora Formation (sample 408.5 comes from close
underlying beds, sample 429.2 from overlying beds). x rare (less than 4 %), xx occasional (48 %), xxx common (815 %), xxxx
abundant (1530 %), xxxxx very abundant (more than 30 % of all palynomorphs).
V ranie Mb Koòhora Fm.
S a m ple s/da ta
Pterodin ium aliferum
C rib ro pteridin ium edwardsii
Oligosphaeridiu m asterigerum
Exochosph aeridium m uelleri
Endoscrinium cam p anula
Achom o sphaera ram ulifera
Spiniferites ram osu s
xx xx x
xx xx x
Oligosphaeridiu m com p lex
C allaiosphaerid ium asym m etricum
C assiculosphaeridia reticulata
C om etodin ium whitei
C yclonephelium b revispinatum
Kiok ansium polype s
Batiacasph aera saidensis
C rib ro peridinium co ok soniae
Floren tinia cook soniae
Kleithriaspha eridium corrugatum
Kleithriaspha eridium eoinode s
C oronifera tub ulosa
C oronifera ocean ica
Achom o sphaera triangu lata
Achom o sphaera neptun ii
Achom o sphaera verdieri
xx xx x
C rib ro peridinium orthoceras
Floren tinia m antelli
xx xx x
xx xx x
C erb ia tab ulata
Floren tinia laciniata
D issiliodinium glob olus
Floren tinia radicu lata
Spiniferites ram osu s reticula tus
Trab ecu lidinium quinquetrum
C allaiosphaerid ium trycheriu m
C rib ro peridinium auctificium
Prolixosphae ridium parvispinum
System atoph ora cre tacea
Lith odinia sto veri
Oligosphaeridiu m verrucosum
D apsilidinium m ultispino sum
Palaeop eridiniu m cretaceum
System atoph ora silyb um
C irculod inium distinctum
C yclonephelium s p.
Other palynom orphs
xx xx x
m icroforam iniferal te s t lin ings
xx xx x
bis a ccate poll en grains
T o t a l abun dance
of Acanthocicus trizonalis s.l., Acanthocicus sp., Angulo-
bracchia (?) portmani portmani, Archaeodictyomitra apiari-
um, Archaeodictyomitra sp., A. chalilovi, Dictyomitra com-
munis, D. pseudoscalaris, Godia tecta, Holocryptocanium
sp., Mirifusus chenodes, Orbiculiforma sp., Pseudodictyo-
mitra sp., Pantanellium squinaboli, Sethocapsa trachyostra-
ca, Thanarla pulchra, Wrangellium puga (Table 2).
According to Baumgartner (1995), the presence of Stylo-
spongia (?) titirez and Godia tecta limits lower Aptian UA
Nos. 20 to 22. According to O´Dogherty (1994), Dictyomitra
communis represents a Late Aptian age.
Benthic foraminiferal fauna
The benthic foraminifers prevail in the lower members of
the sequence studied. According to Maamouri et al. (1994)
Conorotalites ex gr. bartensteini Bettenstaedt, found in the
Vranie Member (sample R-391; Pl. VII: Fig. 3) represents a
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 181
Table 2: Relative abundance of radiolarians in the Koòhora and
Brodno Formations. o occasional, oo common, ooo abun-
s am ples /data
S tylos pongia (?) titirez
X itus s pic ularius
X itus s p.
P arvic ingula s p.
A ngulob rac hia(?) p.portm ani
A rc haeodic tyom itra apiarium
Dic tyom itra c om m unis
T hanarla pulc hra
T ritrab s c f.ewingi s .l .
S ethoc aps a s p.
P s eudodic tyom itra lilyae
Cryptam phorella c livos a
S ethoc aps a trac hyos trac a
O rb ic uliform a s p.
P s eudodic tyom itra s p.
Dic tyom itra ps eudos c alaris
P antanellium s quinab oli
A rc haeodic tyom itra s p.
G odia tec ta
Holoc ryptoc anium s p.
A c anthoc irc us triz onalis s .l .
A c anthoc irc us s p.
A rc haeodic tyom itra c halilovi
Mirifus us c henodes
W rangellium puga
Table 3: Content of
C, TOC and CaCO
in selected sam-
ples from Vranie Mb., Koòhora, Brodno and Rudina Formations in
the Rochovica R section.
Barremian index. The occurrence of Patellina cf. turriculata
Dieni & Massari (Pl. VII: Fig. 4) is remarkable, as the species
was currently reported from Albian beds only.
Calcarenite layers forming characteristic element of the
Vranie Member contain rich associations of fragments derived
from neritic benthic skeletons, dominated by crinoid columna-
lia and other echinoderm remnants. Benthic foraminifers are
represented by Aaptotoichus clavellatus (Loeblich & Tappan)
(Pl. III: Fig. 1), Ammodiscus tenuissimus (Guembel), Dorothia
cf. glabrata Cushman, Dorothia kummi (Zedler), Dorothia
praehauteriviana Dieni & Massari (Pl. III: Fig. 5), Gaudryina
tuchaensis Antonova, Gavelinella cf. barremiana Bettens-
taedt, Gyroidinoides gracillima (Dam), Haplophragmoides
cf. vocontianus Moullade (Pl. III: Fig. 8), Spirillina minima
Schacko, Spirillina italica Dieni & Massari (Pl. III: Fig. 6),
Meandrospira favrei (Charollais, Bronnimann & Zaninetti)
(Pl. III: Fig. 7), Ophthalmina cf. scariosa Loeblich & Tappan,
Pseudoreophax sp., Sabaudia minuta Hofker, Textularia hau-
sleri Kaptarenko (Pl. III: Fig. 2), Spiroloculina duestensis
Bartenstein & Brand, Trocholina sp. (Pl. VI: Fig. 6). They are
accompanied by very abundant (58 % of palynospectrum in
sample 408.5) microforaminifers, indicating transport from a
shallow neritic environment. Smooth valved ostracods (Pl. VI:
Fig. 9) are also present.
Only Kadriayina gradata (Berthelin) (Pl. III: Fig. 4) was
identified in the lower part of the Koòhora Formation. Anomali-
na flexuosa Antonova was identified in its higher part.
Calciturbiditic intercalations in the Brodno Formation
yield rare specimens of Dorothia aff. oxycona (Reuss) (Pl.
VI: Fig. 7), Proromarssonella praeoxycona (Moullade) (Pl.
III: Fig. 3), Lenticulina cf. subangulata Reuss, Lenticullina
(L.) ouachensis (Sigal) (Pl. VI: Fig. 8), Discorbis was-
soewizi Djaffarov & Agalarova, Lenticulina muensteri (Roe-
mer), Anomalina sp. (Pl. VII: Fig. 5) and Ammovertella cel-
lensis Bartenstein & Brand.
Distribution of redeposited benthic foraminiferal fauna can
be effectively used in correlation of pelagic developments
with contemporaneous shallow marine carbonate platform se-
quences, little investigated at present.
Paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes during the
mid-Cretaceous are detectable with use of C and O isotope
geochemistry and the accumulation record of organic matter.
That is the reason why geochemical studies oriented towards
these problems became popular in the Earth sciences. Epi-
sodes with large-scale storage of organic matter coincide
with sea-level rises, which were produced by an increased
rate of sea floor spreading (Schlanger et al. 1981; Schlanger
& Cita 1982; de Boer 1983). A dramatic increase in ocean
crust production and abnormal mid-Cretaceous interplate
volcanism was postulated by Larson (1991). At the Barremi-
an/Aptian transition, the volcanic Ontong Java Plateau was
formed, near the Aptian/Albian boundary Kerguelen Plateau
volcanism was active (Schlanger et al. 1981; Tarnudo et al.
1991; Bralower et al. 1997). Excessive CO
added to the at-
mosphere during this superplume may have triggered glo-
182 MICHALÍK et al.
Fig. 5. C and O isotope record in pelagic carbonate sequence of the Rochovica section in the Kysuca Gate near ilina. Numbers denote
metric scale of the exposure.
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 183
Fig. 6. Models of oceanic circulation interpreting the development
of the Koòhora Formation sedimentary environment. A) Model of
Detritic Anoxic Event. High freshwater input during relative sea
-level fall brought terrigeneous material, leading to a decrease of
salinity, water mixing and increased mobility of the water column.
The origin of anoxic sediments was provoked by increasing input
of terrestrial organic matter and its rapid burial. B) Model of Pro-
ductivity Anoxic Event. Intensified water circulation after ceasing
of fresh water input enabled upwelling of nutrient-rich central wa-
ters to the surface level and decrease of the oxygen minimum zone.
Mass production of radiolarian plankton in the open sea was ac-
companied by sponge growth along the shelf margin (Senkovskyi
1978, 1979). In stages of low level of homeocline water, contour
currents followed the shelf slope and mixed radiolarian and sponge
spiculae accumulations. During climate warming, the role of radi-
olarians was subsequently replaced by foraminiferal plankton hav-
ing no benthic counterparts. C) Model of Stagnant Anoxic Event.
Raised temperature caused salinity increase in shallow zones, en-
largement of the oxygen minimum zone and decrease of mobility in
the surface water layer. Occasional phytoplankton blooms could
Oxygen and Carbon isotopes
The C and O isotopic composition of the Valanginian and
Hauterivian part of the Pieniny Limestone Formation has
been studied in 16 bulk samples (Michalík et al. 1995). The
results indicated a perturbation of the carbon cycle during
the late Valanginian. The values of
C increased signifi-
cantly from an Early Cretaceous average level of +1.0 or
+1.7 to +2.2 or even +2.8 and characteristically docu-
ment global change in the C-cycle (Weissert & Channell
1989; Lini et al. 1992; Weissert & Mohr 1996).
New results of C and O isotope analyses of the Hauterivi-
an to lowermost Albian bulk samples of the Rochovica sec-
tion are presented in Table 3 and Fig. 5. The C-isotopic pro-
file of the Barremian Vranie Member shows increased
values ranging from +2.1 to +2.8 (Lintnerová et al. 1997;
Fig. 5) indicating to some extent the above mentioned varia-
tions in Barremian sedimentation reflecting sea-water/cli-
mate changes in the C-cycle.
C values of the lower part of the Koòhora Forma-
tion slightly decrease (+1.6 to +1.8 ) in the shale sample
(beds 416 to 418) in comparison with the Vranie Beds cal-
cites (+1.5 to +2.8 ) but the values are still close to the
Lower Cretaceous average. The decrease in
values is visible in beds with strong terrigeneous input and
could indicate a change in sea water composition (e.g. mixing
with monsoonal meteoric water). Calcite content forms 27 to
48 % (carbonatic claystone) of these
O depleted samples
(Table 3) and bears no signs of diagenetic recrystallization.
O ratio of shale complex changes from 1 to 2.5 and
it can indicate 4 to 10
C increase (according to Craig´s pale-
otemperature equation). As the decrease in
with the terrigeneous organic matter input and with the TOC
increase, one can suppose that this change was related rather
to the composition of the sea water. The
C content is less
sensitive to temperature variations, but meteoritic water input
can cause considerably change it (Patterson & Walter 1994).
This is not the case in our sample set.
The C and O isotopic ratio in the upper part of the Koòho-
ra Formation changes more dramatically. A new increase of
C content was recorded here. Huge production and re-
sulting accumulation of the organic matter led to an anoxic
sedimentary regime (Lee 1992; Pedersen & Calvet 1990).
Later, reduction of this matter in sediment caused the origin
of diagenetic pyrite. The Lower Albian part of the Brodno
Formation yielded samples (horizons Nos. 427 to 430) with
even the highest positive peak of
C, reaching values
above +4 (Fig. 5).
The total organic carbon (TOC) content in the limestone is
very low (close to the critical limit of the method sensitivity:
0.05 %, see Table 3, Fig. 5) indicating that it was not buried
during limestone deposition at all. TOC was stored in marl-
stone intercalations with the average value of 0.55 %, rising
from 0.06 % in bed No. 325 to the highest value of TOC mea-
sured in marlstone layer No. 409 in the middle of the Vranie
Member (1.6 %) and decreasing again to 0.28 % in bed No. 437.
bal climatic change (Weissert 1989; Weissert & Lini 1991)
resulting in the warm and humid climate of the mid-Creta-
184 MICHALÍK et al.
The dark calcareous claystones of the Koòhora Member
contain a higher fraction of terrestrial organic matter. It con-
sists mostly of fusinite and semifusinite, less of vitrinite.
Both macerate types represent different stage of carboniza-
tion, indicating mixing of different land sources, possibly
also with marine ones.
Plate IV: Planktonic foraminifers of the Koòhora Formation. Figs. 12. Clavihedbergella eocretacea Neagu, sample R-420 A; Fig. 3.
Hedbergella similis Longoria, sample R-420 A; Figs. 45. Planomalina (Globigerinelloides) sp., sample R-420; Fig. 6. Hedbergella
planispira (Tappan) sample R-420; All above mentioned species are silicified. Fig. 7. Pyrite accumulation in tests of planktonic foramin-
ifers, Koòhora Fm., sample K-417.5. Bars indicate distance of 100 µm.
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 185
A hot and dry climate at the beginning of Mesozoic Era
supported a stagnant salinity gradient of deep oceanic water
stratification (Haq 1984; Railsback 1990): this pattern per-
sisted until the early Late Jurassic. It was interrupted by
colder, more humid episodes in the early Carnian, Rhaetian
and Hettangian. A slight temperature decrease of the Earths
Plate V: Figs. 12. Leupoldina cf. pustulans (Bolli), sample K-424.5; Fig. 3. Biglobigerinella barri Bolli, Loeblich & Tappan, sample K-422.5;
Fig. 4. Planomalina (Globigerinelloides) algerianus Cushman & Ten Dam sample K-421; Fig. 5. Ticinella roberti (Gandolfi), sample K-427.5;
Fig. 6. Biticinella breggiensis (Gandolfi), sample R-432; Figs. 78. Thalmanninella ticinensis ticinensis (Gandolfi), sample R-432. Bars indicate
distance of 100 µm.
186 MICHALÍK et al.
atmosphere in the late Jurassic resulting in an extremely hu-
mid climate (Weissert & Mohr 1996) re-established climatic
belts and temperature-driven stratification of oceanic waters
(Moore et al. 1992). Dense warm brines on the oceanic
bottom were gradually substituted by colder, low saline and
more mobile polar waters, emerging in upwelling sites (Par-
rish & Curtis 1982; Hay 1997).
Early Cretaceous paleoclimate models (Barron et al. 1985,
1989; Hay 1995) stress the sensitivity of the northern Tethy-
an margin to orbital variations. This area was periodically af-
fected by strengthened monsoonal circulation. A distinct
rhythmical pattern of alternating limestone/marlstone cou-
plets was observed in the Valanginian part of the Pieniny
Lst. Fm. sequence (Michalík et al. 1995). Limestone beds
here contain an increased share of tiny neritic limestone
clasts (in lowstand tract intervals), or concentrations of radi-
olarian tests (in transgressive- or highstand tracts). On the
other hand, the marine plankton content in marly interbeds is
remarkably low. Thus, the conclusion of Barron et al.
(1985), that these marly intercalations recorded monsoonal
precipitation periods (the cooler parts of Milankovich cy-
cles?) connected with fresh-water and terrigeneous input,
seems to fit these facts.
The Hauterivian part of the Pieniny Lst. Fm. sequence indi-
cates a rised global sea level (Vail et al. 1991). Marly interca-
lations are sporadic (mainly in HST intervals) and rather thin.
On the other hand, intervals of thin-bedded laminated radio-
larian limestones interpreted as contourites occur here. Their
typical appearance in the Ha3 and Ha4 sequences is well com-
parable with the Bandol Fm. contourites described by Mach-
hour et al. (1994). Radiolarian tests accompanied by silici-
sponge spicules are concentrated in thin (0.12 mm) laminae
indicating the presence of bottom currents, but also dysaero-
bic conditions at the foot of the slope. These laminated beds
alternate with layers rich in neritic organic skeleton fragments
indicating transport by gravity currents. The occurrence of
limestone clasts with calpionellids of the Early Berriasian Al-
pina Subzone indicates an erosion lasting since (at least) Late
Hauterivian until Early Albian (sedimentary gap of compara-
ble duration was recorded in the neighbouring elevational
Czorsztyn Ridge). Calciturbidites became dominant in the
SMT and TST intervals of the Barremian to lowermost Aptian
Vranie Member of the uppermost Pieniny Lst. sequence. They
record prograding development of carbonate platforms on
neighbouring shallows connected with the general sea-level
fall indicated by Vail et al. (1977) or Sahagian et al. (1996).
Urgonian-type buildups are not known from the Czorsztyn
Ridge. However, Miík (1990) supposed their existence on an
unknown ultrabasic-rich elevation (similar to the hypothetical
Andrusov Ridge of Birkenmajer 1988) close to this area.
The top of the member is sharply overlain by the shales of
the Koòhora Formation. They consist of multiplicate alterna-
tion of precipitationrunoff rhythms formed by laminae of
silty claystones, calcisiltite marls and radiolarian marlstones.
The composition of the material indicates a large source area
formed by deeply weathered crystalline rocks: this area is in-
comparable with the surface of the Czorsztyn Ridge supplying
Berriasian carbonates, or with adjacent (?) elevations covered
by topmost Hauterivian/Barremian neritic carbonate buildups.
Sudden substitution of pelagic limestone deposition by shaly
sequence indicate substantional environmental changes possi-
bly caused by orbitally controlled climate change. From this
point of view, there are many similarities between the Koòho-
ra Fm. and the Strati di Selli of the Apennines and Southern
Alps (Bersezio 1993, 1994; Coccioni et al. 1989; Erba 1994),
the Arcillas de Morella Fm. of NE Iberia (Salas & Martín-Clo-
sas 1991), the Goguel Beds of the Vocontian Trough (Bréhéret
& Delamette 1989) or the Fischschiefer of the German Basin
(Mutterlose 1998; Mutterlose & Böckel 1998). According to
Barron et al. (1989) and Moore et al. (1992), orbital rhythms
could have influenced the storm tracks of monsoons and their
intensity could be one-order stronger in comparison with their
modern counterparts. The area affected by such monsoons
lasting all year must have been oversupplied by the continen-
tal clastics brought by a river influx.
Cretaceous ocean hydrodynamic pattern was interrupted
several times by warmer periods of climate equalization
(greenhouse episodes, Berner et al. 1983) accompanied by re-
newal of the salinary (Hay 1997; over-fed cf. Hoffman et al.
1991) regime. Greenhouse events should be signalized by: 1)
radiolarian extinction events (Erbacher & Thurow 1995) with
low diversity, high dominance and density of aglutinant fora-
minifers (Thies & Kuhnt 1995); 2) origin of black shale facies
(model 3 in Oschmann 1995); 3) anomaly in
isotopes distribution (Hoffman et al. 1991, etc.).
Large runoff brought a large amount of terrigenous organic
matter which was quickly buried in marine environments. The
resulting anoxic processes fit well with the Detritic Oceanic
Anoxy Event of Erbacher & Thurow (1995). It corresponds
with i a slight inexpressive decrease of the
C curve. On the
other hand, nutrification of the surface water layer after ceas-
ing of the fresh water input (Hay 1995), and renewed up-
welling led to increased plankton productivity, decrease of
mean water temperature (De Boer 1982) and to an expansion
of the oxygen minimum zone. In fact, the Koòhora event was
a composed event, which can be illustrated by a succession of
all three, Detrital-, Productivity-, and Stagnant Oceanic An-
oxy models (Fig. 6).
Disruptions of circulation, which caused acceleration of ac-
cumulation or deceleration of decay of organic C in the ocean-
ic system (detectable by sudden change of carbon isotope ra-
tio), happened at the Permian/Triassic boundary, during the
early and late Oxfordian (Hoffman et al. 1991), middle and
late Tithonian (Olóriz et al. 1995; Weissert & Mohr 1996),
Late Valanginian (Weissert & Chanell 1989; Lini et al. 1992;
Channell et al. 1993), late Early Aptian (Weissert & Lini
1991; Erba 1994), Cenomanian/Turonian- (de Boer 1983),
and Campanian/Maastrichtian boundary (Barrera et al. 1997).
Hoffman et al. (l.c.) were able to distinguish (1) local circula-
tion changes, when the
C content changes more signifi-
cantly than the
O share (the Productivity Anoxic Event of
Erbacher & Thurow 1995, accompanying rising sea level), for
(2) extrabasinal reasons, when the
O amount is accumulated
more rapidly than the
C one (according to the above men-
tioned authors, the origin of the Detrital Anoxic Event can be
evoked by a sudden influx of fresh, or at least less saline wa-
ters with a higher amount of isotopically light oxygen during
sea level lowstands).
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 187
The Rochovica isotope profile shows a negative change of
O in the place of C
accumulation. We suppose that the
oxygen isotope ratio in the post-sedimentary little modified
Rochovica sequence is not substantially influenced by di-
agenesis but rather by relative salinity- and temperature
changes during sedimentation. Fresh water input could have
modified the oxygen- (but also carbon) isotopic composition
of the sea water. However, it is not easy to decide, if this
change reflects the evolution of the deep waters where the
sediment was deposited, or if it could be rather ascribed to
the surface waters where the nannoplankton (as the producer
of the main rock-forming elements) lived.
Significant morphological differentiation of planktonic
foraminiferal faunas resulted from their evolutionary strate-
gy (Hart & Bailey 1979), Caron & Homewood (1983), Salaj
(1985), Robaszynski & Caron (1995). Bé (1977) and Salaj
Plate VI: Fig. 1. Clavihedbergella subcretacea (Tappan), sample R-422.8; Figs. 23, 5. Hedbergella seminolensis (Harlton), sample
R-422.8; Fig. 4. Hedbergella seminolensis (Harlton), sample R-425.7; Fig. 6. Trocholina sp., sample R-385; Fig. 7. Dorothia aff. oxy-
cona (Reuss), sample R-422.8; Fig. 8. Lenticulina (L.) ouachensis (Sigal), sample R-422.8; Fig. 9. Ostracoda div. sp., sample R-385.
Bars indicate distance of 100 µm.
188 MICHALÍK et al.
(l.c.) attributed foraminiferal biota to several biological, or
bathymetric zones. Associations of planktonic foraminifers
of the Vranie Member and lower part of the Koòhora Forma-
tion consist of rare primitive morphotypes with small, thin
and smooth tests controlled by r-selection strategy. Accord-
ing to the above-mentioned bathymetric zonation, these for-
aminifers inhabited the 1st zone, equivalent to the upper wa-
ter layer (up to 50100 m depth). The environment was
characterized by fluctuating temperature, salinity, oxygen
and nutrients. As the lithology of particular strata represent-
Plate VII: Planktonic and benthic foraminiferal species of the Rochovica section. Figs. 12. Favusella hoterivica (Subbotina), sam-
ple K-374; Fig. 3. Conorotalites ex.gr. bartensteini Bettenstaedt, sample R-391; Fig. 4. Patellina cf. turriculata Dieni & Massari, sample
K-410; Fig. 5. Anomalina sp., sample R-426.7. Bars indicate distance of 100 µm.
SEDIMENTARY, BIOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC RECORD OF EARLY APTIAN PALEOCLIMATIC EVENT 189
ing general Barremian/lowermost Aptian shallowing (Fig. 4)
indicates common neritic debris support, the redeposition of
sediment into a deeper setting cannot be excluded. On the
other hand, vertical life-column range restriction could also
result from thinning of the surface water layer above the
raised oxygen minimum level in rising sea level conditions.
The upper part of the Koòhora Formation (and the Brodno
Formation as well) contains layers with more diverse fora-
miniferal fauna consisting of larger forms with greater
weight, living in much broader water column along with
scarce benthic forms. These associations indicate K-selec-
tion strategy supported by a deeper, more stable and better
Pelagic marine sediments exposed in the Rochovica sec-
tion show a rhythmic pattern comparable with precipitation/
runoff cycles. Rhythmic pattern is punctuated 1) by lime-
stone/marl alternation in the Valanginian- and also in high-
stand tracts of upper part of the Pieniny Lst. Formation, 2)
by contourite intercalations of Hauterivian transgressive
tracts of the Pieniny Fm., as well as 3) by fine alternating ter-
rigenous and biogene laminae in the Koòhora Fm. 4) This
pattern was disturbed by the calciturbidite regime of the
Vranie Member, which registered carbonate platform growth
in the Barremian decreasing sea level stand conditions. Sim-
ilar tendencies appeared in the Upper Aptian/Lower Albian
During the late Early Aptian humid climatic event, a huge
amount of terrigeneous material was repeatedly transported
into the Kysuca Basin. Deposition of the material brought by
rivers was interrupted by occasional drier seasons with high
primary production of radiolarian- and (later) nannoconid-
foraminiferal skeletal material. Three (detrital, productive
and stagnant) models of anoxia have been recognized in the
sedimentary regime of the Koòhora Formation (Fig. 6).
Two major partial
C excursions have been recognized in
the Upper Barremianlowermost Albian record of this isotope
ratio. The lower one coincides with the increased C
in the uppermost part of the Vranie Member. The upper one
starts in the uppermost parts of the Koòhora Fm. and contin-
ues in the Brodno Formation. These two peaks are separated
by the less positive part of the
C curve belonging to the
Koòhora Fm., representing runoff/temperature perturbation of
the marine productivity regime.
Noticeably, decreased values of
O in the above men-
tioned part of the rock column could be connected with a
temperature decrease and/or with an intensified freshwater
input into the ocean.
Acknowledgements: The authors are indebted to Prof. M.
Miík (Bratislava), to Prof. H. Weissert (Zürich) and to Dr. J.
Mutterlose (Bochum) for stimulating discussions and for
critical reading of the manuscript. We thank to Ass. Prof. V.
ucha and to Dr. A. Biroò for unselfish rendering of their
preliminary results concerning the clay mineral study. The
macro-photographs have been made by H. Brodnianska, the
drawings by A. Tesáková. The paper was compiled as a part
of the IGCP 362 Project with the financial support of the
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