GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 50, 6, BRATISLAVA, DECEMBER 1999
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY
OF THE TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE (HUNGARY)
and TAMÁS BUDAI
Academic Research Group, Department of Geology, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, Múzeum körút 4/a,
H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
Geological Institute of Hungary, Stefánia út 14, H-1143 Budapest, Hungary
(Manuscript received December 14, 1998; accepted in revised form September 28, 1999)
On the basis of surface exposures and core sections, a comprehensive sequence analysis of the Triassic
series was carried out in the Transdanubian Range. For recognition of the sequences as well as their boundaries, the
regional subaerial exposure horizons, the maximum flooding intervals, the transgressive–regressive trends, the plat-
form progradations and backsteppings, as well as signals of the higher order accommodation changes were primarily
considered. Detailed analyses were accomplished in six selected sub-regions. On the basis of the results of these
analyses, a composite sequence chart was compiled. The Triassic history of the Transdanubian Range can be subdi-
vided into four stages. Within the first stage (Induan to Middle Anisian) which can be characterized by a ramp setting,
five sequences have been recognized. The second stage (Middle Anisian–Ladinian) is mainly controlled by the Neotethys
rifting and can be subdivided into three sequences. Infilling of the previously formed basins took place during the
third stage (Carnian), consisting of three sequences. The fourth stage (latest Carnian to Rhaetian) reflects the passive
margin evolution of the Neotethys. However, a new rifting (Ligurian–Penninic) began in the Late Norian and also
influenced the evolution of the Transdanubian Range. Four sequences were recognized in this final evolutionary
stage. About 50 % of the recognized sequence boundaries could be correlated with those reported from the Southern
and Northern Alps, from the German Basin, and from Western Canada.
Transdanubian Range, Triassic, sequence stratigraphy, stratigraphic correlation.
In the Triassic, the Transdanubian Range Unit (TR) was locat-
ed on the broad shelf of the Tethys margin, between the depo-
sitional area of the Drauzug and the Northern Calcareous Alps
(NCA) and the South Alpine realm (Kovács 1982; Haas et al.
1995). This large unit (230 km long and 30–50 km wide ) suf-
fered only moderate younger tectonic deformations. Thus, the
original relationships of the Triassic facies zones are well pre-
served, providing an almost complete cross-section of the
Tethys shelf, close to its western termination.
Stratigraphic studies of the Triassic series of the Trans-
danubian Range have been undertaken since the middle of
the last century, reaching a high level at least in some parts of
the region. The present-day lithostratigraphic subdivision of
the Triassic in the Transdanubian Range has been worked out
principally in the last two decades. Regional geological map-
ping projects (first of all on the Balaton Highland) and the
key-section project provided a large amount of data on the
stratigraphy, paleontology and sedimentology of the Triassic
sequences. Biostratigraphic investigations (Szabó et al.
1980; Végh-Neubrandt 1982; Góczán et al. 1983; Haas et al.
1984; Budai & Kovács 1986; Pálfy 1986; Oravecz-Scheffer
1987; Vörös 1987; Broglio Loriga et al. 1990; Budai & Dosz-
tály 1990; Budai & Vörös 1992, 1993; Budai et al. 1993;
Góczán & Oravecz-Scheffer 1993; Vörös 1993; Kovács et al.
1994; Góczán & Oravecz-Scheffer 1996; Vörös et al. 1996;
Haas et al. 1997; Vörös 1998) provided a suitable frame for
detailed geohistoric and sequence analyses. In addition to the
various biostratigraphic methods, magnetostratigraphy (Már-
ton et al. 1997) and cyclostratigraphy (Haas 1988; Balog et
al. 1997) were also applied to stratigraphic correlation in the
last decade. Although the outcrops provide only limited pos-
sibilities for exact investigation of the successions, abundant
cores promoted the stratigraphic work.
These data allow a comprehensive sequence stratigraphic
analysis of the Triassic of the Transdanubian Range and a
comparison with sequence stratigraphy elaborated for other
regions. These comparative analyses may contribute to the
solution of the open and highly debated problems of Triassic
Geological and paleogeographical setting
The Transdanubian Range Unit is located between the
Rába-Diósjenő and the Balaton Lineaments (Fig. 1). It can
be regarded as a crust-fragment which got into its present-
day position as a result of a series of tectonic displacements
prior to the Early Miocene. The Transdanubian Range Unit is
made up of low-grade metamorphic marine Early Paleozoic
formations, which are overlain by unmetamorphosed post-
Hercynian and Alpine series. Geophysical data suggest the
existence of a deeper structural unit which probably belongs
to the Middle–Lower Austro-Alpine Unit (Horváth et al.
1987; Tari 1996).
The Alpine series of the Transdanubian Range begins with
terrestrial to shallow marine Upper Permian formations. Step
by step transgression took place in the Early Triassic, in-
trashelf rifting in the Middle Triassic, and thick peritidal car-
bonate sequences were formed in the Late Triassic. The in-
trashelf rifting resumed in the Jurassic, showing a general
trend of deepening. A convergent evolution started in the
Early Cretaceous. The Middle and the Late Cretaceous and
the Paleogene–Early Eocene tectonic events resulted in sub-
aerial erosion and were followed by the evolution of collapse
basins and transgressive-regressive cycles.
The characteristic syncline structure of the Transdanubian
Range came into existence as a result of the Middle Creta-
ceous tectogenesis. Lower Triassic rocks crop out only in a
narrow belt on the southern flank of the NE–SW trending
synclinorium, that is on the classical area of the Balaton
Highland, on the southern side of the Veszprém plateau and
in the eastern Bakony. They were explored only by drillings
in the foreland of the Vértes-Gerecse and the Buda Moun-
tains, as well as in Northern Bakony. Anisian formations are
known on the surface only from the Balaton Highland and
from the eastern part of the Southern Bakony, but were also
encountered in a few wells in the Northern Bakony. Howev-
er, no data are available for the Anisian formations from the
Vértes Mts. to the Csővár blocks. Ladinian basin sediments
are limited to the southern part of the Transdanubian Range.
To the NE they are substituted by coeval platform carbon-
ates. Carnian intraplatform basin sequences are widespread
on the Balaton Highland and, according to borehole data,
also in the Northern Bakony. They were also explored by
drillings in the southern foreland of the Gerecse (Zsámbék
Basin), and a few data are available for the Buda Mountains.
Upper Triassic (Carnian to Rhaetian) platform carbonates are
widespread in the whole Transdanubian Range, while Upper
Norian and Rhaetian basin sediments in greater thickness are
limited to the south-western (Keszthely Mountains) and to
the north-eastern part of the unit (Buda Mts., Csővár blocks).
Surface extension of the Triassic formations in the Trans-
danubian Range is fairly large (Fig. 1), but due to physio-
graphic conditions successions of significant stratigraphic
range are rarely exposed in outcrops. Consequently, exposure
conditions in the Transdanubian Range can hardly be mea-
sured against those in the Alps. Fortunately, a relatively great
number of cored wells were drilled in the last decades which
substantially complement our knowledge on the features of
the Triassic formations by providing very detailed although
two-dimensional data sets for the facies successions.
Taking into account the above-mentioned circumstances,
the following methods were applied for recognition and anal-
ysis of the depositional sequences (3
On the basis of experiences from regional geological map-
ping and stratigraphic key-section project, six sub-regions
were selected which appeared to be suitable for the sequence
analysis. On the basis of outcrops, quarry-sections and cores,
a nearly continuous composite succession could be compiled
for the whole, or at least a significant part of the Triassic. For
the six sub-regions composite lithostratigraphic sections
The detailed ammonite biostratigraphy of the Balaton High-
land (Fig. 2) was supplemented by parastratigraphic zonations
based on various fossil groups, which made chronostratigraph-
ic correlation possible. The regional subdivision was tied to
the geochronological chart of Gradstein et al. (1994).
In the Balaton Highland classical sections play a decisive
role in the definition of the Anisian/Ladinian boundary.
Since a final decision on the exact position of the boundary
has not yet been made, we adopted the standpoint of Vörös et
al. (1996), and in the present paper we follow this concept.
However, in Fig. 2, the boundary according to Gradstein et
al. (1994) was also indicated and their concept was applied
for the long distance comparison.
Recognition and evaluation of the sequences were based
mainly on the following aspects:
1. recognition of the subaerial exposure horizons,
2. recognition of the maximum flooding horizons or intervals,
3. evaluation of the transgressive and regressive trends in
the successions and determination of the inflection points
4. recognition of platform progradations and backsteppings
in the platform to basin transitional zones,
5. evaluation of higher order accommodation trends (high-
frequency cyclic pattern).
As to the sequence boundaries, type 1 unconformities were
recognized in carbonate platform successions where evi-
dence of subaerial exposure (erosional surfaces, paleokarst,
paleosoil, weathering products usually with breccias) was
encountered. Type 2 unconformities were found in ramp suc-
cessions at the maximum regression. They were generally in-
dicated by peritidal facies (sabkha) although without unam-
biguous marks of the permanent subaerial exposure. Due to
the paleogeographical setting of the study area, the lowstand
or shelf-margin systems tracts could hardly be recognized.
Restriction of the intraplatform basins was interpreted as an
indicator of the low relative sea level. In these cases, opening
of the basin was regarded as a sign of the rising sea level.
The transgressive systems tracts were reflected in upward
deepening facies trends and increasing diversity of the fossils
Simplified map of the Transdanubian Range showing the
surface extent of the Triassic formations and the sub-regions anal-
ysed from the sequence stratigraphic point of view. Abbreviation:
Hh.R. — Hármashatárhegy Range.
S BAKONY E
Outcrops of the
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 461
in the ramp and basin settings as well as back-stepping and
drowning of the platforms. The maximum flooding was fre-
quently marked by condensed sediments in the basins. The
highstand systems tract was indicated by an upward shallow-
ing trend on the ramps and the shallow intraplatform basins,
platform (foreslope) progradation and an increase in the
amount of redeposited fine carbonate sediments in the basins.
Basic features of the distinguished 3
regression facies cycles are depicted on the chart beside the
lithofacies column (Figs. 3, 4, 5). In addition to the bound-
aries of the cycles the chart also provides a qualitative infor-
mation on the magnitude of the regressions and transgres-
sions and the time of the climax of the transgression.
The relationship of the above listed characteristics to rela-
tive sea-level changes is indisputable. However, the position
of the shoreline and facies of deposited sediments were also
strongly influenced by the amount of terrigenous influx,
which was controlled mainly by tectonics and climatic con-
ditions. Structural evolution, related volcanic activity and
climatic changes influenced the facies succession in many
ways, so that these factors must also be considered when in-
terpreting the evolutionary history.
Analysis of the sub-regional successions was followed by
their correlation using litho- and biostratigraphic methods.
This way a synoptic chart was made, providing the basis for
a sequence diagram summarizing the whole Transdanubian
Range. This diagram was compiled from those parts of the
sub-regional charts which were supported by the most exact
data both for the transgression–regression trends and the tim-
ing. This chart than served as the basis for the long-distance
correlation and comparison with sequence charts from other
regions (De Zanche et al. 1993; Gianolla et al. 1998; Gianol-
la & Jacquin 1998; Embry 1997; Moerk 1994, 1997; Rüffer
& Zühlke 1995).
The Triassic evolution of the Transdanubian Range can be
regarded as a long-term megacycle which was primarily con-
trolled by the Neotethyan rifting. In the pre-rift stage, during
the Early and early Middle Triassic, a wide ramp was the site
of deposition for mixed siliciclastic–carbonate sediments in
the Early Triassic, followed by carbonates. Initiation of rifting
in the Middle Anisian led to disintegration of the simple, ho-
moclinal ramp and to formation of isolated platforms and in-
traplatform basins. This was roughly coeval with the appear-
ance of volcanic material from distal sources, indicating a
relationship between the segmentation of the basement and the
volcanic activity. In the syn-rift stage from the Middle Anisian
to the earliest Carnian condensed carbonate sequences were
formed in the basins and thick shallow marine carbonates on
the platforms. The climax of deepening in the basins (maxi-
mum transgression of the long-term cycle) happened in the
Late Ladinian. Cessation of active rifting and a penecontem-
poraneous increase in terrigenous influx led to filling in of the
basins by the latest Carnian, giving rise to the formation of
huge carbonate platforms in an interval from the latest Carnian
to the earliest Jurassic (Haas 1994). A new rifting stage initiat-
ed in the Late Norian and intensified in the Early Jurassic as a
result of the opening of the Ligurian-Penninic ocean branch.
Within these structurally controlled main evolutionary
stages, sequences (3
order transgression-regression cycles)
could be defined (Figs. 3, 4, 5).
Correlation of the Middle-Triassic ammonite zonation of the TR (after Vörös 1993, 1998 and Vörös et al. 1996) with the Tethyan
biochronozones (after Gradstein et al. 1994). Dashed line shows the Anisian/Ladinian boundary sensu Vörös et al. (1996). Abbreviations:
Av — Avisianum; Re — Reitzi; Li — Liepoldti; Fe — Felsoeoersensis; Ps — Pseudohungaricum; Tr — Trinodosus; * occurrence of char-
Early Triassic–early Middle Triassic
Sea level rise at the Permian/Triassic boundary led to a
significant coastal onlap. The former sabkha and alluvial
plain were inundated in a more than 100 km wide belt. A
shallow ramp came into existence, where carbonates, fine si-
liciclastics and argillites were deposited.
In the north-eastern part of the area (Gerecse S — core
Alcsútdoboz-2), the Alcsútdoboz Limestone Formation has
been defined. Overlying Permian dolomites, it consists main-
ly of shallow marine limestones although argillaceous inter-
calations are common.
In the NE part of the Balaton Highland area and in the
Northern Bakony (Figs. 3 and 4), the marine Triassic succes-
sion is underlain by continental Permian. The lower Induan is
represented by the Arács Marl Formation which is made up of
an alternation of greenish-grey and brownish-red limestone,
calcareous marl, silty marl, dolomitic marl and dolomite lay-
ers. In the southern foreland of the Vértes, interfingering of the
Alcsútdoboz and Arács Formations was also detected.
In the south-western part of the Balaton Highland (Fig. 3),
the share of the dolomites in the lower Induan successions
shows an increasing trend. This formation consisting pre-
dominantly of silty dolomites was defined as the Köveskál
Dolomite. In the westernmost part of the area the formation
contains evaporites in a significant thickness.
The roughly equal, 100 to 200 m thickness of the forma-
tions indicates a moderate and uniform subsidence of the
basement. The facies differentiation reflects mainly the ante-
cedent topography. A remarkable shift of the shoreline unam-
biguously proves the transgression at the base of the Triassic.
Ooidic carbonates in the basal part of the successions might
be related to this phenomenon. The low diversity of the fauna
in the basal beds is the consequence of the end-of-Permian
crisis. Increasing clay and fine siliciclastic content and fau-
nal diversity in the middle part of the formations indicate fur-
ther progress of the transgression which was probably ac-
companied by more humid climatic conditions. Desiccation
Lithostratigraphic column of the Balaton Highland and Keszthely Mts. showing 3
order transgression-regression cycles. Abbrevi-
BD — Budaörs Dolomite; BS — Balatonfelvidék Sandstone; SD — Sédvölgy Dolomite; TFm — Tagyon Fm. Legend: 1. pelagic
limestones (basin); 2. shallow marine limestones (platform); 3. shallow marine limestones (ramp, lagoon, restricted basin); 4. limestone-
dolomite alternation (platform); 5. shallow marine dolomites (platform); 6. shallow marine dolomites (lagoon, tidal flat); 7. pelagic marls
(basin); 8. shallow marine shales and carbonates (ramp, lagoon); 9. shallow marine siliciclastics (ramp); 10. terrestrial siliciclastics; 11.
evaporites (sabhka); 12. volcanites; 13. oncoids, reef fossils; 14. lithoclasts. Type of sequence boundaries: 15. subaerial exposure hori-
zon; 16. maximum regression; 17. end of progradation period.
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 463
phenomena, observed in the topmost part of the Köveskál
Dolomite, suggest regression which led to progradation of
the tidal flat onto a large part of the former inner ramp. It was
probably accompanied by a dryer climate.
All of the formations of the first Triassic cycle are covered
uniformly by shallow marine, predominantly red siltstone
and sandstone (Zánka Sandstone Member). Thin limestone,
dolomite and gastropod-oolite interlayers may also occur.
Among the megafossils the Pectinids prevail. The diversity
of molluscs shows an upward increasing trend (Broglio
Loriga et al. 1990).
Changes in the lithofacies and increasing diversity of the
biota indicate transgression from the beginning of deposition
of the Zánka Member, reaching its maximum in the upper
part of the unit. The overall appearance of siliciclastic mate-
rial at the base of the Zánka Sandstone was probably the con-
sequence of a significant climatic change (“Campil event”),
that is the beginning of a relatively humid interval.
The siliciclastic member is overlain by silty dolomites
(Hidegkút Dolomite Member). In the area of the Balaton
Highland and the Northern Bakony it frequently contains an-
hydrite nodules. Thin siltstone interlayers are also common.
Fossils are scarce even in the ooid limestones, only ostra-
codes were found in a remarkable quantity.
The Hidegkút Dolomite was formed on a restricted ramp.
In the largest part of the Transdanubian Range a hypersaline
lagoon, which received only a limited amount of terrigenous
siliciclastics, might be the site of deposition. In the short-
term lowstand intervals the arid tidal flat prograded onto the
lagoon deposits leading to extension of the sabkhas. Restric-
tion of the inner ramp was probably caused by offshore ooid
shoals which were formed in the north-eastern part of the
Transdanubian Range. Appearance of evaporitic dolomites
above the oolite layers in this belt, implies a regressive trend
in the course of deposition of the Hidegkút Dolomite. Re-
gression was probably accompanied by drying of the climate
as reflected in a significant decrease in the terrigenous influx
and occurrence of evaporites.
A new transgression-regression cycle began in the Late
Olenekian (Spathian). As a result of deepening and enhanced
Lithostratigraphic column of the Northern and Eastern Bakony Mts. showing 3
order transgression-regression cycles. Abbrevia-
BL — Berekhegy Limestone; BS — Balatonfelvidék Sandstone Fm.; H Mb. — Hidegkút Mb.; TE — Tabajd Evaporite; VM —
Veszprém Marl. For legend see Fig. 3.
S BAKONY E
terrigenous influx, a 150–200 m thick marl succession (Cso-
pak Marl Formation) was formed, showing fairly uniform
features all over the Transdanubian Range (Figs. 3, 4 and 5).
Above the almost unfossiliferous Hidegkút Dolomite, the
normal salinity marine assemblage of the Csopak Marl ap-
pears abruptly. The faunal diversity shows an upward in-
creasing trend, and in the upper part of the lower member
even ammonites appear (Tirolites cassianus, T. seminodus,
). Pectinid bivalves and gastropods are
The upper part of the formation is made up of grey silty marl
with thicker limestone interbeds. In the topmost part of the suc-
cession the siliciclastic component becomes coarser (sand-size)
and dolomite intercalations with desiccation cracks also appear.
The fossil assemblage shows restricted marine features.
The Csopak Marl was formed on a ramp, generally below
the fair-weather wave base but above the storm wave base.
Changes in the biofacies within the formation may reflect
relative sea-level changes. The abrupt appearance of marine
fauna at the base of the formation indicates the initiation of
the transgression. The maximum flooding is marked by ap-
pearance of ammonites in the higher part of the lower mem-
ber. Massive occurrence of Costatoria costata in the middle
and upper members suggests regression and restriction of the
ramp. Desiccation features in the topmost part of the forma-
tion imply periodical subaerial exposure in some parts of the
ramp indicating maximum regression.
At the beginning of the Anisian, due to drastic decrease of
siliciclastic input, the former mixed ramp turned to a carbon-
ate ramp, and a new transgression began (Figs. 3, 4 and 5).
The lowermost Anisian sequence is made up of thin bedded
dolomites and marly dolomites in its lower part, passing up-
ward into vuggy dolomites with bird’s eye and teepee struc-
tures, and desiccation cracks (Aszófő Dolomite Formation).
The Aszófő Dolomite was formed in a shallow lagoon, sur-
rounded by a broad tidal flat belt under arid climatic condi-
tions. The lower part of the succession was formed in the
subtidal zone (TST). During the highstand period the sabkha
prograded into the lagoon leading to dolomitization and pre-
cipitation of evaporites (Budai et al. 1993). “Rauhwacke
Lithostratigraphic column of the Gerecse Mts. and Csővár blocks showing 3
order transgression-regression cycles. Abbrevia-
AM — Arács Marl Fm.; TE — Tabajd Evaporite Fm. For legend see Fig. 3.
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 465
type” breccias at the topmost level of the Aszófő Dolomite
may have formed as a product of dissolution collapse proba-
bly under subaerial conditions. They may mark the upper se-
The next transgression commenced in the later part of the
Early Anisian and led to the formation of a more or less re-
stricted inner shelf lagoon, site of deposition of the Iszkah-
egy Limestone Formation (Figs. 3, 4 and 5). The lower part
of the Iszkahegy Limestone is made up mainly of bitumi-
nous laminites (LST), characterized by a special, monospe-
cific ostracode assemblage (Renngartenella sp.) indicating
hypersaline bottom water (Monostori pers. comm.). Lack of
bioturbation refers to dysaerobic to anaerobic conditions at
the bottom. Laminites pass upward into bedded, strongly
bioturbated limestones with forams, bivalves and gastro-
pods (Meandrospira dinarica, Costatoria costata, Natiria
sp.) suggesting a trend towards opening of the restricted la-
Sedimentary breccias in marly matrix, stromatolites, and
subordinately evaporite pseudomorphs also occur in the up-
permost part of the formation referring to peritidal sedimen-
tary environment which might be established periodically.
The shallowing upward trend in the upper part of the forma-
tion indicates highstand conditions.
The overlying Megyehegy Dolomite represents the early
part of the Middle Anisian depositional sequence (Figs. 3, 4
and 5). It was formed on a more or less restricted inner ramp.
Subsequently, due to initiation of rifting (blockfaulting) a
significant lateral facies differentiation took place, leading to
dissection of the former carbonate ramps in the Pelsonian.
On the downfaulted blocks, basins came into existence
whereas on the uplifted ones, isolated carbonate platforms
evolved (Budai & Vörös 1992, 1993). The basin successions
(Felsőörs Fm.) are characterized by bituminous laminites in
the depocenter of the “Füred basin” with a rich ammonite
(Balatonites) and bivalve (Posidonia, Daonella) assemblage.
Flaser bedded cherty limestones may represent the maximum
flooding interval. The overlying brachiopod-crinoid bearing
limestones at Felsőörs (Binodosus Subzone, Márton et al.
1997) mark definite shallowing (HST), which is also sup-
ported by the ostracode assemblage (Monostori 1995).
The coeval platform formation (Tagyon Fm.) is made up by a
cyclic alternation of subtidal Dasycladacean, oncoidal and lami-
nated, locally vadose pisoidic peritidal limestones or dolomites
(Budai et al. 1993; Vörös et al. 1997; Haas & Budai 1995).
In the Balaton Highland area, development of carbonate
platforms surely continued up to the Balatonicus Zone (Bu-
dai & Haas 1997; Vörös et al. 1997). The truncated surface of
the platform series is directly overlain by ammonite bearing
pelagic carbonates representing the Trinodosus Zone (Camu-
num Subzone). Thus, biostratigraphic data constrain a re-
markable gap between the Tagyon Formation and the overly-
ing layers. However, the topmost part of the platform
succession may have been eroded during subaerial exposure.
Surviving platforms are presumed to exist in some parts of
the eastern Bakony (Fig. 4), where above platform dolo-
mites, the lowermost layers of the overlying basin succession
belong to the higher part of the Reitzi Zone (Vörös 1998).
In the north-eastern part of the Balaton Highland the Ani-
sian basin successions are continuous (Fig. 3). In the
Felsőörs section the brachiopod bearing crinoidal limestones
(A3 HST) are followed by dark grey limestones with marl in-
tercalations representing the initial stage of the next trans-
gression period (Trinodosus Sbz.). Greenish tuffs with sili-
ceous limestone lenses characterize the lowermost Ladinian
(Vászoly Fm. sensu Vörös et al. 1997). Detailed investigation
of the Ostracode assemblage (Monostori 1995) and paleo-
ecological analysis of ammonoids (Vörös 1996) revealed a
deepening trend (400 m water depth can be assumed as a
minimum) up to the top Reitzi Zone (Avisianum Sbz.). No
significant change is visible in the assumed highstand period.
Between the Ladinian basin (Balaton Highland area) and
the coeval platform (Várpalota area) a transitional belt, that is
a paleo-slope could be recognized in the Veszprém area (Fig.
6), a site of platform progradations and retrogradations. Do-
lomite intercalation in the basin succession marks the first
progradation which can be attributed to the Secedensis–low-
er-Curionii Zone corresponding to the “Vászoly limestone”
on the highs of the “Füred basin”. The “Budaörs platform”
extended over the area of the easternmost part of the Bakony
(Iszka Hill), the Vértes, Gerecse and the Buda Mts. (Fig. 4).
In the aforementioned transitional belt, in the Veszprém
area (Fig. 6) the intercalating dolomites representing the first
progradation of the “Budaörs platform”, are overlain by a se-
ries of alternating tuffaceous marls and grey, nodular lime-
stones. This series corresponds to siliceous marls above the
“Vászoly limestone” on the inundated highs of the “Füred
basin” (Balaton Highland area). In the deeper basins nodular,
often cherty limestones were formed (Buchenstein Fm. —
Nemesvámos Mb.) without any significant change in the fa-
cies. According to the latest investigations on the Upper La-
dinian basin successions, the climax of deepening was proba-
bly in the Archelaus Zone.
The second progradation of the “Budaörs platform” com-
menced in the latest Ladinian in the slope area (Fig. 6). In
the environs of Veszprém toe-of-slope facies with graded
allodapic limestones containing lithoclasts of platform ori-
gin (Berekhegy Mb.) were formed in the Regoledanus
Zone. In the inner part of the “Füred basin” the earliest Car-
nian is represented by typical basin facies of the Füred
Limestone showing a shallowing upward trend in its upper-
most part (Aon Zone).
In the Northern Bakony the whole Ladinian is characterized
by a pelagic deep basin facies (even the Upper Anisian am-
monoid assemblage shows “Schreyeralm affinity” — Vörös
1992), without any sign of prograding platforms (Fig. 4).
Early Late Triassic
In the Early Julian, a significant change took place in the
character of the sedimentation in the area of the basins (Figs.
3, 4 and 6). Predominance of pelagic carbonate deposition
was replaced by formation of marls (Veszprém Marl Forma-
tion). This can be explained by a climatic change from arid to
more humid climatic conditions.
Roughly parallel with the climatic change a new transgres-
sion was initiated. Sea level rise combining with the effect of
enhanced influx of fine terrigenous material resulted in
drowning of large parts of the carbonate platforms in the
course of the Julian. This cycle was completed by prograda-
tion of the platforms in the higher part of the Julian (Austri-
acum Zone). It means that the first Carnian sequence in-
cludes the lower member of the Veszprém Marl (Mencshely
Marl) and ends with the middle member (Nosztor Lime-
stone) in the basins and the lower part of the Sédvölgy Dolo-
mite or the Ederics Limestone on the platforms.
In the core Veszprém-1, representing the slope between the
platform and the basin, above the lower member of the Vesz-
prém Marl, progradational succession of the toe-of-slope and
platform facies of the Sédvölgy Dolomite was clearly visible.
The maximum flooding horizon can be marked out between
the basinal shales and the lithoclastic slope facies, while the
upper sequence boundary can be put onto the top of the pro-
gadational successions (Fig. 6).
In the southern foreland of the Gerecse Mts. (Zsámbék Ba-
sin), transgression in the Julian led to drowning of the
“Budaörs platform” (Fig. 5). In the Late Julian, the carbonate
content of the restricted basin succession significantly in-
creased and cherty limestones and dolomites were formed
(Mátyáshegy Formation). This trend may reflect flourishing
of ambient carbonate platforms and shedding of carbonate
mud during the highstand interval.
In the area of the core of the platforms (eastern part of the
Southern Bakony, Vértes, Buda Mts.) the transgression is
marked only by thin clayey interlayers and cherty limestones
and dolomites in the platform carbonates. Cherty dolomites
of Julian age (Kozur & Mock 1991) in the Buda Mts. indi-
cate establishment of basin conditions also in this area. Basin
evolution in the area of the Csővár block was probably also
initiated at this time, although biostratigraphic evidence is
available only from the Late Tuvalian (Haas et al. 1997).
Sequence stratigraphic interpretation of Middle to Upper Triassic coeval platform and basin facies in the strike of the Southern
Bakony. For Legend see Fig 3, A3–C4: sequences.
MAIN DOLOMITE FM.
MEGYEHEGY DOLOMITE FM.
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 467
The platform progradation episode is followed by a new
transgression and recurrence of intense terrigenous input in
the Late Julian. It manifests itself by the deposition of marls
in the basins (upper member of the Veszprém Formation —
Csicsó Marl Member) and retrogradation of carbonate plat-
forms (higher part of the Sédvölgy Dolomite and the Ederics
Limestone). The highstand of this cycle is indicated by pro-
gradation of platforms. In the Keszthely Mts., the Csicsó
Marl is overlain by slope deposits (Csillag et al. 1995) and it
is followed by platform facies of the Ederics Limestone (Fig.
3). In the “Füred basin” (Balaton Highland area), cessation
of sea level rise led to restriction and deposition of bitumi-
nous limestones (Pécsely Member of the Sándorhegy Forma-
tion). It was followed by the next transgression prior to the
end of the Julian (Góczán & Oravecz-Scheffer 1996).
In the well exposed and carefully studied sections of the
Balaton Highland the upper part of the Sándorhegy Formation
represents an individual depositional sequence (Figs. 3 and 6).
The bituminous limestone succession is overlain by a bed
containing rich shallow marine fauna (Cornucardia hornigii)
indicating a trend towards opening of the restricted, oxygen
depleted basin. Marls above the Cornucardia Bed containing
normal marine fossils represent the transgressive systems
tract. Thin to medium bedded shallow marine limestones
also containing particles of carbonate platform origin were
formed during the highstand when the ambient platforms be-
gan to prograde into the shallow basin. The succession shows
an upward shallowing trend, although intercalation of a thin
marl interval in its upper part refers to higher frequency os-
cillation of the relative sea level which modified this trend.
In several sections, the Sándorhegy Formation appears to
be truncated, and the erosion surface is covered by a reddish
clayey, brecciated layer which may be regarded as a product
of subaerial weathering marking the upper sequence bound-
ary (Budai & Haas 1997).
In the Keszthely Mts., reappearance of marls above the
Ederics Limestone indicates the transgression (TST), where-
as shallow subtidal carbonate beds mark the final stage of the
basin upfilling during the highstand (Góczán et al. 1983).
In the Gerecse Mts. (Zsámbék Basin) upfilling of the basin
continued in this period but depositional sequences cannot be
recognized (Fig. 5). In the Buda Mts., platforms and basins
evolved coevally. In the highstand period prograding plat-
forms occupied the south-western basin which may have
been actually the marginal belt of the Zsámbék Basin, where-
as in the north-eastern intraplatform basin deposition of cher-
ty limestones and dolomites continued.
The large basins of the Balaton Highland and the Northern
Bakony and also the “Zsámbék Basin” were completely
filled up by the Late Tuvalian. Thus, in a predominant part of
the Transdanubian Range Unit an extremely levelled topog-
raphy came into being. By contrast, the intraplatform basins
of the Buda Mts. and the Csővár block survived, due to lack
of significant terrigenous input and steep marginal slopes
which hampered the platform progradation.
After a brief subaerial exposure episode which extended
over the western side of the unit, a rise in sea level led to in-
undation of the levelled shelf. Behind a narrow outer plat-
form zone characterized by high energy, a very wide shallow
subtidal inner platform and tidal flat environments emerged
site of deposition and early diagenetic dolomitization of the
Main Dolomite (Haupt-dolomit).
Exact timing of the lower sequence boundary is difficult.
However, on the basis of sporomorphs, forams and Megal-
odontids it may be placed at the boundary between the Mid-
dle and Upper Tuvalian (Végh-Neubrandt 1982; Góczán &
In the platform series of the Buda Mts. the Main Dolo-
mite represents this interval whereas in the “Hármas-
határhegy basin”, deposition of the basin succession proba-
bly continued. In the northern part of the Csővár block (Fig.
8) bioherms–biostromes (patch reefs) with calcisponges,
hermatypic corals and brachiopods crop out. They probably
belong to the C4 sequence (HST). They show an interfin-
gering relationship with the oncoidal facies of the
Dachstein Limestone, which also makes up the overlying
succession. The coeval Upper Carnian basin succession
was documented by the Csővár-1 core in which, a gradual
shift of facies from the eupelagic basin to the distal toe-of-
slope could be pointed out below the Carnian/Norian
boundary (Haas et al. 1997). This can be regarded as a sign
of platform progradation, and the upper boundary of the se-
quence C4 was put at the end of this trend.
Late Late Triassic
In the Early Norian, cyclic deposition and early dolomiti-
zation continued in a predominant part of the platform of the
Transdanubian Range. In the Buda Mts., the pervasively do-
lomitized series progressed into a partially dolomitized one
(transitional member between the Main Dolomite and
Dachstein Limestone — Fenyőfő Member) in the Middle–
Late Norian and the zone of the transitional unit probably
shifted south-westward over time. Since early tidal flat dolo-
mitization may have been controlled both by climatic and pa-
leo-environmental factors (frequency of storm inundation of
the tidal flat, Haas 1988), this shifting may reflect a gradual
change of these factors. Fischer-plot analysis of the Ugod Ut-
8 core in the Northern Bakony indicated markedly decreas-
ing accommodation in the topmost segment of the Main Do-
lomite and a remarkable gap between the Main Dolomite and
the Fenyőfő Member (Balog et al. 1997) which was inter-
preted as the upper boundary of the N1 sequence. In contrast,
in the Csővár-1 core, significant facies change was not ob-
served in this interval (Fig. 5), a gradual shift from the pelag-
ic basin to the toe-of-slope facies was visible from the Upper
Carnian to the Upper Norian (Haas et al. 1997).
Recognition of this sequence was also based on Fischer-
plot analysis of core sections in the Northern Bakony (Ba-
log et al. 1997). The stacking pattern of Lofer cycles sug-
gests that the Fenyőfő Member might represent a 3
depositional cycle at least in the territory of the Northern
Bakony (Fig. 4). This may have been the stage of platform
evolution when pervasive dolomitization in the short-term
subaerial exposure periods came to an end in large parts of
the platform. However, exact timing of this event is ambig-
uous due to the poor biostratigraphic evidence. According
to megalodontids (Végh-Neubrandt 1982) and foraminifers
(Oravecz-Sheffer 1987) the Fenyőfő Member and also a
significant part of the Dachstein Limestone is Norian in the
Fischer-plot analysis of core Porva Po-89 in the Northern
Bakony, revealed a 3
order cycle (about 3 Ma duration) in
the lower part of the Dachstein Limestone (Balog et al.
1997). According to these studies, based on evaluation of the
Lofer cycles, the upper sequence boundary can be drawn at
about the Norian/Rhaetian boundary (Fig. 4). This interpreta-
tion is also constrained by facies trends in the “Csővár ba-
sin”: an increasing amount of redeposited bioclasts of plat-
form origin until the end of the Norian and the appearance of
a large amount of terrestrial plant remnants in the earliest
Rhaetian (Fig. 5).
In the south-western part of the Transdanubian Range
(western end of the Bakony and Keszthely Mts.), the Main
Dolomite is overlain by restricted basin facies of the Rezi
Dolomite (Fig. 3). This facies change can be attributed to a
relative sea level rise due to the initiation of extensional tec-
tonic movements leading to basin generation in the external
zone of the carbonate platform, at the boundary between the
Middle and Late Norian (Budai & Kovács 1986). Subse-
quently, but still in the Late Norian (Sevatian), another
marked change happened in the newly formed basins. The
carbonate sedimentation was followed by deposition of
shales (Kössen Formation). This lithological change proba-
bly reflects a climatic change to more humid conditions lead-
ing to a significant increase in the terrigenous influx.
In the Rhaetian a single sequence can be recognized. This
sequence is clearly demonstrated on the Fischer-plots of the
Dachstein Limestone successions in the Gerecse and Bakony
Mts. (Balog et al. 1997). Facies trends in the Kössen Forma-
tion also support this conclusion (Haas 1993). The Kössen
Formation begins with Upper Norian lithoclastic layers of
slope and toe-of-slope facies. It progresses into a restricted
deeper basin facies representing the Lower Rhaetian (LST to
TST ). The maximum flooding is marked by onlap of the
clayey basin facies onto the inner part of the “Dachstein plat-
form” in the Middle Rhaetian. In the Late Rhaetian the plat-
form limestones prograded onto the previously filled “Kös-
sen basin” (HST). The upper sequence boundary can be
drawn at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary where the peritidal-
subtidal cycles are replaced by a permanently subtidal series
(Kardosrét Limestone Fm. of Lower Hettangian age).
In the Gerecse Mts. the topmost part of the Rhaetian
Dachstein Limestone is missing and the earliest overlying
formation is the Middle–Upper Hettangian shallow marine
Pisznice Limestone (Fig. 5). The truncated top of the
Dachstein Limestone suggests a slight subaerial erosion prior
to the block-forming extensional tectonics, leading to inun-
dation of the downfaulted blocks (Fülöp 1976; Haas 1995).
In the basin succession of the Csővár block (Fig. 5), re-
stricted basin facies indicates the base of the R1 sequence.
The large amount of sporomorphs and other terrestrial plant
remnants in the whole Rhaetian succession suggest the prox-
imity of an exposed island. At the same time, redeposited
shallow marine bioclasts and lithoclasts imply the establish-
ment of a small fringing platform on the upper slope of the
island (Haas et al. 1997). In the basin succession marked fa-
cies change was not visible at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary,
that is the slope facies continues in the Hettangian.
Composite sequence stratigraphic chart
The composite sequence chart (Fig. 7) is the summary of
the cycle analyses of the selected sub-areas. For the compila-
tion of the composite chart those parts of the regional charts
were considered which provided the best records of the suc-
cession and the best biostratigraphic constraints.
For the interval from the Permian/Triassic boundary to the
Upper Carnian, the classic sections and the complementing
cores of the Balaton Highland were the basis for the compos-
ite chart, but the series exposed in the eastern part of the Ba-
kony and core data in the Northern Bakony were also taken
into account. Core sections in the southern foreland of the
Gerecse Mts. provided important data on the Lower Triassic
facies distribution. In the Lower Triassic 3 sequences were
defined. They are clearly visible in the aforementioned sub-
areas and their chronostratigraphic position is fairly well
constrained. Recognition of the Anisian sequences is less
plausible and the stratigraphic position of the boundaries of
the third sequence (A3) is rather ambiguous. Initiation of rift-
ing in the Middle Anisian makes recognition of the sea-level
cycles even more difficult. This fact is reflected in the uncer-
tain subdivision of the Ladinian. We recognized only two se-
quences, although it cannot be excluded that due to intense
subsidence of the basins, one or more sequences remain hid-
den. Four sequences were distinguished in the Carnian of
which the lower three can be regarded as well constrained.
The fourth Carnian and the three Norian sequences are rec-
ognizable but their timing is rather ambiguous. The Rhaetian
is represented by a single well defined sequence.
On the basis of the sequence stratigraphic subdivision dis-
cussed above, a new chronostratigraphic chart was compiled
(Fig. 8) showing the relationships of the lithostratigraphic
and within them the lithofacies units along a SW–NE cross
section of the TR. It also demonstrates the facies migrations
reflecting the relative sea-level changes.
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 469
Composition of sequence stratigraphic charts of the sub-regions of the Transdanubian Range.
Long distance correlation
The composite sequence chart accomplished for the Trans-
danubian Range made possible a comparison with the pub-
lished charts for other regions (Southern Alps — De Zanche
et al. 1993; Gianolla et al. 1998; Northern Calcareous
Alps — Rüffer & Zühlke 1995; German Basin — Aigner &
Bachmann 1992, 1997; Western Canada — Embry 1997;
Davies 1997). The comparison (Fig. 9) revealed a fairly good
coincidence of the recognized sequence boundaries in the
Transdanubian Range and those in the relatively distant re-
gions. In some cases the boundaries pointed out in the Trans-
danubian Range have not been recognized in other regions,
and there are boundaries which were recognized in some of
the other regions, but which we could not detect in our study
area. Since the Alpine regions were in the most intimate pa-
leogeographical relationship with the Transdanubian Range
and on the other hand the German Basin was an area which
was not affected by the Tethyan rifting, we make some com-
ments on the comparison with these regions below.
In the Early Triassic, the westward progressing Tethys bay
protruded between the African and European parts of the
Pangea, and a broad shallow ramp came into existence. It
was separated from the German Basin by the uplifted Her-
cynian Ranges. The sedimentary basins of the Transdanubian
Range and the Southern Alps were located on the Tethyan
ramp whereas the Northern Alps represent the transitional
belt between the ramp and the continental basins.
Sequence stratigraphic correlation of the Lower Triassic of
Lombardy and the Northern Calcareous Alps can hardly be
accomplished due to lack of available analysis, but the up-
permost Scythian (Spathian) sequence can still be distin-
guished in the latter units, as well. Comparing the cycle
charts of the Transdanubian Range, the Dolomites, the Ger-
man Basin and Western Canada we can conclude that a
marked facies change in the middle part of the Scythian
(around the Dienerian/Smithian boundary) can be recognized
in all of the areas but significantly fewer sequences could be
detected in the Transdanubian Range than either in the Dolo-
mites or in the German Basin. In the Induan, two sequences
of the Dolomites and the German Basin show a fairly good
correlation while in the Transdanubian Range and in Western
Canada only a single sequence could be recognized.
A marked facies change in the middle of the Olenekian
(around the Smithian/Spathian boundary) occurred in each of
the compared areas (O1/O2 in the Transdanubian Range).
This sequence boundary, showing features of intense erosion
S BAKONY W
(“Hardegsen Diskordanz”) is the most spectacular one in the
German Basin (B3/B4). It is probable, however, that the rela-
tive sea-level fall was tectonically enhanced in the German
Basin (Aigner pers. comm.).
In the uppermost Scythian of the Transdanubian Range and
the German Basin only a single sequence was recognized
(O2=B4) showing fairly good correlation with the corre-
sponding North Alpine S2 and with the Spathian sequence of
Western Canada. In contrast, in the Dolomites three sequenc-
es were defined within the Upper Olenekian, although one
cannot exclude the possibility that they actually reflect high-
er order eustatic sea-level changes or local tectonic activity.
For the Early Anisian a wide carbonate ramp, akin to that
in the Southern Alps can be reconstructed in the TR. Facies
distribution and thickness of the formations indicate south-
westward deepening of the ramp at least in the area of the
Bakony which is also similar to the trend recognized in the
Southern Alps (Budai 1992).
In the Middle Anisian extensional synsedimentary tectonics
enhanced the lateral facies differences in the Transdanubian
Range and the Southern Alps. This effect was not detectable in
the Northern Calcareous Alps where a homoclinal carbonate
ramp came into being in the Anisian and the lateral facies mi-
grations define the sequence boundaries (Rüffer & Zühlke 1995).
Chronostratigraphic chart of the lithostratigraphic units of the Transdanubian Range. Legend: 1. stratigraphic gap; for other sym-
bols see Fig. 3. Abbreviations: M Fm. — Mátyáshegy Fm.; RD — Rezi Dolomite; SH Fm. — Sándorhegy Fm.
Sequence stratigraphic correlation of the Triassic succes-
sions of the Transdanubian Range, the Dolomites (De Zanche et al.
1993; Gianolla et al. 1998), Lombardy (Gianolla et al. 1998), the
Northern Calcareous Alps (Rüffer & Zühlke 1995; Bechstädt &
Schweizer 1991), the German Basin (Aigner & Bachmann 1992,
1997) and Western Canada (Embry 1997). Dashed line shows the
position of the Anisian/Ladinian boundary sensu Vörös et al.
(1996). On the chart of the TR the dots mark those boundaries
which show a significant coincidence. The circles mark the bound-
aries which might be correspond with sequence boundaries recog-
nized in other regions but the coincidence is poor, most probably
due to problems of the biostratigraphic correlation. The same ab-
breviations are used on the sequence stratigraphic chart of Western
Canada, as on that of the Transdanubian Range.
S Bakony E
Buda Mts. Csõvár
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 471
In the realm of the Western Tethys, a lowermost Anisian se-
quence was generally recognized. It is represented by the
Aszófő Dolomite in the TR, the San Lucano Mb. and the Low-
er Serla Dolomite in the Dolomites as well as the Carniola di
Bovegno in Lombardy (An1). The lithostratigraphically analo-
gous Reichenhall Fm. in the NCA is defined as the highstand
segment of the topmost Scythian sequence (S2 — Rüffer &
Zühlke 1995). In the German Basin the lowermost Anisian se-
quence (evaporitic Röt) is regarded as the topmost unit of the
Buntsandstein (B5 — Aigner & Bachmann 1992).
The next Anisian sequence (A2) corresponds to the Iszkah-
egy Limestone in the TR. Its lower laminitic portion can be
correlated with the Lombard Lower Angolo Limestone
(TST) whereas the upper one may correspond to the lower
member of the peritidal dolomites of the Val Brembana Fm.
(HST) which is separated from the upper member by a
karstic subaerial unconformity surface (Jadoul et al. 1992a).
In the Dolomites, this sequence begins with the Piz da Peres
Conglomerate which is overlain by upward shallowing car-
bonate ramp deposits (Gracilis Fm., Col Alto Fm. — De
Zanche et al. 1993; Gianolla et al.1998).
The Middle Anisian sequence (A3) of the “Füred basin”
shows similarity with the corresponding Lombardian se-
quence. The lower part of the Megyehegy Fm. (Megyehegy
Mb. sensu Vörös et al. 1997) corresponds to the upper part of
the “peritidal dolomite” in the Brembana Valley (Jadoul et al.
1992a). Bituminous laminites of the Felsőörs Fm. can be cor-
related with the Upper Angolo Limestone and indicates the
maximum flooding (Balatonicus Subzone). The nodular
limestones in the Aszófő section and the crinoidal–brachi-
opodal limestones in the Felsőörs section (Binodosus Sbz.),
representing the highstand interval, can be correlated with
the Cimego Limestone in Lombardy.
In the TR as in Lombardy, a remarkable gap was recog-
nized (Budai & Haas 1997) above the Middle Anisian plat-
forms (Dosso dei Morti and Camorelli in Lombardy; Tagyon
and Megyehegy in the TR). On the Middle Anisian platforms
of the Balaton Highland, the upper part of the cyclic platform
carbonate succession belongs to the Balatonicus Subzone. It
is overlain by the transgressive tract of the next sequence
In the Dolomites, the lower boundary of the An3 is marked
by the Voltago Conglomerate overlying the shallow marine
Bithynian carbonates. The establishment of the “Upper Serla
platform” can be related to the highstand interval.
In the German Basin, the Bithynian and Pelsonian sequenc-
es could not be distinguished within the Lower-Muschelkalk
(M1) sequence. The maximum flooding is indicated by the ap-
pearance of Mediterranean faunal elements corresponding
most probably to the Balatonicus Zone (Vörös 1992).
The progradation of the “Budaörs platform” towards the
“Füred basin” in the middle part of the Ladinian (Curionii
Zone) (Budai & Haas 1997) may correspond to the prograda-
tion of the South Alpine platforms (San Salvatore Dolomite
and Esino Limestone in Lombardy, and Sciliar Dolomite 1 in
In the Northern Calcareous Alps, the most spectacular
transgression of the Middle Triassic was initiated at the end
of the Illyrian (“Reifling event”) and the highstand period
might have been in the Middle Ladinian (Rüffer & Zühlke
1995). This sequence (A5) shows a fairly good correlation
with the Lower Ladinian sequence in the TR and also in the
The Upper Ladinian succession of the TR was interpreted
as a single sequence. In contrast, in the Dolomites three se-
quences (La2, La3, Car1) were distinguished within the same
time interval, and are reflected in three progradational events
(Sciliar 2, 3 and Cassian 1). In the TR marked progradation
of the “Budaörs platform” at the turn of the Ladinian–Car-
nian shows a good correlation with the Cassian 1 prograda-
tion in the Dolomites (Car1) and similarly intense prograda-
tions in the Northern Calcareous Alps (Brandner 1984).
The Late Triassic evolution of the TR can be subdivided
into three major stages. The first stage is characterized by
postrift infilling of the Middle Triassic basins. This was com-
pleted by the latest Tuvalian. At this stage predominantly si-
liciclastic infilling of the basins was strongly influenced by
the climatic conditions. The second one is a relatively tran-
quil period when large carbonate platforms came into being.
This was followed by a new basin formation and basin infill-
ing period from the Sevatian to the Late Rhaetian when tec-
tonic and climatic effects played a significant role in the fa-
cies distribution. Due to the paleogeographical setting of the
TR, its evolution was akin to those of the Southern Alps and
the Northern Calcareous Alps. Continental deposits charac-
terize the Upper Triassic of the German Basin (Keuper)
where, in addition to base level changes, climatic conditions
controlled the sedimentation.
The four sequences recognized in the TR cannot be per-
fectly correlated with the four Carnian (more exactly Ladin-
ian–Carnian) sequences of the Southern Alps (De Zanche et
al. 1993). The correspondence is better with the Northern
Calcareous Alps and the Drauzug where 3 shale-carbonate
cycles provide the basis of the subdivision (Bechstädt & Sch-
weizer 1991; Hagemeister 1988).
The first Carnian sequence (C1) of the TR begins in the
Lower Julian. In the basinal areas of the Balaton Highland
and the Northern Bakony the pelagic limestones are overlain
by marls (Mencshely Mb. — TST) also indicating a signifi-
cant climatic change roughly coeval with the initiation of the
sea level rise. The combined effects of sea level rise and in-
flux of fine terrigenous material led to drowning of large
parts of previous platforms (e.g. in the Gerecse Mts.). Pro-
gradation of the platforms (Sédvölgy Dolomite 1) indicates
the highstand of this sequence. The C1 sequence of the TR
can be correlated with the Car2 sequence of the Dolomites
(De Zanche et al. 1993). The second progradation of the Cas-
sian Dolomite and the Breno Fm. is interpreted as indicator
of the HST of this sequence. The first marl-carbonate cycle
in the Northern Calcareous Alps and the Drauzug (C2) is
roughly coeval with our C1 sequence.
Sequence C2 in the TR (Csicsó Marl — TST, progradation
of the Ederics Limestone on the SW and of the Sédvölgy Do-
lomite 2 on the NE — HST) corresponds to the Car3 in the
Southern Alps. The upper part of the Dürrenstein Fm. forms
TRIASSIC SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY OF TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE 473
the HST. The second shale-limestone cycle of the NCA (C3)
corresponds to our C2 sequence.
Sequence C3 in the TR (marl in the basal part of the Bar-
nag Mb. — TST, upward shallowing limestone in the upper
part of the Barnag Mb. — HST) may correspond to the Car4
in the Southern Alps, although we placed the lower boundary
of the overlying Main Dolomite (= Dolomia Principale)
somewhat deeper than De Zanche et al. (1993) did, because a
significant part of the Main Dolomite is Tuvalian. In the Do-
lomites the lower sequence boundary is a major regional un-
conformity. It is overlain by sandstones, varicoloured shales,
limestones and dolomites of the Raibl Fm. (TST) with vuggy
dolomites and gypsum in its topmost part (HST). This se-
quence is coeval with the third shale–limestone cycle of the
NCA. The C2/C3 sequence boundary in the Transdanubian
Range corresponds well to the Mid-Carnian boundary of
In the German Basin, a major erosion surface occurs be-
tween the Gipskeuper and the Schilfsandstein indicating a
significant base-level change (K2/K3 boundary — Aigner &
Bachmann 1992, 1997) which is approximately coeval with a
crucial change in the climate from arid to humid. This
marked sequence boundary was placed by Aigner & Bach-
mann (1997) at the top of the Lower Carnian (using the
former tripartite scale). However, biostratigraphic constraints
are poor and it is suspected that it actually corresponds to the
intensification of the terrigenous input in the Tethyan realm
in the Early Carnian (L2/C1 in the TR). The K3/K4 boundary
in the Upper Carnian may correspond to the top of the se-
quence C3 in the TR, that is the base of the Main Dolomite.
In some sections on the Balaton Highland, there is a sub-
aerial exposure horizon between the Sándorhegy Fm. and the
Main Dolomite. Subsequently a new transgression gave rise
to the formation of the widely extended Main Dolomite.
Trends of facies migration or marked changes could not be
recognized within the thick platform carbonate series either
in the TR or in the Alpine region. On the contrary, prograda-
tion of the platform could be detected in the toe-of-slope and
basin succession in the easternmost part of the TR, in the
topmost Carnian. This was the basis of the definition of the
Sequence stratigraphic subdivision of the extremely long
Norian is difficult and perhaps the most crucial problem of the
Triassic sequence stratigraphy. In the Tethyan realm, this inter-
val is represented predominantly by platform carbonates,
whereas continental deposits characterize the German Basin.
The conditions for the sequence analysis appear to be rela-
tively favourable in the TR because we have a record on the
platform margin and the upper part of the succession was not
affected by pervasive dolomitization, providing a good
chance for the precise analysis of the high-frequency cycles.
The Norian marine siliciclastic succession in Western Cana-
da has been subdivided into two sequences. The boundary
between them can be correlated quite well with N1/N2
boundary in the Transdanubian Range and with the K4/K5
boundary in the German Keuper.
In the Middle–Late Norian in Lombardy and in the east-
ernmost Southern Alps extensional tectonics led to disinte-
gration of the former large platforms, and basins came into
existence. Structural evolution was very similar in the NCA
(Lein 1987) and TR (Haas et al. 1995; Haas & Budai 1995)
and consequently sediment deposition was highly influenced
by the tectonics in each of these regions. A marked change in
the sedimentation occurred in the Sevatian when carbonate
deposition was followed by deposition of shales (Riva di
Solto Shale, Kössen Fm.). This change was attributed to sea-
level change (the base of sequence Rh1 in Lombardy — Gi-
anolla et al. 1998), climatic change (Jadoul et al. 1992b) or
an interaction of both factors (Burchell et al. 1970; Haas
1993). According to our analysis in the TR, the establish-
ment of the basin, the sea-level change and the remarkable
climatic change were not coeval, and the R1 sequence initiat-
ed in the earliest Rhaetian. In the Late Rhaetian platforms
prograded again (Zu Limestone and Conchodon Dolomite in
Lombardy, Rhaeto-Liassic limestone in the NCA, upper part
of the Dachstein Limestone in the TR) and the upper bound-
ary of the R1 in the uppermost part of the Rhaetian can also
be correlated in the Alpine realm. A sequence in the Rha-
etian was also defined in the German Basin (K6) and in
Western Canada (Embry 1997).
1. Sequence analysis carried out in the TR revealed that by
combining the best constrained segments of sub-regional
charts, a reliable sequence subdivision can be deduced for
the whole region even if the exposure conditions are relative-
ly poor. Using this method, a significant part of the local con-
trolling factors can be filtered out, and the composite chart
reflects mainly those controlling factors which affected the
2. The Triassic evolutionary history of the TR was gov-
erned predominantly by the Neotethys rifting, but it was also
influenced by the incipient rifting of the Ligurian-Penninic
ocean branch from the Late Norian. Four evolutionary stages
could be distinguished. The first stage (Early Triassic to
Middle Anisian) is subdivided into 5 sequences. These se-
quences were recognized in every (4) sub-region where this
part of the succession was known. Within the second stage
(Middle Anisian–Ladinian) 3 sequences were recognized.
This classification is based on the successions of the Balaton
Highland and the eastern part of the Southern Bakony. In the
third stage (Carnian), 4 sequences were recognized. On the
basis of the exposures and cores on the Balaton Highland the
lower three of them can be regarded as well constrained, al-
though their presence is less plausible in the inner basin suc-
cessions (Northern Bakony) and in the area of the carbonate
platforms (eastern side of the Southern Bakony). The lower 3
sequences of the fourth (Norian–Rhaetian) evolutionary
stage were deduced on the basis of Fischer-plot analysis. The
fourth (Rhaetian) sequence was recognized in several sub-re-
gions and appears to be reliably defined.
3. Approximately 50 % of the cycle boundaries can be well
correlated with those reported from the Alpine areas, the
German Basin and Western Canada. There are some discrep-
ancies in some cases (a further 30 % of the boundaries)
which can be attributed most probably to the problems of the
biostratigraphic correlation. The Norian sequences which
were defined using the Fischer-plot method could not be cor-
related with the published sequence boundaries, but it must
be noted that for the Norian reliable sequence definitions are
missing. Fairly good correspondence between the TR and the
Alpine sequences can be attributed first of all to their inti-
mate paleogeographical relations and similar structural evo-
lution. In accordance with this, the most definite correspon-
dence could be established in the Olenekian–Middle Anisian
and in the Carnian intervals which were the tectonically qui-
etest periods when effects of the global sea-level changes
were not masked by local factors.
The present work was supported by the
Hungarian Scientific Research Found (OTKA) Projects No. T
014902 and T 017011. The authors are indebted to Gábor Csil-
lag and to Attila Vörös for consultations and for their com-
ments, and criticism in connection with this study. The review-
ers of the paper, André Strasser and Géza Császár are
gratefully acknowledged for their corrections and suggestions.
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