International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

THE EARLY CRETACEOUS KARSTENICERAS LEVEL IN THE VIENNA WOODS (NORTHERN CALCAREOUS ALPS, LOWER AUSTRIA)

Pages: 307 - 315

Authors: ALEXANDER LUKENEDER

Abstract: Detailed paleontological and lithological studies of Lower Cretaceous sediments from the Northern Calcareous Alps in Lower Austria uncovered spectra of Lower Barremian macrofaunal elements (e.g. ammonoids). Within the Sparbach section, these investigations also uncovered an equivalent of the Karsteniceras Level, which is characterized by the abundance of Karsteniceras ternbergense Lukeneder and was initially described 150 km away in the Ternberg Nappe. Striking similarities in faunal spectra, lithology and geochemistry between these two laterally correlated occurrences are reported. The newly detected ammonoid mass-occurrence (Sparbach section) dominated by Karsteniceras ternbergense is of Early Barremian age (Coronites darsi Zone). About 250 specimens of K. ternbergense between 7 and 29 mm in diameter were investigated. The geochemical results indicate that the Karsteniceras mass-occurrence within this Lower Cretaceous succession was deposited under intermittent oxygen-depleted conditions. Due to the additional finding of the Karsteniceras Level at Sparbach, the formerly described Karsteniceras Level (KB1-B section, Upper Austria) takes on the status of a more widespread, laterally, biostratigraphically significant ‘horizon’, at least for the Northern Calcareous Alps. Its potential status as a stratigraphic horizon and its potential for correlation is underlined by its broad geographic range. The cephalopod fauna at the outcrop belongs exclusively to the Mediterranean Province.

Keywords: Early Cretaceous (Early Barremian), Northern Calcareous Alps, ammonoids, ammonoid mass-occurrence, Karsteniceras Level

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