Sequence Stratigraphy in Coastal Environments: Sedimentology and Palynofacies of the Miocene in Central Tunisia

  1. Henry W. Posamentier3,
  2. Colin P. Summerhayes4,
  3. Bilal U. Haq5 and
  4. George P. Allen6
  1. T. J. A. Blondel1,
  2. G. E. Gorin1 and
  3. R. Jan Du Chene2

Published Online: 15 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304015.ch9

Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Associations

Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Associations

How to Cite

Blondel, T. J. A., Gorin, G. E. and Jan Du Chene, R. (1993) Sequence Stratigraphy in Coastal Environments: Sedimentology and Palynofacies of the Miocene in Central Tunisia, in Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Associations (eds H. W. Posamentier, C. P. Summerhayes, B. U. Haq and G. P. Allen), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304015.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Plano, Texas, USA

  2. 4

    Godalming, UK

  3. 5

    Washington, DC, USA

  4. 6

    St Remy les Chevreuses, France

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geology and Palaeontology, University of Geneva, 13 rue des Maraîchers, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

  2. 2

    Geological Consultant, Square du Pomerol, Domaine de Beausoleil, 33170 Gradignan, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 17 NOV 1993

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632035489

Online ISBN: 9781444304015



  • sequence stratigraphy in coastal environments - sedimentology and palynofacies of Miocene in central Tunisia;
  • Planktonic foraminifera and nannofossils assemblages;
  • sedimentological analyses of Hajeb el Aïoun Group deposits in central Tunisia;
  • overlying Ain Grab Formation sensu lato;
  • Mahmoud Formation sensu stricto - deposited or preserved in areas of central Tunisia;
  • organic matter and palaeoenvironment;
  • stratigraphic signature of Burdigalian-to-early SerravaUian deposits on Tunisian shelf


Continental, coastal and shelf near-shore sediments of the Hajeb el Aïoun Group were deposited on the innermost Tunisian shelf during lower to middle Miocene transgressive flooding maxima (Burdigalian to early Serravallian). Only the most marine unit can be precisely dated by nannofossils and foraminifera, whereas the age of the other units is indirectly attributed by vertical and lateral correlations. A thorough sedimentological study of numerous field sections, locally complemented by palynofacies analyses, led to the establishment of a detailed sedimentological and palaeoenvironmental model, which can be interpreted in terms of sequence stratigraphy.

On the Tunisian shelf, the stratigraphic signature of these deposits is comparable to that recorded on other contemporaneous continental shelves. In coastal environments of the lower to middle Miocene of Tunisia, sequence boundaries and transgressive surfaces are well marked by macroscopical sedimentological features. In such environments, transgressive surfaces often overprint the underlying sequence boundary. Maximum flooding surfaces in tidal flat, estuarine and lagoonal environments are more difficult to identify in the field, but can often be singled out by palynofacies analysis because they coincide with a significant increase in abundance and diversity of dinoflagellate cysts. In the field, transgressive systems tracts are characterized by fining-up and deepening-up parasequences, while highstand systems tracts are characterized by coarsening-up and shallowing-up parasequences. Increasingly shallower water depths during late highstand deposits are often emphasized by a decrease in dinoflagellate cyst abundance and diversity.