Carbonate-Rich Palaeosols in the Late Cretaceous–Early Palaeogene Series of the Provence Basin (France)

  1. Médard Thiry and
  2. Régine Simon-Coinçon
  1. I. Cojan

Published Online: 14 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304190.ch13

Palaeoweathering, Palaeosurfaces and Related Continental Deposits

Palaeoweathering, Palaeosurfaces and Related Continental Deposits

How to Cite

Cojan, I. (1995) Carbonate-Rich Palaeosols in the Late Cretaceous–Early Palaeogene Series of the Provence Basin (France), in Palaeoweathering, Palaeosurfaces and Related Continental Deposits (eds M. Thiry and R. Simon-Coinçon), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304190.ch13

Author Information

  1. École Nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris, CGES-Sédimentologie, 35 rue St-Honoré, 77300 Fontainebleau, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 26 MAY 1995

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632053117

Online ISBN: 9781444304190

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Keywords:

  • palustrine carbonates;
  • colonization by land plants;
  • Maastrichtian-Palaeocene strata, consisting of interbedded mudstones and siltstones;
  • lacustrine carbonates;
  • root traces, showing numerous rootlets;
  • carbonate-rich palaeosols, developing in flood-plain and palustrine environments

Summary

Carbonate-rich palaeosols are numerous in the continental formations of the Provence Basin. In the alluvium floodplain deposits, they developed in reddish silty mudstone and are characterized by an obliteration of the primary sedimentary structures, the presence of root moulds, an extensive colour banding and the existence of carbonate nodules or rhizoliths of varied sizes and density.

In the lake marginal environment, this palaeosol occurs in the palustrine facies. The soils developed in the lacustrine carbonate mud and common features are root traces, a faint but distinct mottling, an in situ brecciation and numerous recrystallizations related to periods of high water table.

The analysis of the bulk rock composition and the clay mineral assemblages showed a replacement of the detrital clay assemblages by authigenic ones in both facies.

Despite the different host sediments and facies associations, many similarities may exist on the macroscopic scale between the very mature floodplain calcretes (coalescent nodules) and the nearly pure carbonate palustrine facies, or between the palustrine facies with a high terrigenous input and the red aluvium with scattered carbonate nodules.

The Provence Basin series offer a well preserved sequence of vertically aggrading carbonate-rich palaeosols characterized by alternating periods of development of floodplain calcretes and palustrine facies.