Depositional environment and development of Danian bryozoan biomicrite mounds (Karlby Klint, Denmark)



The lower Danian bryozoan mounds exposed in the cliff at Karlby are described. Analyses of some sixty samples taken from a single mound reveal that the limestone is composed of about 30% of bryozoan fragments in a fine grained matrix. The texture and the grain-size distribution show that two distinct sedimentary facies can be recognized: (1) the northwestern flank and the basins with fine bryozoan fragments, a relatively small amount of matrix, and grain-supported texture; (2) the southeastern flank and the summit with coarse bryozoans, a larger amount of matrix and partly mud-supported texture.

It is shown that the differences in the size of the bryozoan fragments are due to adaptations to changes in the water-movement rather than a result of significant transport. Thus, currents were roughly from the southeast producing more agitated water on the southeast flank and the summit and more gentle water on the northwest flank and in the basins. The unusual relationship between the velocity of the water-movement and the sedimentary facies is caused by an influence of the bryozoans on the depositional environment. On the southeast flank the higher current velocity favoured the growth of bryozoans, resulting in a relatively dense cover that was able to trap and bind the matrix. On the northwest flank the currents were slower and less favourable for growth, and the ability of the bryozoans to bind the sediment was correspondingly smaller.