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Keywords:

  • Carbonate platform;
  • Late Jurassic;
  • Oxfordian;
  • palaeoclimate;
  • parasequences;
  • Paris Basin;
  • sequence stratigraphy

Abstract

The Middle Oxfordian of the eastern Paris Basin constitutes a remarkable example of the growth and demise of a carbonate platform. Fischer plots, sedimentary and diagenetic features allow the identification of four depositional cycles (S5 to S8) in the Transversarium Zone; they are inserted in a lower frequency cycle of increased/decreased accommodation space (SoIII). The long-term period of accommodation creation occurred during the older S5 and S6 cycles, the maximum accommodation zone being located in the lower part of the S6 cycle. This high accommodation period was tectonically controlled and was coeval with local distensive activity of a Hercynian fault. A major minimum accommodation zone exists during the S8 cycle. At that time, the platform was isolated and presented both a windward and a leeward margin. The growth of the platform was favoured by a warm and arid climate, oligotrophic conditions and reduced siliciclastic input during a highstand in relative sea-level. These palaeoenvironmental features favoured the proliferation of phototrophic organisms producing carbonate material. The death of the platform was generated by a reduction in the carbonate production surface during a lowstand in relative sea-level and by the appearance of mesotrophic conditions induced by the increase in siliciclastic inputs at the beginning of a period with a cooler and more humid climate. In the eastern Paris Basin, during the Middle Oxfordian, the parasequences are ordered and present ‘greenhouse’ characteristics. In contrast, at the beginning of the S8 cycle, the randomness in the thickness of contiguous parasequences increased. Decreased carbonate production during the lowstand caused by a transition from photozoan to heterozoan benthic communities certainly favoured this randomness and the appearance of catch-down parasequences.