• Aragonite replacement;
  • blackening;
  • diagenetic cycles;
  • organic matter;
  • paragenetic sequence;
  • Solenoporaceae


A peculiar facies of the Norian–Rhaetian Dachstein-type platform carbonates, which contains large amounts of blackened bioclasts and dissolutional cavities filled by cements and internal sediments, occurs in the Zlatibor Mountains, Serbia. Microfacies investigations revealed that the blackened bioclasts are predominantly Solenoporaceae, with a finely crystalline, originally aragonite skeleton of fine cellular structure. Blackening of other bioclasts also occurs subordinately. Solenoporacean-dominated reefs, developed behind the platform margin patch-reef tract, were the main source of sand-sized detritus. The blackened and other non-blackened bioclasts are incorporated in automicrite cement. Radiaxial fibrous calcite cements in the dissolutional cavities are also black, dark grey or white. Reworked black pebbles were reported from many occurrences of peritidal deposits; in those cases, the blackening took place under pedogenic, meteoric diagenetic conditions. In contrast, in the inner platform deposits of the Ilidža Limestone, the blackening of bioclasts occurred in a marine–meteoric mixing-zone, as indicated by petrographic features and geochemical data of the skeleton-replacing calcite crystals. Attributes of mixing-zone pore waters were controlled by mixing corrosion, different solubility of carbonate minerals and microbial decomposition of organic matter. In the moderate-energy inner platform environment, large amounts of microbial organic tissue were accumulated and subsequently decomposed, triggering selective blackening in the course of early, shallow burial diagenesis. The δ18O and δ13C values of the mixing-zone precipitates and replacive calcite do not produce a linear mixing trend. Variation mainly resulted from microbial decomposition of organic matter that occurred under mixing-zone conditions. The paragenetic sequence implies cyclic diagenetic conditions that were determined by marine, meteoric and mixing-zone pore fluids. The diagenetic cycles were controlled by sea-level fluctuations of moderate amplitude under a semi-arid to semi-humid climate.