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Keywords:

  • Carbonates;
  • sedimentology;
  • biostralinomy;
  • lateral reworking;
  • conodont biostratigraphy and palaeoecology;
  • palaeotectonics;
  • seismites;
  • Frasnian;
  • Carnic Alps;
  • Southern Alps

Transfer of sediments from shallow shelf to basin usually implies vertical (stratigraphic) reworking of fossils, but in a few instances produces only lateral reworking (actually within the time span of a subzone). An Upper Devonian (Frasnian) pelagic carbonate sequence with allodapic intercalations and thick intraclast parabreccias triggered by seismic shocks and related tsunami and turbidity currents has been studied. Here, the standard biozone sequence is undisturbed at the zonal as well as the subzonal level. However, distribution of conodonts is discontinuous, and ranges of some important species are altered; mature specimens are commonly broken, whereas complete specimens are mostly juvenile forms. Maxima and minima of element frequency and anomalous thickening or thinning of subzones are recognized. Such distribution patterns of conodonts are compared with the four main facies distinguished and related to the environmental interpretation (a platform-basin system, the original gentle slope of which was fragmenting in fault-controlled blocks). The mean frequency of shallow-water, proximal conodonts is 10% whereas transitional to distal deeper-water genera dominate throughout the entire section. In the dominant biofacies, conodonts settled vertically, in the subordinate one they were transported laterally. The ‘intraclast parabreccia’ is interpreted as a peculiar type of seismitc. The anomalous thickness variation of biozones is related to the step topography of the slope in a fault-controlled carbonate basin.