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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 96, No. 12 (December 2012), P. 22152244.

Copyright copy2012. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


Sequence development influenced by intermittent cooling events in the Cretaceous Aptian greenhouse, Adriatic platform, Croatia

Antun Husinec,1 Charles A. Harman,2 Sean P. Regan,3 David A. Mosher,4 Rafferty J. Sweeney,5 J. Fred Read6

1Department of Geology, St. Lawrence University, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, New York; [email protected]
2Whiting Petroleum Corporation, 1700 Broadway, Suite 2300, Denver, Colorado; [email protected]
3Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, Massachusetts; [email protected]
4Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York; [email protected]
5Department of Geology, University of Kansas, 120 Jayhawk Boulevard, Lawrence, Kansas; [email protected]
6Department of Geosciences, 4044 Derring Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia; [email protected]


Depositional sequences capped by peritidal carbonates and breccias on the Aptian Adriatic carbonate platform, Croatia, were studied to evaluate evidence for glacioeustasy within an age framework constrained by carbon-isotope chemostratigraphy. Sequence Ad1 (17–60-m [56–197-ft] thick; uppermost Barremian–lower Aptian) is dominated by shallow subtidal parasequences. Sequence Ad2 (7–13-m [23–43-ft] thick; lower Aptian–lowermost upper Aptian) contains oceanic anoxic event (OAE) 1a, associated with lagoonal laminated carbonates. Sequence Ad3 (3–8-m [10–26-ft] thick) probably is lower upper Aptian and likely is separated by a major hiatus from sequence Ad4 (8–20-m [26–66-ft] thick; uppermost Aptian), which spans OAE1b. Both Ad2 and Ad3 are dominated by peritidal parasequences updip in the lower transgressive systems tract and upper highstand systems tract and by subtidal parasequences elsewhere, whereas sequence Ad4 is dominated by shallow subtidal parasequences. Low accommodation rates (4.0–6.0 cm [1.6–2.4 in.] in the earliest Aptian, decreasing to approximately 1.0 cm/k.y. [0.3 in./k.y.] later) promoted widespread breccia development during relative sea level falls, aided by tectonic warping. The sequence-capping breccias, eccentricity-dominated cyclicity, restriction of peritidal facies to late highstands, and coeval off-shelf oxygen-isotope records all suggest that sea level falls occurred during times of cooling and had a significant glacioeustatic component. These intermittent cooler periods and continental ice buildup punctuated the Aptian greenhouse climate.

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