Scientific article

Detrital zircon and micropalaeontological ages as new constraints for the lowermost tectonic unit (Talea Ori unit) of Crete, Greece

Published inPalaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, vol. 243, no. 3-4, p. 307-321
Publication date2007

The Talea Ori unit is the lowermost known tectonic unit of Crete and the most external part of the Hellenides. Its stratigraphy ranges from Late Carboniferous to Oligocene and outcrops of the lower part are only known in the Talea Ori mountains (central Crete). In this area, a black sandstone at the base of the Galinos Beds, thought to be the oldest formation, contains zircons which were dated using the single grain evaporation method. The majority of these grains yielded Late Carboniferous ages (Variscan), while a small group yielded Early Proterozoic ages. The age distribution of these zircons suggests that, at the Carboniferous–Permian boundary, not much of the older North Gondwanan basement was exposed and that a river system carried detrital material from the Variscan belt towards the forming Neotethyan rift. Additionally, higher up in the stratigraphy benthic foraminifers (miliolids) were found in clasts from a conglomerate which was so far thought to be of Early Triassic age [Epting, M., Kudrass, H.-R., Leppig, U., Schäffer, A., 1972. Geologie der Talea Ori/Kreta. N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Abh. 141, 259–285.]. These miliolids belong to the species Hoyenella inconstans [Michalik, J., Jendrejakova, O., Borza, K., 1979. Some new foraminifera species of the Fatra-Formation (Uppermost Triassic) in the West Carpathians. Geol. Carpath. 30 (1), 61–91.], thus attributing a Late Triassic (Carnian–Norian?) maximal age to this conglomerate. The carbonate platform from which the miliolids-bearing clasts come is not known. The presence to the north of a continuous hemipelagic record from the Carboniferous to the Triassic (Phyllite–Quartzite and Tripali units), attributed to the Palaeotethys realm, allows the Talea Ori unit and its lateral equivalents (the Ionian zone) to be assigned to the westward continuation of the Cimmerian block and therefore to the northern margin of the East Mediterranean Neotethys ocean.

  • Crete
  • Detrital zircon
  • Foraminifera
  • Permian
  • Triassic
  • External Hellenides
Citation (ISO format)
KOCK, S. et al. Detrital zircon and micropalaeontological ages as new constraints for the lowermost tectonic unit (Talea Ori unit) of Crete, Greece. In: Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 2007, vol. 243, n° 3-4, p. 307–321. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2006.08.006
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0031-0182

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