Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Miocene Biostromal Coral Facies (Leitha Limestone, Austria) - Low Diversity Coral Carpets and Their Actualistic Interpretation

Event Name/Location

9th International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia, October 23-27, 2000

Presentation Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding




The Leitha Limestone of Badenian age (Middle Miocene) at the type-locality in Grosshoeflein (Burgenland, Austria) is characterized by biostromal coral-rich strata which were reinterpreted from an actualistic viewpoint in comparison with Recent Caribbean and Arabian Gulf coral communities. The investigated outcrop (quarry “Fenk”) is interpreted as a sequence of biostromal framebuilding coral carpets and non-framebuilding coral communities, which alternate with bryozoan and corallinacean calcarenites as well as bivalve beds. A sequence of 10 coral intervals was observed, which can be grouped into 2 coral carpet types (high carpet framework low busy framework,) four non-framework communities and one bivalve/coral community. All coral communities were dominated by Porites species. Within this sequence, no unequivocal indication for sea-level changes at the time of deposition was apparent. In comparison with Recent coral systems in the Caribbean (Bahamas, Florida, Cayman Islands) and the Arabian Gulf (Dubai, UAE), we interpreted the different coral facies as having been deposited in similar water depths. We assume that the facies represent different lateral positions within the same spatially highly complex environment which is illustrated by a distribution map of benthic biota in the Arabian Gulf, a structurally comparable system that illustrates what the likely lateral distribution of the Miocene facies could have looked like.


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