ASGP (2015), vol. 85: 187–203


Marta BĄK (1), Zbigniew GÓRNY (2,1), Krzysztof BĄK (3), Anna WOLSKA (1) & Beata STOŻEK (2)

1) Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH University of Science and Technology, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland; email: martabak at
2) Institute of Geological Science, Jagiellonian University, Oleandry 2a, 30-063 Kraków, Poland
3) Institute of Geography, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków, Poland

Bąk, M., Górny, Z., Bąk, K., Wolska, A. & Stożek, B., 2015. Successive stages of calcitization and silicification of Cenomanian spicule-bearing turbidites based on microfacies analysis, Polish Outer Carpathians. Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, 85: 187–203.

Abstract: Mid-Cretaceous turbidites with large proportions of sponge spicules are widely distributed in the Silesian Nappe of the Outer Carpathians, giving rise to diversified types of sediments, from spiculites to spicule-bearing siliciclastics and calcarenites. Part of this succession, Middle–Late Cenomanian in age, was transformed into cherts. A microfacies study showed that these turbidite sediments underwent several stages of calcitization and silicification, which took place during Mid-Cretaceous times in different sedimentary environments, i.e., on a northern shelf bordering the Silesian Basin and on a deep sea floor. The first diagenetic changes were related to changes to the biotic components of the turbidite layers, dominated by siliceous sponge spicules. This process, which took place in the spiculitic carbonate mud on the shelves, was related to the calcitization of sponge spicules. Calcareous clasts and calcified skeletal elements also were corroded by bacteria. After transportation down the slope, the biogenic and siliciclastic particles were deposited below the carbonate compensation depth. Taphonomic processes on the basin floor and alternating phases of carbonate and silica cementations, recrystallization and dissolution occurred in these sediments and were related to the diversification in composition of successive turbidite layers. Silicification was related to the formation of quartz precipitates as fibrous chalcedony or microcrystalline quartz, which were derived from the earlier dissolution of amorphous silica, originating mostly from siliceous sponge spicules and radiolarian skeletons. However, a source of silica from hydrothermal vents was also possible. The initial silica precipitation could have taken place in a slightly acidic environment, where calcite was simultaneously dissolved. A number of silicification stages, visible as different forms of silica precipitate inside moulds after bioclasts, occur in the particular turbidite layers. They were related to changes in various elements of the pore-water profile after descending turbidity-current flows. A very low sedimentation rate during the Middle–Late Cenomanian in the Silesian Basin may have favoured the sequence of initial calcitization and silicification stages of the turbidite sediments.

Manuscript received 20 August 2014, accepted 4 March 2015