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Étude biostratigraphique et paléoenvironnementale des diatomées pyritisées de l'intervalle Paléocène supérieur-Éocène inférieur du sondage de Saint-Josse (France)
Van Eetvelde, Y.; Dupuis, C. (2005). Étude biostratigraphique et paléoenvironnementale des diatomées pyritisées de l'intervalle Paléocène supérieur-Éocène inférieur du sondage de Saint-Josse (France). Géobios 38(2): 269-282.
In: Géobios. Association Européenne de Paléontologie: Lyon. ISSN 0016-6995, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279574 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Diatoms; Pyrite; Paleoenvironment; Paris basin; Paleocene–Eocene interval

Authors  Top 
  • Van Eetvelde, Y.
  • Dupuis, C.

    This paper presents the results of a biostratigraphic analysis of pyritized diatom assemblages in the Saint-Josse core (CC82) located in the northern part of the Paris basin (coordinates: X =555 000, Y =307 324 and Z =56.9 m). During the Paleocene-Eocene this locality was situated in a small bight of the North Sea Basin. The results are obtained from sediments of the Thanet and Mont-Bernon group equivalents belonging to the Paleocene-Eocene interval. Thirteen samples were studied and eleven contain pyritized diatoms. By epigenesis, the siliceous frustule of the diatom is changed into a pyritized skeleton with all the ornamentation very well preserved such as the velum, the areolae, the labiate processes, etc. Dispersive X-Ray analyses show this complete replacement of silica by pyrite. Another form of pyritization is crystallization of pyrite (in cubes, pyritohedrons, octahedrons, framboids) in internal cavities of the diatoms to produce internal moulds, also called steinkerns, which preserve the external morphology of the diatoms and some details such as the girdle. Despite pyritization, diatoms can often be recognized at the species level; brackish and marine species were observed but no fresh water specimens were encountered. Pyrite is easily altered into iron oxides. In outcrops, pyritized diatoms can be obscured or destroyed by oxidation. We have chosen borehole samples for this study to avoid the affects of weathering. Deposits from the Sorrus Unit (of the Thanet Group) have low abundances of pyritized diatoms (3 to 25 specimens per sample). This unit contains allochtonous diatom assemblages comprising Actinoptychus senarius, Coscinodiscus morsionus var. morsianus, and Coscinodiscus morsianus var. moelleri. Sample 34.31-34.45 from this unit is particularly interesting. It contains three specimens of Paralia siberica var. laevis, which is typical of an estuarine or littoral paleoenvironment, and corresponds to the more continental deposit of the Sorrus Unit. Seven samples, taken in the Argile de Saint-Aubin Unit (from the Mont-Bernon Group), contain more than 200 pyritized diatoms and between 9 to 16 different species per sample. A brackish assemblage (Actinoptychus senarius, Coscinodiscus commutatus and Stellarima microtrias) and a marine assemblage (C. morsianus var. morsianus, Coscinodiscus var. moelleri, Fenestrella antiquo, Odontella heibergii, Rhizosolenia sp. 1 and Trinacria regina) are observed. The brackish assemblage expands in the upper part of the Saint-Aubin Unit indicating more widespread brackish paleoenvironmental conditions. Pyritized diatoms are important fossil markers in the Paris basin mainly when siliceous fossils (silicoflagellates or radiolarians) and others microfossils (foraminifers and dinoflagellates) are very poor or absent. Two diatom assemblages have been identified in the Saint-Josse borehole. The first assemblage D 1, comprising C. morsiallus var. moelleri (high occurrence), C. morsianus (a few) and T. regina (rare), is recorded in the Sorrus, La Calotterie, Bois Gorguette, Le Goulet and lower Saint-Aubin Units. The second assemblage D2, characterized by great abundance of F. antiqua and decreasing numbers of C. morsianus species, is found in the upper part of the Saint-Aubin Unit. These diatom assemblages can be correlated with other biozonations established in the North Sea basin and based on nannoplankton and diatoms (King, 1983), diatoms (Mitlehner, 1996) and calcareous nannoplankton (Martini, 1971). F antiqua and C. morsianus var. moelleri are the more important diatom species encountered.
    E ntiqua (previously named Coscinodiscus sp. 1, King, 1983) is the fossil marker used by King to define his NSP4 biozone. The base of NSP4 corresponds to the lowest occurrence of F antiqua and the top is marked by the highest occurrence of this species. The Sorrus, La Calotterie, Bois Gorguette, Le Goulet and Saint-Aubin ("Sparnacian" stage) Units, the last one comprising F antiqua (increasing to

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