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The Early and Middle Miocene transgression at the southern border of the North Sea Basin (northern Belgium)
Louwye, S. (2005). The Early and Middle Miocene transgression at the southern border of the North Sea Basin (northern Belgium). Geol. J. 40(4): 441-456. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gj.1021
In: Geological Journal. Liverpool Geological Society/Manchester Geological Association: Liverpool. ISSN 0072-1050; e-ISSN 1099-1034, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Dinoflagellata [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    dinoflagellate cysts; Miocene; southern North Sea Basin; Belgium

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Abstract
    The Lower–Middle Miocene Berchem Formation of northern Belgium is an essentially sandy sequence with a varying glauconite content and often abundant shelly intervals. The formation was deposited in a shallow marine environment and rests unconformably on stiff Rupelian clays or Chattian sands. The lithological recognition of the four members (Edegem Sands, Kiel Sands, Antwerpen Sands and Zonderschot Sands members) of the Berchem Formation solely based on lithological criteria proved to be difficult, especially in boreholes. The geometry of the Formation in the subsurface of northern Belgium remained largely unknown. Diverse and well preserved dinoflagellate cyst associations have been recovered from the four members in seven boreholes and two outcrops, and allow a refinement of the biostratigraphy of these deposits. A Miocene biozonation defined in mid-latitude shallow marine deposits in the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the USA (Salisbury Embayment, Maryland) is readily applicable to this material, and has led to a detailed stratigraphic assessment of each member. Three detailed profiles depicting the distribution of the biozones in the subsurface of northern Belgium allow the reconstruction of the geometry and depositional history of the Berchem Formation. The oldest Miocene deposits are of early Burdigalian age and they testify to a transgression, which invaded Belgium from a north–northwestern direction. The maximum flooding took place during early Serravallian times. The upper boundary of the formation is a major erosional surface of late Serravallian or (slightly) younger age.

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